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Taps: 18 / Bottles: 190
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
910 Willowdale Rd
phone: (304) 599-5990
Reviews by johnmichaelsen:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Of all my Morgantown beer bar visits, this had to be the most disappointing one so far.
Based on the website, BA reviews and beer selection, one would expect that this place would be great. It's actually a fairly small pub, located right across from the WVU football stadium. There's a modest size, U shaped bar in the center of the pub, with a few tables and chairs scattered around in the smallish dining area. The Varsity Club is a sports bar, and the walls are covered with sports related photos and posters, along with plenty of flat screen TV's as well. My bartender confirmed that they get the NFL ticket, and I started to harbor thoughts of making this my sports bar destination on the weekends...
The Varsity has an impressive beer selection, which includes 18 beers on tap and then another 190 or so bottled beers. Both the draft and bottled selection include a macro swill selection that makes up roughly a third of the menu, but all and all, it's not all that bad. On this day, for instance, the tap list included SN Ovilla (dubbel), chimay, Flying dog raging bitch and double dog. Sure, they also had blue moon, stella, bud lite, miller lite and mich ultra, but all things considered, the selection wasn't bad. The bottle selection is heavy on rogue, SA, SN and Breckenridge, but again, given that this is Morgantown, I was pretty impressed by what I saw.
Draft beer selections all seem to come in an oversize goblet, one that is quite heavy and I think holds 16 ounces of beer. Upon tasting my beer, the first thing that struck me is that it didn't taste very fresh. I had had a glass of the same beer over at Gibbie's the previous week, and there was simply no comparison between the two beers. The version I had at Gibbie's was much more aromatic and hop driven than the beer I had at the Varsity. Alas, things were to go from bad to worse from here. Given the impressive looking bottle list at the Varsity, and given that the bitch hadn't slacked my thirst for a hoppy beer, I went with the tried and true SN torpedo (bottle). The beer looked fine, but it smelled considerably more malty then I'm accustomed to, with little noticeable hop presence. My first sip revealed more of the same, at which point I took a look at the bottled/best by date on the side. My waitress/bartender noticed the look on my face, and asked if perhaps I was surprised by what I had ordered. At that point I told her that the beer appeared to be at least several years old, according to the label, and frankly it tasted that way as well. She took the bottle back to a manager, and a few minutes later came back, acknowledging that in fact the beer appeared to be that old (and wondering how that could have happened, and that the manager was going to look into whether this was an isolated bottle, or if all the torpedo bottles were this old). Seeing as how she didn't offer to replace my bottle with something else, I eventually told her that I would pay for the bottle, but that I really wanted someting else. She admitted she couldn't blame me for that, and so after looking over the menu again, I selected a bottle of Widmer rotator IPA. While much better than the torpedo, even the shaddock IPA tasted a bit long in the tooth, and not nearly as delicious as the bottle I'd had in Portland a few months back.
As for food, the blackened chicken ceasar salad I got was surprisingly good. They over did it with the dressing a bit, but the romaine lettuce was fresh and the chicken well prepared. Prices were also pretty reasonable I thought. I was here during happy hour, so my salad, pint of bitch and two bottles came to just over $20.
Edit from 12/16. So, I've been back a couple of times now, and have decided to update my score. I have to say that it's particularly difficult reviewing places here in Morgantown, as everyplace is just so inconsistent (the apothecary alehouse seems to be the one exception). Anyway, it would appear that my experience with the bottle of torpedo was an abberation, as bottles of SN Estate have been pretty good (and fairly fresh), and the draft SN celebration was quite good as well. I think one just has to exercise care when ordering here, staying away from beers that pretty clearly don't move very fast. Unfortunately, it would also appear that my experience with the chicken salad was an abberation as well. Subsequent wings and nachos have been fair to good, while the fish tacos I ordered were mediocre at best. An order of BBQ nachos was flat out terrible (stale chips, and the very sweet BBQ sauce did not go well with the pork and cheese). Shrug. The beer selection is decent for Morgantown, and this is a good place to go if there is a particular sporting event you want to watch. So I'll likely to continue to visit any time there's a sporting event I want to watch at a sports bar.
10-04-2012 22:44:38 |
More by johnmichaelsen
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
Absolutely hands down one of the best places in Morgantown to eat.
Everthing has always best top notch as far as food goes. The Blackened Blue burger is out of this world.
14 taps also adorn the bar but unfortunatly most are run of the mill BMC taps. Usually have a few craft though.
Bottle selection is the best in WV ...they pretty much have every beer available in the state in bottles. Except Great Lakes(dont understand this)
Atmosphere very inviting. Family type place. Bright, clean and good service. A must visit.
07-31-2011 11:18:14 |
More by dmamiano
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The Varsity Club is a very nice, clean, well-stocked sports bar. There are several televisions and a nice long bar area along with several tables and booths.
They have a very nice selection of beers: Rogue, Newcastle, Bass, Guinness, Sierra Nevada, and Sam Adams to name a few. There are about a dozen taps, with only a few macros (although a few of the others are macro-craft, such as Blue Moon).
They have a large cooler with a lot of bottles to choose from and they do a fine job of getting seasonals in.
Service was very nice. Friendly, efficient, and cute. I liked the pretzels they bring out with your drinks, too.
I ordered a Sam Adams Octoberfest and a fish sandwich. The fish was huge, a great portion with nice breading. I typically don't like "home-cut" fries but these were pretty good, too.
09-25-2009 12:23:40 |
More by JamesS
Varsity Club in Morgantown, WV