JoeMcPhee (534) Toronto, ON, Ontario | March 22, 2006| Updated October 9, 2010
I decided to update the rating for this place since I really do think itís slipped a lot. The prices have really gotten out of hand and the owners/bartenders have made a habit out of avoiding contact/service and anything that would involve them actually serving you. There is still a great selection of top notch bottles, but youíll pay for them. There are a whole lot of spots Iíd rather spend my time and money at. Too bad because this place really used to be the shit.
Definitely one of the cooler beer bars Iíve been to. Long bar, six taps, smallish seating area that kind of reminds of Smokeless Joeís. Loads of beer in bottles, well cared for and carefully selected. Prices seemed pretty fair to me (although I could drop a ton on all the Cantillon in here). Only thing served is beer or cheese... a winning combo in my opinion. Definitely the friendliest clientele Iíve ever met, lots of bottles were getting passed around the bar for both friends and complete strangers. Visited with beastiefan2k and dickinsonbeer and had a very good first night in NY.
beastiefan2k (247) HdG (past: NYC, KS, Rain City), Maryland | March 21, 2006| Updated July 26, 2011
I just got back from the best bar in the world. Got to say hi to Dickinsonbeer and Joe McPhee, with whom I enjoyed this great spot. I have to give a full 15 for selection to this bar. The have a good amount of beer and most importantly they have hard to find brews, which to me is a 15. The service was very good, the bartenders knew their beer. The owner is a great guy. I got to bring my own Alesmith Wee Heavy (Thanks Clark VV) in for a few people to try out. I had the following to drink: Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock (not actually distributed in NY), Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel (donít think this beer is actually distributed in America), Avery Mephistopheles Stout, and a few others. Had some cheese (all good lots of choice), enjoyed beer with fellow ratebeerians and other beer geeks there. Its a geat place all around and I gave it a 19 overall because othing is perfect but htis is as close as it gets. The interior is a collection of stuff bought from a whole bunch of garage sales, and old bottles of beer ( I mean some really old bottles). From the outside seems a little dingy but that just adds to the ambiance. This is definitly the #1 bar in NYC if not the rest of the world. For example, random Monday they were holding a mini Bock-festival because it was the first day of Spring. Had a bunch of different bocks on tap and bottled. Original score 92. Used to love, has declined in quality and grown in cost.
I was shocked to come in and find that they had bottles of Alpine Great (14% Bourbon Barrel Barleywine) and Lagunitas Gonzo...seemingly unavailable in New York and probably obtained illegally...but whatever! I enjoyed both, although damn, they were were pricey. I also had a bottle of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin ale, which was nice. The Belgian bottle selection was very nice as well, although overpriced. It was very nice that the bottles are all kept at cellar temperature. The staff was attentive and kind, although they were bitching about wages...etc....This really is a lovely bar. I do wish however that they had a few more draught lines, with more interesting stuff on them. I didnít find anything on draught of interest.
this is my favorite beer bar along with the blind tiger. Joe and the crew are very helpful, they will slice up a top notch cheese & cured meat plate for you, and the decor is super cool. there are map and anotomy charts like they used to have in grade school, funky ashtray collections, etc. above average jukebox tunes (itís so hard to beat the Khyber Pass in Philly). tap beer selection is tits up, and itís fresher than ever b/c NYCís best tap line cleaner Andy is a regular. crowd is williamsburg folk who wonít laugh at you if you didnt buy all your clothes at Beaconís Closet.
jimmack (24) Nutley, New Jersey | October 23, 2005| Updated September 2, 2008
Great selection of Belgian beers at a fairly reasonable price. All beers served in proper glassware and at proper temperature. Had the salami and cheese platter with bread that was very tasty. They also have a stack of menus for you to order food to be brought inside. Fantastic bar!
notalush (395) Denver, Colorado | October 22, 2005| Updated March 18, 2006
Homey and cozy inside - only six taps, but they are VERY well selected - the last time I was there, they put Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel on one of the taps, and I, literally, heard a chorus of angels - the bottles are where the beer geek gets his rocks off - however, unless youíre willing to fork over 25 bucks or more for that rare 750 of something, you wonít be getting anything you canít go to American Beer Dist. for - overall a great place, with a wonderful atmosphere and friendly staff, but, unless you have the scratch, you wonít be getting to taste the stuff that makes this place special.
Flat out amazing beer selection. Nice looking food, but I didnít eat any. Service was top notch. Great atmosphere is ecclectic without being pretentious. I sat in a leather throne. Beer (Fantome Strange Ghost) was served at right temp in an excellent, large bowled, nice quality wine glass. Prices certainly seemed fair (although the sticker shock always gets you when youíre looking at lists of Cantillon, etc). Of the places Iíve been, Iíd put this behind only Toronado, and that only because I love the atmosphere of Toronado that extra little bit.
This is an unbelievable place. I spent a whole night at the tiny, hearty biergarten drinking good beer and eating great cheeses and sausages. The selection is not very wide, but there are some rareties in between. Mostly european stuff. Too sad they didínt have all the bottes that they claimed to have on the blackboard. Because of that, I missed Peche Morted and Cantillon Spuytin Duyvil. Interior in the bar is retro style. Different chairs, a old hospital table, an old bike and several maps on the walls. As of the service, I was quite impressed that one of the two friendly, dedicated bartenders spoke Danish.
All in all a great bar for the enthusiast and a great bar for everyone else as well. Even the jukebox had a nice selection of classic American songs.
Wonderful place! A bit tight but donít we love that! Great selection of world beers - Baltic Porters, Geuzeís, Doppelbocks, and one or two Eisbocks. Rapid rotation of cask and kegged beers. Dedicated staff. Cool interior with loads of remote breweriana.
Very much recommended, huge, huge! selection of beer worldwide. Especially Belgian selections, I really liked how everything was listed by country and style. Very enjoyable place, has a very nice outdoor area, quiet conversation. One of my all-time favorites. Staff is very helpful, efficient, knowledgeable. Wonderful experience.