My go-to place when im back home in Rockford. Don Carlyle can brew up some good seasonals (check out my ratings). Even their fruit beers are very well done. Im looking forward to christmas time when i stop in again!
(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.
Brigadier (321) Chagrin Falls, Ohio | April 30, 2006| Updated March 22, 2007
Stopped here on the way to Dark Lord Day. My only complaint is that it happens to be all the way across Rockford from the interstate which means dealing with about 450 stop lights. Still, it was a great place to stop and I would do it again. The selection of beers crossed a wide variety of styles, although I only tasted two since I had to drive later. At $1.00 per sample the prices weren’t too bad either. There is not much to the building but it is well set up. It certainly has a brewpub feel to it; in fact it felt like a pub that happened to serve food because the menu is fairly thin. Check it out if you are in the area - Tuesday and Thursdays are best because they are smoke free.
Update : As of January 2007 they are now smoke free all the time
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 like the layout of this place, kind of like a neighborhood bar but with good beers on tap. And that’s the key for me. The eight beers that were available on my visit were all solid, the IPA very good. The staff was very friendly and the crowd agreeable. The next time I’m in Rockford I will definitely be stopping in again.
Nice place in downtown Rockford. Not many people there when I went with my son (which is nice to not have to worry about people smoking,) but it was only 1:00 p.m. on a Saturday. Bartender was very accommodating and wanted to make our stay as best as possible. Well lit and good ventilation when a few smokers showed up. Had nine different beers on tap when I went, including a bourbon barrel imperial stout and an imperial IPA. A trip that was enjoyable and worthwhile, and a standout in the world of brewpubs.
SubstanceT (114) Saint Louis, Missouri | September 14, 2005| Updated February 7, 2007
Food looks better. Now serving pizza and is now NON smoking!
So it is located downtown not exactally in the best part of town but I dont think anyone would feel unsafe here. Cool atmosphere brick wallks bar and some tables. Nothing more than that. The beer menu is about like 9 or so when I was there. They had a sampler of all their beers that was 12.50 but I really think that the price depends on how many you get. Beer is not bad. If you are in the area go check this place out, besides woodmans it is the best beer thing to happen to this town.
Had a good time here. Met some interesting people and had good discussions. The beer was overall great and I’d definitely go back. Excellent service from fun tenders. Lots of different styles were available. They should axe smoking altogether. $10.50 for 8 samplers. They call it "walking the plank".
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
gws57 (92) Saint Charles, Illinois | November 19, 2006| Updated December 18, 2007
Went to Carlyle after an Icehogs game. What a nice surprise! Seemingly smoke free, although just a beer bar, which irritated the ladies, but we had a great time. Seemed very understaffed for the number of folks there, and there weren’t nearly enough tables to accommodate everyone. Very nice decor, old stone and hardwood. See my beer rankings for my opinions teaser: The beer is outstanding. I will be back.
Went back, they now have an outdoor patio. Not sure if they allow smoking out there or not.