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The House of Brews - 51st Street

Not Rated.
The House of Brews - 51st StreetThe House of Brews - 51st Street
BA SCORE
86
very good

18 Ratings
Ratings: 18
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: n/a
Taps: 19
Bottles: 60
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

302 W 51st St
New York, New York, 10019-6436
United States
phone: (212) 541-7080

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @houseofbrewsnyc

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-21-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rhoadsrage:
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This was close to my hotel and it boosted 100 beers, so I had to check it out. This is a split level bar with one set of stairs leading you up and one set leading you down. I chose the down stairs.

The room is long an narrow with a bar on one side and tables in the back. Everyone seems to congregate on the bottom step so I slipped to the back which was quite open.

The waitress was training a new girl that night and I found it particular entertaining to hear her give her critic of how the bar runs and the explanation of beers. Her heart was in the right place.

The food menu was the run of the mill canned pub food but I thought you can't go wrong with the Shepard's pie. It was pretty lack luster but hot and greasy but that is what I was looking for even though it was a bit of a small portion and a bit dry.

They do have quite a lot of beers but you can have lots of beers without having anything to interesting. I was hoping for some seasonal NY beers that I couldn't get at every supermarket and that turned out to be a tall order. They had a large selection of beers you can find throughout the US but not many small local brews. The few that I found turned out to be bombers and I didn't really want to hang around the ear defining music to drink an entire bomber.

This place has a definite chain feel to it and I might stop in if they have some more local beers on the menu next time but there are to many great places for food and beers for me to make this a must hit on the next trip to NYC.

More User Reviews:
Photo of cam477
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of bcgeiman
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of thenewsullivan
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of 98green
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of Illos
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of GeoffreyM
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

This is one of those places I would have considered “cool” and “craft” a couple of years ago. Now I know better: this is BS. At least they’re better than the 46th street location…

On 51st in Hell’s Kitchen, in a not-so-traveled corner between tourists and locals. Cozy atmosphere inside, a bit dive-y and “Old World”. Lots of wood and dim lights and a more “mature”, less “fratty” feel than the 46th street spot.

19 taps: Founders IPA, Dogfish Chicory, Duvel Single, Ommegang Abbey, Chelsea Hop Angel, Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter… not bad, but far from exciting. And those prices! Most beers are $7.50-$8.50, serious? They do growlers now (didn’t use to) and serve “96-oz bong towers”. Just imagine the price on one of those…

Their bottle selection looks a little better than the shit it used to be (“100 beers from around the world”, they claim, but 80 are light crap). I saw Union Jack, Dirty Bastard and
Hopalotamus on the list.

Service is fine, food is your average bar food and that is it. Too many good beer bars around, so really, why stop here?

Photo of Sammy
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

An average bar on balance. Likes: though in a basement, it still had good daylight coming through. A good sized though not huge bar. Just over half the beer offerings were craft.Prices were a bit better than the midtown bar average. The bartender knew what he was serving, though the safer larger craft, i.e. Sierra Neveda Pale. Dislikes: Everyone in there about my age and these are not beer geeks, just sitting around drinking Bud Lights from the bottle,killing their day, reading their newspapers and talking sports. I had the most exciting beer, a so-so Chelsea.

Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited the House of Brews on 4/9/2010 while en route to the Pony Bar. Caught the place out of the corner of my eye and had to stop in. The interior consists of two floors. We went in the early afternoon, so the upstairs wasn't open at the time. Lower level was dark and somewhat narrow - lots of wood and earth tone colors - I have to say that I like the dank. The bar area took up the majority of the space on the lower-level - more wood and some brass accenting. Seating consisted of about 6 two-person high-top tables and a few regular tables for larger parties of 6 or so. A flat screen tv was located at the far end of the room and a cool fish tank was on the adjacent wall. I had the burger/beer combo for $10 and my wife had the Mac and Cheese, a cider and an appetizer. Total bill came to about $40 with tip. A little pricey, but not exorbitant in my opinion, and the food was pretty tasty and the menu was extensive enough to satisfy. Draught selection was decent, but not spectacular - 18 taps with the average price being around $8; somewhat on the pricier side than I'm used. Offerings included Brooklyn lager, Chelsea Checker Cab Blonde & Hop Angel IPA, Radeberger Pils, Weihenstephaner Heffe, Yuengling, Mother's Milk, Big Daddy IPA, Guinness, Newcastle, Leffe Blonde, Palm Chimay White, Duvel Green, Hoegaarden and Stella. Menu was arranged by region for both the bottle and tap selections with representation from Australia, Belgium, China, England, Sweden, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the US. That being said, some of the listed countries consistent of one brew. Beer flights were $8 for four pours. Additionally, the menu had some vintage selections - Ommegang Cave-Aged Abbey for $25, Lees Vintage for $20 and Utopias for $450. The menu also listed a full array of Trappiste Ales; however, most were in bottle format with prices for Chimay ranging from $10-12, while Koningshoeven Quad went for $25 a bottle. A decent place to stop for a quick brew, but nothing mindblowing by any means. I was also a bit disappointed to see the average price for a local at $6.50. Not bad, but there are better places in NYC.

Photo of david18
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A good beer bar that also has the feel of an irish pub; Irish bartenders and soccer on the televisions. Beer selection is good and, unlike other reviewers claim, there are many local seasonals including Captain Lawrence, Sixpoint, kelso and Blue Point. They also get interesting seasonals and specials like Duvel Green and Octoberfest seasonals.

They also do a paddle of four (six ounce?) samples for a reasonable price. I also think they sell growlers but I'm not sure about that. Rotating drafts comprise about ten beers with an additional thirty or so drafts.

I have not eaten there but the food looks good. The burger actually looked very good.

Bartenders' beer knowledge is mixed. Some know a lot, some know none at all.

Photo of mikeyboy
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

i was in town for a conference, and this location of House of Brews was within a block of my hotel. what can i say?

i showed up around 6 on a sunday. went to the upstairs bar and found a seat. there was some football on the LCDs, i didn't pay much attention and i only noticed it when some of the interested folks responded to the action.

had a good conversation with my neighbor (also out-of-towner) and i enjoyed a few beers - they had local NY, some other NY, some MA, then the requisite Colorado/California in addition to german and a few belgians.

food was "pub fare" and fine with me, a generous plate of chicken fingers and good spicy mustard were my unhealthy dinner for this day.

i would go back, given that i am a block away and in a city i don't know from adam. if i lived near NYC, i'm not sure i would drive down to midtown for this place, but that's not the point, is it?

if you're from out of town, here for a convention or a broadway show, and want to go to a nearby, comfortable place where you can get some tasty/satisfying food and a variety of tasty/satisfying beer, then give them a a shot. and if you care about sports, you can keep up with that as well.

for being so convenient to times square and the theater district, this is more selection than i was expecting.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

House of Brews- 51st St. NYC

Walked over here from the tattoo convention going on at the Roseland Ballroom. Small place with a nice little outdoor patio area on the sidewalk. Walked down the stairs, wall and restrooms on the right bar on the left tables in the back. Dark with only a handful of patrons watching the subway series and getting their OTB Preakness forms ready.
Angry Canadian arguing that La Fin Du Monde wasn't a Canadian beer and the music was too loud! Colin (Angry cause of the Canadian guy) was otherwise friendly and nice. Served me up my two beers and chatted with the patrons. Excellent bottle and draft seection, Arrogant bastard, Cap. Lawrence, Southampton, Goose Island, etc... Didn't eat but the buffalo wings and burgers were a big hit so were the bloody marys. They have a $10 beer and a burger m-f 11-4pm and all you can eat mussels and stella nights!!
Comfortable and laid back highly recommended!

Photo of Risser09
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Visited Manhattan this weekend and stumbled upon this nice place to stop if you are in the theatre district. There are two locations.

Atmosphere: When you enter you see a long, shotgun style bar that is about 25 feet long. It ends and gives way to a few tables where we take our seats. We are there at dinner time and there seems to be plenty of room to sit which is nice. The no smoking laws of NY are awesome for the bar experience (no foggy contacts, no dirty air to breathe). Looks like they cater to sports fans and people who enjoy something better than BMC. Waitresses are all wearing black with low cut shirts.

Quality & Selection: They advertise that they have 80 beers available but they probably fall 30 short of that number (50). They also advertise beer tastings that feature 1 beer. Hmm. I was happy to see that they had taps devoted to good, local beer (Butternuts, Brooklyn & another NY staple). They always have 1 beer on cask which made me happy. They carry beers to span a lot of different countries (we were in a very diverse city after all), and plenty of good micros and belgians. Some of the better names were Stone Ruination, St. Bernardus 8, Westmalle Tripel and some Unibroue stuff.

Food: I got a panini which was good but needed sauce of some kind. I went through a lot of liquid to get the whole thing down. But the turkey was actual slices of turkey breast, nice. The fries were lacking.

Value: My cask beer was $6 and the canned beer I got was $4 so the prices weren't totally outrageous. The panini with fries was $11. For a place so close to times square, the value was pretty good, although if I were in PA I would consider it to be expensive.

Photo of sleazo
2.79/5  rDev -23.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5

I tried this place as i was staying at the Hilton a few blocks away. Maybe I am a bit spoiled but this place didnt really do it for me. The selection of tap beers was decent and had things you wouldnt find at regular bars but they didnt have anything i viewed as a truly great beer. I wanted a bottle of DFH 60 or 90 minute but the bartender brought me the regular IPA. He just set it down in front of me and when i asked he said thats the only DFH they had. It seems this place is more about "variety" than it is about excellent examples of said variety.

Photo of slander
4/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Dave's been threatening to have a couple of us up to smoke a pork shoulder in their driveway and have a few, but we never seem to find the time. I ain't seen him in a dog's age. Well, now he's coming in with Marie (& Kid Alyssa, too), putting her parents up for dinner and a show. They're talking like they'll be time for lunch and drink after settling them in, something mid townish perhaps. Um, lemme call Jed and see what hs deal be...
We got in with some time to kill so I thought we'd take in the other House of Brews. Entering thouh a sunken entrance along a single large booth, I think you're generally inclined to head downstairs to the bar. It's a long narrow room with a small seating area to the rear holding a pair of bar tables, a pair of booths and a handful of tables beyond. A dark wood, "L" shaped bar along the left wall seats a baker's dozen. The mirrored bar back unit holds many layers of bottles and booze layered on shelves above. Flatscreens to both sides of the bar and a large one to the rear, plus small dangling TV's here and there and 7" LCD screens on the bar itself. The piped in music was pretty good. Brownish sponge painted walls with mounted lighting panels, spots over the bar and a fish tank (glooop glooop glooop) to the rear. Could be tight but it was comfortable today, as the place was fairly empty on this Saturday afternoon.
20 taps in a single row on the bar. More than 1/2 of them are better than average micros (Goose Island Honkers Ale, Bear Repubic Hop Rod Rye, Smutty Old Brown Dog, Hennepin, Rogue American Amber Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Ithaca Nut Brown, Chelsea Checker Cab, Magic Hat #9, Widmer Hefe, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat) and the rest are imports (Youngs Chocolate Stout, Chimay Triple, Old Speckled Hen, Leffe, Stella, Hoegaarden, Guinness, Smithwicks). A solid collection overall. It's always good to see Hennepin on tap. Hey, what's the Smutty Old Brown Dog was on a "big beer series" tap handle? No matter. Some 5 dozen bottles, many of them displayed on the bar back shelves. Roughly a dozen+ US micros (DogFishHead 60 Minute IPA, Bluepoint Toasted Lager, Rockies Hazed & Infused, Rogue Dead Guy, Middle Ages Wailing Wench, Victory Hop Devil, Southern Tier IPA, Stoudts Scarlet Lady ESB, Ommegang 3 Philosophers, Flying Dog Pale Ale, Anchor Steam, Sam Adams Boston Ale, Shipyard Old Thumper, Saranac Caramel Porter), a dozen Belgian/German/English and another 3 dozen mostly blah blah beers of the world.
Decided to scout out the upstairs area. There's a 9 seat bent bar, lots of mirrors, shelves of booze, the same 20 taps as downstairs, beerbongs on the bar back, and a cooler full of bottles. 2 long bar tables sit adjacent to the bar, and 6 booths run the length of the far wall. A small raised lounge area forward the room along the front windows, and a pair of bar tables oddly placed in an area along the stairwell. The room is done up with the standard beer signs and mirrors, and a few barrel ends with protruding tap handles.
Got a quick look at the food menu. Standard pub grub, nothing too crazy, but we were really only here for a beer. Good place for a beer or two and a few innings.

Photo of Dogbrick
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Just happened to see this place and stopped in, and I am glad we did. Located on 51st Street right off 8th. I have no idea what parking options there are.

The entryway is down a couple steps from the street and the bar is 2 levels. The bottom level has a bar and some seating, while upstairs past a nice collection of tap handles is another bar with more seating. We went upstairs and there was a small acoustic band sitting in an alcove playing some tunes. They keep the place pretty dark and there is a lot of wood and muted color. Good collection of breweriana as well.

As for the beer selection, they do a pretty good job living up to their name. Good tap list of about 15 brews. Aside from the usuals they did have some local/regional beers like Chelsea, Magic Hat and Brooklyn. For bottles there are around 50 offerings from all over. Again good local representation plus beers from all over the world.

Service on a Sunday night was good and the place was not too busy. The bartender and server had time to catch parts of Grey's Anatomy on the LCD TV between refills.

The food here has a Scottish flair. I had the Bratwurst, and while I expected it to be served in a bun and not greens (my fault for not reading the menu) I found it to be very good. My wife had nachos and those were enjoyable too.

Overall this is a great bar and I would recommend it highly because of the great atmosphere and beer selection. As with most places in the city, the drinks are expensive ($6-7 for most beers) but it's to be expected.

Photo of tenorvoice0739
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is a relatively new establishment that used to be an Irish pub in Midtown. From what I picked up from the very friendly bartender, the place has kept the same owners, but has dramatically changed its focus to beer and sports. There is a TV in sight everywhere you stand or sit. There are even 7" LCD TV screens in front of some of the seats at the bar behind the taps (That's a new one to me!).

There are around one dozen rotating taps of both import and domestic. All premium, no mass-market beer. Plus, a long menu of bottles has guaranteed that you'll find something to your liking.

Both of my visits found the place packed, but the service and selection outshines the cramped quarters. Also, the place is fairly large with bars on two levels, and plenty of tables.

The food is typical of their Irish Pub beginnings. I ordered Bangers and Mash, and have no complaints.

I say that this bar is a little pricey, but I am new to Manhattan, and have to get used to the mark-up. The average price is about $7/pint. However, I know that I will always find something great on tap when I go.

The House of Brews - 51st Street in New York, NY
86 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.