1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Nail Creek Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
   No picture uploaded.
   Have one? Upload it now.
very good

12 Ratings
Ratings: 12
Reviews: 10
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 23.33%
Active Beers: 1
Beer Ratings: 7
Beer Avg: 3.89
Taps: 12
Bottles: 50
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

720 Varick St
Utica, New York, 13502
United States
phone: (315) 792-1111

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

None, yet.

(Place added by: kkosmoski on 10-03-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-10 | 11-20  | next › last »
Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 10 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Ryanthebear:
Photo of Ryanthebear

New York

4.43/5  rDev +13.6%

I have been to Nail Creek a few times - only for beer, so I have no opinion regarding their food - and I have been pleased every time. The atmosphere is great. I love the music selection. It has varied from rock to jazz to electronica to a fantastic live folk band. This is by far my favorite place for a beer in Utica, NY.

The staff have always been attentive, helpful, and knowledgeable. The beer selection is great. They have a variety of quality craft brews in bottles and around 12 beers on tap. My one complaint is that they usually dedicate several taps to unimpressive offerings such as Bud Lite, Utica Club, Bass, and Guinness. However, they change their taps frequently, and I have been lucky enough to have Ommegang Hennepin, Delirium Tremens, Saranac Imperial IPA, and a tasty cask ale on tap (unfortunately the name of the cask ale eludes me).

Overall, this place is a gem in Utica and I will be back many times.

05-22-2011 04:45:05 | More by Ryanthebear
More User Reviews:
Photo of DoubleMalt

New York

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

01-18-2014 21:39:20 | More by DoubleMalt
Photo of MichaelStoudBeard

New York

4/5  rDev +2.6%

01-08-2014 08:03:40 | More by MichaelStoudBeard
Photo of squack

New York

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%

I love this pub. I have only found 2 faults. Fault the first; seating is limited in the winter while the outside deck is closed. Fault the second; I do wish they would more of their house brews on tap more often. Still my favorite place in Upstate New York to get a pint.

06-15-2013 14:35:25 | More by squack
Photo of tcbl1007

New Hampshire

1/5  rDev -74.4%

This place SUCKS!!! We never had any food, and we never had any beer, and that's because we weren't offered any! My wife and I came in around 6:30pm on 4/20/2013. There were, at the most, 12-14 people in the place (i.e., it was not even remotely busy). The waitress walked by us twice, with no drinks or food, and never gave us the time of day. The rude idiot could've had the decency to say "I'll be with you in a moment", but she didn't. The girl behind the bar came out from behind the bar and walked right by us, looking at us, and never said "boo". After 10 minutes of nobody there saying anything to us, we said "screw it!". This place is in a crap hole part of town, and I can understand why - because the service is crap. Don't waste your time at this rat trap. The neighborhood sucks, the environment sucks, and the people suck. There's not a single good thing to say about this place. It is garbage through and through. I have no idea how they can even be in business.

For the record, even though we were never offered any food or drink to rate, I gave them a crappy Value only because they had no desire to serve us.

04-21-2013 23:55:08 | More by tcbl1007
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.03/5  rDev +3.3%

Stopped by for a liquid dinner during a business trip. Its a very upstate ny bar...very local but inviting.
It was a Saranac tap takeover the night I was there but the black board from the day before had a nice selection of taps...maybe 10?
Great bottle selection. Well small but diverse. Abita to diu de ciel and lots in between.
I didn't have any house brews as Saranac took residency when I was there but they had a breakfast stout advertised I would have tried.
I had the fries...they were fried :)

Live music was a great addition!

Service was great...super nice and quick. Correct glass for the brew, except the hefe was served in a pint. No biggy...
Also, since its upstsate, its dirt cheap! $3.50 to $5.00 per brew...nice.
Seems like the place to be for craft in utica. Stop by!

05-18-2012 00:13:53 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of Brenden


4.36/5  rDev +11.8%

This place is right down the road from the FX Matt brewery. I don't know if people haven't been in them or they've just popped up, but this place is surrounded by other beer establishments and taverns, none of which I myself went into. It's not exactly a beer wasteland out here unless those places just don't have any good beer.
Anyway, the vibe in this place is pretty nice. It doesn't try to sell itself as anything other than what it is, but it's nice and clean and has good seating and an open space to walk through. The bar tends to be a little tight to squeeze into to make an order, but it's not bad. There's a deck outside, so my wife and I were able to enjoy a nice night with our drinks. There's even an upstairs balcony/deck foe extra seating, smoking, or to get a better look out over Varick.
The bartender didn't go out of his way, but was helpful and generally knowledgeable. He was also pretty patient when I was trying to make up my mind about all the beers I could try that I couldn't get living in Ohio.
I didn't get to try any food; strangely, the kitchen closes very early at night, leaving no food, coffee, etc. available. We were there just before 8 pm and couldn't get anything with our drinks. I thought that was odd.
The selection is very good, with 12 taps and 50+ bottles. This is really a place worth going to and one I'd frequent if I lived in the area.

07-08-2011 15:54:50 | More by Brenden
Photo of VegasBill


3.84/5  rDev -1.5%

Its hard to find a great beer selection in Utica but Nail Creek makes up for that. I settled in for a few beers and since I dont find much Saranac product in the West I had a Irish Red Ale and and Imperial IPA. The bottle selection is huge like 100 or more.
On the downside service was poor almost to the point of being rude. and there was a terrible bathroom odor in the bar, I dont mean to be gross or not proper but it was very unpleasant.
I really want to see this pub succeed so even with the above negatives when I am East next year I will give it one more try.
UPDATE; I promised an update as I went east this year.No bad odors this time. Some people criticize the tap list for having Utica Club on it. In the west this is not available so I enjoy it along with Saranac IPA. I was there on a Friday evening early and for happy hour they put out a big buffet pan with tasty mashed potatoes and all the sides, bacon,cheese,sour cream and many more.

07-04-2010 18:28:21 | More by VegasBill
Photo of chiefjames

New York

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%

About time I can grab a decent beer in Utica. This place has a tremendous selection, beer menu is organized very well, I would even go as far as to say better then some of it's Syracuse bretheren. Always a great tap selection, only one macro on (Bud Light with a pink doll skirt on the tap). Bottle selection is tremendous, locals like Ommegang, and stuff that's harder to find like Hitachi Nest (finally got to try the white here!).

It's on Varrick Street in Utica, so unfortunately a lot of the local trash pours in. There are plenty of bars nearby to cater to that type, so it's usually not so bad. Conveniently, there's a decent sized little parking lot right there, if you go during the day there's no problems. Night time might be a little harder, there are a lot of bars on this street. Prices are reasonable, about what I would expect in this area. Food is normal bar food, I believe their kitchen closes at 4:00 so just the beer crew are in at night. Atmosphere's fine, typical bar, it's clean, that's all you can really ask for in Utica. Nice big deck outside that wraps around the whole bar, plenty of places to sit without feeling cramped.

My only complaint here is the service. One time I came here I talked beer with the bartender for a couple hours, I got to sample a few things I've never had before. Awesome experience, but unfortunately that was the only time. Every other time I've been here has been a let down. I should be offered a glass if I'm drinking pretty much anything here (especially a Samuel Smith's which has foil wrapped around the bottle). When I asked for a glass I got a yeah, whatever look then had to wait 5 minutes for a glass (and this is not a big bar). In fact, almost every time I order a bottle of something here I am not offered a glass. If I'm ordering an eighteen dollar bottle of beer, please don't drop it off in front of me, pop the cap, then take off. I don't know if their staff isn't knowledgable about beer, or they just don't care. With a place that has this type of selection, I would hope for more from their staff.

I was turned away from this place the first few months it was open for that very reason. I can drive to Syracuse just the same, plenty of great beer bars out there. I will say this though, I've been there a couple times in the last month or two and the service has drastically improved. Hopefully they can keep it up, because this place has potential.

04-16-2010 15:28:21 | More by chiefjames
Photo of Kevuas

New York

4.14/5  rDev +6.2%

I have visited Utica many times, taken the beer tour at Utica Club/Saranac, etc., but as you all know being a BA makes you a bit more selective then the average bear. So I had looked up places in Utica from BA that might be of interest. Lo and behold this place came up, with only 2 reviews to it's credit. But I ventured down to Varick St. anyway.

I was pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere and the selection at Nail Creek. Very quickly I learned that the bartenders knew quite a bit about the selection there, and when they did not know they were not hesitant to ask someone who might. A fine selection of beers, ranging around 70-100 or so if memory serves me correct.

Chris T., the owner, was quick to help me learn more about some of the beers and make recommendations. He even took the time to go down to the basement and pull out a couple beers not on the list. He was very friendly and very knowledgeable, things that are very important to me when I go to a place like this to drink good beers and try new beers.

I highly recommend anyone in Utica or central NY stopping by this place for a few good beers. It's a very cozy room with probably the best collection of craft beers in Utica. I don't recall ever being to a place in Utica with a better selection.

They also have the unique prize of placing your name on a plaque on the wall if you sample 100 beers there. Your name is recorded in a binder and when you drink a beer you add one to the list.

There needs to be a couple of small modifications to make this a bit cozier (like peeling the beer selection list, which is stored in a sheet protector, off the bar top that can be covered in beer!), but all-in-all it's a wonderful place to go and highly recommended for anyone in the area.

Thanks for the memorable time Chris, and I am sure you will see me again.

--- edit
I stopped in on a Saturday night Chris, and you were not feeling well upstairs. Hope to run into you next time!

04-10-2009 23:25:27 | More by Kevuas
« first ‹ prev | 1-10 | 11-20  | next › last »
Nail Creek Pub & Brewery in Utica, NY
89 out of 100 based on 12 ratings.