A big, noisy place in a basement of a brick building. Loved the atmosphere. Decent selection. Got a saison and then a rye ipa. Decent stuff, but not mind-boggling. Big menu, lots of selection. Got the catfish burrito. Sounded good, but was a bit overdone with too much lettuce and the tortilla was cold. I’d be willing to give it another try if I was ever in the area again.
Downstairs level of its building. Comfortable, lots of brick, some college bar vibes. Despite it being Monday night, but it was crowded as people where there to watch on television some game where college students attempt to give each other concussions while fighting over part of a dead pig. Odd. Bartender was friendly despite being the only one handling a heavy crowd. Did not try the food. Beers were generally well made and enjoyable. A couple were misses but in general they were quite good. I could kill some time here. Did not try the food or attempt to find parking (yay hotel shuttle!).
How great is it to have a brewery in your city that also serves interesting food? My wife loves their catfish burritos but I have to have their blue corn bread with maple butter. I add a side of red beans and rice to make it a meal along with a beer and still end up taking leftover cornbread home to eat later.
(Visited 08/2014): Empire Brewing Company is located in downtown Syracuse on Walton Street between Clinton and Frankin, Street parking is available on the same block.
There is a flight of steps leading down the front of the brick building to the brewpub. The interior is spacious, opening to a large room with the bar running along the right side. Brick walls and toy horses hanging from the ceiling for whatever reason. Uniform tap handles at the bar and large board behind it listing the available beers.
Empire has 13 beers on tap, with the majority being year-round offerings plus a couple seasonals. On my visit the list included Amber, Atlas Light Kölsch, Summer Ale, Cream Ale, Local Grind, Empire Strikes Bock, a Dubbel, Cider and Fruit beer plus a couple more. The beers were pretty average for the most part, and a sampler flight is available.
Service on a relatively slow weekday evening at the bar was pretty good. The bartender was friendly and helpful in describing the beers.
I did not have any food on my visit.
Overall this is a decent brewpub to visit in downtown Syracuse.
We stopped there in late January with the Finger Lakes Beer Trail winter Passport. My 2nd time here. We ate/drank at the large bar. Food was good. Their house beers were mostly good.
cratez (256) Toronto, Ontario | December 29, 2013| Updated December 30, 2013
When I visited: Late September 2013.
What I had: Hop Harvest and India Pale Ale on tap, two orders of Sweet Fire Fajitas (featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives), Chocolate Lava Cake to split, a couple of white wines for my partner.
What I liked: Attractive interior, plenty of space between tables, efficient and welcoming service, delicious food, both beers impressed (esp. the Harvest), fair prices, our server gave us the addresses of nearby craft beer stores when I asked where I could get a good haul.
What I disliked: Nothing.
Would I go back? For sure. Empire is an ideal spot for dinner and drinks if you happen to be in Syracuse.
Overall Rating: 82
Went here for dinner with the wife. Awesome ambiance being in the basement and exposed brick everywhere. Tap list is all Empire brews but everything that I had was great. Food was above average as well. Everything is locally sourced and delish.
Recently stopped here on our way up to Nova Scotia. My wife found this place via TripAdvisor.
Nice selection and variety of beers on tap. I had the IPA which was really nicely done. Very hoppy with plenty of citrus and pleasant bitterness. Food was excellent. My wife had the elk tenderloin and I had the Sweet Fire fajitas, which have andouille as the meat...very unique and so very good. We had to wait about an hour for a table on a Friday night but worth the wait. Our server was laid back yet attentive. A couple reviews we saw said this place could get noisy but sitting in the side room, it wasn’t bad at all. A great local spot!