For those of you who aren’t familiar with Beer Run on Carlton Road, here’s the premise: take a convenience store and fill it with beer and wine, throw in a cheap menu with bar classics like nachos and burgers, and add some picnic benches outside. This simple but smart idea has created a popular spot that’s great for the casual and devoted drinker. But I must admit – bring on the ire of the Beer Run devotees – I’m perplexed when people get really enthusiastic about this place. Maybe I just need to change my perspective. As a convenience store to grab a six pack on your way to a party, it’s a gold medal winner. As a casual outdoor drinking spot after a softball game, it’s pretty great. As a restaurant? It starts to slip.
To be fair, Beer Run is upfront as to what it’s all about: beer. The list of draft beers is solid and the bottle selection is truly impressive with hard-to-find local and international brands. They have beer tastings on Wednesdays and pint specials on Tuesdays. The outdoor seating area is fun in warm weather (even though it’s not incredibly scenic with its overview of the parking lot and junkyard across the street) and the inside seating area is warm and comfortable for what is basically a liquor store.
The food, unfortunately, doesn’t always live up to the beer. On our most recent visit, the brat was too chewy in a too-heavy pretzel roll. Jed’s hot dog was just fine, but the bison burger was sadly dried out. The sandwiches are usually reliable but not spectacular. The one standout is the nachos, which are pretty delicious. So my recommendation? If you want to sit outside on a nice summer night and enjoy some beers and nachos, head to Beer Run. Otherwise, save it for a six pack pit spot.
Jed says: “Walk, do not run, to Beer Run.”
Rating: Erin: Jed:
Pros: Great beer selection, good nachos.
Cons: Non-nachos food just so-so.
Price: Sandwiches $6-7, dinners $8-18, Saturday breakfast tacos $3-4.
Parking: Parking lot available, although can get crowded.