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The Blue Tusk

Not Rated.
The Blue TuskThe Blue Tusk
BA SCORE
95
world-class

87 Ratings
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: n/a
Taps: 66
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
[ 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

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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 61
Reviews by MichaelStoutBeard:
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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
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is my go-to place in Syracuse. Absolutely fantastic selection of hard to get craft on tap, with knowledgeable, friendly staff. My favorite aspect of this bar is that drafts are poured into 20oz glasses standard, great value for money.

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 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.

Photo of Edwaka01
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Came here after eating and getting a flight and being thoroughly disappointed with the beer at Empire to drink a good beer before heading home.
A - Went in mid-day Tuesday - it's a nice place, but I don't think I can accurately rate the vibe, I've heard it gets pretty damn collegy at night.

Q - Great beers all over, and some pretty crappy ones too!

S - Bartender somewhat unwillingly answered a couple questions I had, although to be fair, he did answer them.

S - Decent representation of NY beers and craft beers in general, but not many beers that I can't find at most beer stores in NY. Maybe 5 or so beers out of 60ish that surprised and excited me.

10oz or 20oz pours for most beers, 10oz pours for the specialty beer section. Prices varied with the different brews of course, but none were cheap.

Photo of Lawl3ss
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Up front- This is definitely not my favorite bar, but I'll try to give it a fair evaluation.

I'll stop but the Blue Tusk a few times a year, and it is probably the best option for BAs if you're in Armory square in Syracuse now that Clark's has closed; however be prepared for the greek society sardine can if you try to go on anything resembling an evening or weekend while SU is in session (hence the low atmosphere rating, despite the relatively nice decor.) They also tend to take themselves a bit too seriously, IMO.

Plenty of selection here, though you'll see more than a few macrobrews and some of the larger "craft" breweries like Sam Adams and Magic Hat have more taps than I'd like. Lots of locals and the larger national craft offerings are well represented, though turnover can be somewhat slow in my experience and they tend to have a bunch of selections from the same breweries. 65+ taps and a decent bottle list give you plenty to choose from, however.

Service is good if it's slow, but the place always seems to be understaffed whenever it gets busy, and don't expect to order drinks more than twice if you sit down for dinner on the weekend. The bar and wait staff are generally decently knowledgeable, but you have to catch them when it's not busy.

I've only eaten here a couple times, but the food is pretty good, if pricey ($8-$12 for a sandwich sans side.) The menu is dominated by artisan sandwiches, though they have a few other things like quesadillas and salads. Again, too pretentious for my liking, and not very pub-esque. I was never wowed by any of the food, though I haven't tried many of the more "select" offerings.

Overall, it's a decent bet if you want a large beer selection and food and you're in Armory square, and prices are about on par for the locale. It's got a bad case of the Syracuse I-want-to-be-upscale flu, however, and is only partly successful.

Personally, I prefer Empire Brewery for food and J. Ryan's, which is about four blocks away off of Hannover Square, for beer, but this place is popular with the business crowd during the day and the college kids at night.

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Probably one of the best places in downtown Syracuse for a good beer or two. Always good to walk into the tusk and read the message that runs along the bar ceiling that says, "Reality is a hallucination caused by the lack of good beer and fine wine".
The selection is always changing and they always have some of the best beers on tap at all times. They also have one mystery beer on tap.There hasn't been one instance so far, where in I have been to the Tusk, and found nothing that sparked my interest. Never tried the food, so I guess I can't comment on the quality of food. The staff is very friendly and know their beers. The only downside is it can get a bit pricey, and sometimes it is just too pricey. Apart from that, this is probably the best pubs in Syracuse. Definitely worth visiting if you are in town.

Photo of jayhawk73
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Been to the Blue Tusk a couple times now on visits to Syracuse. The bar area is actually fairly small, but there's an outdoor area to sit in if the weather is nice enough. Food is pretty good, but nothing outstanding. The real star of this place is the beer. Plenty of taps, w/ stuff you wouldn't expect in a college town/bar. Bottom line is- if you can't find something here you like... well, you may want to broaden your beer horizons. Bartenders were good, with pretty good knowledge of the brews- but if it gets busy... the service suffers a lot. On the weekends... if it's busy.... hmmm... not so good. Prices are average to a little above average. Nothing outrageous though. Blue Tusk is definitely a great place to go for the beer lover if you're in Syracuse... I'll definitely go back if I'm in town.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A night out on Syracuse night life lands in the best stop for well crafted ales in Armory Square. Right across from Empire Brewing, Blue Tusk anchors a prominant corner in a charming urban streetscape with prominant English-like decor.

Entering the door at the corner, the bar flanks about twenty feet to both the left and the right, creating an L-shaped bar. The end of bar-right turns into the food order/pickup station. Rustic and worn woods create the motif of furniture white the walls are decorated with brewery/bar tins, bumper stickers, and neons in the windows- pretty standard college bar look.

But the 40-50 taps are anything but college-like. Middle Ages, Ommegang, Ithaca, Southern Tier, Brooklyn, Great Lakes, Rogue, and Sam Adams were all represented. The Sierra Nevada tap-takeover had just ended so several unique items from them were still pouring. Along with Gnomegang, Flower Power, and Sierra's Audition '10, we also enjoyed Bear Republic Racer 5, Great Lakes Erie Monster, and Dogfish Head Burton Baton. Needless to say, any craft beer enthusiast will find the perfect beer at the bar.

...unfortunately so can everyone else- A few Anheuser Busch products were well in demand, as well as Labatt Blue Light, Jager bombs, wine drinkers, and the such; the beer turned into a typical night lift destination and away from a premiere beer bar. There's a lot of drinking agendas for a bar area that can hold about 200 people (including outside seating).

Although the 2-3 bartenders seemed knowlegable, they seemed to let the Saturday night crowd get the best of them, seeming rattled and easily overwhelmed as patrons were stacked 4-5 deep eager to order drinks. Even the bouncers got in on the action (what premiere beer bar needs bouncers anyway?) when they pushed an uncooperative and intoxicated patron out of the bar and then slammed him to the ground repeatedly- needing medical assistance.

But welcome was the beer menu that supersedes the wine pages with offerings that ammount to about 100 total brews (tap and bottle). Only the Ithaca Cascada was out when I ordered; everything was available.

Along with $10 price tags for about 10oz. of Gnomegang and Duvel, it's easy to get discouraged form frequent visits, especially on crowded Saturday nights. Aside from the drama and expense of a few beers, many other quality local options were available for the sane $3-$4 range. An order of roast beef sandwich with stilton was a perfect companion for the Flower Power and an evening with friends on the designated sidewalk seating. Also a bit on the spendy side, the quality proved worth it.

Even with the hustle of the Saturday party sing in full force, on street parking was a synch.

On my next stroll through Syracuse, I'll be certain to visit the Blue Tusk again for food and beers. But I will avoid the party crowd and I'll pay better attention to the "Specialty" (over priced) beers and stick to the local gems.

Photo of drewsy
4.58/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The Blue Tusk is one of my favorite spots to go when travelling through Syracuse.

With 69 Beers on tap the selection is top notch, a beer lovers heaven.

The staff is very knowledgeable and are always willing to make a suggestion or provide you a sample if your not sure. Even with such a large selection it is nice to see that the beers are poured into the proper glasswear.

I have not had the opportunity to eat there but the food that I did see looked pretty good.

I enjoy the laid back atmospher and the patio is a great spot to sit during a warm evening.

I look forward to getting back there soon.

Photo of DrWangerBanger
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Let me start by saying that the Blue Tusk easily has the best variety in Syracuse for beer and is probably the best bar for craft beer lovers in Syracuse.

However, this is mainly because of the complete lack of choice in Syracuse. Alto Cinco has really great, uncommon beers that are much more interesting and rotate much more frequently than the Blue Tusk, but they typically only have 5 at a time. Clark's obviously closed, and in my opinion, that was the best location in Syracuse by a wide margin.

It's not that the Blue Tusk is particularly bad, it just seems to have extremely slow turnover and really absurd prices. There are certain beers that you will see on tap for months and months at a time. They have something like 30 taps, but I'd say a good 15 of these are beers that hardly ever change. Don't get me wrong, I love Great Lakes Burning River and many of the other beers that are there all the time, but I like variety. The prices of the beers themselves are pretty bothersome, too. I only started going to the Blue Tusk after Clark's closed and to go from a bar where the most expensive beer you ever could buy would typically be about $7 for a full 16 oz, it's very frustrating to go somewhere where you pay the same, if not more, for 12 oz.

The atmosphere is pretty okay, the venue itself is very large and has plenty of seating areas, but it's really the music that drags it down. Reggae is - and this is a fact - the worst type of music ever made. Especially for a bar. As if this wasn't bad enough, you will frequently hear jam band music like Phish, or similar bands, playing back to back songs as if someone put on a live concert CD from the band. Who doesn't love to listen to a 15 minute guitar "solo?" One time I was in, I actually heard a several minute long drum solo. A DRUM SOLO.

Bartenders are pretty knowledgeable and friendly and always willing to give a recommendation.

Photo of fmccormi
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Blue Tusk is a pretty great beer bar, in most ways. They always have an interesting selection of quality and hard-to-find beers, which is relatively easy to keep up on remotely through their website and twitter feed. That's a big plus for me.

Atmosphere is fine, though it does get crowded in there. The booths are great if you want to sit and eat and talk. Food is generally very good, and equally so for both carnivores and vegetarians. Service is more or less non-existent: bartenders are fine, little to complain about or go out of my way to laud in that direction, and there is no wait staff (pick up food at the side of the bar). Ergo, service is "average," except that their bouncers can be real jerks for no apparent reason. Big detractor for me.

Regarding the beer, however, and far more importantly, they have a nice and large selection of beers on tap. Fans of real ale have local stuff usually every Friday (generally Middle Ages, but they've had things like DFH 75 and Ithaca Super French on cask minute before), and they get a good selection of Belgians on tap, as well. My only real complaints for Blue Tusk are that it can be crowded, the bouncers can be pretty shitty (never to me, but to friends), and their beers are on the high side, price-wise. Their redeeming grace in this regard is the mystery beer, the always-$4 20oz pour of *something* good (like Aprihop, never BMC-type products) during happy hour.

Overall, it has its downsides, but it's still a very good beer bar and definitely the place to go if you want hard(er)-to-find and Belgian taps.

Photo of nopucophop
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is a very cool place. The layout is one of a kind. Little nooks on one side, a nice elbow bar up front, and a dart area in the back. I was by myself but would love to go with a group and just chill in the private nooks.

The beer list was top notch with all beers being poured in proper glassware. I had Chimay, Urthel Hop It, and Delirium Tremens all on tap. Take a look at their website and you will be impressed with the line up.

The service was good. The staff was quite knowledgeable. Again, I went by myself and was very comfortable striking up conversation with the bartender.

The food looked good but I didn't try it.

All in all, I would be in this place all the time if I lived near by. If your passing through be sure to stop.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I just got back from lunch at the Tusk and it remains KING. I enjoy the delicious food (mainly sandwiches and quesadillas - my recommendation being the Pigs in Zen or Roast Beef & Stilton) and incredibly comprehensive tap selection. During my most recent visit I was luckily able to catch a sweet altercation between a ragged street fellow assaulting the staff and bartender (resulting in the vagabond being pushed back outside).

I have not been let down by the Tusk's beer once. I would like to see more variety to their cask selection (it seems that the Duke is always on cask), but their taps are very contemporary and keep steady rhythm with new releases and seasonals (ie. 10.10.10 and ye' olde school barleywine are just 2 of approximately 30 taps. The bartender is generally nice in taking about the beers offered and prices that follow, but there is also a convenient, semi-up-to-date tap listing that floats around the bar area.

My favorite spot in Syracuse to grab a bite and brew, it's also easy when going out to meet people for drink at (given a selection that will cater to anybody's needs). The atmosphere is good, beer drinking people accompanied by greatful dead in the background. I am blessed by the Tusk and even after being kicked out for public intoxication (brew at the zoo...), I continue to return during day hours of Winter/Summer breaks to have a true breakfast of champions.

Cheers.

Photo of chinchill
3.94/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Located in a nice section of town, this landmark bar/restaurant seems like a strange mix of college bar and serious beer venue. On the serious beer part, the Tusk has over 60 taps. These feature a predominance of local brews (Ommegang, Empire {from across the street}, Southern Tier, Middle Ages), a few macros, some micros from other regions, ciders, and some familiar beers I seldom if ever see on tap in the U.S.: Chimay White, Duvel, Youngs Double Chocolate Stout. Their menu also lists 6 Belgiians in bottles and one other on tap. Their focus is clearly on the taps, and on wines. Tap selection is very good (4.5), but bottle selection is relatively limited. That's fine with me. One cask was on the menu but not tested.

The bar itself is about 40' long with a nice granite surface. Aesthetically nice taps are placed at intervals along most of the bar, with more on the back wall. Tables fill, but don't crowd, the room between the bar and the outside walls. a single flatscreen TV is hung high on the back corner of the room. More tables and booths are located in other sections, and there is outdoor seating.

Inadequate and not up-to-date printed beer listing. Bar wasn't crowded, so I could stroll along the bar to identify most of the offerings by the taps.

Prices were a bit high (often $8 for a local) even allowing for the fact that their standard size serving is a 20 oz. imperial pint.

Photo of TonyVic
4.28/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place has good food and good beer (almost all craft). The tap selection is very good. It rotates beers often enough that you won't get tired of the selection, but maintains enough "core" beers that you can have a standard. Blue Tusk supports local breweries.

The sandwiches are great. If you come here make sure that you come hungry and get some food. I had the Hello Piggy (Pulled Pork, Kimchi, Siracha, Cilantro and Mayo) and a Bear Republic Racer 5. (Pretty good pairing with the spice of the sandwich and the IPA).

Photo of JustinJTisdale
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I rarely go to this bar because its become a little bit too popular and crowded for my friends and I.

The beer prices arent terrible I suppose and are slightly thrown off by the selection which is good but still alot of them are waaay overpriced.

They often have druid fluid and arrogant bastard on tap which gives them some extra points but overall the vibe in this place isnt what one would expect for a "beer bar".

The staff is hit or miss although for the most part the bouncers are cool the bartenders range from delighted to serve you to snobby and ignorant to just plain rude. On a saturday night bring a busty girl with you if you would like to get drinks but a thursday afternoon and your met with a smile.

Photo of Minotaur
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

If you were to think of Syracuse New York as your typical medieval town, you could designate Clark's Alehouse as the "downtown" drinking pub where as the Blue Tusk is the slightly "upscale" drinking establishment.

The decor and layout of the place is enjoyable and conducive to both being able to socialize with nearby patrons, but also move into your own "space" and company.

There was a vast selection of beers: about 65 on tap. All served by knowledgeable bar tenders. Who even offered up a free small draft when several of our requests were kicked.

The food can either be purchased almost "cafeteria/serving station" style in the pub area or in a more formal sit-down dinner style. Prices range from about 8.00 pub food to more expensive dinners. All samplings of pub food at our table were high quality though they did serve us the wrong plate at the serving station.

The bar became very crowded shortly after our arrival due to a SU basketball game letting out. There was still a congenial and friendly atmosphere that while getting louder, was not at all disruptive to conversation.

Photo of craftaholic
4/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Visited on several occasions

This is one of my hometown's pubs and it has one of the best selections in town and they do numerous things to advocate the craft brew world to all ages that walk through their door. The vibe is relaxed and isn't a mere dive dance club or noisy college bar instead its a a place to grab a pint or three and either hang out in the 'bar area' and take in some of that scene or go right around the corner and actually sit down and be able to hear your company. The selection is great and they have 69 in all which is rather impressive. Surprisingly they cater more towards wine but all categories of spirits range immensely. They have had some relatively rare choices before and they always aim to please by allowing you to sample and 'try before you buy' motif so you know beforehand you're going to want to sit and quaff beforehand. The bartender's are friendly and know their stuff and are great to accommodate which even on one such occurrence of a utopias sampling they gave me the "reserved for the house glass" since the others had run out and I was promised one which I felt was generous. The pricing isn't bad unless you venture to the Belgian territory since its a bit more for a lot less. Somehow I have never been too drawn to the kitchen although the menu is quite diverse and they have a great selection there as well.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.1/5  rDev -27.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Usually stop by here whenever I'm staying in Syracuse on business. Between this place or Clark's, they're the best beer stops in town. (That I know of right now.) I'd prefer Clark's because I like the atmosphere better and it's quieter, but the downside is they only take cash which I find to be very quirky. Every time I go to the Blue Tusk I leave somewhat angry for one reason or another, yet I keep going back because of the decent beer selection, but doesn't compete with the better beer bars I've been to. The positives:
1) Decent beer selection (though not stellar).
2) Sandwiches are usually pretty good.
3) They take Amex.

The negatives:
1) Parking is a real problem.
2) The bartenders aren't as schooled on their beer selections as they should be. (I knew more about the beer than the bartenders.)
3) Mostly sandwiches so don't expect anything more if you're looking for a "real meal".
4) Place usually crowded with the 20-30 something crowd "trying to be hip".
5) NOISY.
Next trip up here I'll bring more cash and go to Clark's instead. The Blue Tusk is so-so and overrated.

Service was marginal also, took forever to get that 2nd and 3rd beer, and took forever to put my food order in. Not to be sexist, but I wasn't the right gender to get faster service at this place. I debated about going here for the 5th time and once again, left disgruntled. Whenever you want to pay $9 for a pint of Dogfish Head 90 Minute, be sure to stop by the Blue Tusk; you'd be better off buying a 4-pack of DFH 90 somewhere else for about the same price and getting carry-out.

Photo of deapokid
4.28/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited on 07/18 - reviewing from notes:

Made a trip to my hometown for the weekend and decided to stop in at some of my favorite spots with my girlfriend and a friend of ours:

One of the best parts of The Tusk is how it stands apart from all the other bars in Armory Square. Gone are the dancing, loud fights and general moronicism ever present at spots like PJ Dorseys and Bar. In exchange, we get a relaxed vibe, great beer selection and nice mix of good music (expect some Jay Z, Beastie Boys, Marley and Run DMC).

I started off the evening with an old favorite (Young's Double Chocolate) as I surveyed the seemingly endless line of taps (69 in all). It's quite an impressive selection, especially for Syracuse, with picks from Great Lakes, Middle Ages, Stone, Rogue, Ommegang, Avery, Chimay and Duvel.

If I was to make a small complaint about the selection, it doesn't seem to rotate very often and even though they have some great seasonals (Ommegang's Rouge, which I got for my second pick), I'd say that about 45 of their offerings are on tap constantly.

That might be a bit nitpicky, but I think that is what makes certain Philly locales like The Grey Lodge and Monks so special and I think a bit more diversity would move this place from my Top 10 to my Top 5.

As for the service, it's some of the best around and the staff is always extremely helpful. They serve in the proper glassware, have opinions about everything in stock and often make great recommendations.

Although I've probably stopped into the Tusk about 100 times, I had never had any of their delicious meals or cheese plate offerings, so I decided to try the chicken and cheese quesadilla, which was really cheesy, hot and delicious. Next time I'll have to grab one of those famous sandwiches.

My girlfriend and our company also split a bottle of wine and they really enjoyed all of the non-beer offerings that the Tusk had to offer. The outdoor seating is also a nice touch, if you can handle some second-hand smoke and rowdy passersby.

All in all, this is the best game in town in Central New York for craft beer and pub atmosphere and it's a major reason for my regular visits to the Syracuse area.

Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Been here several times during biz trips to Syracuse.

Located in the happenin' Armory Sq area, the Blue Tusk has a great selection of brews is a casual, quiet (for the area) environment. All beers are served at the proper temperature in the proper glass and at reasonable prices (coming from someone who is used to the exorbitant Boston beer bar prices). NY beers are highlighted, which I dig. A few TV's have whatever sporting event is happening at the moment.

Food is kinda meh....but as other posters have indicated, why bother with eating here when Dinosaur's is just a few blocks away?

If you're ever in town, a must-stop.

Photo of atpben
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Been here a few times. The best spot in Syracuse for a great selection of beer. It was a Friday night so the place was quite packed. Very good draught selection. Beers from Middle Ages, Longtrail, Brooklyn, Great Lakes, Southern Tier, Belgians like Chimay, duvel, and lindeman's. Some other west coast stuff too, others I cant remember. Service was great. The bartender made some great recommendations. Beer was always served in the appropriate glass. They do serve food but did not try. Prices were pretty reasonable. Great place. Will definately be back

Photo of icemanrulz
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

If you are looking for the best beer selection in Central New York, there are few bars that will come close to satisfying your needs than the Blue Tusk.

The Tusk is located right in the heart of Armory Square, which is the major night spot in Syracuse, yet the Tusk still manages to maintain a low key, almost European-style pub atmosphere. I'm sure much of that has to do with the beer selection.
They have a very large number of taps with a fairly wide variety of breweries and styles represented. What they don't have on tap, there is a good chance they will offer in bottles. All told, the bar offers in the neighborhood of 100 different beers.
For the Belgian beer fan, like myself, there is no better place in town. They have your typical Belgians on draught, i.e Chimay, along with the local Belgian style, Ommegang. But they also offer a decent selection in bottles, including Delerium and Duvel. The prices at the Tusk are a bit higher than the surrounding bars in Armory Square, but certainly not high enough to turn you away.

The atmosphere is relaxed, good for enjoying a good beer with some friends. The bar is long with decent seating around the bar, plus stand alone bar tables and mahogany booths, along with outdoor seating in summer, ideal for people watching. If you're looking for a good place to watch an SU game, look elsewhere...this bar is more suited to those looking to relax and chat over a good brew or two.

Also if you're looking for a good place for dinner, you may want to check out some of the other restaurants Armory Square. While the Tusk does offer food, it is mainly pub fare that can get fairly pricey. The food is fairly good quality, but with the Dinosaur BBQ just a stones throw away, don't fill up here.

The crowd is mixed, both young and old, but most all with a higher appreciation of good beer. The staff is knowledgeable and service is good, especially at off peak hours. And if you are curious about any of the beers on tap, they will generally give you a small sample to make your choice easier.

While it's would not be considered an elite beer bar on a national scale, The Blue Tusk is probably Syracuse's top watering hole for those looking for variety. Definitely worth the trip if you're in town.

Photo of chriskozma
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I've been to this place a few times but I really had a go at it on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The selection was awesome. The mainstays are good but they had some really good brews that were seasonals or limited. I got an Oak Aged Yeti, Southern Tier Oat, Middle Ages Highlander Scottish Ale on cask, and a Hop Wallop, which absolutely blew me away. The prices were fair. I actually remember paying $10 for a Double Bastard before and I saw that it was cheaper now. The service was good as it wasn't overwhelmingly busy. A very good experience.

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