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The J. Clyde

Not Rated.
The J. ClydeThe J. Clyde
BA SCORE
98
world-class

55 Ratings
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.99%
Taps: 60
Bottles: 200
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1312 Cobb Ln S
Birmingham, Alabama, 35205-4918
United States
phone: (205) 939-1312

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Casks are now tapped on Friday at 4pm; call ahead.

3 Beer Engines.

(Place added by: Poser on 12-08-2007)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Bonhoeffer:
Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.95/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Evango
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of JackRWatkins
5/5  rDev +12.4%

the best craft beer selection of any bar or restaurant in bham that I know of, the food is great as well

Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Great spot for rare and hard to find beers in Birmingham. It is very dark and kinda dirty, but their selection is incredible. The major downside for me is that they have a single seat bathroom and there is always a line. They take reservations, so it can sometimes be hard to find a table to eat at. The food is great, I have never had anything bad there. The service usually is lackluster, but from time to time you get a good server/bartender. Must visit if you are coming to Bham!

Photo of justinm4bama
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Vestlake
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Big-Daddy
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of watsontiger98
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of KMitch
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of WarEagleJeep
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Justinbshelton
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of elkinbrown
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of jmfallig
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Crimsontider22
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of AUGRAD06
4.45/5  rDev 0%
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!

Photo of Eric15
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of ryan604
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of crowbar540
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Dreizhen
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of osupuck19
4.78/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of RyanInGA
4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of joshodonn
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have been frequenting the J. Clyde for almost 3 years now as a business traveler. I am in Birmingham about one week a month and usually find myself at the J. Clyde more evenings than not when I am in Birmingham. As far as beer bars go, this used to be THE place to go in Birmingham if you wanted to find unique and hard-to-find brews. The unfortunate thing about that is the staff knew that as well and thought VERY highly of themselves. I have seen a lot of folks get pretty bad service or be sold on crappy beers just so they can empty a keg and put something new on. Thankfully for me I usually get pretty decent service because I've gotten to know most of the bartenders and I tip well, so they remember me even though they don't see me all that often. I'm thinking that now that there are a few new places popping up in town (World of Beer, Hop City, etc) that the J. Clyde may have to re-evaluate their attitudes or risk losing business. Don't get me wrong, I love the place and will continue to frequent it, I'm just saying the staff can be somewhat pretentious. The beer selection can vary from day to day and they aren't real consistent with updating their draft lists so that can be quite frustrating when you ask for 5 beers before you find one they actually still have on tap. The food is really good, I don't know that I've had anything there that I wouldn't recommend. I really love their BLT made with a fried green tomato. Their house made balsamic vinaigrette dressing is also phenomenal.

Photo of StuartCarter
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

UPDATED 4 SEP 2012
This is definitely the best beer bar/restaurant in central Birmingham. They have beers that are not available anywhere else, and their choice has exploded since they opened the refurbished back bar area. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are their "insanely busy" days so avoid them if you don't like crowds!
---

This is the regular pub for my wife and me. We go in on average once a week, usually on Tuesday or Thursday to take advantage of the half price draft!

Food quality and choice are fantastic, and the chef has shown himself to be versatile and willing to experiment.

The owners are trying very hard to increase the choice of beers, aggressively pushing their suppliers to get everything they can despite the 6% restriction on beer ABV in Alabama.

If you ever go there, I recommend the fish & chips - just get the sweet potato fries instead of the chips, have a pint of a good pale ale, and relax while enjoying the friendly atmosphere that is the J Clyde :)

Photo of Ksims1
4.83/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

It is definitely my favorite place to grab a beer and hang out with friends. The atmosphere is very unique with the old stone walls and wood. It is a great atmosphere. The service can be slow at times but the servers are VERY knowledgable and helpful with the different beer selections. There is a wide variety of beer that will fit most anyones likes. The best food selection is the sweet potato fries, you just can't go wrong. The food is very good! Overall the J. Clyde is a perfect place to kick back and hang out. I would recommend to anyone!

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The J. Clyde in Birmingham, AL
98 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.