Prime 16 Tap House + Burgers

Not Rated.
Prime 16 Tap House + BurgersPrime 16 Tap House + Burgers
BA SCORE
97
world-class

95 Ratings
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: n/a
Taps: 20
Bottles: 45
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

172 Temple St
New Haven, Connecticut, 06510-2616
United States
phone: (203) 782-1616

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @prime16newhaven

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-03-2008

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 55
Reviews by opwog:
Photo of opwog
4/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Luckily I checked BA while I was in New Haven this past week or I would not have known about this new beer bar right in the middle of downtown. I didn't see any local advertising, for what is one of the most significant additions to the downtown area. Also, if anybody is reading this from there, somebody needs to update the website. From what the bartender said, the bar has been open for several months, but the website still says "coming soon." Also, the website says that it is "on the campus of Yale," as if it is a campus bar, but this location is actually blocks away from Yale, right in the middle of a city block. This actually threw me off the first night that I looked for this bar and I ended up at Richter's instead. Of note; I didn't ask to confirm, but I think that this may have been opened by the owners of the Playwright bars. I say this because there was a big poster hanging inside of Prime 16, advertising the Playwright just a couple of doors down the street.

The beer list here is excellent, if maybe somewhat lacking of some local selections on tap. I didn't find the staff to be very knowledgeable about the beers, but they were definitely trying. Also, they were more than happy to pour samples of anything, which I didn't really expect in the middle of downtown. They have their own beer listed on the board, so I asked about it. They said that it is brewed for them by Opa Opa, but warned that this was made intentionally to pour for people asking for Bud.

They have a small selection of top shelf liquors, which is nice because my girlfriend wants these options and took advantage of a gin drink.

I wish that I had more time than just the two beers that I had. Next time that I am in New Haven, I will have to try the food.

More User Reviews:
Photo of OldCrustacean79
5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

5's across the board!!!

Nothing to complain about except how crowded it can be!!!

Photo of RBCORCORAN
4.5/5  rDev +2%

passing through New Haven so popped in and was pleasantly surprised. Not the largest selection i seen but everything on the list was worth the visit. Burgers were out of this world. I eat tons of burgers so it's rare that i get one that wows me, Cooked to perfection RAREinside and blackened on the outside. Staff was quick and friendly and knew there beer. Will gladly stop in again if im in the area,

Photo of CTJman
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Love this place but hate the location. If i were in NH this would be the place to hit up. Great selection and great staff. The burgers are outrageously delicious. just dont like leaving after having a few knowing the cops are ready for you to give you a dui. my rating should be legit outside of my dislike for drinking in NH

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Visited on a Monday night while in New Haven, CT:

Overall...I have got to say that this is a good place...what is better than a good burger and a good beer. Not much. Stepped into the bar section and found a seat, politely asked if the seat was taken and received glares from the two guys on either side, like I was putting them out or something. The place was fairly full, so they had to be expecting that someone was going to sit there. Regardless, the bartender promptly greeting me and I was sitting right in front of the cask tap. I asked him what was in the cask...nothing. Very disappointing; therefore, the selection took a little bit of a hit, but not much. Very good beer selection and quality of beer. Both bartenders were knowledgeable about the selection as well as beer in general. I had the Cowboy Burger, which was done well. No printed beer menu, the beers were on a chalk board. I thought that the prices were reasonable for the East Coast. I would definitely go back...I may go back this week while I am in town. Probably a must stop if you are in New Haven.

Photo of dheacck11
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I love Prime. Great beer selection. Really good food. Fantastic Happy hour. Knowledgeable bar tenders and servers. Beer centric crowd. Gets crowded, and is a little bit of a cramped space, but you can usually find a comfortable spot to hang out. Always better to go outside of dinner time if you can.

Best beer bar in New Haven, and great food to boot, at a decent price.

Photo of KTCamm
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Great spot in New Haven, Ct. Smart set up with a balance between the long bar area and tables. Beer menus kept current and prominently displayed.

They were running about 20 taps, all interesting, while I was there. Good mix of locals, domestics, and imports. Each beer notes with name, brewery, style, and ABV. Website current too. Strong bottle selection if you stay away from the taps.

Great menu - loads of burgers (try the Bison) with different variations. Abundance of appetizers, sides, other plates.

Overall, a great place in NH to grab something to eat and enjoy some top notch brews.

Photo of seplo
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

i may be alittle bias since i come here all the time.
they usually have a solid line-up of beer, always something for everyone no matter what style of beer you are into
the menu isnt big and i like that, the can concentrate on the quality of food they send out,food is good, and very reasonably priced
even though i really never sit at a table the bartenders all very knowledgeable about the beer and food and very friendly
the atmosphere is one of the main reasons that keeps me coming back, good people and conversation equals a good time

Photo of shivtim
4.16/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in this place when I had a couple of un-planned free hours in Connecticut. Found easy street parking a block away for a couple bucks.
Took the last seat at the bar. Bartender was friendly and pointed out the local options. I ended up having the New England Quad and Sea Hag IPA.Both fresh and good. Selection was pretty solid overall. Something for everybody.
I had some parmesan fries, which were good, but I won't rate the food since that's all I had.

This is a quality place; I'd definitely visit again if I'm ever back in the area.

Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Visited on a Monday happy hour recently.

First & foremost, accept that the hipster quotient here will be high (servers & customers). If you can ignore most of the self -important douchey customers you 'll be fine. Bartender was great even tho he fit the hipster mold to a T.

Tight menu of high -end burgers, sandwiches & bar stuff. Reasonably priced. $3 happy hour beers are worth the visit itself.

Got the Maui burger on the pretzel roll (optional...splurge the 50c & get it...makes for a great sammich). Absolutely heavenly. Would rank it as one of my fave all -time, and ive had quite a few burgers in my day. Every bite was terrific, I didn't want it to end. Quality of ingredients & skill in preparation is obvious. Delicious fresh crispy fries served with it.

Well thought out beer selection too. Ranged from locals, sessionables, numerous IPAs, geek beers....totally dug it. From what I could observe, it's constantly changing & curated by someone who knows alot about beer.

Loved this place & will definitely visit again.

Photo of nickfl
4.5/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Decided to check this place out when I was in Milford for two weeks and began to run short of beer destinations. Right in downtown New Haven, expect to pay for parking and wait for a table even on a weeknight. The service was friendly and knowledgeable and the beer selection was quite good for the area. A lot of good beer on tap and a few rarities. I had a Brooklyn companion, and a couple of local brews. The food was great, this is how "high-end burgers" should be done. I had a steakhouse burger and it was spectacular. If I ever find myself in New Haven again, or anywhere nearby I would go out of my way to go back to Prime 16.

Photo of pjs234
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

This is my favorite craft beer bar in Connecticut. The bar has a nice atmosphere and a good bar area. The wait staff has always been strong and they know their beers. Their food is excellent. So much so, that my wife (who does not drink beer) actually asks me to go there for dinner (and it is a 45 minute drive). They also have a kid's menu, so it makes a nice afternoon pit stop when out with the family. As for their beer, I have yet to find a restaurant in CT that consistently has such a strong beer menu. I have never gone there and not found at least 3 beers that I absolutely love or was dying to try. During one visit this summer, I had Flower Power, Gandhi-bot and DFH 120 minute. This place is definitely a must if you are in the area.

Photo of stearns16
3.88/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Best deal in New Haven when it comes to happy hour beers - can't complain about a $3 Flower Power ever. Got solid selection, but turn things over quickly. ... Usually land a few special beers from NEBCO during the year. Most of the other stuff is the usual Stone, DFH, Oskar Blues, Weyerbacher, etc. But get a decent variety of craft and belgian stuff as well.
Bar setting is pretty mellow, not loaded with rowdy college kids when I have gone in. It's a beer fans' bar.
The only pain about the place is parking - but that's an issue in all of downtown New Haven.
Also make a really good burger.

Photo of crusian
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Went here for the Gandhi-bot they tapped the night before. Small bar, not too much in the way of ambiance, but they make up for in beer selection and price. Happy hour is half off draft. Can't beat that. They will sample anything you ask for, and the bartenders know what they are doing, and they even have beer reference books hanging on the wall...
Nice place, almost quay I didn't eat at BAR around the corner, service was certainly better. Nice clientele as well, had a good conversation with a couple of people and gave some recommendations based on their favorite styles. They seem very mixed from businessmen to grad students.

Photo of beerballs88
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Hands down my fav bar in CT, no contest. There's always something on tap I love, the menu rules (especially the meatloaf sangwich with 50/50 fries) and the staff is pretty cool to boot. If you're not a regular the bartenders can be a little brash, but most of the time they're pretty chill. As far as happy hr goes this place wins again, half price brews and a few bucks for cans of NEB's suds. Plus Wed.'s are free tastings. This gastropub has a great bang for buck ratio. If your scene is hipster meets yale/business crowd, then this is the place for you.

Photo of bonbini26
4.16/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped here while in New Haven for the weekend. Right around the corner for Louis Lunch, a must! I impressed with the variety of selection they had here. Almost every major style was there along with a nice balance of east and west coast beers and belgiums. There was also 2 cask lines (always a plus). If you are in the downtown New Haven area I highly recommend this place. The crowd was pretty mixed, college aged to 55 plus, not to noisy or quiet and a great deal at happy hour when all beers are half off

Photo of smackfu
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Favorite beer bar in CT. Go here at least once a week. Great selection, with a ton of turnover. Often kick three or four kegs in a night and almost always replace them with something different. Only a couple of standards, Guiness and Strongbow. Everything else rotates. Minor problem is the big chalkboard getting out of date, and them not having the beer you had your heart set on. The small chalkboard behind the bar is the accurate one.

7% or higher is served in a 12oz tumbler, various styles like Belgians and barleywines are served in tulips.

Biggest problem is that it gets very crowded. The food is very popular (for good reason) from 6-10 or so and the bar suffers a bit for it. Namely, the bar side is pretty narrow and it's not really the "bar side" in the evening since all the tables are reserved for dining. There is a small space between the bar stools and the tables and it gets very hectic with waitresses and food being delivered and people trying to order beer.

Also, it would be nice if they updated the events on the website. The draft list is updated daily so they do not ignore it entirely, but knowing which brewery is having the Wed. tasting is kind of relevant.

Photo of Sammy
3.84/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

thought this to be the best bar in downtown New Haven, though still not saying too much. Kind of crowded, a little noisy. Good selecion of taps, quanity-wise in New Haven, some really good ones like Allagash Curieux A few taps were stale, or the gas mixture is off or what, so that thes beers tasted off. A smallish bar, unfortunatley too small for the two bartenders to get around each other. A couple of notches below Delayney's as a bar. Staff was knowledgeable about beer, though not very knowledgeable. Worth a stop as you may find a good tap on, and they do have a cask.

Photo of modernartblues
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

A- Like the atmosphere when its not too busy, but unfortunately for me (and fortunately for the owners), this place packs up quickly, especially during happy hour

Q- Excellence. Beer, food, and staff.

S-Like I said its usually busy, but have never had an issue with ANY of the staff. If someone doesn't know something, they go ask and don't give stupid answers.

S- 20 taps and they use them well, ALWAYS something that I am very excited to try.

F- Perhaps better than the beer, the burgers are huge and delicious. They are done in LOTS of different ways. Love the Smoker, the Cowboy burger, and everything in between.

V- Especially from 4-7 M-F when the beers are half price, this place is a must visit.

Photo of Stigs
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped here for a late-lunch.

Was about 2:30 on a Saturday, place was pretty dead. Got our party of four seated right away.

Awesome half-price drafts being that it was "happy hour", there are probably about 20 taps, all craft (save one spot for Guinness). Was very happy to see some Captain Lawrence beers (Kolsch, Espresso Stout) and a couple other local breweries (Cotrell was one). Bottle list was very impressive, covering many many styles, though the markups on bottles were pretty high.

Food was a huge (pleasant) surprise. We had the spinach-artichoke appetizer which was decent, also coming to the table was a salad (good), chicken wrap (mine, good++), mac n' cheese, and grilled cheese sandwich.

Service was fairly quick, and our waitress was very friendly. Only complaint was it was a one bathroom per sex setup, and it literally took me 10 minutes to take a piss, no idea what the two dudes ahead of me were doing in there so long. Also, had a hefeweizen served in a pint glass, get more glassware!

Bonus points for an online taplist thats updated daily so I knew what to expect.

Overall, excellent place - a must stop in downtown New Haven.

Photo of donway
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I had heard great things about this place, so stopped in Sunday about 5pm while in the area . Unfortunately, the place was just about empty. Not sure if it is normally patronized by Yale students and they were packing for home.

The bar had short, wooden stools with no backs, not very comfortable. I just stayed for one beer, the Palm was fine, but I disappointed overall. There was a wide assortment to choose from. To be fair, I should try it again, and have some food, but I will try Delaney's first.

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I visited Prime 16 on a Sunday afternoon recently. The atmosphere was clean, slightly upscale but laid back.

The taps are amazing, serving Great Divide Titan IPA, Smuttynose Robust Porter, Ommegang Hennepin, and Lagunitas WTF, amongst others. The bottle selection is just as good, boasting selctions from Stone, Chimay, Rogue, New England Brewing Co, Brooklyn, Orval, Weyerbacher and others.

The food is very good, (I had the lamb burger topped with feta) and is definitely a step above your ordinary "bar food".

The only problem that I have, is that I waited so long to check this place out. Without a doubt, will be going back often.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Let me start by saying I love Prime 16, and I try to get over there quite often.

They always have great taps, and they rotate quite often. Additionally, the Prime 16 website is always up to date regarding what they have on tap. I must admit I check it like every other day looking for an excuse to go there.

The brew selection ranges from solid local offerings all the way to occasional rarities (and everything in between). A cask can often be found here, and the bottle list is normally quite good as well. Free tastings too! I think Wednesdays.

The place is nice, dimly lit, everything is pretty much dark wood or lined in it. It gets packed in there on both the bar and restraunt side, but honestly I don't think Ive ever had to wait for a table when the bar was full.

Service is good, nothing to brag about. The bartenders are friendly, and knowledgeable. I live 30-40 minutes away so I cant quite become a regular, I don't know any of the bar tenders personally. I have casually talked to people at the bar, though, the crowd is normally friendly and ready to talk beer.

The food is simple and enjoyable. Check out the burgers, lots of interesting ones, cooked perfectly. Sweet Potato fries, awesome. Appetizers...awesome.

I rated this place "inexpensive" because you really get alot of VALUE for your money here. I mean, you can get a burger here for $9.95 including fries. The burgers and sandwiches are excellent, the portions are big. One of the Apps, for example, is a pulled pork flat-bread pizza for $7.95. Its big, and delicious. If you can eat this and not be full, you need to relax!

Happy hour will get you that pulled pork pizza and other apps for half price. Not to mention half price craft beer drafts!

Photo of Pabs311
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

good selection available. knowledgable staff. They only have about 12 tap lines but they are always rotating what they have. some of the tap lines are dedicated to particular breweries, but they will rotate which beer they have from the brewery. they also have tastings just about every wednesday that are themed by style of beer or brewery. you can get samplers of a fw different beers or grab a pint of some of your favorites. the burgers are great and they have good sweet potato fries too. beers are relatively well priced for a bar as well. Sorry, but you wont find bud on tap here guys!

Photo of honey740
4.72/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

We came here in the mood for a few great beers and burgers. I switched it up and had the chicken, bacon, cheddar, apple wrap which is AWESOME. I washed that down with a Lagunitas Brown Shugga, Avery Maharaja, and a Stone/Brewdog Bashah (the best part of this place is the beer)

Solidly the best beer selection in the area. I say this because while Eli's and Delaney's have a decent selection, Prime 16 carefully chooses what they decide to put on tap. Sure there are a few duds once in a while but I can easily find enough beer I am curious to try/drink to fill up 2 samplers.

It is however getting really crowded during the weekend. To truly enjoy the place, go during the week between 4-7 for happy hour. Half priced beer and half price appetizers, the best deal going.

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Prime 16 Tap House + Burgers in New Haven, CT
97 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.