United States > North Carolina > Durham
nearbeer (216) Knoxville, Tennessee | April 9, 2015
84 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 9/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 17/20
The building is small and somewhat well-worn, but itís just the kind of laid-back atmosphere I enjoy. We saw nary a hipster on our couple of visits, so Iím not quite sure if the previous comments in that regard are still applicable or if we just visited at the right times. Not an overwhelming number of taps, but they are dominated by well selected regional crafts. Large number of daily food specials (such as the excellent wild boar sausage we had on one visit) with dishes featuring unique items and local seasonal ingredients is pretty amazing, especially given the nice prices. Beer prices are maybe a bit high, but they do half pours if you need to. Service was great and pretty knowledgable about the beer and the food. Nice mix of background music isnít too loud, so you can strike up a good conversation.
Ieatplates (10) , | January 21, 2015
96 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 10/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 10/10 VALUE 10/10 OVERALL 18/20
maxwelldeux (140) Snohomish, Washington | July 29, 2012
80 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 16/20
I quite like this place. Itís got a dive-bar feel to it without having the creepy factor. Decent selection of some interesting and local beer. Service was much better than I expected.
DiarmaidBHK (748) Lewisburg, Pennsylvania | September 27, 2011
76 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 10/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 15/20
This may seem like some to be a dive bar but they would be wrong. Located mere minutes from the Duke campus it is in fact an homage to a dive bar. Old school breweriana lines the walls and the tap handles are off beers gone by. (Just try and guess which tap goes with which beer.) The crowd looks like itís comprised of mainly Duke students and young professionals. I appreciated the music being played a level that still made conversation possible. The food is made with great care and fresh ingredient. I thought my cheeseburger was fantastic and I love the garlic fries. They had about 20 taps and with exception of the ironic Miller High Life they were local and national craft. Would definitely come back if I were in the area.
Strebs (211) St. Louis, Missouri | September 25, 2011| Updated March 7, 2012
82 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 9/10 VALUE 9/10 OVERALL 17/20
The Federal is a very comfortable, out of the way joint ( and I use joint in a very genial sense). The food was good and cheap, and the beer selection, even though not large, was none the less interesting. I really enjoyed the laid back vibe.
TURDFERGUSON (153) Durham, North Carolina | August 15, 2011| Updated November 17, 2013
80 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 16/20
Been here multiple times in the past couple years. Cozy little bar with a pretty good selection and pretty decent food. Better than milltown but more hipster-ish.
jtd6628 (8) North Carolina | July 9, 2011
58 AMBIANCE 2/5 SERVICE 4/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 4/10 OVERALL 14/20
This bar is a welcoming place to start off you Durham bar crawl. Food here is great they charge you for it but is worth every Penney seriously good food
DukeBrewDevil (41) Chapel Hill, North Carolina | January 26, 2011
80 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 9/10 VALUE 9/10 OVERALL 17/20
Iíve been to the Fed a bunch of times and figured it was time to finally put in a rating. Itís a smallish, but open feeling pub style place with a rustic bar vibe. They have maybe 15 beers on tap with a rotating list that hits on a great mix of locals, American seasonals, and craft beer standards. Thereís something different I havenít tried every time Iím in there. The surprising part is the food. The menu looks like standard pub fare, and the quality of the standards is above average. The real gem, though, is the ever rotating specials menu. Those items are always made fresh and are a really eclectic collection of "foodie" items, so if youíre willing to try something thatís a little outside-the-box, youíll end up with a great meal. One of my favorite cheap dinner spots in Durham.
phaleslu (454) Cincinnati, Ohio | December 13, 2010
76 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 15/20
The Federal is a cool place on Main Street in Durham with low-lighting, big booths, and some nice vintage touches. It seems to have a hipster reputation but we didnít get a pretentious or stuffy vibe at all- just a good mix of Duke people and visitors on a basketball weekend. The selection isnít huge, but it has some great local seasonal taps (TDR Paulís Christmas Vacation (!), Foothills, French Broad, Highland, etc.) along with some other nice ones (Founders, Brooklyn, etc.). The food was very good and inexpensive. The staff was friendly and service good, especially given the crowd that night. Along with Tylerís and Fullsteam, we hit three excellent places in Durham in one day before hitting the college bars at night.
OldGrowth (188) the Containment Area, North Carolina | January 23, 2010
74 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 14/20
wife and stopped while running some errands, better dive bar type look, still smells smokey, but now none smoking per state law. dozen seats at bar, backward s shape. table and booths between front and back, bathrroms and kitchen divide the two. Lots of beer and cigarette memorabilia on wall. Two TVís. Service was good, but should of been as it wasnít crowded. Solid beer selection. Bells two hearted, mad river IIPA, Foothills torch pils and eclipse stout. Highland gaelic, Allagash White, Lagunitas Brown sugga, Sweetwate 420, Duck Rabbit porter, Frenchbroad ESB & Wee heavy-er. SN Celebration. Had a soup and sandwhich, though not remebering what off the top of my head. Fun place, worth a stop if you want a taste of older Durham....
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