With almost eighty beers to choose from, this week’s blog topic earns its title. As an addition to the great beer choices, their menu options induce salivation. So, I went to check out the Graystone Ale House in De Pere, Wisconsin.
You have to pardon me, sometimes a slightly bad mood hits us all. And I was a bit cantankerous the day I entered the Graystone Ale house. To add to my displeasure, it wasn’t quite what I had pictured. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the place. The service was actually amazing. The food was delicious and their beer choices were awesome. It was just, and I never thought I would be that guy, the ambiance wasn’t to my taste. I guess, if anything, it felt slightly too formal indoors and, when reaching their small patio, their outdoor portion overlooked a double lane road. Maybe I’m just spoiled with my usual haunts.
Here’s my experience…
It’s a Friday evening and I’m searching for someplace new. I have a certain atmosphere and cuisine in mind. Mainly, a rustic-chic type setting, coupled with mid-western eats, is my expectation. Oh, and throw in a beer list that provides sound choices.
Today wasn’t horrible. But financial woes, personal failures and the like are gnawing at me. You know, life just ain’t going my way today. So, I figure I’ll shake off the bad ju-ju and relax. When we pull into this place, that is set on a frontage road, I feel less confident that this spot will resolve my emotional quandary.
I’m not for places set right off the highway. And their interior, while fresh and sleek, just doesn’t meet my expectations. When I hear a title such as the ‘Graystone Ale House’ I’m expecting some cool rustic features. Here, there really isn’t any.
And to be honest, It’s probably my mood and expectations that have put a damper on this particular experience. The place is actually attractive but, like I said, not what I envisioned. When we arrive at the hostess station, we’re informed that the patio is full. We inquire as to how long we would be waiting.
“About ten minutes,” A young lady replies. “Or we could put you at a table on the road.”
Heidi looks towards me, and I respond, “I can wait ten minutes.”
So, we head to the bar. Their beer list is fun to scroll through. There’s taps comprised of imports, domestics and craft brews ready for purchase. The Graystone Ale House’s selections don’t stop there. There’s actually another fifty or so beers, either bottled or canned, to choose from. Lately I’ve been on an IPA binge. So I choose one that sounds tasty.
We don’t even have time to order at the bar, as Heidi receives a text notification that tells us our table is ready. I’m surprised and impressed, even if I am a little ill-tempered today. So we bound for the small concrete patio, bordered with brick pillars and a wrought-Iron looking fence.
Our server greets us promptly, which as they have a QR code set on the tables, allows us to order a beer right away. I mention the QR code because I’ve now seen it at a few places. It’s a cool feature. You simply scan the code with your smart phone camera, and you generate a link to their menu – beer list included. So by the time I find the IPA I had wanted on this menu, our server is ready to take my order.
I should also mention that it’s Friday night. So, in Wisconsin, which is also the case in most Mid-Western states, fish fries are tops on the list. And with a fifteen dollar perch plate, the Graystone Ale House has their bases covered. Other fish dishes are also available. However, I’m a lover of perch so I’m going with that.
We order as, once again, our server arrives promptly. And it seems as if only two minutes elapse before a heaping plate of deep-fried fish with a side of french-fries are being set on the table. Heidi and I devour our perch. I feel a little better.
The meal was actually scrumptious and my beer choice excellent. My bad side had just put this place a little lower on the list. Though, I would have rated the ambiance in the same light. But, to each his own. I’m sure many would delight in this establishment’s style and manner.
In closing; The Graystone Ale House, while being set on a frontage road, is a great place to dine-especially if you crave a wide array of beer choices. With wines and mixed drinks to go along with their brews, this establishment caters to any would be diner. Their food is top-notch and their service is second to none. I left in slightly better mood than the one in which I had came.