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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 ajendrysik
3/5  rDev -32.1%

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 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 SpicyGose
3.35/5  rDev -24.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This place is sleek and hip. 40 or so taps with good rotating selection. Good beers that aren't flat, good food but limited, kinda knowledgeable bartenders that are short with you and sometimes snarky. But overall a solid place for good beer. The crowd is mixed with some hipsters who nurse their $7 beer for over and hour.

Photo of r00tarded
3.68/5  rDev -16.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

The Dirty Truth is now a mere shadow of its former self.

I've been going to the Dirty Truth for the last few years and have enjoyed the exceptional beer selection and, up until recently, the great food. Sure, it wasn't a full restaurant menu, but they always had great items such as the mac and cheese, pot pies, cuban sandwiches, and a whole lot more. There was a selection of food to enjoy with the amazing beers.

The menu now blows.

Would you like a burger, or a burger? Perhaps you'd like some lackluster mussels or... a burger. No chicken dishes, very few apps, and unless you're in the mood for a burger, you're pretty much out of luck. Oh, sorry, there's a turkey sandwich.

I know they don't have the huge selection that the Dirty Truth has, but I think Sierra Grille has more of a compete package.

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 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 DA84
3.75/5  rDev -15.2%

Photo of LeeMarvin
3.76/5  rDev -14.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

After years of hanging out in Noho, I finally went to go see what all the hype was about. My g/f and I hit it on a Friday afternoon just before the place began to fill up.

The room is very visually appealing, and as another reviewer pointed out, they've got the New England hipster thing down. Which is maybe why I didn't feel comfortable here. Most of the other customers were on computers or hand held devices.

Or maybe it was the bartender who immediately assumed that I didn't know anything about craft beer and failed to engage her customers or engender a feeling of hospitality.

The whole effect was that of a trendy bar that's so popular that they don't have to try as hard anymore. There's no denying they've got one of the best tap lists around, and granted I may have hit them at the wrong time on the wrong day, but when a place gets hyped like this place has, a beer geek has every right to carry a set of expectations into the experience.

Photo of cbutova
3.86/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

The atmosphere of this place is not the best, loud music all the time, usually extremely packed at any primetime hours, the kind of place that you walk into and you feel like you are being stared down by "hip"/trendy crowds of people (including some of the employees), the layout is nice though for the size of the building and the location is in the center of Northampton. I have never had a problem with quality here, nothing to complain of, beers taste fresh and are poured well. Service is decent, beers are served quickly and poured well but some of the servers/employees are not that great here (almost everyone I know agrees on this). My friends and I have been treated like we know nothing about beer (order a KBS and the guy double checks to see if we actually want that beer, "you know thats a BARLEYWINE, right?!"), seen people denied for out of state licenses even though there several other states within an hour of here (other bars check the license and know the out of state ones). Maybe its part of the vibe of the place but it seems like the employees (not all of them) can be a bit cocky and it just doesn't work for me. Selection is probably the best in W. Mass of any place I have been to, lots of drafts, lots of breweries to choose from, only thing is the bottle selection is a bit small and stagnant. Price here is a bit much, $14 KBS bottles, $13 Peche Mortel, $70 Saint Lamvinus, I have seen those in other bars for $9, $8 and $50 respectively. All in all, if I go to TDT I will order one beer and maybe two if they have anything World Class, the prices, service and atmosphere are a turn off and I would rather just go across the street to The Sierra Grille or down the road to The Moan and Dove.

Photo of pisano
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of Vinylglove68
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of ipagal
4/5  rDev -9.5%

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 dfecteau
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of RMoeNay
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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 Cakanator
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Being a hometown native it's always good to see places like this in town attracting people from around the area. The Truth is an exceptional beer drinking establishment from the perspective that you can go in and get pretty much any style of beer your looking for. The only knock i've ever had against it is the atmosphere and sometimes the wait staff. If your looking to just releax and have a great quality brew at the same time, you might wanna go down the street to Sierra Grille. The truth can be very noisy and cluttered the way it is set up in the longer bar. Wait staff when I have been in, which is more than once obviously, can ignore you quite easily and get caught up in talking to other staff members. Otherwise its a great place to get some hard to find beers.

Photo of OldTex29
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The good: The selection is quite nice. 40+ beers on tap, many of them beers I was quite excited to see listed. I had a Smuttynose Big A IPA (served in a Smuttynose Big Beer series glass) and a Southampton Double Witte. The Big A was fantastic. My drinking companion had a DFH 90 minute, a Smuttynose Imperial Stout (again served in the corresponding glassware), and a Delerium Noel. Selection was weighted towards IPAs/DIPAs/Pale Ales. Every draught beer was craft, with the exception of Guinness.

Service was very good despite the fact that the bar was crowded. The waitresses were friendly and attentive. Unfortunately I didn't have any questions about the beer so I couldn't test their knowledge.

The not so good: A bit pricey. Most pints are $6+ and my friend's Delerium was $8.25. Significantly more expensive than the Sierra Grille (which is right around the corner).

I wasn't a huge fan of the atmosphere. I went on a summer weeknight, and was expecting the clientèle to be composed of primarily of beer-geek types. To my surprise, the bar was very crowded, and seemed to mainly consist of typical Northampton hipsters. While I am very happy that The Dirty Truth seems to have achieved great popularity, I prefer a more laid-back atmosphere. It was so loud in TDT that it was difficult to carry on a normal conversation.

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