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The Dirty Truth

The Dirty TruthThe Dirty Truth

Taps: 42 / Bottles: 20
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
98
world-class

74 Ratings
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.74%
$$ - reasonable


[ 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: 74 | Reviews: 71 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

09-20-2010 20:01:39 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of xanok
xanok

Connecticut

3.15/5  rDev -29.4%
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.

09-13-2010 23:08:23 | More by xanok
Photo of Barsies
Barsies

Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

08-31-2010 22:36:15 | More by Barsies
Photo of mephifaust
mephifaust

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

08-28-2010 03:41:36 | More by mephifaust
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

08-04-2010 18:09:47 | More by asabreed
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

08-01-2010 22:53:34 | More by Chico1985
Photo of riordan93
riordan93

Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

06-21-2010 06:09:26 | More by riordan93
Photo of WhiteOak
WhiteOak

Connecticut

4.64/5  rDev +4%
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.

06-20-2010 01:51:45 | More by WhiteOak
Photo of oddfire
oddfire

Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

03-14-2010 20:57:53 | More by oddfire
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$

Stopped by The Dirty Truth this Valentine's Day afternoon. The place was fairly empty when we arrived. Very lengthy and narrow bar area that runs down the left side of the bar with a good amount of seating. Dim lighting, very dim actually with a pretty chill vibe in the air. Cool artwork and decorations on the walls. This place is super clean for a bar and the quality is clearly top notch. Good music playing and also noticed the record player behind the bar which I thought was pretty cool.

The beer selection is awesome, but you probably already gathered that by now. A huge chalkboard gives the options. Some beers featured today included Anderson Valley Hop Ottin', Greenflash IPA, Beer Geek Breakfast, DeRanke XX, Noir and Guldenberg, Bear Republic Hop Hod Rye & XP Pale Ale. Nice selection of Stone beers too like Arrogant Bastard, Smoked Porter and the Imperial Stout. The Stone Imperial Stout was friggin' delicious. There were 37 or so taps and an equally impressive bottle selection. Be warned though, drinks are a bit pricey though. Drafts run between $6-$10, but hey....this is a beer bar and I have no problem paying for quality and rare brews.

A beer destination when in Northampton. Cool town too if you are not familiar with the area. Not the best craft beer bar environment that I have ever been to, but the selection is excellent and should keep you occupied for several hours.

02-15-2010 00:11:22 | More by Hibernator
The Dirty Truth in Northampton, MA
98 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.