by Melanie Warner

Photo Credit: Chris Iatesta

In the heart of Monterey is Cannery Row and the Cannery Row Brewing Company. Cool your jets with an icy brewski and warm your soles with the outdoor fire pits. The “CRBC” has the largest draft beer selection in Northern California. Feeling a little beer pressure? The good news is that you don’t have to choose just one. You can choose a beer “flight” with sample sizes of 6 different beers.Luckily, our waitress, Holly, was knowledgeable about the best beer pairings with the food we ordered and was even a certified and trained “beerologist”.  She started us out with a flight of 6 beers: Bosteels Brewery KWAK, Firestone-Walker Brewing Co DBA, Samuel Adams Angry Orchard, Firestone-Walker Union Jack, Anchor Steam Breckles Brown, and Speakeasy Prohibition. Any beer called Prohibition has to be good in my book and was my personal fave. When she found out that I liked Hefeweizen, she also brought out a sample size of signature Lucky Sailor Honey Wheat Lager, a Weihenstephan Hefeweizen, and a Seadog Blueberry which all left me warm and fuzzy.

The chef, Jason, started us out with the Ahi Poke appetizer that included ahi tuna, avocado, pickled sea beans, scallions, cucumber, soy ginger sauce, and Taro chips. We also enjoyed the pickled eggs, with pickled beets, pickled onion, and fresh horseradish. These were both the perfect size, very fresh, and two of the healthiest choices on the menu.

Whether you are super hungry or super hung-over, there is plenty of homemade comfort food like Drunken French Fries with mushroom gravy, fried egg, and cheddar cheese.  One of our favorite burgers was the Blue Pig with Pt. Reyes blue cheese and applewood smoked bacon. The other was the Cali Burger with avocado, pico de gallo, and roasted jalapeno. The Grown Up Grilled Cheese included sourdough with three cheeses, tomatoes, crisp bacon, and was perfectly paired with the tomato bisque soup with herbed goat cheese and pretzel croutons.

Just when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, Holly brought out the biggest piece of chocolate cake I’ve ever seen. It was the Overload Crunch Cake and certainly lived up to its name with chocolate, butterscotch, Heath bar, candied peanuts, Oreos, and topped off with a big scoop of chocolate ice cream.

One thing is for sure, with over 50 food menu items and 73 beers on tap, you won’t leave hungry or thirsty. That means you could eat here every day and have a different beer and menu choice for a year. Trivia nights, happy hours, beer dinners, and special brunches give you many options and excuses to get together and try something new. Cheers!