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The Dirty Truth

Not Rated.
The Dirty TruthThe Dirty Truth
BA SCORE
98
world-class

87 Ratings
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 9.73%
Taps: 42
Bottles: 20
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

29 Main St
Northampton, Massachusetts, 01060-3182
United States
phone: (413) 585-5999

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Todd on 05-30-2006)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of markdrinksbeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of magnificent70s
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of RMoeNay
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of JGLittle
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of dfecteau
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Eriogonum
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Okisailor
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

I believe the selection of brews here are the best in Northampton....no the most taps ... but the best quality. They always have a sour on tap and I normally have a hard time deciding on what brew to drink as many are 5 star. The food is just so-so but I will choose The Truth over Puplik House , Noho Brewery or Hinge. Crowd is a little more hip too. Usually the wait staff understands beer but once i had someone that was clueless. I have been here 25+ time and I have yet to be disapointed with a brew.

Photo of alexroch
3.7/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Dimly lit and the sound of vinyl immediately take you to a better place. Once your eyes refocus you'll see the bright light and that is a wall of some finely selected beers. Proper glassware and a true knowledge of the product sets the staff apart. I have to admit the hipster vibe is present, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary for Northampton. And certainly not a deterrent to visiting this place.

Overall, it's one of the best beer bars around to share a pint or two before hitting Fitzwilly's for a top notch meal.

Photo of brureview
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

If you are in Northhampton, this is the place to drink craft beer.

I like the selection better than the Publick House, and there were a lot of beers on tap which are not often served in the Boston area.

I drank a Founders Porter which was outstanding and served at the right temperature. There was a Stone Ruination 10th anniversary also available.

The lighting and decor are hip. There are no chairs, only stools to sit at high tables which can be shared with other visitors to the bar. The music is not too loud, but the decor, beer selection and atmosphere make up for B grade food-Burgers and salads.

The staff is knowledgeable. There is no beer menu, the current beers are on a chalkboard, which is difficult to read at times.

The crowd is great. Hipsters and regular folk come to drink in this non-pretentious pub.

Overall a great place to drink- no attitude and the beer selection is superb.

Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Dirty Truth is easy to overlook from the outside. It's on main street, however I never knew that such a great thing was located right in the middle of the city.

It's dim lit place, young crowd, a lot of people who share the same interest of beer. Music is played off a record player, that's right..records.

There were 37 beers on draft when I went, they have 40 taps.
Victory, Anderson Valley, Allagash, Rougue, Stone, High & Mighty, Phoenix, Founders Brooklyn were just some of the brewries on tap.

It's about 6 bucks on average for a beer.

Photo of alee42
4.95/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Dirty Truth is well worth stopping in for a sit down meal and beer - it's very laid back and the atmosphere is so relaxing. A quick glance from the outside of the bar, it's hard to notice the small letters making out "the Dirty Truth". You walk into a dimly lit area with the bar lining the side of the wall, and long tables with high chairs jutting out from the opposite wall. The environment is warming and relaxing, with some art and canvas paintings hanging high on the walls.

The bar has many taps, probably 25 or so, and a chalkboard with the on-tap beers above the far end wall. Very conveniently, the staff organizes the beers into "light and pale", "medium", "IPA", "dark", and "belgian" on a smaller board to the left of the bar - if people do not know the type of beer listed on the chalkboard.

Staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about beers. They are always happy to give you samples and always offer samples if you are uncertain about the selection.

The menu selection is very basic, but a good food to chew on with your beers are the french fries. I highly recommend the fries that are fried in truffle oil - just adds to the experience.

Photo of polishkaz
4.33/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Even though this place is a bit pricey and maybe a little pretentious it is still a great bar that rotates its taps(over 20) pretty regularly. You can always find something to try. Beautiful long wood bar, nice tables and can either be dead or completely packed. Bottle selection is not as extensive as its sister, The Moan and Dove in Amherst, but still very good. If only they had a mug club it would be even better. Food selection is pretty good and probably the best place in Northampton if you are a real fan of beer.

Photo of DIM
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I'm told this place is packed on fridays and saturdays so I'm glad we went on a mellow sunday night after dinner. Barberella on the big screen and hip-hop loud but not blaring over the speakers; odd. A nice mix of people, most younger than me but thats okay. I didn't get a hipper than thou vibe at all. My first impression was a good one.

Then I saw the board offering dozens of great beers. Now I love the place. The selection was outstanding, but I was surprised they didn't have more locals. While they weren't outrageous, the prices were on the high side. The bartender came over to take our order and he was very friendly. He brought me a very generous sample of an expensive beer I asked about, very kind I thought. Later he came by with some pilsener malts to munch on. We were pretty much left alone after that, so I did ding the score a bit.

I scrolled down to read some reviews before I wrote mine and noticed some people had issues with the service. That wasn't our experience at all. I definitely plan to come back next time we visit the area.

Photo of circlenine
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The Dirty Truth has very reasonable beer prices, especially when you take into consideration its location - Northampton is not cheap! Beer selection was impressive. I drove 35 minutes for the Founders Breakfast Stout ($6.50 for 12 ounces) and stuck with that, but there were many delectable options if I chose to stray.

Food was great but don't expect traditional fare... and for that reason don't expect traditiinal pricing. $13 for lamb nachos (chicken and beef were not an option).

I had no major problems with service. Seemed to be two wait staff plus bartenders for entire table area. This slowed ordering of food and additional rounds, but delivery of food and beverage was prompt once ordered. Keeping in mind it was a Saturday night, not too bad.

Beer selection was too good not to come back.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I guess I see my review as a counterpoint against many of the others which noted bad service. I had an excellent server, very attentive, and several other people stopped as they walked past to ensure everything was good, and also to make recommendations on beers. Absolutely no problems. The other patrons were all friendly too, if a little quirky, this just seems like an odd but cool town.

The beer selection was excellent, about 25 taps with all quality. Things like Bear Republic (Racer 5 and Racer X), Port (High Tide and Wipeout), several from de Ranke (!), etc etc etc.

The food was very good, I tried a French-Vietnamese dish with duck confit that was delicious. Prices were reasonable for dinner. I'll definitely stop here again when in the area. I liked it better than Moan & Dove, due to the availability of good food and the longer tap list.

Photo of adirondack88
3.08/5  rDev -30.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

I decided to check out this place with an open mind despite the previous reviews that knocked The Dirty Truth for bad service, attitude, and that it was full of hippies. I was a hippie once and I certainly don't feel like that was a bad thing. I haven't changed that much even though I am wearing a tie nowadays. Northampton is a college town so what do you expect. I walked in on a weekday night and there was a good sized crowd there. The beer selection was decent. The bartender wasn't much of a conversationalist but that was ok, but then he disappeared and I never saw him again. Good thing I paid upfront and didn't start a tab. I had an IPA (Bear Republic Racer 5) and that was pretty good. Then I started to look around and saw a little of what the previous reviews were talking about. The place is so dark that they must make a killing on their electric bill. The music is really, really dark and made me feel like I needed to shoot heroin in my eyeballs. The clientele is also dark and didn't seem to be very happy. Hippies, no; hippies are generally happy folk. The dirty truth is that this place is really depressing. It seems to work for them though so I guess I will walk away thinking that "dark people" need a place of their own with good beer to hopefully make them happier or more depressed.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The atmosphere here is a bit sub-par, which is a shame because there is a lot of potential. The bar itself is very clean and nice, the front picture windows can be opened on nice days for that open-air feel. Decorations are cool, and they show old or independent films on certain nights. It can be nice and cozy if you hit it at the right times. However, on weekend nights, the place is bustling and tends to attract a lot of hippies, hipsters, and snobs.

I have had mixed experiences with the service. Some of the bartenders are great, and I have had awesome beer conversations with them, even resulting in a free round at times if they feel especially generous. Other times, I have been treated like dirt, mostly by a select few bartenders. Some of the staff are hippies/hipsters themselves, and I feel that they judge me based on the fact that I am not. I walked in with a group of friends (all of whom were not educated in the ways of beer) and felt that the staff was immediately trying to push us out the door. The bouncer told us there wasn't much space available even though we could plainly see from the door that there were multiple tables and seats at the bar. The bartender was extremely condescending and even shut us off after having only one round of 6 oz. servings of a high abv beer (Dogfish 120). This is ridiculous. I feel that the hipster bartenders are extremely judgmental and try to create a hipster-only atmosphere in the bar when they are working. I find that if you come in here with hipster friends or a group of BAs, you will be treated nicely. If you come in looking like a group of working class, blue-blooded Americans, they will be snobs to you unless you can prove yourself worthy with beer knowledge.

The selection is excellent. 40 rotating taps (sometimes even two cask taps) and a good bottles list, both featuring great craft and imported beers, including a decent amount of rarities. The staff is fairly knowledgeable (some know more than others), and the beer is well looked after. Prices are pretty steep, but then again, everything in Northampton is expensive. The food here is phenomenal, and really on a gourmet level. Despite being treated poorly at times, I come here often. The selection is too good to ignore.

Photo of xanok
3.15/5  rDev -28.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Summary of my first experience here:

Went to this place with my girlfriend on a whim after looking for apartments in Springfield.
Walked right in, only two other customers, lots of taps. Appeared to be at least 35 or so, and lots of different varieties. A good amount of Belgians. Also, great bottle list with things like Cantillon. All the taps were listed on a large chalkboard with prices on the other side of the room. I'm glad they list prices. Not many places do that these days.
Some beers they had on tap that day: Green Flash Amber, Rogue Brutal Bitter and Fest, Stone Smoked Porter, Bear Republic Nor'Cal, Victory Helios and Hop Devil.
After that, it was meh. Waitress brought over some water, and a few minutes later our beers (I got Racer X, gf got Racer 5). When I told her after that that I would need a few more minutes for food, she gave me a glare, said "ok" and walked away. After TEN MINUTES she finally was able to pull herself away from writing up the second chalkboard of the beerlisting.
Got my food, which was nachos with lamb meat. It was actually very delicious. My gf got a burger with mushrooms, which she also enjoyed immensely.
After finishing our beers, we asked for the check to be split. And again, she looks at me like I'm retarded. REALLY? Splitting the check that weird that you have to give me a dirty look about it?
Anyways, the bartender was somewhat helpful when I asked him a question. The place seems to attract a lot of hipsters, but I noticed that Northampton is infested with them (not that I don't like hipsters).
If the rest of the wait staff is like this one girl, you will save money by not tipping for the lousy service.

Photo of Barsies
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I make it a point to visit the Dirty Truth once every 3 to 4 weeks. Arguably this is the best beer bar in Western MA.

Northampton itself is a very eclectic town and the Dirty Truth is an excellent fit. If my count is correct there are +40 taps and +60 bottles available. I have noticed a rotation of the beers available on tap - something I value. I have also noticed a concentration of Belgian beers.

My experience in interacting with the staff has always been positive. The staff is knowledgeable, never pushy or condescending.

Photo of mephifaust
3.73/5  rDev -15.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

The dirty truth is a decent beer bar. It is in a great location in downtown Northampton. The atmosphere is chill - low lights, cool art, and plenty of seating. The beer selection is good, but there were no rare or interesting standouts (basically a decent selection of craft beers, as you would expect). The bartenders were attentive, but not extrodinarily friendly, knowledgable, or helpful. There is also a lack of adeqaute bathrooms: one stall for men and one stall for women in a bar of this size just doesn't cut it. Overall, we enjoyed out experience and had some tasty brews.

Photo of asabreed
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

After going to so many cool places in the Amherst area as far as beer is concerned, not to mention that it was one of my favorite cities on a recent 17-day book tour across the country, I wasn't surprised to find that I really liked The Dirty Truth.

From the outside, you kind of know what to expect: a lot of people, a full bar, many taps, many bottles, different styles. I don't want to say that as if I'm brushing off the charm of this place, because I'm not, but that's what the eyes witness.

I was impressed with the tap and bottle selection, but I was hoping that they'd have a lot more gems on tap. I'm certainly not the most well-versed BA in the world, but I'd had maybe 85% of the brews before that they had on tap, and though with the more beers you try it does indeed get harder to try something new, I hoped this place would be able to make my head spin from the brews I'd heard about but had never tried.

Another reason to be impressed: for all the insanity and the mass of people (it was, after all, a Friday night, and three of us were still able to find a seat fairly quickly, which was awesome), the servers were very attentive and fast after an order, and that was a great and happy surprised.

Bottom line: if you're in the area you need to stop in here, especially if you're cool with a more crowded bar and a lot of people.

Photo of Chico1985
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have heard alot of complaints about the staff here, but I have never run into a problem after 10+ times now (other than a back-up ID needed for out of state licenses). Very dark and loud though, at night especially. Definitely a hipster-type clientele. Huge tap list (around 40 I think) with a nice even amount for each style. Great offerings I don't usually see around from Stone, Mikkeller, Victory, Bear Republic, Jolly Pumpkin, Rogue, Great Divide, Ayinger, etc. Nice bottle list with entire sections for Cantillon and Fantome. Prices are very high, especially for bottles ($16 for Rochefort 10 is ridiculous, especially when you can go down the street to Sierra Grille and get it for $8). Food is good but I don't think the quality lives up to the, once again, crazy prices. Other than the prices though this place is great. Tap list is big enough so everyone should find something they'll love.

Photo of riordan93
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is a great place. However, I went in there on a Sunday night. The place wasn't packed but it wasn't entirely empty either.

This was the darkest bar I think I've ever been in. The lights were kept very low, which made eating my dinner problematic.

There was a handout on the bar saying that it was a special movie night. So I'm not sure whether the lights were low because of the movie or whether it's normally kept that way. But I really didn't care for the uber-dim lighting.

The food was expensive but I'll be damned if it wasn't the best cheeseburger I've ever had. However, a beer (Spezial Rauchbier) and the burger set me back $20.

Although I did get carded (I'm 35) and I am from out-of-state, I had no problem getting served. The bartender was very polite.

Overall, I didn't care for the vibe of this place. As much as I'd like to see good beer get due recognition, I'm glad that it's not as pretentious as wine-drinking.

This is for hipsters, yuppies, and wannabe Manhattanites.

I'd much rather drink at the sister bar "The Moan & Dove" in Amherst. You can get nearly the same beers with much less of the pretentiousness. Plus, the peanuts are free.

Photo of WhiteOak
4.64/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Went to The Dirty Truth with my beer compadre´on a Saturday just before noon.

The place was nice and quiet, and we relaxed immediately at the bar.

The bar foot rail, huge tap rail, mirror frame and other architectural details shared the similar material and construction of big, beefy, unfinished tubular structural steel. This made a nice contemporary visual contrast to the warm, traditional mohogany colored tropical hardwoods.

Low wattage pendant light fixtures hung down everywhere, and the soft amber glow of their filaments made for a restful atmosphere (granted that the place was not busy).

Part of the reason for the quiet turnout was that the weather was literally perfect, but this gave them the opportunity to open the entire front facade of the building by sliding aside the giant bi-fold like glass curtain walls. Very cool effect.

As mentioned by others, there was a turntable on the counter behind the bar, so they must spin some vinyl on occaision.

The bartender was a very pleasant and attractive young woman who had a good amount of beer knowledge and a fantastic attitude. She mentioned that they appreciated that we drove a while to visit there, so she was generous with the sample tastings and hospitality.

We drank only from the tap offerings, which were numerous and excellent. Enjoyed were: Lost Abbey Carnevale, Ayinger Bräu-Weisse, Founders Pale, Boulder Cold Hop, Mikkeler Beer Geek Breakfast, Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen. My favorite was the Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, which is the nectar of the gods on tap.

We did not eat there, only because we had already had our breakfasts long before, and breakfast fare was being served for brunch, and the only other option were burgers, which did not inspire us at the time. But everyone else there was eating.

There were many, many tempting and worthy brews left untried... but we'll be back.

Photo of oddfire
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

We went there for dinner with some friends from college. The first thing I noticed was the very dim lighting. Now so would think this was a bad thing but I thought it gave it a good pub feel to it. The quality was awsome. They had quite a large number of beers that are harder to get. Very excellent selection of all varieties of beer. Our server was nice and he was very knowledgeable when it cam to the beers on tap. The selection...50 taps....nuf said. Our meals were very good and were done with fresh ingredients. All in all this was a very reasonable beer bar and we will be going back soon.

The Dirty Truth in Northampton, MA
98 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.