Thursday, January 26, 2012

Simple Food and Winter Brews at Beer Works in Salem

Sometimes, the simplest of places can consistently fill your belly with a satisfying meal and a few cold beers. For me, Beer Works is one such place.

I've been to the Beer Works' locations in Boston, Lowell and Salem, and for some reason, the Boston spot has fallen flat for me. The other locations, however, have always delivered decent pub grub and brews - nothing outstanding, but affordable and tasty. On Saturday night, I met up with two of my cousins for dinner and drinks at the Salem location.

I started with the Beantown Nut Brown Ale (12 oz., $4.50), which was surprisingly light, and full of toasted nut flavor.

I can never go to Beer Works without starting my meal with their Fried Pickles ($6.95), which are served with a zesty ranch dipping sauce (please excuse the terrible photo).

The fried pickles at Beer Works are consistently crunchy on the outside with a still-snappy, juicy pickle on the inside. The crispy exterior also clings to the pickle, preventing a messy, greasy disaster.

Beer Works unfortunately does not have too many vegetarian options (pizza and a portobello sandwich are just two of the few other choices), so I went with the Garden Burger ($9.95). This burger usually comes garnished with mushrooms, honey Dijon mustard, lettuce and tomato (and served with a garden salad), but I changed my order completely. At Beer Works, you can pick from a variety of sides and toppings for your burgers, which makes the ordering process a little more fun (for the customer, at least) - and only slightly more expensive ($1 for each topping and $1 for some of the sides choices).

I ended up topping my garden burger with avocado, sauteed onions and Cheddar jack cheese. I also got sweet potato fries on the side.

Served on a fluffy, buttery, slightly sweet roll, this burger was downright enjoyable. The toppings were also generous, and complemented the veggie and grain burger quite well. The bun was so big, though, that I ended up eating the second half of my burger sans bread. The sweet potato fries were simply seasoned with salt, and were beautifully crispy without being overly greasy.

To end the meal, I drank my dessert - and enjoyed a Black Bat Stout (12 oz., $4.75).

Beer Works' stout was smooth and creamy, and had flecks of oatmeal, coffee and chocolate flavors. This was a great way to end the meal.

Many of Beer Works' brews are seasonal and vary by location, but you can find the full menu for each location right on their website.

All in all, I had another successful meal at Beer Works - that was also extremely affordable. My two cousins are part of the Beer Works' VIP program, which took $30 off our entire bill. Score!

Have you ever been to a Beer Works? What's your review?

Salem Beer Works on Urbanspoon


  1. I've had mixed experiences too but I haven't been to the one in Salem in ages!

  2. That veggie burger and stout look great. I love Beer Works fried pickles too!

  3. I like the beer works - I've been to both Salem and Boston, but i have only ever been for BEER and not food. classic.

  4. I love Salem Beer Works! They have good food and great service. Their monthly specials are creative and delicious. The VIP program is a fantastic deal. They have more vegetarian options than ya think. They offer veggie only versions of all their salads, the penne dish, and their stir fry. You can also get nachos and quesadillas with no meat. They even have a few vegan and gluten free options. Great place!

  5. Lindsey - Thank you for reminding me/us of those other veggie options! Good to know they have some gluten-free as well.

  6. I love fried pickles, but I don't think I've tried theirs. Adding them to the list!

  7. Thanks for the great review! Other vegetarian dishes at Beer Works include: Stir fry vegetarian, penne vegetarian, rajun cajun vegetarian, all 12 dinner size salad dishes vegetarian style, vegetarian pizzas and garden burger. There are also several other appetizer options that are larger than most dinners elsewhere...including full/half size nachos, hummus plate, spinach dip, pretzel nuggets, beer nuts, snack attack, orings, fried pickles and several types of fries. I frequent the Salem location. The sevice at the bar is stellar and the VIP program is second to none. I eat there once a week and cannot be happier with my overall experience.

  8. My fiancé just ate there on a week long Salem vacay! The fried pickles were amazing!!! Not to mention the Shipwreck cocktail... YUM!

    They were a real treat, and a much better experience for us than that rather over-hyped (and over priced) Finz.