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Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant

Not Rated.
Nodding Head Brewery and RestaurantNodding Head Brewery and Restaurant

Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 48
Beer Ratings: 460
Beer Avg: 3.77

Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
very good

140 Ratings
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.43%
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Eatery ]

1516 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19102
United States
phone: (215) 569-9525

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beernut7


2.31/5  rDev -40%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | $$$

I have been looking forward to trying the brews here for a while and had heard mixed reviews all around. Stopped in late on a slower Friday night. First thing noticed is the hazy cloud of smoke I've become use to not seeing up in Boston. Not a surprise, except I had to wait for the bar tenders to finish their smokes before we were served. Beer menu has a disclaimer printed at the bottom that stated if the brew was not to the satisfaction of the patron, it wasn't the fault of the pub or how the beer was brewed--meaing there had been enough complaints to warrant such a warning.

Tried the Grog first and was put off by a not-so-subtle dirty diaper aroma. Flavor did not really reflect the aroma much so I pushed on to the Spring Ale. The same aroma greeted me with an even stronger cheesy, band-aid flush--this time carried over into the flavor. Every time I took a sip the aroma pushed my nose right up out of the glass again. For the first time in many years I left a beer unfinished. An obvious sanitation issue.

I didn't stay to sample to food and probably won't return here. It is one thing to have good beer with a temporary problem, but finding the patron at fault for poorly brewed beer believed by the pub to be of fine quality is unacceptable.

05-01-2006 17:21:40 | More by beernut7
Photo of Rifugium


2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 2.5 | $$

In my opinion, this is one of the most overrated places in the city of Philadelphia. It's nice to have a microbrewery/brewpub IN the city itself, but my business is definitely best taken elsewhere.

The atmosphere is actually nice in their defense. A nice 2nd floor layout with a quasi-British pub feel to it. A very small bar that seats maybe 10 people, but plenty of tables, a dining room, and a standing area. The service has always been pretty accommodating...not much more to say there. As for the beer...a lot of people praise Nodding Head beer. I am not one of them. I haven't had all they have to offer admittedly, but those that I have had, have not inspired me to come back for more. They generally keep a modest draught selection, maybe 6 or 7 brews on tap at a time. But the most appealing beers from the list, were very tame and flavorless. I speak of the Grog (a brown ale) and the 60 Shilling (a faux Scottish ale)...both the only seemingly appealing choices to me, the others being light beers, blonde ales and the like. The food menu is very limited and unimpressive.

In short, Nodding Head tries, but fails. They have a reputation, but not in my book. And with so many great pubs in the area, and even within walking distance, there's really no point in going here.

05-22-2011 13:45:20 | More by Rifugium
Photo of blitheringidiot


2.6/5  rDev -32.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2

For so-ooo long, I was curious to review Nodding Head...eh.

There were only five beers on tap: Grog English Style Ale, 60 Shilling Scottish Amber Ale, Berlinger Weisse Summer Wheat, American Pale, and Monkey Knife Fight Tropical Ginger Beer.

Had the Monkey Knife and the BPA. $8.80 bill.

The bartender was friendly. Overly friendly, but not to a fault. This joint was Sam Adams Brewpub a while back. I hope that their beers improve upon my next visit. This is a small second floor place with one bathroom and a small restaurant seating area off to the side.

A bit of a gripe when each pint was $4.40 each. Overpriced for average beer? Maybe the rent is too high.

Last swigs:I will be back, but under "BA Protest." -wink- Big ups to all local breweries and brewpubs. I know I'm a little down on the joint, but their 3-C Hoppy IPA at the Iron Hill tasting rocked! Where was that???

*** Went back to Nodding Head on a Wednesday afternoon to give them a shot. They were getting ready for a beer dinner that night so they were a little distracted. The y had three beers on tap. A Scottish, a 700 Pale and Grog. Just overall lame and bland. I will not go back to Nodding Head unless I hear differently. ***

Beer is good. Happy brewpub beering.

07-08-2004 04:38:08 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of mszuch


2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 3 | $$

Located close to hotel, and was first World Series game, so looked for a fun place to watch. Found it easily, and once upstairs, it was warm and open, maybe 20 people watching the game, but other than that it was quiet.
Service was there, nothing to write home about, looked more like they wanted to go home or chat in the kitchen than be there.
Looked at the beer menu on wall, and ordered, and were told that only items on beer menu on bar we available. I asked about the menu on wall, and was told nope.

Strike 1

Menu full of session style, english style beers. Was really looking for something hoppy and bartender mentioned the hoppy beer on the wall. what? I thought you just said not available?

Strike 2

Good, west coast style hop bomb. Erase Strike 2!
keg ran out after 2 glasses!!!!

Strike 2 again!

Order some wings and pomme frites. Neither stood out, although the pomme frite dipping sauce was exceptional!

Tried a couple of other of their standard beers and watched the Phillies win.

Even a phillies win couldnt save this place in my mind. Come to findout the Oyster House downstairs has a better selection on tap and in bottles.
Oh well, Strike 3 - sorry people, but will stick with downstairs restaurant.

11-10-2009 00:58:08 | More by mszuch
Photo of jbphoto88


2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.5 | $$

Kind of a dingy place with not great beer and equally not great food. They had some ok choices but I felt the selection was limited and all the beer tasted like homebrew and unfortunately not the good kind.

The food falls into the same boat. A decent selection of menu items but it all tasted too salty and kind of boring. The service and the humus was the best part. Our server was very attentive but not very knowledgeable about the beer. Maybe a better informed server could have steered us in a better direction for food and suds.

Worth checking out if your stuck in the rain and need a place to hunker down. Other then that I woud pass on this one. The price is right but better joints are just around the corner.

08-20-2010 22:48:50 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of elmocoso


2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | $$$

In the door and up the stairs to a smokey little joint. We ended up sharing a booth with another couple, but unfortunately, they didn't feel like talking, so the wife and i kept to ourselves. I kind of liked the space of this place, and could be fun with the right crowd of people. Unfortunately, there was lots of smoke.

I too, was put off by the disclaimer described by previous reviewer...NO REFUNDS.

Beers weren't too impressive, and not enough choices, am sorry to say. Overall, it was just too smokey, with nothing exciting going on with the beer. I'd skip it.

05-10-2006 02:55:18 | More by elmocoso
Photo of bpfishback


2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $$

Stopped in during happy hour for some beers and appetizers.

The decor is nice and inviting, nodding head has a fairly open layout which makes it seem nice and spacious. The small bar was full so we ended up at a table.

The happy hour prices were decent with two beers and some apps at happy hour prices.

The beer selection was a little disappointing, they had six beers with one served on cask. Only tried two of the beers but the list in general was pretty uninteresting, the beers were different but not that enticing. The beers we had were good to ok. Their berliner wiess was ok but was not nearly as tart as I expected it to be.

The happy hour food items were good, but the mussels we ordered were completely overcooked.

Service was fine, relatively quick and friendly.

I'm not sure if i would return in the future to give it a second chance.

07-09-2011 17:10:28 | More by bpfishback
Photo of Abita45


2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $$

I ended up at the Nodding Head after a friend and I decided that we didn't want to wait thirty minutes for a table at Monk's Cafe.

I've been to Nodding Head in the past and found it decent, but as a local brewpub, I'm inclined to give it extra opportunities.I ordered the Berliner Weisse and my friend ordered the Monkey Knife Fight.

When my beer arrived, we both laughed out loud. The beer was green, which I didn't expect. When I ordered, I had anticipated some sweetness due to the added syrup, however, I imagined it would have been slightly more subtle. This beer tasted like a carbonated appletini with a hint of beer. It was terrible. I would like to taste the beer without the syrup additive, especially on a humid evening like tonight. That they felt compelled to pump up the beer with sour apple or whatever it was, makes me wonder how good the foundation is. Similarly, my friend was unimpressed with the Monkey Knife Fight which was also overly sweet, overpowering the beer.

I audibled into their American Pale Ale, but not before requesting a sample. The APA was solid. We had the waitress clear the other beers.

When I expressed to the waitress that the Berliner Weisse was considerably sweeter than expected and that I didn't like it, I was met with an eyeroll...granted, the phrase "this may be the worst beer I've ever had" might have escaped me, but I was pretty thrown by this green concoction and was not trying to be malicious.

I had a very good pulled barbeque pork sandwich, my friend ordered a burger at medium, it arrived well done.

Pretty much a disappointing night, but their wait staff was excellent, and understanding that I didn't like my beer. They did not charge us for them, which was a nice gesture.

They care about their beer, and even though I didn't like my first choice, I can respect what they're doing as a brewery.

Full Disclosure: a Nodding Head rep emailed me after I posted my mostly negative review of their Berliner. He addressed some the negative aspects of my review and offered up some additional information on the style. I appreciate that NH is willing to take the time to contact a customer about their experiences with them. They seem to genuinely care about their customers' opinions, and because of that, I'm sure I'll find my way into NH some time in the future.

07-13-2006 03:35:18 | More by Abita45
Photo of scfatallis


3/5  rDev -22.1%

12-19-2013 18:53:04 | More by scfatallis
Photo of StoutHearted


3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$

I've had a good time at this bar, and I've had a bad time... but I will try to be fair to this place.

The very good: They brew some fantastic beer here. Their Berliner Weisse is something that must be tried. Also very enjoyable is their All Night Ale and their Grog. Their selection covers a lot of different styles, with some very creative names, like their "Vibrator."

The very bad: The service of their waitstaff. I can't drag the bartenders into this because a bartender who waited on me in on a busy night did so without crankiness. But when I went there for lunch on a day when it was not crowded, I was treated very poorly. Basically got a "F you" attitude from the waitress when I mentioned that a bowl of mussels brought out didn't have half the shells opened.

Everything else: The atmophere is comfortable even when the place is packed. The old carved bar stands out among the shiny wood, though. Place attracts mostly a young, polite crowd. The bobblehead collection is an interesting touch.

I wouldn't pick this place to eat over its sister bar Monks' (at least at Monks you expect pretentious service), but it's well worth stumbling upon when you just want to belly up to the bar for an interesting brew.

03-18-2008 20:57:49 | More by StoutHearted
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Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA
87 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.