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Sep 03, 2008



So my biggest bone to pick with CW is something you mention in your review: an imperial pint is 1.2 US pints. This implies that "ordering British" (as they cheesily say at CW) should cost 1.2 times "ordering US." Unfortunately, the mark up is a bit more---and while having a nonic glass is kinda cool, it's just a gimmick/upsell at CW.

That said, agree with the other slight-misses on traditional Brit food and I would love to have a real bitter on cask, but the charcuterie was very nice. Trotters, headcheese and garlic sausage were delicious.


Oh, as a case in point, just checking the CW price list:

New Castle Brown: US=6.5 UK=8, but 6.5*1.2= 7.80

What's the deal with the extra 20 cent charge? Especially when they pour with a huge head!


Honestly I love this place; being from Asheville, NC, a good pub holds a strong place in my heart. But I will be the first to call CW out on somethings that they do not do well; perhaps with the idea it will get better. First I second the above complaint. Second the failed to supply a properly grilled grass fed burger. We ordered medium and the first burger we received was charred and well well done. After notifying the waiter he quickly took it back to the kitchen. Upon receiving the second burger it was between well and medium well, still not medium. Perhaps it had only been 2 weeks since open and the line cook was still getting the grill down, but grass-fed burger should be cooked perfectly to order!


Loved the scotch eggs and the bone marrow and parsley salad. Thought the sweetbreads were cooked properly, but didn't care for the "gravy" it was served in. The fries are more like potato wedges minus the skin, so if you're expecting shoestrings, these aren't for you. But the blood pudding was nice and rich. I like the fact that you can cobble a decent meal together out of smaller dishes. And the big advantage of English bitters is their low carbonation. Doesn't fill you up with gas so you can fill yourself up with food!



Go read what English bitters are: www.camra.org.uk.

Nothing of the like can be found at Commonwealth.

CW recently had a Pilsner "on cask"---what a joke.

Thomas Cizauskas

Whether or not there were no bitters on cask at Commonwealth, I must take umbrage with the sarcastic aside that a Pilsner on cask is a joke. As someone who has been involved with cask beer for almost 20 years, I find such comments depressing. Did the commenter even TASTE the beer? Has the commenter tasted kellerbiers in Germany: lagers served from the cask ... as they have since lagers were first brewed? Cask ales indeed are my first love but kellerbiers are a close second. Taste first. Criticize afterward.


I had the Pilsner and I thought it was very good. Personally I think that drinking any beer from the cask really gives the true flavor of the beer, but I'm not an experienced drinker of cask beers, so others might know better.

Rob Rutledge

Honestly, the promise of cask Victory Pils was the major reason I wanted to get to Commonwealth. I have not had the pleasure of a bottom fermented beer on cask, and was very disappointed that they had run out. In my experience, both ales and lagers may benefit from bottle conditioning, and Victory is a consistent producer of kick ass beer, so I fail to see why cask conditioned pilsener is a joke. Perhaps I may be enlightened?


I refer Thomas to this website:


That's where I lived/learned to drink good beer...and since CW pompously purports itself as a British gastropub, the standard to which it seems appropriate to hold it. (Note especially gravity vs. engines).

I'm interested in learning more about kellerbiers (Deutsch war mein Nebenfach)...but I'd rather find it at Saloon on U Street.


Imperial Pint =20 oz
US Pint = 16 oz

That means 1.25 times as big as a US pint. Josh's math is wrong in the above comment.

Oh, as a case in point, just checking the CW price list:

New Castle Brown: US=6.5 UK=8, but 6.5*1.2= 7.80

What's the deal with the extra 20 cent charge? Especially when they pour with a huge head!"

6.5*1.25= 8.00

There is no upcharge.

CW has had Wells Bombadier English Bitter on tap both times i've visited.

From what i know on the subject, getting a english bitters cask conditioned is pretty difficult.

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