Sonka Irish Pub
Taps: 33 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DocJitsu:
4.38/5 rDev +5.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This was my home away from home when I lived in Indiana. I put a lot of work in there. Many, many, many pints. I even dug the corner table out of the garbage bin out back one day when I realized it had been replaced with a new one. I had shared so many good times at that table with lifelong friends that I couldn't see allowing it to be discarded. I've seen staff turn over there several times over. I've even had the misfortune of losing a longtime Sonka's manager/bartender and friend to an untimely demise. Sonka's is the place to which I refer in so many stories--most good, a few bad, but all memories that lie in my heart where they'll stay forever. The beer selection used to be (meaning '99, '00, '01) more extensive. Offering more bottles than taps. Nowadays, Sandy, the owner, appears more interested in having more tap varieties, which, obviously, cuts down on the number of overall varieties that are available. A lot of the best Midwest offerings as well as some other American regional and international favorites are always ready to be poured for you. The atmosphere smacks of a neighborhood pub that's seen a lot of history. For nostalgia lovers, you'll have a soft spot in your heart for this place even if it's the first time you've ever been there. I've often said that Sonka's is more of an Irish pub than most Irish pubs--and I've been to several pubs in Ireland. I love how
Sonka's appeals to the college student, the blue collar worker, the educated professorial types, and the community leaders alike. Rarely ever any trouble. Even on the most busy days like the Indiana State University pub crawl and St. Patty's day. Patrons are generally very welcoming and easy-going. Just a magnificent atmosphere and a place to make great memories.
04-15-2012 00:54:04 | More by DocJitsu
More User Reviews:
3.85/5 rDev -7.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Great place to go if you enjoy trying new beers. Last time I went they had 3 Floyd's, Triton, Founders, Upland CV, and other local favorites on tap.
Atmosphere: I gave this a 2.5 because many of the older locals who come here can be unfriendly to the younger generation of beer drinkers. I've met a lot of snobs at Sonka's. 2.5 is very generous, the ping-pong table and good looking waitress bumped it up to a 2.5.
The quality of beer and food is great. Not overly expensive. Most of the staff is friendly. If it wasn't for the poor atmosphere, I'd come a lot more often.
07-06-2013 00:31:24 | More by 13ChrisV
2.28/5 rDev -45.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 1 | $
Ughhh. Disappointing. I don't frequent terre haute for a reason...it sucks. Proof positive once again.
I would once in a while visit this place while in college. The best "beer bar" in town- that's not saying much considering the town we're talking about.
Anyway, all previous impressions aside...I went in to this with a fresh perspective and clean slate. No go amigos, no go.
While a relatively decent tap selection (Alpha King, Founders Breakfast Stout,Chimay Red), the staff had no idea what a "good" beer is. I was at first pressed to get a Spaten Dunkel (on special for $1.75) because it is "a really good German dark beer". I opted for an Alpha King, then the Founders Breakfast Stout. Both tasted awesome, its apparent that they at least do some line maintenance.
Food was ordered to go- what I thought was a turkey and havarti on pumpernickel. What I got was a horrible failed attempt at something, something pumpernickel. It was literally just pumpernickel. Sad.
11-20-2012 01:26:58 | More by Ssmith999
3.6/5 rDev -13.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $
It's a wednesday night around 945 pm in southern Indiana and I'm thirsty for a decent craft beer. I was surprised to find a decent craft beer taplist at what appears to be just your local corner pub. They have a nice selection of good bar food and about 17 taps. They roll up the sidewalks in this part of Indiana, so this place was like an oasis for a midweek late night stop. The bartender is a huge beer fan and is in the know about beer. They have growlers available of the tap beer. Just a nice casual, laid back place for a good beer and a bite to eat.
02-28-2012 01:25:08 | More by jale
4.78/5 rDev +14.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
So this place is awesome, It is my first "regular" pub. I am normally there on Tuesday nights for an hour or so and have a couple beers, and loaded dogs @ $1.65 and typically have specials with about 5 or 6 beers @$2.75 and one i have seen as low as $1.75.
They have a solid line up and get a limited bottle supply. They were the only place in the area to get King Henry, also they had BCBS. They are all around solid in the brew and food category in my book. There are New tappings every Wednesday and they also have Firkin Fridays, along with other little things throughout the year.
The service is great, I sit and talk with Jareb when I am there and enjoy my night. I would recommend this to anyone passing through.
Just as a note there is a $10 minimum for credit card charges.
02-14-2012 21:05:30 | More by Microbrewtaster
4.45/5 rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in around 8:00 on a Thursday night with a co worker on our way to Illinois.
Passed by all the chains near the interstate to a more rustic/rough/authentic area of town (which is what I prefer).
Upon opening the door I was quickly reminded of the backwards law in Indiana that allows people to pollute the air and ruin a good beer experience with cigarette smoke. Some saving grace that the place wasn't too full and they had another half of the building where we could eat and nobody was sitting/smoking (and you can't smoke during lunch hours)
Playing Sirrius XM Lithium station with 90's grunge/modern rock which put my coworker in heaven.
Service was prompt and friendly. 33 taps and when I asked the bartender for a list, he pointed to his head. I went back into the bar, looked at the impressive list and went with 3 Floyds Alpha King (twice). Other options included...
Glazed Ham Porter
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale (one of the most popular *craft*)
NB - Never Summer, 1554
Upland Winter Warmer
Oaken Barrel Superfly
Oak Aged Yeti
GI Pere Jaques
Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout
Lots of other imports available.
The food was excellent for bar food. I went with the Irish Stew and the fried cod sandwich with homemade chips and coleslaw.
Our eventual female server was attentive but didn't know too much about the beer.
Given where I was, I was thrilled to find this place and would return and recommend it to any beer lover traveling through the area.
02-04-2012 15:06:19 | More by Yetiman420
4.47/5 rDev +7.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
Sonka's is one of the bright spots of Terre Haute. It is a very relaxing pub atmosphere, with a couple of pool tables, darts, and every now and then some ping pong or bags. The service at Sonka's is typically very good, though every now and then they have a hard time handling unexpected rushes, which is reasonable given that there are typically no more than 4 or 5 bartenders/servers working at any given time. The food is great, if you like spicy, make sure to get the leprechaun sauce. The White Devil chicken sandwich is a personal favorite of mine, with extra leprechaun sauce and blue cheese, it simply cannot be beat!
Sonka's always has a decent selection, and can usually pull some of the more well known special releases, but doesn't typically get many rare taps (though they have released 2006 Bourbon County bottles and Imperial Brown Goose randomly).
Having recently left Terre Haute, I am still looking around for my new "Sonka's" in my area, but I've yet to find anything that quite compares. A must stop for Terre Haute!
08-09-2011 15:22:25 | More by MarkIntihar
4.88/5 rDev +17.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Sonka Irish Pub is most definitely as good as it gets outside of a large city for craft beer. They have great selection including lots of seasonal brews. They host great beer events and do a lot to advocate craft beer. Their service is really good except on St. Patrick's Day (go figure) and they have amazing food. Anything that has the word "Leprechaun" in its name has their famous spicy, flavorful "Leprechaun Sauce" on it, and is therefore amazing. Any Beer Advocate coming to Terre Haute should come to Sonka over any other bar in the city.
04-01-2011 01:18:52 | More by clarkkr
4.95/5 rDev +19%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I revisited this place for the first time in 10 years recently. It was my favorite bar in town when I was in college in Terre Haute and I was overjoyed to discover the place is still great. It's a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere with a solid selection of pub food. More importantly the beer selection -- which was always pretty good -- has gotten even better. Sandy always had a good variety of bottles, but now has even more great beer on tap which I'm told rotates regularly. I loved the place back in the day and I still love it now.
02-14-2011 18:24:15 | More by Eirerate
Sonka Irish Pub in Terre Haute, IN
92 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.