Travlr (2981) Charlotte , North Carolina | October 14, 2013| Updated April 4, 2015
This is a pizza joint. It’s an Italian deli. It’s a beer store. Oh, and it’s a brewpub. Hard to find, we passed it three times, and actually switched to a different GPS, then had to stop and ask at the hotel across the street. It was worth the effort. Filled to the brim with locals, plus a steady parade of people coming in for pizzas or growler fills (and, oddly, a case of PBR or Miller Lite - oh well). The pizza is terrific, and the beers are interesting enough to keep coming back. Plus, the selection of guest taps is very solid. And the prices?? $4 a beer, holy cow! Great place, and now that Terry Hawbaker is brewing here, I’ll definitely be back. 5-8-13-8-9-18, 88.
SECOND RATING, now that they’ve moved into their new digs. The brewery portion is amazing, all new Braukon stuff, and now surrounded by barrels of every flavor, red wine, white wine, rum, bourbon. Seems like every small nook and cranny had a barrel in it. There are far more beers on tap, with the usual amazing stuff by Terry, some with fruit added, courtesy of Al. The pizza, thankfully, is just as delicious, the bottle shop is the same. Growler fills still available. The star of the show was the Pizza Boy sours in bottles for in house consumption. Staff is terrific, and Terry took time out from his long day (already past 6 pm) to show us around, share some beers and chat. Amazing place, worth going well out of your way to find. The only way to improve, I think, would be for them to offer sampler sizes (say, 4 ounces), especially now that the number of taps has grown so much. I want to try them all! A minor point in an otherwise amazing place. And now that they offer 8 ounce pours of any beer, even this is solved!
After many years I had a convenient opportunity to visit this revered restaurant/brewery. Located not too far from I-81 at the end of a court. Outside is a standard cinder-block building, inside is an almost industrial-cafeteria style design with beer coolers all over. You order at a register where they bring you food and beer. The draft list is their own offerings and others, some 80+ drafts! The pizza was excellent, the in-house sour drafts were great too. Bottles of beer are sold, and so are growlers/crowlers of their drafts. Service was excellent; I left a very happy person with pizza, a crowler and some bottles. I will be back.
Steeeve (36) Ambler, Pennsylvania | March 10, 2011| Updated April 19, 2011
Pretty nondescript pizza restaurant from the looks of it, but walk inside to find a Mecca for beer. Selection is awesome, tons of taps and plenty of bottles. Food was definitely delicious. The bread they use for sandwiches is indescribably better than the standard italian sub roll I was expecting. Prices were pretty solid, you can get a pint of more widely available American micro for $4. I just wish it was bigger!
Love Al’s. I’d be there every night if I didn’t live 40 minutes away.
The ambiance is a bit stark, but that’s hardly a concern when one considers all of the other great aspects of Al’s. The owner and staff have gone to great lengths to establish a rapport with locals and regulars, and facilitate interactions between their patrons. There is a great sense of community there that will very quickly make you forget about the utilitarian design of the place. Really, everything else ambiance wise is secondary to the camaraderie that exists here.
I can’t really fault the place for the lack of table service, as I think it’s important to keep in mind that the restaurant portion, at its heart, is old-school pizza joint. More service isn’t always better service, and preservation of a tradition sometimes takes precedence. Beyond that, the staff is fantastic. Helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate.
The tap selection is quite amazing, and thoughtfully composed. The bottle selection is also excellent with some of the best prices you’ll find for bottles and six packs anywhere in the state.
The food is, well, it’s a pizza shop, so set your expectations appropriately. It’s unpretentious, and well prepared.
And all of that without even mentioning the house-brewed beers! What else can be said about Terry Hawbaker’s brews that hasn’t already been said? He’s a world class brewer doing what world class brewers do!
All in all, this is a can’t-miss place that you should definitely go out of your way for.
Art (131) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | December 21, 2013
I can’t believe I had never been here before. This place is amazing. Loads of taps (102) with about 1/4 of them being their own stuff. Super friendly staff and clean, inviting atmosphere. Tucked away in an industrial park, I would love to have this place as my local bar. I want to try the food next time I’m around.
I love this place. Al is a connoisseur of beers and his beer list is awesome. He has an online list of 25 kegs and 3 casks that is updated real-time. He has a mix-a-six area that takes up the majority of 5 coolers (top shelf excluded plus a few bombers). He also has 6 upright coolers full of 6packs. The selection is superior and varied. Lots of big brews and hop-monsters. I’m a fan of porters, stouts and barleywines and there is always a dizzying selection. The list changes suffficiently from week to week that I am always surprised. Food is secondary... sorry.
Let me start by saying that the address on the website should be changed. (luckily the new location is close by).
Brand new building with a large area to sit outside. You walk in to what seems to be a cafeteria at first glance. Brewery to the left, with the barrels and fermenters. Tables in the middle and Pizza on the right.
Very extensive tap selection with over 20% of the selection to be pizza boy beers. There has to be something here for you.
Hungry? The pizza is amazing. I ordered more just to bring some back with me to eat that night.
They also have a small selection of bottles to go (sort of like a small bottle shop)
If it wasn’t for the 8hour ride, I’d be drinking/eating here all the time. Will find time to come again.