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Zeno's Pub

Not Rated.
Zeno's PubZeno's Pub
BA SCORE
99
world-class

71 Ratings
Ratings: 71
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 10.04%
Taps: 33
Bottles: 155
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

100 W College Ave
State College, Pennsylvania, 16801-3838
United States
phone: (814) 237-2857

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @zenospub

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ffejherb:
Photo of ffejherb
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

There's probably not much else I can add to the many gleaming reviews this place has garnered over the years. If nothing else, this review basically just proves that I have been there.

I have visited Zeno's on a few occasions, but this review is based on my most recent visit on 11/27/08, on the eve of my first "beer-cation" to Michigan with fellow BAs brewslut, Deuane and SierraGS.

I am a PSU alumni and I can pretty much sum this place up with the following sentiment:

I wish I drank beer when I attended college. Unfortunately, I did not partake in the joys of drinking beer during my early twenties. I was a late bloomer. Had I known then what I know now, I would have been at Zeno's multiple times a week (and certainly on days when I sold books back to the bookstores)!

At any rate, this place is a true gem and absolute beer destination as far as beer bars go. I will never visit State College again without setting foot in this place for at least a few pints. The atmosphere, service and selection are all top-notch. I enjoyed a few pints of Zeno's Rye Ale, which is brewed by the neighboring Otto's brewpub. the crowd was pretty minimal compared to other past visits, due to the fact that it was Thanksgiving night. But kudos to them for even being open on Turkey Day.

As far as I'm concerned, this place is always worth a visit when you are in the area. They have plenty of taps, a few beer engines and tons of bottles to satisfy even the most jaded of beer geeks. Now, if only I could go back and re-live my college days. Of course, I bet I would have ended up with a lower GPA for sure!

More User Reviews:
Photo of pep
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of jgatz12
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of PAKeith
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Thunderbolt
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Barnsley
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of sLimmy2X
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of MikeKent
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of brewtechnik
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

In from NH and first spot I hit was Zeno's...
Cool basement entrance and doorman waiting to card, though not carded...must be the grays. Small to medium main room, with small game room off to the side. Trivia night was in full swing. Very small bar with all stools occupied...few open tables but being solo really wanted a bar spot. Tap list was fantastic, bottle list even better!! Lots of hard to come by beers...Bourbon County Barleywine & Stout, Plethora of Duck Rabbit, Nugget Nectar, Hair of the Dog: Otto, Michael, Adam annnd Fred! Really great stuff!

Bartender Dave was super busy but still made time to chat beer, pluss let me sample a few unlisted items that were real treats! Thanks again!

Band started at 10pm on this Monday night...really great but just wish I could remember the name :)

Had chicken tenders and fry basket...large portions and standard quality. Service was pretty quick.

Prob going back this eve for more...highly recommended

Photo of Uniobrew31
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of ridgeline23
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of pcsnyder
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

It's a dark, stony basement bar with an excellent selection and a good rotation. I can usually find hard to get beers there. It's a must-stop place on St. Patty's and during Arts Fest. We usually meet up with some friends there, shoot some pool, play some pinball, and enjoy a lot of beer.

Photo of Ixian
3.1/5  rDev -30.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Have been happy with Zeno's in the past, with my usual being to get 2 pitchers of beer followed by 2-3 shots of Southern Comfort, but tonight I was just told basically to piss off by the employee behind the counter after only two beers and can say that after the way I was dealt with they will never get my money again. It really is a shame because they are the only place in town that carries some of my favorite beers, but after tonight I'm just going to deal with the Wine and Spirit shops and probably stop drinking beer entirely since nowhere else in town gets the things I like to drink. Sucks for them too since I generally spend about $70-$100 per night out not counting tips.
Also I would like to note that the first employee I dealt with was helpful and introduced me to a new beer I enjoyed a lot, but thanks to the second guy Zeno's has lost a customer forever.

Photo of Darkmagus82
5/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is by far one of the best out there. It is a classic bar focused on really great beer. Dimly lit, great music and all about the beer. They have 30 + beers on tap, most of which rotate with a high level of frequency. You can try a wide variety of beers from week to week without breaking the bank, as their prices are always reasonable -hey they want to give people access to great beer, and one way to do that is offer great beers at a great price; which they definitely do.
On tap they have plenty of locals, but plenty of international and nationals as well. Most all the bartenders know quite a bit about the beers they serve and are all fantastic to look for advice as to what to drink for the mood you are in as well as just sit back and chat with. The bottle selection is amazing for this rather little place; with a bottle list that puts most bottle shops to shame. While they don't cook food at the bar itself and I haven't actually had any food there, you can order food from the restaurant above the bar and they will bring it to you. From I have heard from fellow bar goers it is very good.
If you are in the State College area and looking for a relaxing and great place to have a beer you must come here. It is great!!!!

Photo of jifigz
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Okay, so this is a pretty cool place. It is a dungeon like setting in downtown State College. They have a wonderful selection of beers to choose from. They might not have everything you are searching for, but if they don't have what you are looking for I am sure they have a reasonable substitute. They do have brews that I have never seen anywhere else and that is a cool thing. The bartenders and employees can be okay for conversation, but it can seem as if you are unaccepted if you are not part of their clique. Well, maybe not unaccepted, but they are just not overly nice, they do their job and that is that. I am there for the beer anyways and on that mark they always deliver. They have great local brews like Victory and Troeg's, but also wonderful Trappist ales and everything in between. I would highly recommend this place.

Photo of wdeck9
4.36/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Zeno's is a State College institution and if you are only visiting the town once or twice you must stop in for a couple beers. Once you head downstairs, you enter the basement bar filled with old Penn State sports and university collectibles on the walls. The ceiling is low and the lights are dim but it makes for a nice, intimate atmosphere to enjoy their beer selection. They often have 30ish beers on tap ranging from Yuengling products to high end beers hard to find anywhere else in Centre County. Their bottle list is very extensive and whenever they get new bottles in they are listed on the back of the tap list. Prices are fair but can be expensive when buying bottles. They get a great selection of local bands, especially on Wednesday for their Clem's bbq and bluegrass night....very worth it. The music can get loud though given how small the place is. Either way, you cannot go wrong with a stop into Zeno's.

Photo of PittRooney
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

i have been to zeno's a few times now and must say i really enjoy the place. the manager spends a lot of time getting in beers, and it shows. there isn't a place that i can think of outside of philly that has a similar selection. staff is always friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere has improved significantly since they went nonsmoking. also always enjoy the bathroom reading ha ha. i have never eaten there, but everything i have seen come out of the kitchen always looks good. its also impressive that a bar like that in state college has never had a violation. it also doesn't have the "college" feel and atmosphere that most of the other bars in the area have. would definitely recommend and will be back every time i am in town.

Photo of TheBCrew
1.69/5  rDev -62.3%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5

I had the unfortunate experience of visiting Zeno's on St. Patrick's Day. After spending most of the week in southwestern PA on a business trip I looked forward to being able to settle in for a couple of pints at this very well-reviewed bar. The doorman who gave me a hard time for having a NY driver's license was the first sign of trouble to come. (I understand that this is a college town and you need to be strict with IDs, but at least have knowledge of IDs of neighboring states.)

The atmosphere isn't so much "basement" as it is dungeon. After walking down the stairs and in the door there is a small, dimly lit bar area immediately to the left and a deep open room to the right. The room has several wooden tables of various sizes and there is room for maybe 8 people or so to sit at the bar. There were about a dozen taps or so of fairly standard offerings, three beer engines (Tröegs Hopback Amber, Victory Hop Devil and a third one which escapes me) and what appeared to be an extensive bottle offering in coolers (Lost Abbey stood out). There was a duo playing music in the back and they were far too loud. Everyone was crammed as far away from them as possible, and I still had to yell to be able to make any conversation with the person next to me. I wouldn't have minded so much if the band weren't so terrible. From what my friends I was with told me, loud terrible music is standard here.

The bartender seemed completely disinterested when I ordered a Hop Devil cask, and in fact poured a Hopback Amber. While normally a solid beer, this cask was stale, bordering on having soured. Clearly Zeno's does not move enough cask beer to justify having 3 offerings, and either does not know enough to take stale beers off the engine or does not care about the quality of the product as long as they make money. Either way, the combination of terrible atmosphere, quality and service is enough for me to never come back again. After reading all the praise in other reviews I was severely let down. We left after one drink and headed to The Deli on Heister Street which was a much more enjoyable experience. Don't waste your time on this sorry excuse for a beer bar.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is a real gem.

It feels like you are in a basement and is certainly not a place for pretentious people, but it is just full of character.

The bartenders are very knowledgeable and friendly and the other customers at the bar were very friendly too.

The selection was great - about 20 taps with various styles and breweries represented. The bottle selection was also ridiculously good with a number of breweries that aren't even available in the are on hand. There must have been 200 different bottles. Maybe more.

This place is one of the best beer bars I have visited and I hope to return some day.

Prices are fair.

Photo of PABeerHiker
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

As a recent grad from Penn State, Zeno's was definitely my favorite bar to visit. If you don't know it's there, you'll easily walk right by the stairwell down to the basement of the Allen Street Hotel. Zeno's knows what their priorities are and doesn't attempt to cater to the "college experience". There is one reason to enter Zeno's and that is for beer.

They feature at least thirty taps that are always rotating with local beers or from other parts of the US and the world. All of the bartenders can easily blow you away with incredibly specific facts about each beer on tap and most of their vast selection of bottles. Zeno's has two beer menus, one for those on tap and those in bottles. The tap menu is updated about weekly.

Zeno's will usually have the same group of regulars on any given night and virtually no large student groups. Only fans of good beer go to Zeno's. The end of the semesters see a large influx of students trying to visit all of State College's bars.

The food is good as it's brought from the Allen Street Grille or the Corner Room depending on what you order. After 9pm, the Night Menu is available with some of the best BBQ you'll find in Central PA.

Photo of sbw138
5/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Definitely a diamond in the rough in State College, Pa. While so many of the bars off of Penn State's campus cater to yuppie frat boys, Zeno's is focused solely on what makes State College such a great town, beer, beer and more beer!

Zeno's is a small basement bar, below the iconic Allen Street Hotel. There is a small bar directly to the left when you enter, and to the right are tables, a couple booths, and way back, a stage for some live music. There is also a room with darts and a pool table.

Zeno's might have the best beer selection in Central Pa. They host over 30 beers on tap, and are always rotating a combination of local beers, beers from across the country, and the world. They have a huge bottle collection as well.

They have a cool beer club thing going as well, they call it "Around the world in 80 beers." You get a small passport, which the bartender will mark off each beer as you buy it. When you reach 80, you get your name enshrined on the wall of the pool room, as well as a free t-shirt. I mean, you are already going to drink the beer, might as well get some fame as well!

The food is pretty good as well, as it is served form the Allen Street Grille, and Corner Room located above. If you check out their beer fests/tastings, they offer food with the cheap admission price ranging from $15-$25. I had some of the best homemade Venison stew while I was there.

Bottom line, if you love beer, and a nostalgic atmosphere, come to Zeno's

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is a dark basement pub without much to look at in State College. Its pretty small and the atmosphere is typical bar/pub and the bathroom is filled with sharpie writings on the wall about bar crawls-but what else do you expect in a college town...I guess?

The tap/bottle list is pretty impressive and a good mix of what is common on the eastern and western sides of the state. Probably the closest place to Pittsburgh to find Port/Lost Abbey as well as the Bruery...for prices probably higher than out of state...but pretty good considering I live in Pittsburgh.

The bartender was great...he really knew his beer. He was able to give great recommendations of other places in the area to find brews. This made us stay longer and chat with him rather than leaving to perhaps eat somewhere else.

The food is pretty good...typical bar fare and menu that certainly goes with the brews just fine. Atmosphere appears a little rough around the edges but this is a great place/find overall!

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Zeno's Pub in State College, PA
99 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.