They had us at beer cheese. And now ever-growing menus at two of Rome’s premiere craft beer experiences are drawing us back for more (the beers are great, too).
Rome City Brewing Co.’s Tap Room above the craft brewing system at 333 Broad St. continues to dazzle with some of the most unique chicken wings in town (topped with Downtown Brown sauce) as well as a pair of hot dogs, incredible nacho chips and now beef tacos among sliders and a great spin on pretzels. Hours: Opens at 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, noon Saturdays.
The Foundry Growler Bar likewise has an excellent menu — available at lunch as well — featuring the “Notorious BLT,” “You Shall Reuben the Day” panini and an excellent German bratwurst topped with beer cheese or other options. A must to accompany any order: Bavarian Pretzel Bites with Foundry beer cheese or custom-blended mustard. (Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday).
We’ve sampled both on recent Friday evenings and walked out pleasantly surprised — and satisfied. Both offer “pub grub” that defies the normal expectations of something fried served with a blend of hot sauce. Translation: You don’t need to hit a dinner spot after that brew or two with friends and coworkers.
Another nice twist: The chef even serves you at The Foundry with a very nice presentation.
What we’ve not tried — as yet: A beer float. Yup, ice cream atop your favorite craft brew. Traditional root beer floats also are available.
Prices vary on the order, with a range of usually $7 to $10 for appetizers or the entrees. Our most recent trip, with two draughts, a Riesling, one of the sandwiches, the bratwurst and pretzel bites was $39 before tip. Both RCBC and the Foundry also offer growlers, cans and other carryouts as well.
Bottom line: Rome continues to grow as a craft beer destination thanks to RCBC and the Foundry (and the River Dog Outpost year-round beer garden with food truck service). The one-stop shop for drinks and now dinner makes it more of an occasion amid a great atmosphere.