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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 slander
slander

New York

4.64/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$

There is no reason ('cept they don't open for another hour) and the truth is plain to see (it's right down there across from the corner). I peeked in the windows, it's dark just now. I did the wrong direction drive to get here and they don't even have the courtesy to be open. Dirty, dirty, keeping me curbside for another hour place. Not really, 'cause I went to that other place for a beer or two, but they don't know that...

Red room, red room, long and narrow, with spinning fans on mad high ceilings. Massive folding front windows with a single table just below, forward a half dozen plus bar counterish tables running along the wall down one side to a single booth to the rear. A lengthy wood bar seating 20 on angled stools holds a good length down the other side of the room. 40 taps, all in a line, on the center of the bar back, below 4 x 4 mirrored panels, 3 of them, and large shelving units to both sides. A pair of lower shelves holds glassware of all appropriatenesses and the upper shelves wines and steins, and bottles above. A cantillon tin sits on the wall to one side of the taps, and a snub Russian River growler with flowers on the other side. Drop stray bulb lighting over the bar and drop spots looking in on the bar, the same over the seating. Large framed photos on the far wall above the seating there. Bar scenes, beer scenes, and a single small TV in the back corner.

Above, to the rear, a 4 x 8 blackboard with the tap selections broken out somewhat by style listed in colored chalk. Roughly 2/3 of them are good American micros, local and regional (Offshore IPA, Ipswich Harvest & Summer, Cisco Whales Tale, Allagash Double, Smutty IPA & Big A IPA, Southern Tier Big Red, Middle Ages Wailing Wench, Southampton Impy Porter & Secret Ale, Brooklyn Octo, Victory Lager, Stoudts Triple, DogfishHead Raison D'Etre, 60 Minute & Impy Pils), and beyond (Avery Ellie's Brown & Kaiser Impy Octo, Rogue Impy Stout, Stone Pale Ale, Ruination & IPA, Founders Dirty Bastard, Left Hand Rye Bock, Boulder Mojo IPA, Anderson Valley Boont Amber & ESB). The other 1/3 are better than not imports (Geants Saison Voison, Urthel Hop-It, Christoffel Robertus, Gulden Draak, Spezial Rauchbier, Reissdorf Kolsch, Kulmbacher Monchshof Schwarzbier & EKU Pils, Mahrs U, O'Hara's Celtic Stout, Unibroue Maudite), and a cider (Original Sin). A pair of handpumps sit unused on the bar. They know enough not to pour cask beer in the warmer weather.

Nearly 30 bottles, a dozen Belgian (De Ranke, Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, DuPont, Achel, Bink, Thiriez), American (Victory, DogFishHead, Allagash, Stone, Bear Republic), English and German. Solid, all around.

Sat at the bar for a while contemplating just how far north of New Haven I should call in for that pizza to go. Eric let me try a little of this, a little of that, but I was sticking with the Founder's Dirty Bastard and I'll have another, please. Seriously good bar. The truth hurts to leave.

02-27-2008 01:46:34 | More by slander
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.64/5  rDev +4%
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.

07-28-2006 13:07:31 | More by Billolick
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

10-14-2010 11:30:10 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of rousee
rousee

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
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 !

09-16-2006 18:02:58 | More by rousee
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
Photo of indiapaleale
indiapaleale

Massachusetts

4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

The Dirty Truth kicks ass. Beer selection is phenomenal. 40 taps and tons of bottles. Something new everytime I go in the place. What I love is the layout and the fact that it is very, very clean. It screams cleanliness and you know when you order a beer that the lines are clean, the glasses are clean and the beer is poured properly. The staff are nice enough and if you are lucky they will talk to you about the beer. Some of the staff are seemingly not all that interested in what is around them (i.e. amazing beer) and that might be the only negative. The food is outstanding and I recommend getting the soft pretzel since its housemade and served with 60 Minute mustard. Join the mug club as well, its free and you get a card with a ton of beers that you'll need to get signed off on once you drink them. It makes things interesting when you go back...and you will go back.

09-12-2008 01:27:42 | More by indiapaleale
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 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 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 GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

04-24-2007 16:07:14 | More by GreatPondBrewer
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The Dirty Truth in Northampton, MA
98 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.