“Welcome to GC!” the friendly hostess said as I walked into the Granite City Food and Brewery located on Olive in Creve Coeur. “GC?” I thought to myself. But it soon became clear that this was an attempt to not confuse us locals with the other GC, Granite City, Illinois, which this new GC has nothing to do with.
Created at the end of the microbeer bubble, Granite City Food and Brewery started in St. Cloud, Minnesota and has gradually expanded its presence across the Midwest. The more interesting thing about GC is that they don’t actually do any brewing on-site at the satellite locations, it’s all done at a central brewhouse and then the cooled wort is shipped to each location where it is infused with yeast and fermentation is the allowed to occur. It’s a patented process they call Fermentus Interruptus.
So how’s the beer? Unfortunately I only had the chance to try one, the IPA. When the server came over to ask what I thought about it, I answered, “It’s ok.” My dining companion started sheepishly laughing as this was not the answer the server was looking for. But I was just being honest. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it’s wasn’t great either. It had a nice hop aroma and a subtle bitterness. It’ll be very palatable to those that have never had an IPA before. But for some of us, it may be a bit lacking.
GC locally carries four beers, Pale Lager,
Dopplebock, IPA and an Traditional Stout. The offer a five pull sampler which includes the four listed above and a mixture of the dopple and the lager as the fifth sample. I was very impressed with the beer menus as they offer up a great amount of detail about the beer. From the grain bill and hop selections to the OG and ABV range. It provides plenty of information for those who may know nothing about beer to us beer nerds that really enjoy knowing what the OG of a beer is. The only other thing I’d love to see included would be the addition of knowing how many IBUs are in the beer. I think if they explained IBUs to their customers it would help the customers learn what they like and what to avoid.
Overall it was a pleasant experience and I know I’ll be back to try their full sampling. But I’ll be honest when I say I’m a bit concerned about the future of the restaurant. Let’s not kid ourselves, St. Louis is an AB drinking town. While I think that St. Louisans will go to a brewpub on occasion for the novelty factor, I think for the most part they’re not interested in going to a place where they can’t get their Budweiser. Then again, there are plenty of brewpubs in the area that prove me wrong, I hope GC can do the same.
Correction, it was a Bock and not a Dopplebock as I mentioned before. Hazy memory.