(October 2016). A dozen plus visits over a dozen years, including four in the past few months have confirmed that this place is still on top of the Rockford beer scene, beer-wise. They still don’t have much of a food menu and it’s a small place that is pretty much just a bar, but the ambiance and service and the generally excellent beer make it worth regular visits. And the area of East State street that it inhabits has improved significantly over the past decade and offers a lot more choices of food and drink than it used to, so this is very much worth spending part of a longer visit to the area in.
Oct 05: Well, this latest visit brought the wonderful Delirium de Carlyle and the best-of-style California Common. It’s an odd place, across the street from the place my parents shopped for furniture when I was 7 and my brother and I got lost...oh just go already, this place is great.
Nov 04: A nice place, and one that I really hope succeeds in the 20-year depressed old industrial city that is close to a "hometown" for me. Dark wood, old-timey midwest pub feel, but clean and well put together. Little in the way of food when I visited (July 04) but good to very good beer...the stout in particular was fine. Really friendly, warm service. I’ll be back at Christmas.
jmagnus87 (92) Rockford, Illinois | October 19, 2013| Updated December 31, 2013
Great brewpub. They pretty much have something for every taste whenever I head in there. The bartenders absolutely know their beer but when it gets busy, they can tend to be forgetful about my empty glass in front of me. Food is great, but expensive. The pizzas are great and you have to try the jalapeno cream cheese stuffed pretzel. Pretty decent value considering the quality of beer. Overall, I really dig this place. Absolutely worth a stop while heading through Rockford.
Edit: pizza no longer available
My wife and I dropped by in December 2012 before heading off to see a show at the BMO Harris Center that is located just a block away. Located in the downtown older part of Rockford, this is a fairly decent sized place as there is kind of a hidden part to the building. On a Saturday night this place was hopping. We weren’t offered any kind of seating so we took it as a “seat yourself” kind of place. The food menu is pretty basic brewpub food, just something that pairs well with beer. Staff was nice and the beers were average to above average quality wise. A nice little place I would be interesting in visiting again. However their website could really use some help. No food menu and talk about weird hours opening at 3pm most days. Closed on Sundays? That wouldn’t fly in Wisconsin! More hours and a more appealing lunch/dinner menu would greatly help this place.
Very nice little local bar feel to this place. Mostly locals in here. 11 of their own beers on tap - all seem to be pretty good. Food is limited to sandwiches and pizza - waiting on my pizza now. Nice place if you are in the area.
I live only a block and half away so it’s easy access for me. The exterior and interior of the place is really nice and they do have an outdoor patio in the back that is open during the warm months. The selection and quality of food is not great. There could be more staff to serve the crowd as it can get really busy on the weekend nights. The selection of the beer is good. The belgian style is probably my favorite. The rest of the beers tend to give me a headache the next day unlike other places I have had draft micro beers. Maybe they need to clean their lines more often. As far as the neighborhood being safe, I have had no problems and not as bad as some other reviewers have portrayed it.
This is a great place to enjoy a local brew. The beers are well-crafted - pick up a growler to take home. The ambiance is nice, with lots of exposed brick, natural wood and views of the tanks. However, this isn’t really the place to go enjoy food with your brew, as the menu is minimal at best.
Narnad (19) Crystal Lake, Illinois | July 22, 2009| Updated July 23, 2009
One of my absolute favorite hang outs. I can not stress the high quality of their beers. I have honestly never had a beer here that wasn’t fantastic. Everything on their list will very honestly quell any a yearning you have for drinking. Generally have 10+ beers on tap at any given time. The website is generally up to date with the range of brews they have on tap. Food selection is very minimal with it being limited to pizza (which is good) and some simple sandwiches like Italian beef Service is okay but there is generally only one server for the entire bar. They recently acquired the next door strip club and turned that into another area for sitting and some games like suffleboard and pool are over there. If your into sitting down, best to get there before 9 as the place seems to fill up very quickly with lots of large groups of people. A decent turnover of people does occur so seats do open quit quickly. Prices for their beers are very modest for the quality and growlers are average price. Parking is simple as there is a municipal parking lot pretty much across from it. Calm, easy going, comfortably lite and solid beers make this a place to visit and then revisit again and again.
I go there to pick up a growler whenever I am driving through the city. They seem to always have a fair crowd between 3 and 5 when I visit. The beers that I have had are good and the prices are average for a growler.
the place looks european brick walls arched door ways beer garden but it is what it is a brew pub bar not fancy at all food sucks but your here for the beer i have been here 3 times now since it is with in 30 mins. they always have 10 to 12 beers on tap its not a scary place at all like duke man says but it is close to the bad side of rockford but rockford isn’t chicago i do hope some day they will bottle so more of us can sample thier brews, they do sell growlers and most of the waitresses are very friendly and pleasing to the eye if you are in rockford check them out but if you are hungry stop somewher else first, my kind of place with people of all ages and both sexes not just a guy bar
Greats - The beers. The Rauchbier I had was awesome, not too smokey, not too sweet. The IPA is as described below. It is really world class. It has the hop flavor of nearly a Double IPA, but at 5.7%, not a heavy or high alcohol beer. I grabbed a growler, and am now looking for a regular excuse to get to Rockford.
Not so great - The neighborhood is a little scarey. I didn’t let my wife in the reviews beforehand, figuring it wouldn’t be an issue. So sure enough, we pull up, and there on the curb is a crack head desperately wanting some dough. My advice: go went it is light out. The food was very limited. We were wildly hungry - and ended up settling for pretzels.
Overall, I would highly recommend. There is nowhere in Chicago that has a warm, cool brewpub vibe inside like Carlyle has. I could have hung out in there all night - it was the ideal neighborhood hangout, and very casual and comfortable. Just not in the ideal neighborhood . . .