The Eastside Club
Taps: 42 / Bottles: 40
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
3.87/5 rDev -11%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | $
A fellow BA from Oregon told me about the Eastside Club in Olympia. The wife and I decided to stop there for a quick beer after a long drive from Astoria, Oregon, to Seattle.
The place is funky and divey, kind of like Olympia herself. On a Monday at around 2:30pm, a couple of odd fellows were hanging out at the bar. There was one hipster, one South American man with a most exotic accent, a sad-looking Native American and a bunch of blue-collar types.
On "Micro Mondays", most pints are only three dollars. THREE. Regular prices are not that much more expensive, though, between $3.75 and $5 for a snifter or pint. Super fresh ales!
I wasn't too impressed with the tap list. I guess I wasn't expecting a lot after reading reviews and hearing from my buddy JM in Portland. Lots of Pacific beer: Port Townsend Hop Diggidy (nice), Snipes no-bake Stout (not so good), Crux Imperial IPA (lovely!), Boneyard RPM IPA, Hales Supergoose, Mad River Extra Pale Ale, Harmon Point Defiance IPA, Pelican Seahops, Evil Twin Molotov, Rodenbach Grand Cru... would have loved a bit more variety of styles.
They have some bottles, including a $25 Mother of All Storms that is hard to pass up. No food, but they'll happily steer you towards a good place around the corner. Indeed, Le Voyeur right next door is a fine option for good sandwiches and craft beer (loved the tempeh cheesesteak and the vintage Old Stock).
I would revisit this bar, but I'm not sure I want to revisit Olympia.
02-19-2014 00:19:38 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4.04/5 rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $
Let me be real clear about this place. The beer selection here is absolutely outstanding and I plan to stop back whenever I'm in the area. That being said....
Visually, the ES club is nothing to write home about. The place looks a bit worn around the edges, and more than a bit run down. There's a longish bar to the right as you walk in, with pool tables and a ping pong table in the back. The place has a pretty stark vibe otherwise (there's a couple of TV''s and a jukebox as well), and atmosphere is never going to be this place's most remarkable feature. Still, it's a comfortable enough place to hang out with a beer or two, which was all I required. On the other hand, the ES club has over 40 beers on tap, and whoever does the selecting, he/she knows their stuff. Hop venom, RPM, Green flash DIPA and rye ale, hoprod rye, HUB imperial stout and the Lost Abbey Mayan apocolypse were some of the more impressive offerings I saw on the board (along with the 09 jolly roger). Told the girlfriend I said wow at least 5 times while looking over the offerings, which doesn't happen all that often any more. The beer selection is outstanding here, and as that's the main feature I care about whenever I look for a decent beer bar, it's a forgone conclusion that I'll be back again soon.... likely very soon. On the other hand....
Service was average at best, with the bartender just completely disinterested in waiting on customers it seemed (I thought maybe he had just woken up, but the GF noted that the tavern feels like a local's bar, and as we weren't locals....). When we walked in I asked about a food menu and whether he wanted my credit card after ordering my first beer.... all he said was we don't take tabs, we only take cash and we're not a restaurant. That's all true, but maybe a bit more info would be helpful (they have some sort of arrangement with the pizzeria next door, with a window in the back where you can order slizes - but not today, for whatever reason). So the bartender wasn't exactly a fountain of information (though he perked up a little bit when I asked about the Lost Abbey beer, and it became apparent I hadn't just fallen off the craft beer onion truck). Whatever... the positives so far outweigh the negatives of this place that it's laughable. Prices are just stupid good.... my pint of RPM was $3.75. That kind of pricing tends to make me a lot more tolerant about a few minor idiosyncracies. (Note: During happy hour, certain select beers are reduced down to $3 a pint. They also tend to run specials on other limited release select beers, and the last time I was there, the bartender indicated they are committed to offering at least one vintage beer at all times. It was the 09 Jolly Roger the first time I stopped by, and the 09 Stone imperial stout when I stopped by in 2/13. I was told that when that blows, they will feature the Black Butte XX. Pretty impressive, to say the least!)
Sure, this place is far from perfect, but the beer selection is just sooo good here. I'm guessing I'll be back, and likely sooner rather than later. Despite the indifferent service, this place is highly recommended.
12-24-2012 04:07:49 | More by John_M
4.23/5 rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 5 | $
A: On 4th Ave downtown Oly you will find the East Side just a block away from the Fish Brewpub amongst plenty of dining. The clients inside are usually pretty cool, like any other place you're gonna run into wanna be beer know it alls and douchebags. However, I have never had a problem inside. Now outside is a different story..it seems that I am always have a panhandler in my face or someone acting a fool along the sidewalk but then again you can't control this either. Cash only! The ATM is usually broken so you better bring your own cash and be ready to go. Upfront you find some booth seating against the wall, dimly lit with a long narrow passageway leading to the back where you find games, pool tables ect. Plenty of seating at the 20 seat bar which greets you at the front and stretches midway to the back of the establishment. It can get crowded fast and I really like this place when its mid-day, low key.
Q: Always very good. I have yet to have a bad beer here; through poor selection or tainted kegs, dirty lines....
S: The service has been up and down for the couple of years I have been visiting. At one point in time when libbey was working the bar service was exceptional on his watch. Since his departure some old, new and mainstay servers have picked up and really provided obnoxious, abrasive and lazy service at times. I see a trend of less than caring, stellar service has extended to my friend and BA johnmichaelsen as well. The past couple of trips left me wondering if I were going to ever come back even I moved here. I may give the service one more shot, if not I may be visiting other places in Olympia.
S: Very good selection of West Coast beer ranging from a big variety of PNW goods and then some. Exceptional selection and they routinely have some really nice vintage stuff tapped.
F: No food sales here but if I recall you can order and bring it in with you. If not, there are plenty of places along 4th Ave to grab a bite.
03-05-2013 22:53:58 | More by barleywinefiend
4.14/5 rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I stopped in for a beer while in Olympia on business.
The Eastside is a local beer bar that has a comfortable atmosphere and a thorough selection of northwest and west coast beers. There were quite a few people in the place for a Wednesday evening and the crowd had a good energy. They have at least 30 on tap so it was a tough choice but I went with a Pliny the Elder. I enjoyed it but it didn't seem as fresh as others I've had.
The local beers were very reasonable but the less common ones were a bit pricier. The bartender was attentive, upbeat and knowledgeable.
The Eastside is well worth a visit if you're into northwest craft beer.
01-07-2010 13:33:40 | More by GJ40
4.35/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $
The Eastside Club has been my regular haunt in Olympia for longer than I care to remember. Ive probably been drinking there since the days I had to use a fake ID, probably 20 years or more. The place has a lot of personal history for me that includes a long roster of misty watercolored memories. (Cue music. No wait, dont cue music.)
The point of it is theres not too many places in this world you can run into folks youve known for twenty years. Theres fewer places still where you would want to run into folks youve known for twenty years. But the Eastside Club is one such place for me and I cant help but attach a lot of personal sentiment to the place.
All that aside, its a humble little joint; one might even call it grungy. Hell, Kurt Cobain used to live just five blocks from this place (on Pear Street). There are two beer boards behind the bar; one listing 17 regular taps, the other listing 15 seasonals. Theyre almost entirely northwest microbrews ranging no further than California with perhaps a Fat Tire thrown in for good measure. They take great pride in refusing to stock Bud or Coors here. If you need some swill, you can probably get a stubby of Oly (now brewed in Milwaukie or some such place). Theres no booze here but decent food service can be had through a window that opens to the café next door.
Mondays and Thursdays are cheap beer nights and they draw a crowd. Micro Monday, as they call it, used to feature $1.75 pints of great NW micro beers like Jolly Roger. Its probably up to $2.50 by now but still hard to complain. Youll find about 7 pool tables here, air hockey, ping-pong, video games, and a great jukebox. Theres also lots of hippy folk, revolutionaries, people you shouldnt lend money to, free wifi, and now free live music on Mondays. This is a great bar for reasons I hope you come to appreciate.
06-09-2005 00:33:24 | More by RedDiamond
4.03/5 rDev -7.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I stopped at the Eastside Club while on a business trip in the Olympia area.
Atmosphere is a little seedy and rundown. No smells to speak of. I'm glad we have the smoking ban, or I suspect this place would be unbearable.
Quality was very good. A lot of quality bres from the region and up and down the west coast primarily.
Service was outstanding. The bar keep knew a lot about the beer and was willing to share information, even though he was very busy. The only real problem is the place is a cash only business. No plastic.
Selection was very good and varied. Only problem was it was hard to tell what was available. There was a lot to choose from, the taps were spread around the place and the selections and specials were written on various white boards behind the bar.
Value is OK depending on what you have and what you like. I had a Pliny the Elder for $5.50 but there were others for $3.75. A daily special at $3.25.
The place reminded me a little of the Viking in Spokane. It's just a beer destination, or pool I guess. But you can find some stiff on tap, Russian River for instance, that is not real common in Washington.
05-17-2011 17:25:44 | More by RJLarse
4.6/5 rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $
The Eastside is one of my favorite places in the world. And with no smoking, the friendly atmosphere is even better.
Eclectic/dated decoration abounds. Little has changed over the years since Babe was alive, though years of smoke have dirtied up his walls.
Babe's grandson Adam is the current manager. All bartenders are friendly, and tend to know their beer. This place is laid back, most customers are regulars.
Selection and price are the perhaps the highlight of this place. They have 36 taps serving almost all microbrew. Note that they do not sell anything affiliated with Bud. This appears to be due to their clientele - if a microbrewery gets bought by AB or enters into a distribution agreement with them, the rumor is that the Evergreen students boycott the place. Not 100% sure if this is true, but it would explain why there are no Redhook or Alaskan products here.
They also have a nitro tap and always have something delicious on cask, which is particularly nice.
There ARE a few american macro-crap-lagers here, but they are displayed on a low shelf behind the bar.
Plenty of pool tables, the food through the window of the Clubside Cafe is VERY good, and you can even do your laundry here!
Happy hour is from 4-7 every day - pints are $2.50, with regular price only $3.00
Pints are also $2.25 all day on Monday and $2.50 all day on Thursday.
02-25-2007 01:15:24 | More by udubdawg
The Eastside Club in Olympia, WA
94 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.