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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 Envious
Envious

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

09-23-2006 18:07:17 | More by Envious
Photo of mikeys01
mikeys01

Colorado

4.95/5  rDev +11%
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.

06-14-2006 01:19:23 | More by mikeys01
Photo of sanguis
sanguis

Massachusetts

4.95/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

I have been going here since it opened, they have a constant rotating selection of only beer and wine. This is a kinds of place that one can go to learn about new beers and enjoy some of their favorites as well.
They have 42 taps on the wall, plus a couple cask pumps. (rarely active) Plus over 50 bottles.
At lest one of their chalk boards is always divided in to styles so one can walk in look for their fav style and see whats there.
As for the food it's good bar food, and great portions. Burgers, fries, mac and cheese. one really cant go wrong.
If you look to get something done, there is a wifi connection. For a less crowded then a sports bar place to watch new england sports they project the game on a screen.
All and all I was there last night and will be there again tomorrow.

03-11-2009 17:51:13 | More by sanguis
Photo of alee42
alee42

Massachusetts

4.95/5  rDev +11%
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.

12-27-2011 16:59:53 | More by alee42
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

06-11-2006 23:48:24 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of Hautacam
Hautacam

Connecticut

4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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 !

06-26-2006 12:40:34 | More by Hautacam
Photo of ams4k
ams4k

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

Fantastic -- you will not be disappointed. Went on a summer weeknight for an Avery Maharajah and a Southampton Imperial Porter. About 30 great beers on tap, with emphasis on American, including lots of Dogfish, Bear Republic, Stone, etc. Limited range of food but what we had was very very good. The chicken pot pie was so awesome that my wife asked for the recipe and the cook wrote it out for us personally! Wow. Free tastes offered of any draft on request, well-chosen bottle selection, again emphasizing American craft. I wish I could go here every week.

08-30-2007 14:42:01 | More by ams4k
Photo of bird18
bird18

Maine

4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$

Really loved this place. as other reviewers have pointed out there is no sign, know the address before you go and look for the tented chalkboard outside with the specials listed.

We sat at the bar both times we visited. Was blown away by the number of beers on tap and how many IPAs (my favorite) to choose from. Bartender who served us was most excellent, I wish I had gotten her name. Started with a Racer 5 then tried a Hooker IPA she got talking about the different IPAs with us as it was a favorite style of hers as well. My last try was left hand warrior and was certainly glad we were walking back to our room. Had the hummus plate to eat and hubby had the cuban with sweet potatoe fries both meals were excellent. Hubby stuck with DIPAs most of the time as was very happy with his choices as well.

we went back the next night to have just one more because we just couldn't leave without trying a couple more of the incredible selection (I counted 37 active taps) We took a look at the bottle list the second night and wished we had more time in the area to try some more of the great selection of beers they had. If in western MA add this place to your "must goes"

12-03-2007 02:34:17 | More by bird18
Photo of yukkamaster
yukkamaster

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

This place is, next to the Moan and Dove in Amherst, my absolute favorite beer bar.

Food: The food here is great. I try to make it in for brunch whenever I can, and the steak and eggs rivals anything you can get in the area. Plus, being able to enjoy it with an amazing beer makes the food even better.

Beers: This place has amazing beers. Its that simple. Their draught list is great - its 40 taps provide something for everyone and is riddled with beers you couldn't hope to find outside of Boston or New York (except for the Moan and Dove, which does take a back seat to the Dirty Truth's in this regard). The bottle list is not as extensive as the Moan and Dove, but does have some seriously great beers. Some people have siad the beers are pricey, and it is true if you are looking to spend $4/pint you should head to a different place and order yourself a Blue Moon, Bud American Ale, or other crappy beer. The beers here are awesome, and do have awesome beers (unfortunately) costs a bit more. That being said, their prices are in line with or better than the few other bars in the northeast that have these amazing beers.

Service: I couldn't disagree more with Britton's comments about the staff. They have always been extremely helpful and nice, and give their honest opinions about the beers. I always have a great conversation with the bartenders (unless it is very busy, which is sometimes the case), and their recommendations have been right on. I want my bartender to tell me a beer is "over-hyped" if it is; I don't take that as an insult to me and definitely wouldn't give a bad tip because I don't agree with his/her taste in beer or their honesty in describing it.

Atmosphere: I love it here during the late morning/early afternoon on the weekend. Brunch is great, its not that packed, and you can have some great conversations with the bartenders and other patrons. It does get a little too busy for my liking during the evening, particularly on the weekends, and sometimes get loud enough that you can't really have a conversation with more than 2 people (if you can find a seat for more than 2 people). When it does get busy, I just head over to the Moan and Dove, which has the best vibe in the area.

Definitely go here.

01-21-2010 21:02:31 | More by yukkamaster
Photo of StonyB
StonyB

New Jersey

4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
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...

08-13-2006 04:53:08 | More by StonyB
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The Dirty Truth in Northampton, MA
98 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.