Menu Please: Dining and Drinks at Woody’s Brewing Company

The Brewers’ Journal Volume 34, published in 1909, said this about Shasta County beer: Kennett, Shasta County, Cal., is said to be the location of a new brewery to be erected by Portland, Ore., capitalists. We don’t know if this brewery paid off for the investors, but we do know it’s now underwater.

Earlier, the “Report of the State Agricultural Society, 1907-8” stated there was one brewery in Shasta County.  However, it should be noted that the same report also states “The climate is pleasant, not extremely hot in summer nor cold in winter” and “Irrigation is unnecessary for most crops… as the rainy season covers the entire growing season,”  so it is possible that the person charged with researching Shasta County’s report may have spent a large amount of time inside that brewery and gotten his information from the denizens thereof.

Fast forward 100+ years, we find the state of breweries in Northern California to be wildly popular and growing. Femme de Joie recalls a few false starts – the Redding Brewing Company, Kennett-Diamond, North Star – but a glance in the craft beer section of local stores shows many more success stories. Wildcard Brewing Company, Fall River Brewing Taphouse,  Etna Brewing Company, Dunsmuir Brewery Works, Lost Coast Brewery, and the Big Enchilada, the Capo di tutti capi of Northern California breweries – Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico.

Add to that list Woody’s Brewing Company, which opened in early 2015 in the old Tapas location. While not strictly “downtown” – it’s a few blocks away from the old mall location (M. de Joie has a large amount of snark for the “Promenade” name) – Woody’s has certainly contributed to increased business and patronage in Redding’s downtown area.

M. de Joie and Amico del Signore visited when Woody’s first opened. They liked the beer but they weren’t certain they liked it enough to endure the noise factor. During busy times in the evening we had to shout at each other across a table to be heard, which didn’t help lower the noise and didn’t make for a pleasant evening out. However, lunchtimes are relatively peaceful, especially since sound baffles have been installed on the ceiling.

The menu is primarily food that goes with beer- burgers, large appetizers, lots of cheese. Service is friendly and knowledgeable, though it can be slow when Woody’s is busy.

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Smoked onion rings with honey-mustard dip, $6.99

The first few bites of these onion rings were delicious – a light smoky edge, crisp coating, piquant honey-mustard dipping sauce. As the rings cooled, though, they began to release superabundant amounts of oil.

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Squeeze one of the rings and the oil oozed out. The onion inside the batter began to lose its character and fuse to the flabby coating. After a beer or two, you might not notice so much, but it was impossible to deny the puddles gathering in the paper liner of the basket.

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The Woody Burger with house-made veggie patty plus side salad, $10.99

You can’t help but notice the giant hamburger bun on any of the burgers, and the burger looks small in comparison. But in fact the veggie burger was of a generous portion to match – it did fall apart like virtually every other veggie burger and was a bit on the goopy side, but had a pleasant nutty taste. Side salad was fresh and crisp. It made for a filling lunch.

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Cobb salad, $11.99

Cobb salad is one of those items that always looks good on the menu but often is a bit of a disappointment with skimpy amounts of indifferent toppings, but Woody’s version delivered – lots of flavorful blue cheese, avocados, bacon, grilled chicken and plenty of fresh greens underneath. All mixed together (as inevitably happens with a Cobb), the salad was pungently creamy with crisp bites.

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Fish and chips, $13.99

M. de Joie has to say this was the strangest looking fish and chips she’s ever been served. It looked rather like bread sticks than fish. Looks aren’t everything, though – this was not like bread sticks at all. It wasn’t particularly like fried fish, either. The interior was fish, to be sure; it was moist and tender and fully cooked. The exterior was flabby, soft, and without any seasoning whatsoever, so the effect was that of a warm, damp paper towel cuddling the hot fish wrapped inside it. There was a cup of sprightly cole slaw alongside as well as a portion of what the menu said was Remoulade sauce. It was unlike any Remoulade sauce Femme de Joie has ever tasted, oddly bitter and sour at the same time. Perhaps there was a tot of beer added to it; if so, she feels that was a grave mistake. There were also some of Woody’s fabled house-made tots (short for Tater Tots) which had a nice crunch but not a lot of personality – possibly because Woody’s encourages ordering them with a load of toppings.

M. de Joie liked the salads and burgers at Woody’s but felt they definitely need to work on their deep-frying (and deep-fried anything goes with beer).  Woody’s is a definite plus to downtown Redding. With a more casual ambiance than wine bars, non-franchise feel, attracting mixed crowds of hipsters, ladies who lunch, business and government employees, they seem to be filling (and perhaps helping to create) a niche market.  At least one other local brewery is slated to open a pub downtown so time will reveal whether the craft beer movement has legs in Redding. In the meantime, check out Woody’s.

Woody’s Brewing Company,1257 Oregon Street, Redding, CA 96001. 530-765-1034. Open Tuesday through Thursday, 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Friday and Saturday 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM, Sunday 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Closed Monday. Cards and cash; no checks. Beer (of course) and wine. Street parking. Vegetarian and vegan options. Website at www.woodysbrewing.biz or follow them on Facebook.

Femme de Joie
Femme de Joie's first culinary masterpiece was at age 4, when she made the perfect fried bologna sandwich on white bread. Since then she has dined on horse Bourguignon in France, stir-fried eel in London, and mystery meat in her college cafeteria, but firmly draws the line at eating rattlesnake, peppermint and Hamburger Helper. She lives in Shasta County at her country estate, Butterscotch Acres West. She is nearly always hungry. Visit MenuPlease for more or send her an email at femmedejoiefood@yahoo.com.
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22 Responses

  1. Avatar EasternCounty says:

    I read an interview with Woody’s owner who stated that the business may not be long for its current location — in fact alluded to actually closing — thanks to the local vagrants who continually vandalized Woody’s storehouse.  Shame on the City Council for not making crime its Number One priority.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I couldn’t find this interview online…..where did you read it?

      • Avatar EasternCounty says:

        Sorry to be so long in answering, but I’ve been away for a week without Internet access.  I fear I misspoke when I said I read an interview.  In thinking about it, I believe it was an interview on KRCR in yet another piece on how poorly Redding has addressed the vagrant/vandal/homeless/criminal problem.

  2. Avatar trek says:

    Hmmm….151 reviews and 4 stars average from Yelp patrons.

    • Avatar EasternCounty says:

      Perhaps those reviewers are the same people who think McDonald’s is swell.  We thought the beer was just so-so and can’t even remember what we ate.  We were there for the pierogi, but they no longer had it.  After Femme’s review, we’ll probably stick with taking food to Fall River Tap House.

  3. Avatar Peter Alexander says:

    Woody’s has started their expansion at the current location. It’ll help them keep up with the growing demand for their beer!

  4. Avatar Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    I tried the  food early on at Woody’s Brewing Company, but the menu has changed a lot.   The beer is excellent and the staff is knowledgeable about all the numbers I don’t yet understand that give information about different attributes of different beers.   Thank you for a great review Femme de Joi.   I wish only the best for this great place and it seems that any criticism you have are for  things that can be easily remedied.

  5. Avatar Gary says:

    Excellent review.  Your examples of ineptness are constructive and better for us and the business……if management “gets it. “

  6. Avatar Chris K says:

    I went there one weekday evening when the place was less than half full, so I sat front center at the bar and waited to order myself a beer.

    Although there was more than one person working behind the bar, it still took what seemed close to ten minutes before I was asked what I wanted to order. Again, I was sitting front center at the bar and the place was less than half full.

    I hate to say it, but the place seemed to have a rather snooty atmosphere. Maybe they just didn’t like the way I looked/was dressed. (Touring motorcycle jacket, jeans etc.)

    I’ll have to say though, the beer I had was pretty darned good, so I thought I’d have myself another.

    After pushing my empty pint glass forward on the bar (a sure sign of wanting a refill) I proceeded to wait for what seemed like another ten minutes to be helped (with no luck) before finally giving up on the refill and leaving.

    As for the food there, I can’t comment because I didn’t have any. I’d hate to think how long that might have taken.

    I’ll probably give it a second try sometime though hoping for better results.

     

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I like Woody’s, and frequent it.  The beer isn’t my favorite in town, and the food isn’t my favorite either, but it’s their beer and their food in the same brewpub—the sum is greater than the parts.  The inattentiveness of the servers is a persistent problem, though.  I’ve grown used to demonstrably flagging down the often clueless-seeming barkeeps and servers.  They’re always friendly and helpful once you get their attention, but they don’t appear to be trained to keep an eye on the customers.  You walk into a brewpub, you shouldn’t be sitting for 15 minutes before someone acknowledges your presence.  That time can seem like an eternity when you’re thirsty.

      • Avatar Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

        It could be that a lot of the staff is not trained in the art of quick, efficient service.  And it is an art.  I’ve been in businesses in town where I had to wave my hand in front of an employee to draw their attention away from their phone.   Educating the staff and expecting compliance is an easy fix that would help Woody’s.  I had the same experience  at the bar and I wasn’t wearing a leather jacket.  I think I got some attention when I called out a loud “Hello??”  in my best Julia Child imitation.  “Anyone here?”

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          The all-time worst was Kennett-Diamond Brewery—the mismanagement absolutely killed it.  The food and beer were damned good, but the service was are-we-getting-punked? bad.

          My wife and I once waited for well over an hour for our food (during which time we were never asked if we wanted another round of beers—I had to go to the bar to get them), only to be told that we had to either leave or pay $15 each for the band that was about to start.  We had actually come to see the band, so it wasn’t a disaster, but the management of K-D was so bad it would be charitable to call it amateurish.

        • Avatar Chris K says:

          Actually, I wasn’t wearing one of those “infamous” black leather motorcycle jackets.

          I was wearing one of the modern multi-colored synthetic ones with the reflective strips all over it…. totally innocent (and yuppie) looking.

          I was riding my KTM dual sport which has stock exhaust that is very quiet.

          I like dark beer, and like I said, the dark beer I got there was pretty good.

          So I’ll give the place another try, but as people have said here, they really need to work on their service.

        • Avatar Chris K says:

          Actually, I wasn’t wearing one of those “infamous” black leather motorcycle jackets. I was wearing one of the modern multi-colored synthetic ones with the reflective strips all over it…. totally innocent (and yuppie) looking. I was riding my KTM dual sport which has stock exhaust that is very quiet. I like dark beer, and like I said, the dark beer I got there was pretty good. So I’ll give the place another try, but as people have said here, they really need to work on their service.

  7. Avatar Chris K says:

    Now that I think about it, maybe Woody’s has one of those Anselmo’s type “motorcyclists not welcome” policies.

    But that would be pretty unusual for a beer place wouldn’t it?

  8. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Kudos to Woody’s ownership for putting the sound baffles on the ceiling instead of ignoring the problem.  When the joint opened it was impossible to carry on a conversation.

  9. Avatar Margie says:

    The service there is hit or miss.  They’ve been open long enough that I feel like they should have the service portion figured out by now.  The beers are average, the food is good though.

    You should never have to wait for a beer at a brewery.  Same thing always happened at Kennett Diamond.  It’s not hard to pour a pint, they need to get it together.  Can’t wait for Wildcard to open downtown, just wish they did food too.

  10. Avatar name says:

    Good review!

    My take  -their beer is just meh.  Other local breweries have a much better product.  I also sat for over 10 minutes once when there were only around 6 other people in the whole place – Unacceptable.  When they first opened the food was bunk, but I visited a few months ago and it was much better.  It is good to see local places like this open and busy.

  11. Avatar EasternCounty says:

    Fall River Tap House has excellent beer and service.  No food, unfortunately, but they are more than amenable to customers’ bringing sustenance.

  12. Avatar RACHAEL says:

    Woody’s is awesome, I think you are wrong about the food.  Try it again, and order something other than what you’re calling “typical beer food.”  The specials are the real secret of the menu.

  13. Avatar Scott S says:

    Thanks for your review. Eating out is a real treat for me, I enjoy the opportunity when it’s possible. Eating out is expensive but worth it if the quality and experience is there. I hate to be disappointed. Maybe Woodys is the place to get a beer if you have an extra 10 minutes to wait.