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Tap & Mallet

Not Rated.
Tap & MalletTap & Mallet
BA SCORE
97
world-class

55 Ratings
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: n/a
Taps: 31
Bottles: 165
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

381 Gregory St
Rochester, New York, 14620-1351
United States
phone: (585) 473-0503

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: Rudgers73 on 11-30-2007

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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by Rudgers73:
Photo of Rudgers73
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Dark and mellow paint scheme. The lighting is also dim which keeps it looking warm and cozy. Funky artwork on the walls, mostly portraits. The portraits are actually all of criminals. Kinda creepy huh? The food is interesting. A lot of style goes into the dishes they offer, although the portions aren't very big and sometimes it comes out less than hot. I'll just chalk it up to them not quite having their bearings about them yet. The bar has 30 taps, and 28 of the beers rotate as kegs are finished. There is also a decent selection of Belgian bottles, local beers, and imports from the UK, Germany, etc. Dozens of different beer styles, pretty much anything you could come up with asking them for. The servers are doing well also. Some of the bartenders don't know tons about proper serving temps, beer styles, and the like, but they are all open to learning from you and welcome most suggestions. Overall I think this bar will accomplish two things: It will educate people about beer, and it will keep a refined crowd. (at least, I hope)

More User Reviews:
Photo of AEC81
3.71/5  rDev -16.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

When Tap and Mallet first opened, it was one of my favorite beer bars in all of Rochester. Over the past couple of years, it has dropped a few notches. Food is pretty inconsistent and the service can vary as well. They used to have some of the best Bangers and Mash ever! they took them off the menu. Beer selection remains fairly good and they get some select limited releases. Bartenders have either been very knowledgeable or downright condescending.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Neck and neck with The Old Toad for best beer selection in my city.

About 25-30 taps on at any given time, with one cask that's always on. Great mix of local, US craft, and interesting international selections. I've gotten to try so much good stuff over the year I've been going there that I didn't think I'd be able to try- White Oak, Parabola, Great'r Pumpkin, etc.

The service is OK, not great. Table service is generally better than bar service. The bartenders can sometimes have a "I'm better than you" attitude, and regulars get treated much better than anyone else, but it's not surprising, and railing against something like that is like railing against water being wet. It's life. Sometimes the place is a little too dark.

The food is generally pretty good, although we've ordered a few duds. The food is expensive, however. Nonetheless, Tap and Mallet serves up the best poutine I've ever had (I've never been to Montreal, however). Be sure to order the vegetarian gravy instead of the beef gravy, it's that much better, made with mushrooms I think?

Parking is sometimes a problem- the parking lot they have is small, and a lot of people come here. Not the worst thing in the world.

Definitely recommended. If you want good beer, it's here.

Photo of Stranger5582
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

What's not to like about a venue that has a long list of many fine beers, including different vintages of the same beer?

Upon entering, there is a long bar on the left that extends to the far wall. In the immediate room there are stools along the bar as well as tables with stools. The number of taps on the bar is always an impressive sight with the beers rotated as the kegs are kicked. The next room over, which is only disappointing for lack of billiards and darts, has more tables and stools.

The selection of beers here is easily the best in the area of Rochester; save, possibly, Beers of the World which is not a pub. You're also able to fill here. Both growlers and a smaller jar-like container whose name escapes me. There is a deposit, but upon return of the container, the deposit is refunded (though usually spent on more beer).

The service is great especially when the bartenders offer suggestions based upon your previous orders. I've yet to order from a table, but I imagine the service is just as robust as from the bar.

The atmosphere is always nice and does get louder toward the weekend and with events; i.e. Beer Week in Rochester.

The food is tasty, but a bit expensive ($9 for a burger).

Overall, if you like beer and like to try new beers when you're out this is the place to go in Rochester, NY.

Photo of hungryghost
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went to Rochester for a wedding, drove from the airport directly to Tap & Mallet.

It was early afternoon so there was no crowd, but the place is comfortable. The bartender was knowledgeable of the beer on tap and other local spots to hit for more options. They have a good selection including quite a number of flavors I do not have access to in DC.

The food was decent, a step above the usual pub fare. The staff will happily suggest what brew pairs best with your food order.

If ever I get back to Rochester, this place is on the list for a return visit.

Photo of fulcrum
4/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Very cozy English pub atmosphere (between Thanksgiving and Christmas). Easy to park our front and the area seemed to have several other options (but was in a hurry so didn't really looks around). Local feel all the way, with only a hint of staring at the obvious out-of-towners the three of us were. Cask was perfect pale ale. Solid list of taps including IPAs and Belgians. Bottles were all you could ask for. Appetizers were very good (best fried pickles I've ever had) and the entrees were slightly above average--more so if you're expecting typical British pub fare. Overall, I was happy with the place but will try one new pub before returning.

Photo of Bowersm
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

One of the best beer bars I've ever been to in terms of selection, quality, price and knowledge of the staff. Only been a handful of times, but have left satisfied every single time. Opened not terribly long before I moved away from Rochester, but wished they had sooner so that I could have frequented it more often before leaving. Only ate there once, but don't really remember it being super memorable...but it was a few years ago so I but it down as N/A for that reason. No real complaints about this place.

Joe is the man!

Photo of dogfishandi
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

stopped in here on a saturday afternoon after doing a bit of beer shopping with a few local BA's. really loved the atmosphere, a very nice hardwood bar top and chairs. lots of room at the bar as well as plenty of tables. one other room for tables and what looked like an outdoor beer garden. also some tables out front. no tv's, which is nice. not many people when we arrived, just looked like some regular locals. as wel left, more and more people were quickly filing in.

a very friendly bartender quickly got us some new tap and bottle menus. he was very knowledgable about beer, discussed different brews pretty much the whole time we were there. gave us a few suggestions of both beers and stores around town.

very nice selection, both of beers on tap, 30 i believe, and bottles. also one cask offering, which when i was there they had raging bitch which blew my mind on cask, delicious! some rarities including, cantillion iris, classic gueze, rose de gambrinus, ithaca brute, 10, 11, 12, 13, plus many others.

the food was pretty standard bar food. i got a rueben which was done nicely, a bit of an english theme with some of the menu items.

overall, this place is definatly worth a visit. i exspecially loved the atmosphere and the service, everyone there seemed like they belonged there, customers and bartenders alike. next time im in town, ill be sure to visit.

Photo of hotmanflab666
3.78/5  rDev -14.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

tap and mallet is a regular stop for me during the week. for my area its the best beer bar around. they have a good bottle selection and 30 taps. the bar staff is usually good on getting your order and they all know what they're talking about which can make it easier for someone just getting into beer. they have a nice back patio perfect for summer days. sometimes the lights are dimmed a little too much but its nice interior all in all. tap and mallet it is a great place if you like good beer and hate overly crowded places with blasting music

Photo of alee42
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I've been a frequent-flyer over at the Old Toad for a while now, and it was about time I tried a new place. A friend of mine suggested Tap & Mallet and now I've become a loyal fan.

T&M has a very breathable atmosphere. When you first walk in you get an explosion of hops and citrus flavored smells. The scene is quite polished - several tables and seats in the bar room and in the adjacent room, a nice dart board. I was very impressed with the beer selection and I found the staff extremely helpful. T&M makes updates to their website almost every day, which really translates to the amount of beers on-tap they go through each day. Prices are very reasonable: any beer on the mid to low-end of the abv. scale usually sells at $5-6 a pint.

I'm usually out on a Sunday night till close. Chris works the bar and he'll tell you everything you need to know about choosing a beer.

Photo of ChrisBakken
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

i have been many times and finally thought i should review... as you have read from many people the tap and cask list is always rotating. they do a very good job of mixing NY brews and mid west stuff. the bottled beer list can be a bit $$$, but every time i go someone seems to be buying it (supply/demand). the food is good nothing that will blow your socks off, but you will not be disappointed. last time i had the stew and it was awesome with my sly fox porter. i recommend giving this place a try, way more fun to go with friends than the old toad...

Photo of triwolf
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

What a great place! They're always trying out new brews and the food is great. They even have a handy iPhone app so you can see if they've added anything to the rotation that you'd like to try. Because of the constant updating, you might find that they're out of a specific beer you were wanting to try, but that's the only small qualm I have about the place. The menu too has new items on it regularly and I've never had a bad thing there. The Tuscan chicken sandwich is especially good. Definitely worth your time if you're going to be in the Rochester area.

Photo of ZeroSignal
4.35/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Nice looking place with a great outside seating area. Plenty of on street and in the back parking.

The menu is mostly on the simple side of things, but everything is executed very well. I had a prime burger, which I ordered medium, and it really came out rather rare. I was totally okay with it, but it makes me wonder what it would have come out like had I ordered it rare. There were 9 people in our party, and everyone was happy with the food.

The beer list was quite extensive, with somewhere around 20 taps. I found the mix of things on tap to be somewhat odd for the time of year, but it was more then made up for with an impressive bottle list. Most of the beer pricing seemed very reasonable, while others were, IMHO, a little on the high end.

Our waiter was attentive and seemed knowledgeable about the menu and beers. All in all, a place I will likely visit again.

Photo of soco7tyx7
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

The Tap and Mallet is the best bar I've been to hands down. It's a great place to go to eat with the family, catch up with friends, meet fellow beer enthusiasts, and of course just have an excellent brew. The owner is there most of the time I go and is a great guy to talk to. All of the staff are very knowledgeable and personable. One of the things I like most is that they only serve beer, wine, and mead so you wont see a bunch of sloppy people stumbling around all the time. Also there aren't any TV's to discourage conversation. One will find a very diverse crowd, and always a lot happening! Check it out

Photo of josefnewsong
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

If you want good beer in Rochester this is the place to go. The tap is my home away from home (and its only 2 minutes from my home, so that makes it nice).
The atmosphere is friendly and down to earth. At times you can be one of a few people in the place, which leads to great conversation with Chris the bar manager or different reps/distributors and other customers, and then there are times when the place is packed and bustling with everyone seeming very happy but not stupidly drunk. Either way it's great.
A multitude of beers on tap including a cask ale at all times, taps are constantly changing, a long list of bottles including vintages, even some port wine and mead, amazing food (best chicken tenders ever), and not too pricey at all. I feel like I need to advocate for them. If you are truly an advocate for beer, you must go.

Photo of MrDanno96
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

If you like beer and you're in Rochester, this is the place to go. 30+ taps, a cask ale, and about 100 bottles (all good stuff, no macros). What more could you ask for? Better yet, the taps rotate frequently, meaning you're always in for some pleasant surprises when you come in. The Tap also features art from local artists on its walls. Last time I was there they had a bunch of metal sculptures of different breweries.

The servers and bartenders are all very knowledgeable and can always help you out with selections. My only complaint is that service is usually a little on the slow side. Sometimes you'll have to wave down your waiter for another beer or the check. I would recommend sitting by the bar if you can; this increases your chances of speedy service.

The food is pretty good and reasonably priced in most cases. Their burgers are pretty big and fairly tasty and their wings, while a bit pricey, are surprisingly good.

Lastly, the Tap has a monthly beer tasting where they bring a guest brewery in and you get to try a selection of its beers. Joe, the owner, has also been kind enough to allow the Rochester BAs to hold several tastings at his establishment. It's a great setting for them!

Photo of mfabian12
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I went to the Tap and Mallet last week for the first time and I was nothing short of impressed. They have about 30 craft beers on tap and an extremely extensive bottle list. The atmosphere is laid back and comfortable. Although the service was a little slow, our waiter was very friendly.

The food was very tasty as well. I ordered some fried pickles which were great. Our table also had some poutine, nachos and wings; all of which were delicious.

All in all I had a great experience here and can't wait to go back

Photo of deruiz10
3.98/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Perfect place to just relax with friends over a couple great beers. Atmosphere is laid back and conducive to conversation, plus some dart boards and a jukebox keep the vibe lighthearted. Food is pretty tasty and not unreasonably priced, especially since they're picky about their ingredient quality.

Great selection of beer both on tap and bottles, pretty much runs the gamut of styles and nationalities. My only complaint is that the service can be slow. Most times I've gone it takes awhile to order another beer or to get the check, you usually have to try waving your server down. But the servers are very knowledgeable about the beer and helpful with suggestions.

Photo of reustyMMX
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Tap and Mallet is the type of place any Beer Advocate would be thrilled to have in their back yards. BA's in Rochester, NY are very fortunate to have a place like Tap and Mallet nearby.

The atmosphere is slightly upscale without being pretentious, don't expect to see it packed full of college student's pounding pitchers. The clientele is largely professionals, but you certainly wouldn't feel out of place wearing a pair of jeans and a tee. No TV's, or pool tables, but a bristle board dart area is perfectly placed. Another interesting note, the walls are adorned by work from local artists (all of which is for sale), and this work changes quarterly!

The beverage offerings at Tap and Mallet are exceptional, roughly 30 draft beers (almost always including a real ale). While the shear number of draft offerings isn't outrageous each beer is quality and rotates often. If you are unable to find a suitable draft offering (I'd find that nearly impossible), they have in the neighborhood of 200 bottles to select from.

Waitstaff and Bartenders are knowledgeable about beer and have always made good recommendations for not only beer, but pairings as well. The owner even made some time to speak with me when I was sampling Utopias!

Another bright spot is the menu, it changes seasonally and occasionally includes beer as an ingredient, Tap and Mallet takes customer feedback seriously and have positively responded to both praise and criticism with regard to the menu.

Finally, I'd like to commend T&M on their net presence, they have an up-to-date website including full beer and wine lists and a current menu. The site even includes a blog by the owner which serves as a method for keeping up on events.

If you are ever in the Rochester, NY area you need to spend at least one evening at Tap and Mallet, you'll certainly enjoy it.

Photo of davidmoffitt
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I can't say enough about how fortunate we are to have a place of this caliber in Upstate NY. I look forward to going there and every time I do I am reminded of how fantastic it is.

They always have a strong variety of regions, genres and styles represented on tap, have a strong bottled selection (stellar, really, I just tend to gravitate toward the draft and cask stuff). Did I mention Cask? They always have something on cask, usually something really unique and always good - plenty of bars that I've gone to have the ABILITY to put something on a beer engine but don't have something ALWAYS on.

Chris, Joe, Paul and the other bartenders have always been patient, fun, enthusiastic and knowledgeable - and they aren't afraid to say "I don't really care for this, or it's not my style" when seeking recommendations. They always are willing to pour tastes and have even run with my crazy ideas for "test concoctions" like a Black & Tan with Ruination and Old Rasputin LOL.

The food is exceptional, not just "bar fare" - yet a great value too. Just like everything there, it's not cheap, but it's well worth what they charge. The beer prices are in line with what I'd expect for a quality pint, they run unique specials on Twitter and just off-the-cuff and their events (tastings, beer-and-food pairings, pig roasts, and "socials" where they bring in reps and a lot of draft/casks from breweries) are always top notch.

If you live anywhere near Rochester you owe yourself a trip or three here!

Photo of DmanGTR
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Good little parking lot next to the building in the city. The neighborhood doesn't look too bad I guess lol. We walk in and first, I am amazed at the number of taps they have at the bar. All excellent craft brews and imports, with the occasional macro to please the crowd. We sat near the entrance as the rest of the bar was pretty full. A large fridge in front of us held an excellent selection of Belgian beers. The bartender noticed us right away and gave us beer menus, then came back a couple minutes later to take our orders. He was prompt and courteous and poured the beers decently well. My only complaint is he did not serve the beer with its bottle. Certainly a great place to visit if you're in the area and want to have some delicious brews at a bar. You can, however, purchase any of their bottled brews at Beers of the World for slightly less.

Will visit again, and next time I'll have to try the food.

Photo of tykneechef
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Me and a buddy were in Rochester visiting friends for the long Labor Day weekend and in need of a craft beer fix. We decided to travel downtown and check out the Tap & Mallet and we were not disappointed.
We went on a Sunday so we had to wait till 4PM but it was worth the wait.
Our bartender Tom was not only up on all the beers but was very entertaining. The selection of beers was exceptional. We never got to try any bottles due to the large selection of drafts. We only had appetisers but they were very good.
Overall this is a great place that I plan to visit everytime I am in town.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.13/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I went here two weeks while on vacation with the family. Our visit was on a Wednesday evening for a late dinner. We were there at about 8pm and the place was kind of quiet. A few people at the bar and two or three other tables in the dining area.
The building sits on a corner, you walk in from the left hand side and the bar is immediately to the left along that wall. There is a dining area off to the right which is where we sat. Not much in the way of decor, kind of plain with paintings on the wall each one with a price tag on it.
They had 30 or so beers on tap and one cask the night we were there. They also have a pretty good bottle list as well. I stuck with some regionals that I can't get at home. Custom Brewcrafters, and Great Lakes helped me out this evening.
The food was really good, I had the Mojo Pork, my wife had the Cuban, and the kids split a steak. Points off for no kids menu! My wife complained about how foo foo the menu is. Meh.
Our server was right on top of things, very attentive and easily found.
Great little beer bar, if I lived a bit closer I could see spending some time in here.

Photo of KimR
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The Tap and Mallet is my home away from home. You can usually find me there on one end of the bar or another.

This is a great spot with 30 taps and one casked selection. Owner Joe McBane is very knowledgeable about beers and beer styles and is usually on hand to make a recommendation. However, all of his bartenders are also beer geeks and can make great suggestions if you are a newbie or just not a big beer drinker.
They also keep a decent selection of wines on hand, but no liquor.

I find the food to be superb at the Tap and Mallet. Some of the menu changes with the season and it's nice to have good nibbles while you drink. I love the fish and chips and the bangers and mash at the Tap. The chefs usually also have an awesome soup selection on the menu as well.

The Tap does a Beer Social once a month, usually on the last Wednesday. These are great events and a way to open your mind to some beers you might not usually buy or be able to taste.

There are bombers available for filling and takeout, which is a great idea if you don't want a whole growler full of something.

I think Joe has done quite a lot to get us some new and exotic beers here in Rochester and I will continue to support him and his establishment.

Photo of SLeffler27
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Tap and Mallet is not much from the outside, but inside is very open, with a bar area and a dining area. The bar is large, with a ton of space to mull around, and some seating, with tables away from the action. The Dining area is also a large volume with ample room between tables. Throughout, there is the early 20th Century look (brick columns, wood plank floors), with a modern art loft aesthetic. There is lots of funky art on the walls, but still, the focus is on the dinning/drinking experience. Their music selection is various styles of avant-garde, similar to a college radio station.

The food was an interesting range of tastes, again just along the edge of the envelope. Something is there for anyone, with interesting stuff, but nothing pretentious. They have a wide selection of taps, bottles, and one cask, which all rotate. All of the food and beers were well worth the detour we took to check it out.

Our server was knowledgeable, attentive, and considerate. She easily gets high marks, and seemed to fit perfectly with the place. Four thumbs WAY up for her!

The only drawback, worth noting, is the neighborhood. While we felt safe, and this neighborhood seems to be recovering from a sad past, there is still some work to be done. There is a parking lot in the back, and I suspect their staple crowd is from the many local Universities and College's nearby.

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Tap & Mallet in Rochester, NY
97 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.