A matter of occasion: CVP versus The Brewer’s Art

By JISOO BAE | December 1, 2016

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COURTESY OF JISOO BAE Dinner at Brewer’s, cigarette machine at CVP, pumpkin beer at Brewer’s.

Hopkins, did you know that there is a pub right down St. Paul Street? I will not judge you if you didn’t know, because before the summer of junior year, I thought that pub was far away from Hopkins.

My friend Chelsea, another connoisseur of food on St. Paul Street, introduced me to this magical place. Charles Village Pub, or CVP, is conveniently located right next to the one and only Eddie’s liquor store. On the right side, there is Masala Kitchen.

For broke college students who don’t want to chug Burnett’s at someone’s apartment or go to a crowded house party to find some jungle juice, Charles Village Pub is an affordable place to go with your friends for a fun night of (moderate) drinking. Getting some beer and wings during happy hour won’t break the bank.

Charles Village Pub has great happy hour deals. On Mondays, half-price munchies are available, so getting mozzarella sticks at CVP may be cheaper than getting them at UniMini. Also, starting at 4 p.m. on Fridays, customers receive two rail drinks for the price of one. CVP has a variety of drinks.

I recommend the bourbon sour, which didn’t sound very appealing to me at first, but when I tried it, I realized it wasn’t as sour or strong as I thought it would be. Old-fashioned rum and coke and margaritas also do not disappoint. Cheeseburgers at CVP are decent, and the garlic sauce that comes with the fries is unique.

Charles Village Pub is a typical sports bar, with the walls displaying an abundance of framed baseball pictures and a TV playing all kinds of sports. Although CVP is not exactly big, if you sit in one of the spacious booths, it’s usually not too loud.

There is also an old cigarette dispenser in the middle, which adds to the “old pub” feeling of CVP. Of course, no pub is complete without a pinball machine. CVP has two, so feel free to entertain yourself after a few beers.

If you are in a more “bougie” mood, how about The Brewer’s Art? This spot for Belgian-style home brews and upscale New American dishes is on the pricier side, but check it out when payday approaches. Located in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, it was named the best bar in America by Esquire in 2008.

The Brewer’s Art, as suggested from the name, brews its own beer, and you can definitely taste the difference when that fresh brown ale hits the tip of your tongue. The Resurrection is The Brewer’s Art’s signature brew, so make sure to try it if you are a beer lover.

When I went, it had a variety of pumpkin ale, which was also delicious. I’m not a huge fan of beer, so the perfect balance of the sour and sweet pumpkin taste was refreshing. There are beers containing shots of alcohol like bourbon, so check them out if you want to feel the buzz, but mask the taste of harsh hard liquor with the light beer.

The Brewer’s Art is divided into a bar area and a dining area, so if you’re looking for drinks mainly and a few light eats, head to the bar area. Be sure to try the rosemary garlic fries, the perfect balance of rich flavor from duck fat and herbaceous flavor from the rosemary. It’s only five dollars.

For dinner, I got the steak frites, which includes a side salad and rosemary fries. I asked for medium well-done, but it came out just well-done, and when my friend ordered medium-rare, it came out just rare. So be careful! Maybe your best bet is to order medium.

The atmosphere feels historic and classy, smelling of rich mahogany with many leather bound books. If you are looking for a classy night out, head over to The Brewer’s Art.

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