1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

The Dirty Truth

Not Rated.
The Dirty TruthThe Dirty Truth

90 Ratings
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: n/a
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 

Place added by: Todd on 05-30-2006

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of madmanjf
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Was here on a Saturday afternoon. It was destination 3 of 4 for my trip to the area.

I loved this place. I had just come from Moan and Dove ( a sister bar as I understand it ) and this place topped the quality with a spectacular atmosphere. This is more of a city-like establishment as opposed to a typical local-corner bar.

The 40 taps down the wall were all impressive.

The food menu looked good, but I wasn't hungry at the time.

It is located right on the main road through town, but there really isn't a sign outside. So, if you're going for your first time, I'd suggest taking note of the street address and pay attention to building numbers.

This is a great little area that I look forward to visiting again soon.

Not to menition this bar .... I could probably make it an event in of itself.

Photo of wyllder
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Time for my 2nd review of the Dirty Truth.

This time around, the bar's been open a good bit longer and has manged to build up the sort of reputation one would expect from the younger, more refined, sibling to The Moan & Dove.

On this visit I managed to time it during what must be an artist transition phase, as the crimson walls were sadly lacking adornment. Everything else was much the same as my first visit, so I'm keeping my atmosphere score the same. However, I'll note a few things that caught my attention just so Daniel doesn't think some non-critical, pansy-ass reviewer has hijacked my account:
1. There's a broken mirror behind the bar that needs fixing.
2. A ketchup squeeze bottle for a soap dispenser just really doesn't fit the chic decor.

The waitress on my visit was terrific, and the bartender (Eric) is above reproach. The only reason the service rates a 4.5 rather than a 5 is, when this place gets hopping, the lone waitress can get a bit overwhelmed.

Food was great. Of particular interest to me was the absence of the Hangar Steak I had found uninspiring on my last visit. The Cuban sandwich with sweet-potato fries I had in its place was delicious. It may not be Haute cuisine, but it was certainly perfect beer-bar/pub food.

Selection is great, with the 40 tap lines of nothing but top-quailty choices. However, as TDT is rising to beer-bar stardom, I wanted to offer a few thoughts:
1. IPA/DIPA - Are they really so sought after that the menu needs to be lopsided with them? On the night we visited, I can recall seeing Stone IPA, DFH 60 & 90, Offshore IPA, Maharaja, Big A IPA, Hercules, Racer 5, and probably at least 1 other I've forgotten.
2. It's Summertime - Where were the pilsners & kolschs? I don't think I saw a single of either on tap (It turns out they put Prima Pils on the day after my visit). This wouldn't have bothered me if I didn't see so many IPA choices. Unlike the Moan & Dove, TDT does not sport an exhaustive bottle menu, making tap variety (IMO) infinitely more important.
3. Casks. I just don't get this one. The policy, apparently, is that the casks are put out every Thursday. When they kick, the engines are left wanting until Thursday arrives again. I've been to several beer bars with far less pedigree than TDT where the engines were kept stocked every night of the week. I simply can't comprehend why the Dirty Truth, "Northampton's most hopping bar 7 nights a week", doesn't keep cask ale on tap 7 nights a week.

So, just a few things I see that could use correcting and TDT would be perfect. Damn, that last 1/2 a point is a bitch.


Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Dirty Truth just happened to be the perfect halfway point between Fenway Park and home, in NY. I think we got in a little before the real crowd, because it was pretty quiet, but that just meant all the more attention from the waitstaff. The first thing I noticed was that they had all the right glassware for all the right beers. This is always a good thing in my mind, as I find few things quite so invigorating as drinking a fine beer from its proper receptacle. Second, the service was very good, friendly and charming (one of the waitresses seems to know my friend who is a local), and more than willing to "wine" us on plenty of free samples. The selection is not the biggest I have ever seen, but it really had no weak parts to it. The least craftbrewy thing there was Guinness, but who doesn't love Guinness anyway. I had plenty of things I'd never had before (Smuttynose Double Bock and Hanami ale, Avery Collaberation etc.) and a good pint of some of the old favorites (Hop rod rye). There was also a decent bottle list, though unfortunately neither the Gueze I wanted nor the 120 minute IPA were on it at the moment. The food was also exceptional. We enjoyed a cheese plate, and the hummus was fantastic as well (the best part though was the bread). The various mustards were also quite delicious, with such selections as 60 minute or Arrogant Bastard mustard. Everything was a bit pricy, but you know, everything is these days, and i had no problems digging deep to finance an evening of grandiose splendor. If I lived in Northampton, I would be here all the time, and I would also probably drink myself broke.

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Dirty Truth is certainly no secret nor should it be swept under the rug. This place is definitely worth the trip to check out what is more or less version 2.0 of The Moan and Dove, this time in Northampton (college town thing going on here?). The beer selection, the quality and the food menu coupled with some pretty good service made this place somewhere I wish I could go to every night. Damn you living in the middle of no where NY where the words "good" and "beer" are only tossed around at Half Time or in my living room.

The Truth had some nice suprises on tap including the new Hanami from Smuttynose; Collaboration from Avery and 38 other beers that I would gladly drink at any time. The quality was excellent in all the beers, which is really of no suprise since it is managed and owned by people who are dedicated to beer. The waitress knew her shit about beer and was indulgent in my indecision when faced with so many choices. The food was pretty damn tasty too. The pretzel with 60 min. mustard really hit the spot. All in all there is little I can say about the Truth that would put it in a bad light. Northampton, yet another lucky town.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The Dirty Truth definitely lives up to the hype. They carry a massive selection of beers from round the country and around the world. Wide range of Belgian, from Belgium, and some efforts American brewers, I had the Allagash White Ale. Nice selection of stouts too, Old Rasputin, Victory. Also sampled Great Divide Titan IPA, finished the session off with a Celebrator Dopplebock.

I've been here a few times, and I must say that the place has leveled off and improved over the few months it's been open. Had a cheeseburger, pretty standard, when it first opened the food selection was pretty barren. The leveling off comes in the form of prices. The Truth is very popular, so I imagine the beer prices have come down a bit because of this. I used to shy away because it was so pricey.

Photo of bkett01
4.51/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped in here the night after hitting the Moan & Dove. Thankfully I was with someone who had been to this place before, because as others have said, there is nothing marked on the front of the place and black drapes cover the windows. It's a long and narrow room lined with tables on one side and the bar stretching along the other.
The tap selection was simply phenomenal, easily one of the best I have ever seeen. Represented among the 40 or so tap lines were numerous offerings from Stone, DFH, Bear Republic & Founders (just to name some of the standouts). That night was the first time I've ever seen Stone IPA (my favorite beer) on tap and not ordered it. Thats how many choices they have.
The service was attentive, but I did not get a chance to test any beer knowledge from them. Atmosphere was the only element that I would change about this place. When I arrived it was somewhat crowded and loud with the music and all. I was told that it gets far worse than that so I can only imagine.
Overall, I put The Dirty Truth above the Moan due to selection, but the Moan does have a better atmosphere. Another place I'd enjoy getting to visit again, it's even better than the high expectations I had for it.

Photo of SteveO1231
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Stop #3 on my W.Mass beer trip. Located right on Main St in downtown Northampton. This place was pretty hard to find, there are no signs outside at all. I actually called information to get a hold of this place for concrete directions,...turns out I was right across the street and had no idea.
Anyways this place was hard to find but worth it after you enter the two doors and the black cape a long straight bar is laid out to the left with about 40+ or - taps of deliciousness. Two huge shelves full of glassware and some impressive bottles. Huge chalkboard in back listing the offerings. Two casks, not being used at the moment.
The place is decorated a bit too fancy & upscale for my liking, very dark red, fancy wooden furniture, fancy fixtures. The sink in the bathroom looks like an iron wok with decorative artwork etched in it. Another thing, I really don't think that flowers belong in the bathroom. I'd rather see shit written everywhere in chalk.
Besides that I did really like this place, awesome beers on tap, I had a Kaiser from Avery and a Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic. The bartender was pretty cool and he knew quite a bit about the beers. I also ordered a giant pretzel that came with 60 mustard for dipping. Holy Shit! was it good.
The atmosphere is a little to upscale for me but the tap list alone makes it work it. You could possibly lose you mind when you see it. I'm glad I wasn't driving.


Photo of bigone4
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Long and slender bar. Forty taps with lots of different style beers. 20 different bottles and two beer engines. Huge chalk board listing brews and ABV and price per pint. Some really special brews and hard to find beers. I had the Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic Brewing Co. There were a bunch of beers, lots of Dogfish head offerings and many more. I also had a great Milk Stout but I forgot the brewer. It was an unseasonably warm January night and they actually had the huge glass window in the front of the building open like the summer time. It was pretty busy in there but no problem getting served. The food looked and smelled really good but we were just having a few brews. Clean bathroom located down stairs. Huge painting from local artists adorned the walls. I guess they rotate the artists and all the stuff is for sale. It is a pretty nice bar with ample seating. Prices were a tad steep for some brews but not to outrageous. Some of the special beers were priced rather high for a pint or a glass. They had lots of glass wear for different beer style servings. Overall a good place with a good atmosphere and a very large selection of brews. I certainly had a great time and enjoyed the wacky weather.

Photo of aquariumdrinker
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Back home for the holidays, so of course I had to check out the Doves new baby sister. Easy to find at night by the red lights glowing down on the sidewalk, tiny coaster on the outisde bears the establishments name. Once you walk fast the big black curtains you gaze upon a long ass bar with an equally long ass line of 40 taps. High bar tables lined up against the other wall offers plenty more seating. They also offer table service and food here.. The space is minmally decorated with what I assume is locally rotating artwork. Deep red walls and an immaculate bar add to the great vibe here. I arrived a few hours after the DFH tasting had ended, but there was still World Wide Stout left on draft so I ordered my first and it was served up in a oversized DFH snifter (very nice) and the beer was an awesome dessert after heavy Italian food at Spoleto. Bottle selection is hand picked favorite representations of many styles, and doesnt disappoint. However I stuck to the the drafts, highlights were the Racer 5, Midas Touch 05', and 90min IPA. Menu looked tasty but we just snacked on a delicous cheese plate. They bartender who took care of we was super knowledgeable and friendly. So great to have this place to look forward to on trips home. Talk a walk around noho and check out the great locally owned shops, resturants and music venues, but absolutely do not leave with out a stop at The Dirty Truth.

Photo of citrusjim
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

We had tickets to a show at the Iron Horse and searched the BA for a place to go preshow. This may be the best bar I have ever been in. It has a great casual vibe that you don't find everywhere. It was not too busy, so we were treated to great service from several of the staff. One or two dropped by our table just to chat or to see how are current beer was. Obviosly, they have a great tap selection. Our server helped us with great recommedatons. The food was great too. We had a cheese plate which was incredible (our waitress was excited to talk about this menu item). We followed this with the sausage plate and mac and cheese. These were great too. Over all, an incredible place that I will soon return to.

Photo of Envious
5/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Been in a few times now. Can't seem to keep from going back. I have started checking the website more frequently to see if the chalked board is different. Ocktober is finally around the bend and if the selection in this place wasn't amazing enough I'm sure that Dan will blow us away again.
Favorite time to get there is around 5:45pm on Friday. Seems to be a short lull in the action before everyone and their other comes out to play. I've also been at about 11:30 Friday night and not been disapointed even though it is a mob scene the bartenders are dilligent and if you happen to leave something behind a beautiful waitress might chase you down the street just so you have your jacket. Oh and if that does happen be sure to thank her she didn't have to do it.

Photo of rousee
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

There is really nothing not to like about this place. It has a cool cathedral-like look to it when you walk in --lots of wood, extrememly high ceilings with big windows out front. Pleasant lighting and nice artwork placed somewhat sparingly throughout. I also like that they dont have a sign out front other than the sign on the doorknob 1:00--just in case you were wondering when they open. The place is extremely clean which is also quite important for a first impression.

So we got there at about 1:20 or so and I believe we were the first customers. The beer selection was great and the prices seemed fair enough. They have a big chalkboard listing the offerings and I tried to go for some new local beer called Food of the Gods by High and Mighty brewing--apparently contract brewed by Paper City. I liked it quite a bit. We also sampled the brat and kielbasa plate which was absolutely tremendous--my only gripe is that they should offer sauerkraut to go with it. Regardless, it was excellent and very reasonably priced and cooked perfectly.

The bartender was very friendly and seemed to enjoy working there. He offered me up samples of a few things w/o my even requesting them which was totally cool. We talked beers a little which is always enjoyable.

Overall, I would say The Dirty Truth is exactly what a good beerbar should be. Highly recommended !

Photo of StonyB
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Thanks to the advice of several BA's, I finally made the drive out to western Massachusetts. I had to check out the Moan and Dove naturally, and The Dirty Truth, just 10 minutes away, was a logical next stop...

If you're not paying attention, you'll pass right by the building, since the name isn't on it. Look for a white building with a large window...it's right across the street from "Taipei Tokyo"...

Once you step inside the Dirty Truth, the space is very long and rectangular, but not too narrow. The bar on the left seats about 24, and roughly 8 tables on the right supply another 50-60 seats. The environment is very modern-looking, clean, slightly avant-garde. The lone TV, in the far right corner, is practically an afterthought. Of course, when you look at the selections on the blackboard, you remember why you came here in the first place...

40 taps. Not a wasted space among them. DeRanke, Duchess, Saison Voisan, Unibroue, Ridgeway IPA (cask)...etc, etc. I ordered a Rogue Dead Guy, followed by Stone Ruination, but I had the opportunity to try several other beers as well, thanks to the outstanding service...

I had the good fortune to visit the bar while the 2 owners, Daniel and Jerry, were on the premises. Daniel was in fact tending the bar, and when I explained I had made the trip from New Jersey, he seemed genuinely pleased. We had a chance to talk for a few minutes before he had other customers to attend to, and he offered several nice-sized samples for me to try...unexpected and appreciated.

If you want a good bottled beer, there are only 20 available, but it's a high-quality selection. There's also various types of food if you're hungry, though I didn't have any on this visit...

Another nice element is the irreverent humor. One example...a small blackboard in the back advises "You should drink cask ale, it's the shit." For real...

Based on the quality, selection and service, I expect The Dirty Truth will quickly climb the charts on Beer Advocate...highly recommended.

**Stony's Biscuit** - Since The Dirty Truth is only a short drive away from its sister bar, The Moan and Dove, its natural to visit both places on the same trip. But if you're only going to one bar, you may want to stick with The Dirty Truth if: you're with a group, you want a better draft selection, you want some food with your beer, and/or you want to be in an area where you can walk around and do some window shopping...

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

An obvious, new, must hit Beer hunter destination in the Amherst/Northampton area. As others have noted, there is no sign, so get your directions ready and keep your eyes open, we, of course drove by a few times, before getting the image up on line in the car, thank you BA Beerfly!

Great tap and bottle selections, check their website for the details, but be confident you will find stuff here that is not pouring in many places. Locals, regionals (Yeah Sixpoint!) nationals (3-4 Stone selections) Hennepin, Saison Dupont, tons of other on tap and bottles, cask selections, they have got the goods beer wise

Upscale, artistic, big, cool, friendly staff, great bathrooms, all the correct glassware, reasonable prices, this place has ALOT going for it. If I was local this would be the obvious watering hole. Highly recommended, if you are anywhere near the area.

Holy smokes BBQ is just a few minutes away in Hatfield and no warm weather visit to the area is complete without a dip in Puffers pond, (easy directions from Google )just north of Amherst.

Photo of unknownoffender
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I was traveling to MA for work purposes, and Northampton wasn't really on my way to my next destination, so I took a bit of a detour to visit The Dirty Truth. Definitely worth it!

I passed by the bar at first because there's no sign outside, but realized I'd found it when I saw some of the artwork on the wall inside that I recognized from their website. The owner doesn't intend to put up a sign, which I dig. So if you're heading there just look for a bar in the middle of the block with a white facade. You'll know you're in the right place when you walk in and see shelves stacked with the appropriate glassware for the 40 beers they have on tap. And if you need further confirmation have a seat at the bar where you'll see "The Dirthy Truth" printed on their coasters.

The staff was welcoming from the beginning. I was approached quickly after taking a seat at the bar and my beer was in front of me shortly thereafter. The only thing that slowed the process down was my inability to decide what to order...the selection was awesome! I also ordered dinner, which I didn't wait long for and it tasted good too. I'd say their menu is on the smaller side, but I think the variety is good (better than the average bar food) and there's an item on there to match any appetite.

The atmosphere also added to my experience. The walls are a deep red, with one wall displaying pretty cool artwork. I'd have to say one of my favorite parts of this beer hall was the lighting, especially above the bar. The naked lightbulbs that hang above the bar are very simple, yet I really liked what they added to the space.

Last but definitely not least, the service is what really made my day. After traveling solo and driving all day, it was nice to strike up a conversation with the bartender, and find out they LOVE customers who appreciate beer! Unfortunately I had to eat, drink, and be on my way, especially since I planned to visit the first bar opened by the owner, The Moan and Dove. But after spending just a little time at The Dirty Truth, I felt less like a visitor who was there for the first time and more like I feel when I'm at one of my regular bars back home.

This bar is one I'd definitely recommend, especially if you're anywhere within a 100-mile radius of Northampton (like I said, I took quite a detour).

Photo of edchicma
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Visited the Dirty Truth on a Sunday afternoon as it was opening. Bartender was very friendly and helpful, witha good sense of humor. The long bar and high table were very inviting as were the decorative paintings on the walls. The quality of the selection of brews was outstanding, with 40 brews of every type on tap. I started with a Samichlaus that was fantastic on tap...a great brew that was served in a tulip glass. I also tried a Beer of the Gods by High and Might Brewing. Well, only 38 more to go!

Service was good. Initially the bartender helped us with our order, as the chef and waitstaff were just arriving. The waitress that took over was friendly and helpful, with a good table manner.

The food was mainly sandwiches and small pizzas that were good, but not great. But, then again the food wasn't the main attraction, it was the beer!

An additional feature that was great was the windows in front that opened to the street. We sat in this area and it was a great place for people watching. Another feature that captures the mood is the "sign" for the restaurant. It appears to be a beer coaster with "the Dirty Truth" on it. Interesting Touch!

A high recommendation.

Photo of Hautacam
4.9/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Came here with big expectations...love the Moan and Dove....so knew this place would be great.
The previous reviews describe the place well. The atmosphere is very cool...all about beer..a little artsy...only one small TV way back in the corner.The large open front end is really great. My girlfriend and I spent a good part of our rainy Sunday here near the front....sipping great beer, eating some good food and watching the world-that-is Northampton go by ( btw, it's an interesting world...are we in the East Village again ? )
Fun to watch the confused look on people's faces as they walk by...look in and try to find the the sign that will tell them what place this is...there's no sign yet. Somehow, the "beer people" know what this place is....no sign necessary.
The service was really good...our waitress was very friendly, attentive and knowledgable...she patiently brought us samples of several beers...the selection on tap is mind-blowing...hard to decide. We did decide on Maudite,Scaldis,Saison DuPont,and Stone Ruination...all served in the right glassware and at the right temperature.
We both liked the food...a burger w/fries and the sausage plate (awesome!)...a little pricey, but very good.
The music was ecclectic...and kept low....which is as it should be....I've never understood why good bars would blast music.The place had a pretty good crowd for a Sunday ;and people , mostly couples and small groups were talking...not shouting at each other...this is what beer heaven is for me.
The bottle list is amazing too, as is the display of great beers above the bar....Guldenburg and XX Bitter get their own section...as they deserve !
We left to walk around town and shop a little...only to return about 90 mins later for another beer and their special veggie pizzette...which was really good.
This would be a regular spot for us if we lived in the area. We drove an hour to get here from CT and will definitely return as often as we can. Well worth the drive. This is probably the best place in the country to have a beer...oh yeah, I mean the second best....cause, that other place is #1 !

Photo of mikeys01
4.95/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited the Dirty Truth with my wife Lisa this past Sunday afternoon. Fantastic location in downtown Northampton on Main St. We nearly walked by the place, which although very nicely fronted with a gigantic open air window and well stated polished metal trim, still somehow manages to lurk just under the nose of the unsuspecting passerby. As we were peering in the window, we quite quickly realized that this is Where It’s At from the huge line of taps we could see as well as the good natured jeers to us from fellow beer drinkers and Daniel inside telling us there was a great place with crappy beer just around the corner. Unabashed, we wandered in and plunked ourselves down on a couple of the plethora of bar stools lining the impressively long beautiful dark wooden bar. Although we had no problem finding a seat this day, I have no doubt there will be many a night when patrons are waiting hours to grab one of these many seats.

Inside the Dirty Truth the place is clean and brand spanking new, dark red paint on the walls, with interesting artwork adorning them a la Moan style, very cool. Good and different music playing as well, something else you can always count on Daniel and staff for. The uberlong bar runs most of the length of the room, flanked by tables along side. New diverse and proper glassware is evident and all beers are served accordingly and appropriately. Excellent attention to detail on everything here, it just feels right and you know right away you won’t be disappointed. Service is prompt and extremely knowledgeable, but how could it be otherwise here?

Beer selection is jawdropping, both on tap and in bottles. I thought it was tough deciding what to order at the Moan sometimes; well, the Dirty Truth is another order of magnitude beyond that. This is a place where you could comfortably sit for a LONG time enjoying the world’s best beer, good conversation, and just a great environment. Food menu appears to have just enough of exactly what you’d want to go with great beer, and all of it extremely well done and put together. We sampled the mussels and sausages from the plates of goodbyeohio and thebestever who were visiting with us, and nearly had to order some for ourselves, despite the fact that we’d already eaten.

All in all a great place and a new treasure to certainly rank among the best places to enjoy some of the best beer to be had. We really enjoyed our visit, from the amazing beer, to the comfy seats at the bar, to the great service provided by an obviously happy and well satisfied proprietor, Daniel Lanigan. You MUST visit, nuff’ said.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.9/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

sunday afternoon, two-ish. bar is empty, owner is tending to the few beer-lovers and tourists who wander in on a lazy, sunny, yet cool day.

the place itself has high ceilings, railroad car-depth and northampton class. from the outside, all you'll see is plate-glass and silver steel. no sign necessary.. look for the happy people hoisting pints and you're in the right place. walls are dominated by a maroon/magenta crisp paint- balanced by some great large-sized pieces of intriguing artwork. boba fett in silhouette, 'as seen on tv,' and a beautiful metalworked clock, actually functioning, in the front of the bar. artwork will rotate, but on a more seriously art-conscious schedule. by the clock, there's indoor/outdoor seating overlooking a window to the street. the bar runs along the left side, stools and tables along the right. kitchen in the rear. same setup as 'moan and dove', strangely, but everything here is new, shiny, big, and smells good. give it time, daniel, crew, and fans will wear it in.

the bar itself is still untarnished wood with a good view of the forty taps this place prides itself upon. mirrors are mounted with chain links over the taps, creating a euro-pub atmosphere on a grander scale. glassware fills the shelves, all proper and sparkling crisply. the m&d team knows there is extra attention on this spot, and they have succeeded in covering their bases here.

the beer? pristine. the selection? immaculate. something for everyone. lagers, pale ales, pilsners, ipa's, stouts, porters, gueuzes, lambics, triples, etc... with 40 taps and 20 truly well-selected bottles (everything from monschambacher lager to spezial rauchbier, achel extra to rogue xs imperial stout in the ceramic bottle), how can you go wrong? 2 casks too! it's been a while since i've felt the urge to spend all day at the bar, experimenting with several new beers despite my liver's sensitivity.. i didn't buckle today but i can predict problems in the future. the selection here will make those tickers cream in their pants.

the food... small menu, reserved. upscale pub fare with a twist. seemingly the bane of the owner's existence, but it looks good. i opted for the 'sausages,' the s/o went for the mussels and frites. let me tell you, i have not had better kielbasa and bratwurst in recent memory, maybe ever. not to mention, the char-grilling was perfectly juicy in its carbon crispiness and the buttered onions were creamy, flavorful compliments. the mussels that i tried were void of sand and luxuriously creamy in a beer sauce. tender, clean mussel meat. the food was a big deal to me, and the craving for these bratwursts will bring me back just as strongly as the beer will.

service? you're being helped by one of the most passionate beer geeks around. samples, conversation, insight... what more do you want? i'm sure, at some point, the bar will be ruled by slightly-less-knowledgeable northamptonites or former dove-ishes, but the spirit of DL will inhabit all the interactions forged at this ritzy new beer bar. i saw a real desire to keep interactions here on a personal and insightful beer level, rather than succumb to the surrounding area's posh vacancy. a true beacon of northampton, infusing some really keen elements of what we all love. this place is the new gold standard on the NE tip.. respect it, come visit. don't forget the original moan and dove, but split your visits up. cross that bridge.. it's ok, jim says so.

Photo of MarineHokie
4.83/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Entered through a deco brushed aluminum vestibule, long iron and wood bar along the left wall, high tables to the left. One larger table in front of the windows facing the street. Absolutely amazing wall clock to the right as well. The large front windows fold open lending an al Fresco/patio ambiance and more direct observation of the Northampton sidewalk traffic.

40 taps, 20 bottles as advertised. Something for everyone. Even open minded Budmilloors drinkers with a tiny bit of imagination could find something here. Daniel Lanigan is the proprieter...nuff said on the beer selection. You won't find a beer menu that has had as much thought put into it.

The food: Wow! I think I'd travel almost as far for the food as the beer. 10-15 menu choices, all solid and well integrated with the beer served. Mussels with coriander, orange, fennel and Allagash Wit broth. Also, 90 Minute homemade ketchup and Arrogant Bastard mustard. Both carniverous and veg. choices Several notches above pub fare. Pricing is reasonable and competitive for the area.

Service was prompt, pleasant, attentive, and very well versed on the beer and the food. If I didn't know it was their third service, I would have thought they've been at it for years.

Eccletic mix of folks made for the same friendly Moan & Dove vibe I've grown to love....add in a slightly hip, deco, industrial, Euro, artsy backdrop and extremely thoughtful menu selections. I'd bring both my Dad and his wife here. Atmosphere brings back good memories of European bistro beer bars (Mons & Naples), and hints of Tornado in SF.

Clearly, the Dirty Truth is an extract of the best elements of vast observation and experience; translated into an incredible vision executed flawlessly!

The Dirty Truth in Northampton, MA
97 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.