You'd be forgiven for walking right past this pub in its former incarnation as it did have the look of a bit of an "old man's pub". The sympathetic refurb has spruced the place up but the pub still retains many of its glorious old features such as the stunning bar that takes center place.
Once you get closer to the bar you'll notice a bank of stunning looking beer taps - each one is a work of art in its own right. Whilst I'm not a beer lover I can certainly admire the taps, of which there are over 30! Keg + Brew serves a HUGE array of local craft beer along with a few Aussie staples like VB (that is still their highest selling brewskie). If you're not into beer they also specialize in a bespoke range of Bourbons...many hailing from the US of A.
I'm not really into beer or bourbon so I opt for refreshing apple cider. The Pink Lady Cider is a brew made by cider-makes, The Apple Thief. The cider is so sweet and crisp, almost like eating an apple but in liquid form. I like this drink A LOT!
We start our lunch off with a few morsels from the "Fixin's" section of the menu. I of course can NEVER go past Buffalo Wings ($10) when then are on offer and Dave is quite smitten by the sound of the Monterey Jack Fried Cheese Sticks ($10).
The Buffalo Wing Board isn't stingy on the wings and comes with a really dang good gorgonzola docle blue cheese dip. Just as an aside nearly everything you order will go fantastically with this flavoursome dip (trust me, I know as I dipped everything into barring the Twinkies we had for dessert).
The cheese sticks are also quite a generous serve and we're impressed at how well the cheese has held its shape despite being crumbed and deep fried - is there anything that cheese cannot do? The texture of the cheese is almost like a cross between a fluffy-on-the-insidi-crisp-on-the-outside hot chip and a Kraft cheese stick. The plum sauce is sweet and smokey and the bartender tells us it's one of his favourite sauces on the menu.
Moving on to the "Grub" section of the menu I feel compelled to try the KBFC ($19) as fried chicken is so "in" right now it would be remiss not to order it (also it goes SO well with the aforementioned blue cheese sauce). For your nineteen bucks you'll get a half Southern-style buttermilk fried chicken that has a light, crispy coating. The serve is pretty big so I think it's great value. The chicken is SO tender and moist, it really is quite amazing. The chook is served with a hot mayo, french friends and a crunchy salad (that I don't rate at all - needed more dressing and seasoning I think, but we're here for the chook not the salad).
For our second main Dave orders the Chipotle Pork Ribs ($19) that are so tender the meat practically falls off the bone. The ribs are doused in a smokey chipotle sauce that is sweet and finger licking good. The ribs are topped with a slathering of chimichurri which helps cut through the richness of the chipotle sauce. This is one messy dish but that's half the fun of eating ribs isn't it? Again this main comes with french fries and a salad (again with the meh for the salad).
It wouldn't be an American-style meal without a deep-fried dessert now would it? Behold the deep-fried Twinkies ($10 for 3). There was a bit of a miscommunication when ordering dessert and we each end up with our own Twinkie platter...possibly too many Twinkies but we gave it our best shot (and failed to finish either platter). These were quite nice - not overly sweet and definitely not oily at all. The batter was quite soft (almost like a dagwood dog batter in texture). For those not in the know a Twinkie is similar to a light sponge cake with a creamy filling...I don't think there's one natural ingredient in them which explains why they handle the deep-frier like boss! Only think that would've made this better would've been a scoop of ice-cream on the side. Vanilla of course.
Dave and I really enjoyed our lunch at Keg + Brew. The fit out is really great, reminiscent of an old style of pub with a few quirky elements of Americana thrown in (like these hulking guys in the photo below). The food is very hearty, filling and epically good value I thought. We only made the smallest dent in the menu and there are a lot of items I'd love to come back and try (po'boy anyone)?
The Keg + Brew is at 26 Foveaux Street in Surry Hills.