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Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant
Active Beers: 35
Beer Ratings: 128
Beer Avg: 3.67
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
417 SW 37th St
phone: (785) 267-2739
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 18 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Not usually in this neck of the woods even though I'm nearby, but this place makes stopping in Top-town worthwhile.
It's a multi-level, disjointed amalgamation of traditional all-wooden pubs and modern American grill restaurants (like Chili's). I'm guessing the design intent was to blend old & new, give patrons something they're used to and give homage to the English public house tradition (as far as Midwesterners perceive it).
Ate at the bar, bartender was very friendly and knowledgeable about the beers, pointed out a style he thought I would like after talking about "craft" (I call em "fancy") brews and gave me a sample.
Menu was great, as much selection as more prominent brewpubs. My pulled pork sandwich (w/ cole slaw and fried pickles atop) was delicious, no need for the hot sauce I usually pour on food to give it flavor.
Had their flagship: wheat, porter, and amber ale and seasonal: java porter, ipa, and belgian-style light ale. Wheat was great, but I'm not a huge fan of wheats so I can't give an accurate assement if it's worthty of the GBF gold. I don't like IPAs usually, but this one was plenty bitter without being overwhelming, definetly would have been my choice in the warmer months. Everything else was fantastic too, but the standout was the java porter. Not too thick to make it taste like syrup but not watery either with a HUGE coffee flavor. Will growler this one up for the next visit.
10-22-2009 19:26:14 |
More by Jips
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $
Visited this place with our local friend Tim...I am sure his presence with us helped out with service but the folks there really made us feel welcomed. The following from our notes taken on 7/4/06...
By 11:30 AM, we were ready to get out to do something, and our first stop was Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant. This place was named for prohibition era custom of exhibiting stuffed tigers in the window to indicate that bootleg alcohol was available. And although they closed an hour early on Monday night, they opened an hour early on Tuesday. The building is a former grist mill turned dinner theater, and now brewing equipment sits in the stage area. The unique building is reminiscent of a tree house! It features multiple floor levels connected by graduated steps. Each little room is paneled in wood, and has windows overlooking the fermenting tanks and other sections of the building. There is a sun room with pool tables, an area outside for volley ball (which the owners wont use for fear of liability), a large fireplace (which the owners wont use for fear of liability), there use to be peanuts available for snacking (which the owners wont serve for fear of liability do you see a pattern?), ample large windows and banquet facilities.
This place has amazing potential as a restaurant, but as many people told me later, the reputation has dropped as the food quality and special features have dropped. That is not to say anything is bad about the beer! We travel for the brewery aspects, and this place is the best this area has to offer! There were 15 different beers on tap that day, and nothing we had was bad most of them were great.
We did not get to meet the brewer, John Dean, but we will keep him on our radar in case Blind Tiger doesnt make it (theyve stopped selling gear and their menu is now short-order items, so it doesnt look good for the restaurant.) Hes got talent and creativity, and all of the local craft beer drinkers recognize it.
I did small glasses, while the boys had pints. Unfortunately, I didnt take many notes. I just know I was very impressed with everything. We tried the following beers:
Razzmatazz like the Kolsch, only flavored with 88 pounds of fresh raspberries
Holy Grail Pale Ale
Chief Burnetts IPA
Prairie Dog Brown
Cup of Mud Java Porter - WOW!!! - its easy to see how this won the 2004 Gold at GABF
Grandmothers Whiskey Stout - has a wonderful bourbon aroma and flavor; balanced enough to bring through the flavors of roasted malt and hop bitterness. Not as terrific as the Java Porter, but very close.
Blind Tiger has won quite a few awards:
Gold - 2004 GABF for Cup of Mud Porter
Bronze - 2004 WBC for Rye (also won silver at the 2003 and 2004 GABF)
Gold - 2002 GABF for American Wheat
Silver - 2001 GABF for the Smoked Ale
05-28-2007 08:54:33 |
More by Deuane
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
They had 5 or 6 flagship beers plus four seasonals when I was there in July. Comfortable wood interior with tons of seating options and a tv screen never far away. Outside seating too. My server effectively balanced attentiveness with space and efficiency. Food was good. Location is easy to reach off of I-470 and there is plenty of parking. And with hours from 11 to 11, even on Sunday, there's no excuse not to stop in if you're in the area.
Don't pass on the Java Porter. The Top Gun IPA was another favorite. They have a great maibock too.
07-23-2008 05:35:16 |
More by damuraus
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
The layout of the brewpub is unique-- it's multilayered, with tables well spaced from each other. The rectangular bar is on the middle floor and is surrounded by several large TVs. During lunch there isn't a alrge crowd, and the atmosphere is relaxid and laid back. Peanuts are available at the bar if you want them. The bartender was attentive and friendly, but didn't seems to be too knowledgeable about the brew. That didn't bother me, however. The selection of brew is excellent, and they usually have a cask offering. The beer is always clean and without flaw, even if the particular brew isn't outstanding. Food is above average for a brewpub, since this establishment tries to cater to both brew drinkers / regulars and those seeking a more of a restaurant experience. Definitely recommended if you're driving along I-70 to somewhere west.
09-07-2002 13:34:58 |
More by marc77
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Got a day’s reprieve from the drop and run, or at least the drive away real fast; a bonus day as it is. An easy drive out of Kansas City this morning for points west, with little to no navigation in from the highway. Topeka, I just like saying the word. Oh, the "other" Blind Tiger...
Parking allotted, and climbed up in. “A” frame room with lots of cedar. The walls are slanted slat wood angled, with the uppers and ceiling being vertical and horizontal wood planks of different depths, giving it a beveled look. Wood plank floors, framing over the bar with drop spots tracked, triangle lampshade drops over seating, and some spinny fans. Stone wall behind me with a fireplace cut from the other side. The décor holds a large framed aerial picture of the capital, old Kansas brewery prints & memorabilia stuff. The area above lined with GABF table headers from at least 6 years, and it would seem they’ve been pulling some medals, too. Giant fuckin’ crew boat up in the rafters, and some other pieces about (a sample paddle, a keg, a tiger). Flatscreens above and TV’s on all angles.
Wood slat topped octagon gone oval shaped bar with a lip and foot base offset centrally. Seating for 14 losing seating functionality to service on one end and walkway bordering the other. Bar towers holding 9 nondescript tap handles each at both ends with wine & macro bottle glass front coolers in between. Glassware countered atop on one side, and the well booze below to my side. A dozen and a half bar table; hightops and a few low boys riddled about the room beyond the bar for the sitting at.
There are currently collectively 13 beers on tap between the 6 flagships and 7 seasonals. I unsurprisingly went with the sampler (your choice of 4 in 4 ounce glasses), and then Tonya offered up samples of a just about everything else. Flagship beers (Raw Wheat Ale, unfiltered American wheat, tasty, easy drinking; County Seat Wheat, filtered version of the Raw Wheat Ale, drier, hoppier; Tiger Paw Porter, English style robust porter, medium body with chocolatey flavors, roasty, with a slight bitterness; Tiger Bite IPA, Centennial, grassy, I like this; Holy Grail Pale Ale, Centennial, with a slight malty finish, a solid Pale Ale; Raspberry Wheat, the County Seat Wheat with a bit too much of the devil fruit), and seasonals (Java Porter, good coffee bitterness, I think I have a mouth full of grounds; Oktoberfest, a clean, sweet malty Marzen; Granola Girl Organic Ale, nice hoppiness, Centennial, German Tradition & Tettnanger; Top Gun IPA, Amarillo & Simcoe, just a big citrusy thing, Randy says “2 Heartedesque”, Munich Dunkel, deep red color, good maltiness, clean finish; Stinger Honey Wheat, honey sweet on the County Seat Wheat; Smokey the Beer, good smoked malt, the nose knows too). County Seat Wheat, Tiger Paw Porter, Munich Dunkel, Tiger Bite IPA & Smokey the Beer were the best of ‘em but there was nothing too bad overall.
Food? Oh, sure, we are in the lunching hour. I had the tiger tips and so much for the light app; there were a goddamn mountain of them. Served up with a smoky bbq sauce that did not suck. I can use some floss, please. And Randy had the fried pickles, done slab, not chiplike, and they were good, very, and this confirmed, as I had one.
And some walkabout, to see what goes where. Sunken brewroom on one end of the building, and around the bend, a large room with lower and upper seating areas sectioned with views of, yes, more brewing equipment. I had no idea as to the size of the place and surely wouldn’t have guessed it from the bar side, but it is quite a space. Sunroom off of one of the areas and the rear deck running a wraparound to the bar, green iron gated.
My sampler of 4 ran a whopping $3.36, which at $.22 an ounce, is just absurd, in a good way. Wish I could get a pint in Brooklyn for that pricing. John the brewer came and sat with us for a bit (they often do when I’m found scribblin’ in my little serial killer book), and talked… beer. Good stuff. Nice folks; service was pleasant and attentive. Beers were solid, as was the food etten. Decent lunch crowd this Friday afternoon. Comfortable enough, watchin’ the tube and tunes piped in. “Carry on wayward sun” came on. Randy asked what it means to hear Kansas in Kansas. I said I didn’t know.
04-14-2011 14:21:01 |
More by slander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
I knew this place was in Topeka, but actually found it by accident. It's right off I-335/I-470 on the south side of Topeka, not far from US-75 (which is the road I use to go back and forth from home to Manhattan). Very unique setup, raised up on the second story (I believe the brewery is on the first). I haven't actually seen the dining area, but the bar area is nice, with a long bar, seating on both sides, and tables to either side. I hear they do Texas Hold 'em poker in there on Sunday nights, too.
Environment is good. Tables are schlacked (I think, anyway... however you spell that) with advertisements underneath, giving it a nice feel of some of the old family style restaurants that I remember going to growing up. Bar looks very unique, a bunch of different growlers up towards the ceiling, with the awards their beers have won in a case towards the bathrooms.
Their beers are typically very good. Seems like they've usually got about 12 on tap. A few I really enjoy, a few I don't really care for all that much, but most of them are pretty good in their own right. They have some unique styles (Smokey the Beer, which takes me back to a couple of fire calls, a Wee Heavy Scottish Ale which I still haven't been able to try...), and have many of the old stand-by styles that people look for. The food was very good, too. Not outstanding, but definitely enough to fill you up and satisfy your appetite.
The bartenders on duty when I've been there have always been very knowledgeable about their beers. They know some of the characteristics, and they know the styles, and seem to have sampled them, as well. One of the other waiters I overheard wasn't quite as knowledgeable about the beer (I corrected him on a few points privately, and gave him the link for BA), but for the most part, the people seem like they know what they're doing.
If you're in the area, I definitely suggest stopping by.
10-04-2004 16:23:31 |
More by Rio
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
A big, two story building in a southern section of Topeka, Blind Tiger is one you'll want to seek out, even if it is a tad off the interstates.
As you come into the place up a flight of stairs, you immediately notice the high ceilings and wooden rafters. For a place with tons of nooks and crannies, it still feels wide open, with wood everywhere giving it that "lived in" feel. The music was loudish without being intrusive, while the many HD TVs all had the volume turned down. It was crowded at 5 PM on the Wednesday when I visited, yet the service was quite good. Fast, friendly, and accurate. Can't beat that, really.
I counted 13 beers on tap, with four wheats (two of which were flavored), a pre-prohibition style pils, a pale, an amber, and chestnut brown, IPA, maibock, a dubbel, a robust porter, and what I consider to be the best java porter around. I didn't have time to linger, unfortunately, so I grabbed a quick pint. When I cashed out, the $3 tab was pretty nice, too. $3 a pint for beer this good is a deal pretty much anywhere.
I'd recommend this place to anyone, without reservation.. no pun intended.
05-17-2007 23:29:17 |
More by jokelahoma
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Atmosphere was fine. I caught the lunch crowd and it was pretty busy, but the dining room was roomy enough and smoke free. I didn't visit the bar area, but I understand it's smoking in there so I opted out of that.
The quality is good. The food was hot and fresh and tasty, and the beers were properly chilled, seemed fresh and tasty so no complaints there.
The service was great. The waitresses were busy, but very cordial and helpful. My waitress was actually familiar with the beers on tap, and by that I mean she actually knew what was on tap not what to expect from the beers. She might have known that, but I didn't ask. So often I go to a brewpub and ask what's on tap and the waitresses look at me with a dumb face shocked that I would expect them to know something about their job. So that was pleasant.
The selection was good. There were at least 8 beers running through the taps, maybe even 9 I can't remember. So that was nice. Of course the usual suspects were there (wheat, Rasp Wheat, Pale, Porter etc etc etc). But the seasonal list was nice (maibock, IPA, Java Porter). The menu had plenty to choose from as well so I was a pretty happy guy.
Food: I went with the Cowboy which was a beef briscuit sandwhich with fries. The briscuit was really good, very smokey, and the barbeque sauce was nice as well. The fries seemed really generic, but they were delicious anyway.
All in all I got out of there for under $15 which is a pretty good feat for beer and lunch. Very happy to have visited. I don't know that I'd go out of my way to go, but if I was in Topeka I'd definitely stop in.
12-10-2008 21:00:52 |
More by Goliath
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
This brewpub is very easy to find, right off one of the main thru-ways of the area. Not very busy in the mid-afternoon, but I guess it picks up later at night. The folks here are friendly and the beer selection is enormous. I think they have nine or ten of their own on tap and a cask at a time. The staff seemed knowledgeable and made an effort to see I was enjoying myself. Didn't try the food.
10-13-2002 15:02:48 |
More by beernut7
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I visited this place with my parents the day after Christmas 2005, after a long day. I asked for a sampler and they did have one with all 15 of their beers. Since that was a bit much for a long drive, we got 8 samples: Raw Wheat, Raspberry Wheat, Pale Ale, Pumpkin Pie, Amber, Statehouse Stout, another pale ale and one more I can't recall.
The place was insanely busy, and we were lucky to even get a seat. The original restaurant waiting time was 45 minutes, which is quite a long time for Kansas! The food was pretty good and beers were good too. Just didn't have the time to enjoy them all. I will be back...
01-15-2006 05:59:47 |
More by pivoichamiz
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Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant in Topeka, KS
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