Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beulahland Strikes Out

During the fall I became infatuated with Beulahland, the "Coffee and Alehouse" at 28th and Couch. I biked my daughter to soccer practice Thursdays at DaVinci Middle School, and noticed that I could take refuge at the happy hour just down the street. On my first visit I was impressed by the beer choices -- one of the ten taps was a Lompoc fresh-hop ale, and the place even had a nitro tap and a cask engine. They also have about a dozen house-infused vodkas and bourbons; I've yet to try any of them, but they have some interesting-sounding flavors like habanero whiskey and watermelon vodka.

But I have to say, when our Pub Night crawled over there this week after a visit to Spints Alehouse, Beulahland struck out:
  • Strike one: The cask engine is gone.
  • Strike two: The chalkboard and bartender both concealed the best beer tap from me.
  • Strike three: My beer was served in a cheater pint glass!
It wasn't until our second round that we noticed the telltale Terminal Gravity tap handle and found out that the delicious TG Festivale was on tap. It wasn't on the chalkboard, and the bartender didn't bother to point it out to a crowd of obvious beer geeks. That's the kind of action I expect from Henry's, not from the divey local.

Those first two strikes are no big deal. But cheater pints? Now you're adding injury to insult. Check out the picture above, and you'll see the giant boot in the bottom of the glass of Festivale on the left. That's as thick as the glasses I wore in fifth grade! I'm glad that the Honest Pint Project is starting to move the finer pubs to use glassware with fill lines on them. Cheater pints are a fraud that must be stopped.

On the plus side, the city has installed one of the new bike-parking corrals on 28th right by Beulahland, so there's plenty of two-wheeled parking. And the jukebox has a brilliant variety: Black Sabbath's first album, Duke Ellington's Money Jungle, and -- stroke of genius -- Hasil Adkins.

I still enjoy the atmosphere at Beulahland, and I would like to check out those infused boozes. This last visit cooled my ardor somewhat, but I still consider it a little-known gem in that area.


  1. Bill, they're serving cheater pints and 16 ounce pints together? These were two pours you got at the same time, right?

  2. Yes. Does that make it better or worse?

  3. I had the exact same experience at Beulahland. Margaret got a 16'er and I got the cheater. I almost suspect they don't know they are using cheaters or don't care. If I ever do go back there and that happens again, I will be more brave and tell them. I think they need to hear it...the more times the merrier. Those glasses are not just wack for beer geeks, they're wack for those who want to get their money's worth, especially considering the BL positions itself as a blue collar type of venue.

  4. Angelo, I thought about telling the bartender, but our impression was that he didn't care what we thought, and it didn't seem worth the hassle at the time.

    Instead I came home and tattled over the internet.

  5. Thanks for the info, I will be sure to avoid this place. Cheater pints are a rip off. We work hard for our money, and with beer prices going up, we want what we pay for.

  6. Bill,
    it definitely seemed to me that the cheater was just mixed in somehow to the real pint glasses. Out of all the pints we got that was the only cheater from what I recall.
    Anyway I never had that high of an opinion of the place but for a dive bar they still have a nice beer selection and the atmosphere reminds me of the punk/alternative bars in SF which I like.

    P.S. are you going to review Spints too?

  7. It makes it illustrative. I have long tried to make the point that pubs don't have to have either cheaters or 16 ouncers. If they have shaker pints, you just don't know. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for finding definitive proof of my thesis. Kudos!

  8. @Samurai: I'm probably not going to write about Spints this week. I'm hoping you or Charles will.

    @Jeff: Glad to be of service.

  9. Bill:
    I was/am looking forward to your review of Spints...Sharon & I were both impressed by the place, though probably more for the food than for an amazing beer list (thought prices were a little high across the board). We'll go back...

    As for your 'cheater' pint, I'm thinking the barman just didn't care for your look, or maybe thought you'd had enough to drink so he'd effectively 'cut you off' a little early! Nice that you posted on the interwebs vs. telling the guy - I like the non-confrontational approach! :D

    Cheers, B

  10. I was going to review Spints for the blog but I completely forgot my camera. I cant review it without some photos of the place and food. That would be lame. I guess I will have to go back again!

    Meanwhile I just wrote a post about why everyone should endorse Cascadian Dark Ales!