If you're visiting Carmel By the Sea in California, or lucky enough to live in this coveted, treelined, oceanside town, make sure to grab Your Next Pint at Jack London's Taproom (complete with old-fashioned English Telephone Booth), or newcomer Brophy's Tavern ("where the locals go.")
After grabbing a Bite at Flaherty's Oyster Bar, my hand model & I decided to make a mini pub crawl from Jack London's (recommended by my British father) to Brophy's (recommended by our British hotel-mates from the Carmel Wayfarer Inn.) Both pubs couldn't be more different, which was part of the fun.
- light like a Hef, yellow-orange colored, tangerine and honey wheat tasting Carmel Wheat Ale (at Jack London's)
- bitter, citrus nose, malty brown taste Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 5.6% ABV (at Brophy's)
Walking into Jack London's was like walking into a time warp. From the English telephone booth outside to the carpeted floors, dark lighting, stained glass & white-haired (yet extremely knowledgeable) bartender on the inside, it kinda took me back to my semester abroad in London (before the gastropub movement, of course.)
Since we were in Carmel, I had to try the town's signature beer on tap, the Carmel Wheat Ale. It's refreshing with a citrus tangerine, honey banana wheat bread flavor, and hints of coriander. It is cloudy yellow-orange in color, kind of like a Hefeweizen, and pours a fluffy head. This beer is definitely for the ladies and would go great with some of Jack's Monterey Fish & Chips ($11.95) that smelled amazing at the table next to us, the massive Nacho Appetizer ($8.95), or even their St. Louis Ribs ($22.75). Other beers on tap (they have 10) include Scrimshaw Pilsner (4.4% ABV), Fat Tire Amber Ale (5.2% ABV), Guinness (4.2% ABV), and a rotating handle. On Friday nights they have a live entertainment Blues Happy Hour from 4:30-6:30pm with local bands and singers.
After downing our pints, we headed over to Brophy's Tavern where we were greeted by the bouncer. The place was popping inside and much more modern with wood floors & flat screen TVs. (You could definitely tell this is where the locals hang out, 'cuz as soon as I snapped a pic of the bar, EVERYONE turned around like "Who's the new girl?")
While I enjoyed the atmosphere and liveliness of Brophy's, I thought their 6-beer tap selection was rather standard (see pictured) – Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Newcastle, Guinness, Harp and Sierra Nevada. So we decided to go with my hand model's favorite beer of all time, Sierra Nevada. It has a citrus nose, a bitter taste, and a malty bread brown finish. It pours a thick head, is amber in color, and is lively carbonated.
Although we didn't order anything to eat, I thought I'd mention that Brophy's menu is American & Pacific inspired with appetizers like Kobe Beef Sliders ($9.95), Prawn Scampi Boat ($10.95) & Luau Seared Ahi Tuna Salad ($14.95). Entrees range from $6.95 (2 Stadium Hot Dogs with all the Fixins) to $26.95 (Full Rack of Baby Back Ribs with Cole Slaw, Sweet Potato Fries & Garlic Bread.) Brophy's Happy Hour is nightly from 3-6pm. Tuesdays are $1 Fish Tacos. Friday Night's Special is Prime Rib.
All in all, it was a great Pub Crawl from old to new.
Jack London's. Dolores St. b/t 5th & 6th, Carmel, CA 93923. 831.624.2336.
Brophy's Tavern. San Carlos St. & 4th, Carmel, CA 93923. 831.624.2476.