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The Blue Tusk

Not Rated.
The Blue TuskThe Blue Tusk

87 Ratings
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: n/a
Taps: 66
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

165 Walton St
Syracuse, New York, 13202-1224
United States
phone: (315) 472-1934

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @thebluetusk

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by John:
Photo of John
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Finally getting to a well overdue visit and review of the Blue Tusk. After a leisurely stroll around Armory Square we arrive at the Tusk for some pre Porcupine Tree concert brews and nosh. FYI the show was phenomenal, easily top five of all time for me.

So after a quick survey of the place, I found a couple spots at the bar and save a seat for my wife who’s still browsing the shops. There’s a decent crowd in here for 4:30 on a Tuesday afternoon. My understanding is that the interior was remodeled recently. What you’ll find inside is an L shaped place with lots of dark wood with sort of a library feel. There’s plenty of space and seating at the bar and at bar area tables. The bar is three-sided with taps on the wall behind, as well as several draught towers on the marble bar top. The overall feel is that of a quasi-European bar. The back room implies a Belgian monastery theme. The taps are plenty and the quality of the offerings cannot be denied. Won’t even try to list them, the selection is outstanding. I started with a Southern Tier Hop Sun, followed by Magic Hat HiPA and a couple Lake Placid Frostbites. The drink selection now includes a full bar (liquor, mixed drinks, etc.) when before there was none. There’s a small kitchen behind the bar area to prepare a limited but interesting gourmet slanted menu consisting of sandwiches, cheese platters, soup, etc. The sopressata, prosciutto and cheese platter with baguette was nice. Service is very good and the barkeep is quick with refills and samples. Some chatter with the locals makes for an even more pleasant visit. There’s a mix of clientele, young, older and a distinctly Bohemian thing going on here, Dead on the sound system, plenty of tie-dye and dreads. The blend seems to work just fine. Outdoor seating. The Tusk is a real gem in Syracuse. Cheers to their dedication to great beer. I enjoyed our visit and will definitely be back again soon.

More User Reviews:
Photo of steveheady
4.15/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of BvilleBrewGuy
3.85/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of Martelljw2
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Cooker_stp
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Soloveitchik
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of OGShotzy
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Brenden
4.75/5  rDev +11%

This is one of the larger bars I've been to. It's not an especially private place (not that a lot of people go to bars for private time all that much), and it gets crowded pretty early in the day. There are plenty of places to sit in several different areas/sections of the bar (restaurant?). There are open tables, booths, tables at the glass walls facing the sidewalk, bar stools, and private areas, too. There are sheltered booths where noise can be heard but it's not so obtrusive; these booths are nearly enclosed. Surprisingly, even when it's busy (always?) these booths are a good place to study. The patio has dozens of tables, in lines rather than bunched up against each other, down the long stretch of sidewalk closed in by a wrought-iron fence. There's also a back room with a large enclosed single table that looks to fit 10 or so in a room of its own past a room with a few booths and higher standalone tables. The decor is mostly a lot of decorative wrought-iron fixtures, lots of wood, and black marble tabletops. The beer menu is digital, updated almost to the minute, separated by categories. This bar is for people who know their beer, but those not so familiar with all there is to offer can get some old favorites like SNPA or SABL. Local are also a good portion of what's available, but the taps still branch out all over the US. There are 66 taps, so there's always something to pick, and they throw a few nice ciders and meads on as well. There's a separate counter for food orders and pickups. The staff is polite and fast; while extraordinarily busy, they take note of who needs to be helped and work as quickly and skillfully as they can. I didn't pay more than $7 for a pint. Between the feel, the decor, the selection, and the service, this place is pretty amazing.

Photo of nyyfanatic213
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Kmichaud
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of ClavisAurea
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Best beer bar in Syracuse hands down. outside seating is wonderful when the upstate NY weather is nice (see the picture). dozens of taps and bottles available for anyone's tastes. Last time I was there they had a limited edition collection of craft brewery's collaborations. I had an english bitter that was a damn fine example of the style. super refreshing.

Photo of K_Diggity
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Mikus
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Eweimer1
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Roguer
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Bar decor is fine, but there's a preppy, want-to-be upscale vibe to the place that is a bit off-putting. The occasional live band is nice, and the booths are excellently appointed. The bathroom is a near disaster area.

Beer quality is certainly exceptional. Most of the selections are American craft, but there are a number of excellent import taps, as well. The is guaranteed to be a beer here on tap that you like, and quite possibly something you cannot easily get elsewhere.

Service has been really hit or miss. Some of the bartenders have been friendly, while others have been detached. Bartenders always seem busy, even with a small crowd.

Selection follows quality: 69 taps. A very small handful are domestic AALs, but the vast, vast majority are craft from around the US and the world.

Food is really tasty, although they focus on deli-style food for the most part, so the selection is not huge.

Beer and food prices get a little pricey pretty quick, but there are reasonable choices available, as well.

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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

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4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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The Blue Tusk in Syracuse, NY
95 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.