Suds shrine reboots with food

This beer emporium in central Madison County has a new awesome location and I was stoked to check it out. Adding a food menu to their offerings had me fired up, too.

This is its second location in this community. Recently a new complex was built here, featuring several restaurants, and this joint wanted to join the fun. The strip of businesses is right along a main road through town. 

There are six locations for this craft beer specialty place in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, but this is the only one in Madison County.

The sign for the bar-restaurant is prominently displayed out front. A large paved parking lot is in front of the businesses, with room for plenty of patrons. 

Walk inside to a super open dining area, concrete floors, high ceilings and tons of high wooden tables with wooden chairs. The centerpiece in the room is the long bar stretching along the front wall. There are 50 craft draft beers on tap, which rotate frequently. They also have wine and signature cocktail options, if you’re not in the mood for beer.

Large open windows throughout the building allow a ton of light in to brighten the room. This is just a great place for a large group rendezvous. 

A garage door toward the back of the room opens on warm days to showcase a large outdoor patio with a bunch more tables and chairs, which are shared with the restaurant next door. 

TVs line the wall above the taps behind the bar for entertainment. If you walk around the corner from the bar, you’ll find a golf simulator area to offer even more fun.

Finally, along the back wall near the garage door is where you’ll find the counter to order food. It’s a small menu after serving no food at the previous location. The main attractions are a line of grilled cheese sandwiches and tater tot options. 

I visited with a friend, and we set up shop at a table on the patio during a nice day. I ordered a grilled cheese named Jamestown with a side of garlic Parmesan tots. My friend went with the signature grilled cheese and added a Bavarian pretzel with beer cheese as his side. 

The tots were so garlicky and cheesy. They had such a great, rich flavor and the signature potato bites were really tender to boot. It was a great starter.

My sandwich consisted of turkey with cranberry sauce and smoked Gouda cheese. It was decent. The cranberry flavor really drove the taste and the turkey stood out too, while being very tender. Unfortunately, that sensational smoky creamy flavor I was yearning for from the Gouda was practically non-existent. That was the flavor I was hoping would pop.

Now my friend said of his sandwich, “It’s the best pure grilled cheese sandwich I’ve had.” That’s high praise. His consisted of aged cheddar, Havarti and Swiss cheeses all melted together.

He was slightly disappointed in his pretzel, though. The giant Bavarian pretzel was cut into two large pieces. One piece was super tender, while the other was overcooked and hard, which was disheartening. I pilfered a couple bites and the beer cheese was excellent, popping with rich flavors.

Of course I had to test out some beers while here. I started with a Rose De’Ville sour from Brooklyn Brewing. It was subtly sour up front with a tart back end and featured very floral flavors throughout.

I also tried the Space Station Middle Finger Pale Ale from 3 Floyds. It was hoppy, but light-bodied. It’s a great spring or summer brew you can enjoy all day.

Overall - four stars

Cleanliness - five stars 

Service - four stars

Food - three and a half stars

Price - $$

Any idea of the name of this beer emporium in central Madison County? Scroll down to find out.

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ANSWER: Global Brew Tap House, 2329 Plum St. in Edwardsville