The J. Clyde
Taps: 60 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 38 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Bonhoeffer:
4.95/5 rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Wow, has it been 3+ years since I updated my Clyde review? Anyway, couple notes people should keep in mind. They got a new central air unit a couple months ago, so the interior temp problems are a thing of the past. Very nice.
Also, they have a new head chef as of very recently. They had some consistency issues with food in the past, but the new chef is working out the kinks. The food is only going to get better, so if you've ever had a bad food experience here, give 'em another try.
UPDATE on 7/21/08: Just wanted to mention for anyone who's not a regular at TJC, if you visit anytime between now and next summer you'll see a giant wall of empty taps in the front room, and you may wonder what the deal is. That section of the front only recently underwent a complete remodel including the addition of scores of taps. Jerry is going to leave the taps empty until the 6% limit is lifted, as a protest. Once the law is changed, he's going to fill them with high gravity offerings. I get chills just thinking about it :)
ORIGINAL REVIEW on 1/5/08: Glad this finally made it out of the approval queue. It's a long overdue addition to BeerFly.
The J. Clyde opened in Spring of 2007, with the passion and vision of owner Jerry Hartley. He's told me his hope is to eventually rival Decatur, Georgia's Brick Store Pub as the premier beer bar of the South once Alabama's beer laws are reformed by Free The Hops. Jerry is an active member and supporter of FTH, by the way.
Although On Tap's new owners have been doing of great job of expanding that establishment's beer selection, I believe TJC still has the best selection of beer in Alabama. They have a standing order for anything new to be delivered as soon as it hits the distributors' warehouses.
Although he started out with only a handful of taps, he's been working hard to add cooler space for kegs and wall space for tap handles and his draft selection is very impressive right now. His ultimate goal is to have every craft/specialty beer that is available in draft form in Alabama.
Also very notable is that at the time of this review, TJC is the only establishment in Birmingham and only the second place in all of Alabama to offer cask ale (the other is Montgomery Brewing Co). Their first cask offering was Rogue Santa's Private Reserve, which sold out in one night. They continue to work with craft breweries around the country to maintain a supply of cask ales.
Their prices on beer are pretty typical for the area--$4 for many craft beers and higher for things like Samuel Smith's and high end Belgians (of which there aren't many in AL, yet). But every Tuesday and Thursday features half price drafts, which are a steal.
The food is really excellent, in my opinion. I'd take TJC's best entrees over just about any high end restaurant in Birmingham. Fortunately, they've also added their "late night" menu full time, which features cheaper fare like wings and sandwiches. So you can spend as little as $6 on something to snack on with your beer, and as much as the high 20s on a nice dinner entree. Whatever you're in the mood for.
The service is acceptable. Not the best in Birmingham, honestly, but getting good help in the food service industry is a challenge. TJC is still working to establish themselves among Birmingham's long list of high end independent restaurants. I suspect many of the best servers have great gigs at Highland Bar & Grill, Hot & Hot, Daniel George, etc. and wooing them to a newcomer is not easy. But I know Jerry is trying to stay on top of any glitches in service and is working to educate his servers on beer.
Watch college football on the large plasma HDTV during the fall, and enjoy live music most of the rest of the year.
Bottom line, The J. Clyde is actively working to be the best beer bar in Alabama and it will only get better once the 6% and 16 oz limits are lifted on beer in the state. Go here.
09-19-2011 21:28:17 | More by Bonhoeffer
More User Reviews:
4.45/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Great selection of beers on tap and in bottles. Bartenders are knowledgeable. They do flights if you want to try a wide variety, just let them know what you like and they'll make you an interesting selection to try. Food is great, but a little on the pricy side. Try the humus it's fantastic!
01-30-2014 22:36:36 | More by AUGRAD06
4.28/5 rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4 | $$$
This is not the type of place I would expect to find in Birmingham, Alabama.
Met a friend here for a late lunch in route to New Orleans and I was very pleasantly surprised. Very good selection of beer (I say that after coming back from a summer in Brussels) and not terribly expensive (aside from a few things, namely the Belgian beers). I had a flight that was pretty reasonably priced in relation to the selection and a very good burger. Had a recommendation for something from a bartender at the Mellow Mushroom around the corner, but I forgot the name. Regardless, I'd stick with the sandwiches or burgers. And add goat cheese to whatever you get. Pleasant atmosphere, nice waitstaff and bartender, cool interior. Wasn't too packed at 2-4 PM when I was there, but there were a few regulars, all of whom seemed nice enough.
If you're in the area, you definitely have to try it out.
08-17-2013 21:52:18 | More by Dreizhen
4.78/5 rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Great place for great beer selection and quality. Food was average, but everything else about this place was amazing. Definitely try one of the cask beers if you go here - a unique experience that you don't find many places. Had my first World-Class beer here when traveling for work.
03-25-2013 15:21:18 | More by osupuck19
4.88/5 rDev +10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Great place to hang out and enjoy some beer and food with some friends. This is the first place I ever tried a cask style beer. I definitely recommend trying a cask beer as it is a unique beer experience. I love the pub feel of the place. Our server was knowledgeable of the beer selection. Ask for the beer list as the selection is extensive.
03-25-2013 00:59:17 | More by RyanInGA
The J. Clyde in Birmingham, AL
96 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.