Taps: 31 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 118 | Reviews: 110 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Not the classiest joint in the world, but if you happen to find yourself in Brookyln, NY, and you feel like drinking good beer, this is probably as good as it gets without going back to Manhattan. It doesn't look like much when you walk in, but you'll be surprised with about 25 good and unexpected beers on tap, and more in bottles. A fairly decent menu (with ostrich burgers), and a staff that has seemed to me very knowledgeable, but a bit on the grumpy side. But in a good "that just adds character" way. Located just a couple short blocks from the first Brooklyn stop on the L train.
04-29-2011 20:46:26 | More by Rifugium
United Kingdom (England)
4.3/5 rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
As per the previous review I dropped into Mugs (not for the first time) during the 'Split Thy Brooklyn Skull' strong ale festival
They ordinarily have around 30 beers on tap from across the states, with a good 10 or so from NY and neighbouring states
When I visited 2 weeks ago, I stayed purely on the rare (and strong - all 8% ABV+) festival beers
They were reasonably priced at $2.50-3 each and were served in a 6oz glass
I've never been to a beer festival in the states but I've heard some of the measures are simply quite laughable - 2oz, even 1oz???? !!!
6oz was just right and about as small as I'd want to go in order to truly sample a beer, as opposed to sniffing a drop !
The place was busy, but the service was decent considering and we simply stood a few feet back from the bar and sampled some rare beers including, from memory :-
Arcadia Pappy's Bourbon Barrel Old Ale
Brekenbridge 471 IMP IPA
Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout
Great bar, decent festival, hope to head back for the same weekend next year, this was the 12th festival I believe?!?
03-20-2011 20:12:05 | More by Ruds
4.53/5 rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Very easy to get to from the subway, only a few blocks (dont remember which one) and also a few blocks from Brooklyn Brewery. Very easy to find and from what I felt, a safe area.
I sat at the bar on what was the Split Thy Skull event for 2011. Amazing selection and from what I saw even when there isnt a special even the selection is decent.
The bartenders were attentive and brought water with my first beer which practically deserves an A for service alone. When you order a 10% ABV beer, it should be assumed that water should come with. I ended up tasting 6 beers (4 oz) and my water was never empty.
The atmosphere was great. It seemed there were lots of regulars and they were even helping when a keg was having some issues.
I did have the chicken nachos which were ok but it was from what I could tell the best thing on the menu. There is some breakfast food available too.
I understand there are lots of great places to grab a beer or two in the area, this should be on your top 5 list.
03-17-2011 20:32:27 | More by nriech
4.4/5 rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
The wife and I spent a day in Williamsburg checking out galleries, stores, the waterfront and some beer joints. Mugs was our final stop of the day, and it was a great one.
First of all, I love being able to walk into a bar on a Saturday night and not having to fight crowds or run for cover. Just for that, I would be willing to move to Brooklyn. Seriously! I live in Midtown Manhattan and can't go anywhere on a weekend night because of the crowds.
Mugs is a bar. Dark, roomy, woodsy, old. Nothing crazy or super special, just a good bar, with a bit of a neighborhood feel (well-worn and familial, not corporate like some of those big bars in Manhattan). The tables by the window are great for people-watching and just hanging out.
There are 25 beers on tap, all (I believe) served in 20-oz pints. Nice! When I visited they had Smuttynose IPA, Kelso IPA, Stone Smoked Porter, Ithaca Flower Power, Sierra Celebration, Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, Green Flash Imperial IPA, Rodenbach '08, Lindemans and a lot of average choices like Brooklyn Lager, Sierra Pale Ale, Anchor Liberty and Hoegaarden.
The real attraction here is the vintage bottle list. I went crazy reading it! J.W. Lees Harvest Ale '86 (!!!) and '88 (!!!), Chouffe '03, Thomas Hardy's '93, Aventinus '00, Fullers Vintage '99, Brooklyn Monster '01 and even Utopias '03 for 300 dollars!! Most vintages are very fairly priced, though, between $7 and $15, very nice.
Food is typical bar food, but well-cooked. At least the burgers we had! It was my first time having an ostrich burger and I loved it.
Prices are not bad, considering the amazing vintages and the 20-oz servings. Those huge pints of big beers go for $7. Service was real nice at first, then kind of unmindful, but still good overall. On my second visit, the waitress was super attentive, even if she didn't know much about beer. Better than most Manhattan bars on a Saturday night anyway!
I will go back, soon.
02-15-2011 05:46:18 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4.18/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Was walking down Bedford on my way to a gourmet sort of restaurant in Greenpoint, had to use the bathroom, thought I'd grab a beer and use the can and leave, ended up getting a Green Flash Imperial IPA and a veggie burger. Not bad!
A: A little dumpy, but not quite a dive, sort of feels like your average meathead Irish bar but it's almost all excellent craft beer on tap. I like that it is not a hipster haven and is relaxed and low key with local neighborhood sort of guys.
S: Stressed but friendly waitress, can't complain.
S: I was impressed with the selection, Green Flash Imperial IPA on tap, not bad! Smuttynose IPA and a few dozen more craft beer's on tap. They also have a huge list of bottles for sale on the menu.
F: I have to say, the home made veggie burger was excellent! The fries good...no complaints here.
V: 20 ounce Green Flash Imperial IPA for 7 bucks? Great! A bomber is 7 bucks at the grocery store. I was shocked it came not in a smaller glass considering the APV and price of the brew at most places. I was pleasantly surprised by the value of this place, not totally blown away by the place in general , but it's definitely a good option for a a place to grab a beer in Greenpoint / Williamsburg.
02-14-2011 03:02:20 | More by Avantyawn
4.36/5 rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
A pretty nice beer bar not far from the Brooklyn Brewery. Had a good selection of taps and bottles featuring locals, national micro brews, and a few imports as well. The bartender seemed knowledgeable and willing to give out samples for people to try. Had a nice atmosphere with a bar and a few tables without a lot of music or TVs. While a bit pricier than I'm used to, it's probably not that bad for NYC. Certainly a great place to stop within walking distance of Brooklyn Brewery. If you're in Brooklyn, it's really worth a visit for a beer or two.
10-18-2010 01:07:40 | More by wahhmaster
4.3/5 rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped into this place after trying to get to the Brooklyn Brewery with a friend and failing to make it there in time. We saw this place and stopped in for one beer each.
Walking in, it was getting pretty dark in there, and they didn't turn the lights on until my friend and I were halfway through our pints. The bar is definitely a beer place, as they have lots of beer swag on the walls, and the obligatory chalkboards with the tap list behind the bar. The place is pretty small- it has maybe 10 tables (some with 2 seats, most with 4) and a bar that has maybe 15 seats around it.
The service was good- my friend and I were served quickly despite the fact that the bartender was relatively busy. He seemed to know his stuff as I heard people ask questions, and if he couldn't answer questions about the beer he would give out samples. They also have waitresses for the tables.
As for the beer itself, there must be 30 taps or so, mostly of craft beers but with some imports as well. There was also a decent number of bottles, mostly imports. My friend and I had Ithaca Flower Power, and that beer was obviously very fresh and therefore very tasty. I do wish we would have stayed longer and sampled more of what they had, though. The prices were pretty good- a 20oz was $6 (though some stronger beers came in 10oz servings for the same price- but these are good prices for NYC, as many places charge $7-$8 for a 16oz serving. We also didn't have any of their food and I didn't see a menu, so I can't speak for that. In addition to beer they also had liquors, but they definitely specialize in beer.
Overall, I would recommend this bar to visitors to Brooklyn. If you're heading to the Brooklyn Brewery, stopping into this place afterwards can make for a good beer day trip.
10-11-2010 22:00:57 | More by Mosstrooper
2.99/5 rDev -29.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | $$$
We had a table in the back room where service was absolutely atrocious. Not only did it take 15 minutes before someone approached us but once we ordered drinks we were told to be prepared to move to the bar if we didn't order food. Granted dinner time was approaching but there were 3 empty tables nearby and they stayed empty well past 5pm. In the end after we tried couple beers and left the bar those empty tables were still....empty. What is sad is that I've never been asked to leave a table at any bar or restaurant until I visited Mugs Ale House. Definitely left a sour taste in my mouth. Would not recommend this place, nor would I ever go back there. Good beer selection, but pricey. You're charged pint prices for 10oz glasses of beer. Draft board in the backroom is not updated. Waitress did not know what was on tap, told me to look at the board which was blank. When she looked at it she told me to go to the main room/bar to find out what is on tap.
08-09-2010 14:30:45 | More by SuburbanBrew
4.3/5 rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The atmosphere is that of a neighborhood pub, as expected. Lowly lit with a mixed crowd of business and blue collar folks. Small, industrial tile flooring up in the small seating area. Lots of beer signage and memorabilia is all over the place.
About 25 different beers on tap, mostly winners.
They've got some hidden gems on the vintage list, as well.
The quality of the many beers were right on.
The service was decent. A bit slow at times but friendly. The waitress was curious at some of the beers we ordered, so I schooled her on the one and even gave her a taste of the vintage bottle.
Some nice finds in here with a pretty cool soundtrack and mixed crowd that makes you scream Brooklyn.
05-26-2010 02:00:54 | More by weeare138
3.98/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
When you walk in, it feels like the early 1900's with the black and white tile decor. With a quick glance it looked like they had about 20 or so beers on draft and another 20 in the bottle with a couple cask ales. The selection included Nebraska Hop God, Smuttynose, Blue Point, Founders, Bear Republic. The bartender was good and informative of the abv of the beers we selected. The music was a nice quiet jazz playing in the background. A nice and easy simple hang out bar. Didn't see any food menus but we just came from a place where we had dinner. If I lived in the neighborhood, I would love to hang out there on their slower nights when there were only a few people in the bar. We enjoyed it. The wide open windows into the bar is fantastic for people watching. One thing that I didn't like was the fact that it smelled of stale beer even though the fans were blowing and the windows and doors are open. That's a big turn off for me.
05-04-2010 14:55:21 | More by Mudstone
Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY
94 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.