The Ale House
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 26 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JimFalzone:
4.33/5 rDev +17.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I love the Ale House. I lived in Binghamton for 16 years, and visited this place regularly. I never had a bad experience there.
At last count there were 36 taps, and the owner(s) did a good job of keeping everything clean and cold. I had my first Belgians on tap here. And with the "around the world" club, I had plenty of beers that simply were not available anywhere else in the county.
There seems to be a few slams on the food. But I regularly purchased the pizzas and loved them. Maybe people don't like the slightly oily NY style? And the cheese and cracker plate was awesome. I especially liked the spicy mustard. Other menu items were average, but nothing too bad like I've encountered at other bars.
I thought prices were great but compared to the Boston Area, anything under $5 a pint is great. I think craft beers were right around $3.50, which seems reasonable.
The place is defintiely too small. And it's less fun if you don't get a seat. People will constantly be banging into you on their way to the bathroom.
The vestal parkway location is fairly isolated, but there is plenty of parking out back.
I remember some amazing waitstaff that played great alternative rock on the CD player. And if it passed inspection, they would even play customers' personal cds. Some folks would bring their own "mix tapes".
The Ale House was like an oasis in the middle of an otherwise bleak beer scene in Binghamton, NY. You were more likely to run across $1 Gennesse drafts than anything from a microbrewery.
12-27-2006 20:35:47 | More by JimFalzone
More User Reviews:
1/5 rDev -72.9%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | $$$$
Pulling into my hotel I noticed a small strip mall place called "The Ale House". Thinking I had lucked out and found a place that might provide me with a place to relax during the evenings while in town on a consulting gig I checked into my room and crossed the street.
Upon entering I noticed a small bar with maybe 12 stools and maybe 6 tables. All the stools were occupied so I grabbed a table. Found a menu on my own decided what I wanted to eat from options that included about 5 types of sandwiches and a hot dog. Bar help seemed overwhelmed.
People came and went. Noticed there were actually two people behind the bar, but that only one was helping customers. Got my phone out and looked the place up on BA. Found many negative comments regarding service and that the help won't come to tables. Wonderful. So now I have 30 minutes invested, no beer in hand and not one person has bothered to beer me.
Final straw was when i did go to the bar. After about five minutes standing there like an idiot, during which time 3-4 more people came to plead for beer. One by one, the bar tender took orders from people who showed up after me. I left at that point and went across the street to an Applebees where they were really nice and responsive albeit without any beer I could drink.
Still not sure what their deal is. So can I recommend this place? Not really - unless you are fascinated by how bad bad can be and just want to see it for yourself - I would say avoid at all costs.
06-19-2012 00:58:03 | More by jlancemiller
3.13/5 rDev -15.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
36 Taps. Some are usually not available. Often have to go with my third choice. Bar service is good. Table service is non-existent. They need to hire a waitress, not just have the bar staff deliver food that you have ordered at the bar. You need to go to the bar to get your own beer. Beer is pricey at $6.00 a pint. Best beer selection in the Binghamton-Vestal area. Many New York state beers available. Only a few macro's. Food is decent. Pizza is good for a bar. The beer list on their website is almost always out of date.
12-27-2011 00:23:45 | More by nova73
2.73/5 rDev -26%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$$
They advertised 36 drafts, but that's not really true. I had to run through my first 5 choices before finding one that was actually available. Why don't they just cross things off the board as they kick? Trying to keep up appearances I guess.
When we were there on a Saturday night the service was poor - bad attitude from our server and a long time for drinks to arrive. The lady working the bar seemed to be doing the best she could while the guy in the back just stood and watched.
The beer prices were pretty high considering the offerings that were actually available were standard selections. Think $5+ a pint.
It seems like this place is graded on a curve - since there are so few options in the Vestal/Binghamton area this looks better than it is, but compared to Syracuse or Ithaca it is pretty poor.
10-10-2011 01:41:59 | More by nh2032
3.98/5 rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
My wife booked a hotel for us in Vestal NY not knowing it was across the street from the Ale House, well I had to check it out right? I will start off and say this place is small. You walk in the front door and there are maybe 8 tables against the left side of the wall and a bar with 10 stools off to the right. Bathrooms against the back left and a small kitchen against the back right. I went there around 8pm on a Friday and sat at the bar. The place was fairly slow but became moderately busy by 10pm when I left. 36 taps and only one or two were macros. They had some bottles, but I focused on the taps. I didn't have any food, but what I saw looked good. While the taps are solid this place is a bit pricy. Just about everything that I saw ordered was 6 dollars a pint. I would go back, maybe during happy hour.
07-31-2011 19:57:46 | More by johnnnniee
3.58/5 rDev -3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I go to the University, just a walking distance away, so this is the only bar I really go to.
Fortunately, the relative lack of cheap lagers keeps the rowdy college crowd away. In consequence, this place almost feels like a neighborhood bar (despite the fact that it's on the side of a highway), generally split between college students and other patrons. It can get cramped at times, but is generally as comfortable as it is undistinguished.
Usually only one bartender working, but things are usually kept moving fairly well. Again, solid, but nothing really worth noting.
The Ale House boasts 36 taps, most of which is pretty regional. Offerings from Great Lakes, Southern Tier, Sly Fox, Cooperstown, and Troegs are almost always available. That said, I really wish they'd expand their variety of styles; American and English styles rule the house (esp. (D)IPAs), not leaving much room for the Germans or Belgians.
They have an "around the world" where if you can drink X amount of beers from Y amount of regions within (I think) a year, you get your name on the wall. Also $1 each of your drinks if you kick a keg.
When I'm looking to grab a pint, I'll stop by the Ale House to try a new beer or two, but there's also nothing special enough about it that I wouldn't rather grab some bottles and hang out elsewhere. Don't get me wrong though; it's a perfectly nice bar that would be especially worth the visit to someone new to the area.
04-01-2011 18:38:04 | More by Sneers
3.66/5 rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
My favorite bar in Vestal/Binghamton and I always stop by when I'm in town. The selection is good for Bing, as there are about 36 draft lines, but many are often dry. Every once in a while they bring in a cask ale as well, and sometimes they'll do brewery nights (Harpoon especially). I do wish the taps rotated a bit more often. I sometimes find that they'll keep the same couple beers on for quite a while.
The passport program is nice and a lot of fun (try 36 different draft beers and get an Ale House glass, try 36 + a bunch more bottles and you get a sweatshirt and your name on the wall). The biggest problem is the lack of bartenders, the few that are there are overwhelmed and it can take 15 minutes to get a drink on a busy night. I'd also love it if they kept a draft list on their website or on their facebook site, that would get me in more often. I also wish they would open on Sundays as they have great TVs and I'd love to go there for football. Prices are okay, just a little on the steep side for upstate NY.
All in all, a great bar.
03-22-2011 01:33:51 | More by bpalfrey10
The Ale House in Vestal, NY
85 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.