Taps: 10 / Bottles: 70
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
3.85/5 rDev -3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Downtown Naperville is Yuppieville, what with the $11 martinis across the street at Sullivan's and the overly made-up white high-school girls in tight dresses. If you tire of that all, come to the Bulldog for a divey, boisterous ambience and good craft beer.
This is a compact, smallish, old-looking sports bar with dudes drinking buckets of Bud Light and hot, slightly-slutty-looking waitresses. Busy and noisy because of the size, but rarely too crowded that you can't get in.
About 45 bottles of craft beer, with some goodies from 3Floyds, Ska, Tyranena (Rocky's Revenge) and others, but mostly mainstream (Stone, Avery, you name it). No printed tap, supposedly because taps change very often (and so what, many bars print a daily list).
On tap I saw Central Waters IPA; Goose Island Green Line; 3Floyds Zombie Dust, Alpha and Gumball; Capital Supper Club; Ommegang BPA.
Zombie was very fresh, but Alpha and Gumballhead not so much. A little flat.
They have a $5 burger special on Friday nights you ought to get. It is tasty and cooked to order. I ordered it as rare as possible (afraid it would come medium, as usual) and it came outright raw. YUM! Grilled onion and roasted poblano peppers on top. Great fries too, and even though it took forever to get to the table, it sure was worth.
Despite the cheap burger, the overall bill for $4 beers and a burgers wasn't so affordable. But... this is Yuppieville, right. I will come back.
09-14-2011 22:59:07 | More by DoubleSimcoe
3.8/5 rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
(Visited 11/2010): Grumpy Bulldog is located in on the south side of downtown Naperville on W. Jackson, a couple miles off I-88. Street parking is available pretty much in all directions.
The place is relatively small, with the bar on the left side and some high tables elsewhere. The decor includes brick walls, brewery stickers and the like. There were a lot of locals present on the weekday evening we visited.
The bar has about 11 taps and over 50 bottles. Draught offerings include Kasteel, Two Brothers, Lagunitas, Southern Tier and Goose Island. As for bottles some breweries represented include Goose Island, Two Brothers, New Belgium, Tyranena, North Coast, DFH, Ska, Founders and more.
Service at the busy bar was pretty good. There did not seem to be a lot of people there for craft beers but the bartender was cordial and knowledgeable enough.
We did not try any food on this visit.
Overall this is a pretty fun spot to hit in the area.
06-29-2011 02:41:08 | More by Dogbrick
3.88/5 rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
My second time to the Grumpy Bulldog.
They have some good beers on tap and in bottles. Ordered a LH Milk Stout and a FW Double Jack. They have around 12 or so taps and 40 or so bottles. Bartender I talked to seemed to know about beer, we had a 5 minute or so conversation about the different beers and breweries that were on tap there. Bartender actually didn't charge my buddy for one of his beers on purpose which is pretty cool.
Atmosphere is pretty typical of downtown Naperville, kind of douchey with most people drinkin BMC, but there were some people there also obviously to drink good beer. If I ended up drinking in downtown Naperville I would definitely go here for the beer, but there are other places around the area that have better selection and better atmostphere, but it is worth a stop if you are in downtown Naperville.
03-27-2011 06:08:26 | More by ahq514
3.73/5 rDev -6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Walked into the Grumpy Bulldog to a crowd cheering on an NCAA March Madness basketball game so it was pretty loud. The many flat screen tvs were pretty nice.
The building was nice and the place was clean foe the most part. The space was limited and i did feel a bit cramped. The quality of food was average and a bit pricey.
The server made sure we were taken care of when our drinks were empty and made frequent rounds to ensure we we were doing good.
There was an average selection available. I had Delirium on tap and some LH Milk Stout on tap as well. There were some local brews like Two Brothers and Goose Island on tap and about 40 bottles.
The food was pretty good but not good enough for the price. We paid 9 bucks for some nachos that were topped pretty high but nine is pretty steep.
03-27-2011 00:05:37 | More by ChugginOil
3.98/5 rDev +0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
This is seemingly the best Naperville has to offer better beer enthusiasts. It's in the quaint downtown area, where there are a few free parking lots thankfully. Signage out front is nondescript, I only noticed the Blackhawks bud light neon from down the street.
Inside it's your typical sports bar atmosphere, with a few craft beer signs on the walls. Exposed brick on one side, wood trip and tan paint on the other. Nice tap list with zero macros. Green Flash West Coast, BCBS, Hop Stoopid, Brown Shugga, Bridgeport IPA, Gumballhead, Mild Winter, Big Eddy, and others. The bottle list was pretty extensive, but nothing too obscure. Mainly craft/import staples such as Bells, Lagunitas, Goose, GLBC, Breckenridge, DFH 90, SNPA, Smuttynose Big A & Brown Dog, Stone Ruination, FFF AK & P&J, 2 Bros, Tyranena Hop Whore, Victory Prima Pils and Golden Monkey. Imports: Hopus, Chimay Red, Duvel, Sam Smith, Weihenstephaner, Youngs Double Chocolate.
Service was great at first, quick beers served up when we sat down. Unfortunately it took almost 45 minutes to get a cheese pizza! Can't complain too much though, it was a $5 special of the day. Crowd was mostly Bears fans on a Sunday afternoon, along with a family or two, and tables of cougars with shopping bags.
Overall the best thing about the place is the beer selection, in most every other aspect it's fairly average (atmosphere, crowd, service).
12-05-2010 23:49:09 | More by emerge077
3.85/5 rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
this bar is very small and easy to walk right past if you arent paying attention! I was recently there on a sunday and had a blast! it seemed like cheers, how everyone there knew eachother from being regulars at that bar! anyway back to the bar, they have about 70 different craft bottles and 11 taps, nothing too special: kasteel rouge, DT, 2 goose taps, #9, and Stiegl to name a few. While I was there I shared their burger sampler with a friend, it was a good mix of their burgers. the menu consists of mostly sandwiches and a few salads, typical bar food. there are 3 hd tvs and they will put the sound on too if you ask! they have sliding glass doors in the front which is nice in the summertime.
the only downfall of this bar is that on the weekends it turns into a typical dbag dt naperville bar. The one owner isnt exactly nice or grateful either. the beer selection has been the same since they opened too, lets try something new guys!! If I go to dt naper ill come here for a beer but id prefer to drive another 10 mins to the bavarian lodge for a better selection.
01-19-2010 23:04:46 | More by ginger420
4.6/5 rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I only went here for a release party that a local brewery (Two Brothers) was throwing to introduce a new beer that was on tap just for one night. At 6:45 on a Monday evening this place was packed. I luckily found a seat at the bar, which seemed like the only unoccupied seat there. Already, I was impressed by their selection of craft beers. They must of had about 15 beers on tap & their prices ranged from $5-7. As Far back as I can remember, I saw Matilda $7, Fleur, Shiner, and, Cane & Ebel $6. Bottled beers were $3.50. I can remember seeing Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold & Eliot Ness, North Coast Scrimshaw, a variety of magic hats, goose islands, Three Floyds, Dogfish Head, La Fin Du Monde, Allagash White and (unfortunately) a variety of Michelob ultras. The demographic seemed mainly mid 20's to mid 30's & seemed like half were beer geeks & the other were bmc drinkers. Really, the only thing I didn't like was the loud music which would make you yell your drink request to the bartender and the small size of the place which made it uninviting when you enter during its peak crowd time. My tab came to $17 with 3 drinks on tap. I would go back if I was in the area.
12-31-2009 01:29:28 | More by JohnnyTightLips
4.11/5 rDev +3.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
My good friend lives in Aurora and enjoys beer, though he isn't a beergeek (yet). We went out after dinner on a Saturday night in Naperville a few months ago and he suggested going to Jimmy's, which I shot down (I was there once, and once was enough). I asked what the other options were, and he mentioned the Grumpy Bulldog, "which has a bunch of beers." Sounded good, so I said, "let's go."
Walked in and was instantly happy to see about a dozen taps at the bar. It's a small place, which, to me, is a plus, though not much atmosphere. One average-sized bar, plus several tables. Wasn't overly crowded, which is also good, but most of the people in there were drinking Miller Lite and such, which was disappointing, if not annoying. And the music was louder than necessary. After cracking the menu, I was happy to see a great selection of local craft and foreign bottles (about 75), plus another dozen on tap. Our server was very knowledgeable and personable, and happy to engage in conversation about the different beers they had. Good sense of humor to boot.
The jackpot was finding a beer that my wife enjoys. She's not a beer drinker, though I'm trying hard to slowly get her interested. Though it barely qualifies as a beer imo, she ordered some Kasteel Rouge and really enjoyed it. It's a baby step, but a step nonetheless!
08-12-2009 07:20:51 | More by jaster
4.4/5 rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I agree with other posted about being great for that area, its a waste land out there in the Naper Plainfield area. Stopped by for lunch today to get Metros Lager which went on tap. very nice, also had a few Deliriums. Nice bottle selection for a bar in the burbs, Ottercreek, left hand, few selections from Victory.. Shiner in bottle and on tap. Plenty of Goose in bottle and on tap.. Also had Hopslam on tap. plenty more...
A beer rep stopped in and was trying to sell them Corona and they passed on it thought that was funny...
Had a sandwich and it was good, pricey?? a little but probably spot on for downtown Naperville.
When I am looking for something good to drink beer wise I will return for sure.. Music a little loud but hey its a bar if I want to listen to what I want to listen too I will sit at home!
02-12-2009 01:10:34 | More by makdeco
4.08/5 rDev +2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Met up here with two buddies last Saturday afternoon (1/24/08). Small place, but had no problem getting a table. For those complaining about it being too bright inside - not so for us. We took a table towards the back and it was like being in a place at night! One TV screen, not visible from where we sat, had NCAA basketball on.
Beer selection was good and our server was pretty knowledgeable. She once slipped up and attributed Great Lakes' Eliot Ness to North Coast Brewing, but I have to give her a pass there. With everything else, she was on the ball and able to offer a good alternative to anything listed on the menu, but no longer offered.
Beers on tap that I can remember included Ommegang's ObamaGang, Triple Karmeleit, Widmer, Kasteel Rouge, Delirium Tremens, Shiner Black Lager, Left Hand Milk Stout, and Goose Island Maltilda. Lotsa bottles, as mentioned by others, ~50. Only ones I had was Eliot Ness and Alagash White; a buddy had La Fin du Monde.
Food is very good. Nachos are great with a nice, spicy chili ladled over the chips. Cuban sandwiches and onion rings were also a hit with us.
I can imagine this place gets pretty packed with the typical, young, BMC drinking Naperville crowd on a Saturday night. I don't know about you, but I'm too old for that crap. I'll stick to visiting on a nice Saturday or Sunday afternoon - especially since the Bavarian Lodge doesn't open until 4pm!
01-27-2009 17:16:37 | More by Rhoobarb
Grumpy Bulldog in Naperville, IL
90 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.