A lot of liquid flows through a lot of beer gardens in the world, but very few of them can say pour enough beer to fill an actual pool. O.k., so the bartenders at Lou’s haven’t actually tried to fill their beer garden’s pool with beer. Still, the dozen taps and 30 bottled varieties on hand run with the stuff, dispensing craft brews in enough varieties to make the prospect of jumping into the swimming hole seem a little more feasible.
Inside the kitchen, Lou himself boasts the titles of both owner and chef, and he spends just as much time crafting his farm-to-table menu as he does curating the beer collection. He pairs his beverages with delicious creations such as New Zealand lamb, seared and served in the same cast iron skillet along with a side of bourbon and mountain honey-roasted squash. Lou’s eccentric palate and staggering panoply of brews has even earned his bacchanalian pleasure dome a nod from Esquire Magazine, which calls it one of 2012's Best Bars in America.
At Elwoods Gastro Pub, bartenders dispense a rotating selection of craft and imported brews as chefs assemble a menu of hearty English pub-style fare. Tasting flights arrive with a quintet of 5-ounce samples culled from a constantly rotating lineup of libations. Patrons can opt for homegrown spirits such as Harpoon IPA and Boddingtons cream ale, or stamp their epicurean passports with foreign elixirs, including Fuller's London Pride from England, German Spaten Optimator, and lagers siphoned from Jupiter. Each swig pairs with classic, casual appetizers, such as the house-made hummus and pita platter or chicken or beef skewers with three sauces. Alternately, patrons equipped with an Elwoods Gastro Pub card can head in for one draft beer every day for all of the leap year's 366 days, allowing sippers to usher in new crops of seasonal ales while sporting each season's koozie trends.