Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March Madness--Keg and Cork

Yes, March Madness directly relates to basketball, but in my life, the month of March is just plain crazy!  Luckily, this craziness often lets me blend together a basketball schedule and wine fun!  When in Casper a few weeks ago, getting bleacher butt from the basketball madness, I took time out to relax while enjoying some wine.  My first stop was my favorite wine establishment in Casper, Vintage.  I have reviewed them before and just love the ambiance, food, and wine.  However, I also decided to visit the newest wine and beer establishment in Casper, Keg and Cork.

See my previous blog post about Vintage here:

When I stopped the second weekend in March, Keg and Cork had only been open for a few weeks.  The owners of this new business also own another of Casper’s popular watering holes, Galloway’s Irish Pub on the other side of town.  I had heard about both spots, and I stopped in for a quick lunch on a Saturday afternoon, thinking the bar would be fairly quiet and slow.  As I walked in the door, I was surprised to see the door sign say no one under 21 could even enter.  In Wyoming, children are allowed to go in establishments that sell liquor as long as the children are with parents and it is before a certain time in the evening.  Keg and Cork wants to keep up a certain vibe, so no children at all are allowed.  It is an interesting philosophy, and I can see how it would be attractive to many customers.  When I opened the door I saw how wrong I was in believing Keg and Cork might be slow because it was a Saturday.  The bar was packed with people eating, drinking, and watching sports. 

I sat at the bar and was quickly offered a food menu and asked for a wine menu.  The food menu read basic pub fare.  I ordered the chef’s salad and was not disappointed as the meal came out in a bowl the size of a trough for a barnyard animal.  The wine list was adequate.  Many of the choices were identical to Vintage, and though this bar specializes in both beer and wine (and is on the other side of town from Vintage), I would have liked to see some different vino options.  (Not sure if this was coincidence or the work of the same distributor through the state working for both establishments.  I could help remedy this problem quite easily! Wink, wink.) 

Though I would have loved to see more “cork” in Keg and Cork, “keg” does come first in its title, and avid beer drinkers will not be disappointed.  There are 28 microbrews available, plus the old standby options. There are also 9 beers from the state of Wyoming, which I really appreciated.  I originally thought that Keg and Cork was brewing its own beer and am just so surprised that no place in Casper--Wyoming’s second largest town at over 55,000 people--does this on a large scale.  (I’m told the Wonder Bar in downtown Casper has the ability, but doesn’t brew.)  Microbrewing is such a huge (and fun) culture right now, I would love to see Keg and Cork, or anyone, take this on for Casper consumers. 

The service was very friendly and quite brisk for the busyness of the bar.  I sat and visited with my neighbor at the bar whose burger looked and smelled delicious.  I was also able to meet and give my card to the manager (again…I could remedy the wine list issue…wink, wink), ending my overall experience at Keg and Cork in a very pleasant way.  I would love to revisit Keg and Cork this summer when my life is filled with much less madness—I’ve heard the outdoor seating area there can hold up to 150 people, and I’m a real sucker for a glass of wine on an outdoor patio!  Good luck on your new endeavor, Keg and Cork.  You helped my March Madness with a glass of wine and a good meal.  I will be back when I can have some summer stillness.