Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
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Active Beers: 77
Beer Ratings: 1,387
Beer Avg: 3.95
Taps: 102 / Bottles: 350
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 67 | Show All Ratings:
4.13/5 rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Review based on new place, would have been slightly higher for old one. First of all the beer selection is outstanding. Usually at least 20+ Pizza Boys on tap, of all styles and very good to excellent quality. The remaining 70-80 taps available feature mainly American craft beers with lots of PA breweries and an excellent representation of the remainder of the U.S., at least what Al can get, with several rarieties/one-offs on at most times. The foreign selection is limited. There are a few rare bottles and a couple of Pizza Boy bottles for sale, in house consumption only. Al's offers a relatively small but impressive selection of bottles to go and most drafts are available in 32 & 64 oz growlers, bottles and growlers are very reasonably priced. Food is pretty much pizza shop menu, but is very good and the menu is extensive, but in about 6 years of visiting Al's the menu has changed very little if at all. They used to have some special dinner nights at the old place but not at the new one. My main complaint is the service, never found the bartenders/servers to be rude in any way but some can be less than engaging to say the least when it comes to beer. I don't think this is all their fault, as the way the ordering system is set up they don't have time to chit-chat or even really answer questions at certain times. And when I say I have a problem with the service it's how the place is set up for ordering. The best analogy I can give is if you ever been to Max's on Broadway in Baltimore, similar in size comparing Max's main bar only to Al's (Max's probably holds a few more), both offer pub style service order beer and food at the bar and both have 100 taps. Just imagine if everyone had to order at Max's at just 2 registers at the bar, it would be a nightmare of lines, which is what Al's becomes many nights and weekends and especially any special event (wasn't as much of a problem at old place as popularity wasn't as great). Also the lack of sample sizes or half pours also is a big drawback (samples were available at the old place). All that being said Al's is hands down the best place for beer between Philly and Pitts in PA. Al's has always presented a unique vibe with outstanding beer, with some refinement this could be worldclass. May come down to Al having to decide between pizza shop and beer bar/brewery.
04-17-2014 02:17:36 | More by DrBier
4.55/5 rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25 | $$
Finally made a visit to Al's and it lives up to the hype- large, open atmosphere with a quieter, more family oriented room to the back. The pizza was tasty, but what you're really here for are the brews, and there's plenty, including a lot of their own stuff. Excellent organization on digital boards- there's so many that you end up with quite a tiny font! The in-house beers were all I had on my first visit, and they all were excellent.
There's separate ordering for food and drinks, only thing that I think is a downfall is not offering samples... and that has been mentioned before. Al's puts out a lot of high abv brews, and not being able to purchase a 4oz. glass (I'm not even talking about free pours!) is a real shame- hopefully they'll think about doing this in the future!
Other than that quirk, I loved it, and will definitely be back again. Oh, and I forgot to mention that they have a nice selection of bottles to go as well.... can't beat that
03-03-2014 20:01:43 | More by Shandycan
4.95/5 rDev +12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I love this place and drive up every week like clockwork. I've always found the staff to be friendly, prompt and knowledgable. The owner often stops and chats with each of the customers and answers questions when time permits.
I appreciate the "order at the bar" policy they have. It makes ordering so much simpler and efficient. No sitting around waiting for a server! I was a little confused about the procedure when I went for the first time, so I just went to the take out counter and asked. I also appreciate that they ID me and check my ID against the credit card I leave to run the tab. I've had a credit card stolen before and fixing that is a mess. As for seating, usually you can just seat yourself, but on busier nights a staff member will seat you as soon as one opens and is cleaned off.
I enjoy the selection and even though I tend to be picky about which "flavor" of beer I drink, I am ALWAYS able to find something! I also like the large selection of ciders and malt beverages since I'm not always in the mood for a beer. They have a lot of sour beers which aren't my thing, but seem to balance them well with the other selections.
The food is fantastic. The wings are the best I've ever had and are always fresh and juicy. I ask for extra celery with my orders because they only come with four pieces. The feta, spinich, and tomato white pizza is my favorite. Great to take home and reheat too!
It can get a little noisy during televised sporting events. Also, there is a "family friendly" corner which I bring my kids to, but also appreciate that it is a ways away from the bar for the visits where I don't. It has a couple video games and a claw machine.
02-24-2014 22:04:02 | More by girlwithnojeep
3.2/5 rDev -27.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
It's a shame a craft beer paradise with excellent food has to be ruined by staff who don't clean tables, serve in a timely manner, drink behind the bar, aimless walk around talking to their friends and are genuinely annoyed by customers asking for assistance. Won't be returning which is disappointing because I had high hopes for this place.
Atmosphere: Loud at times but that's because there's a lot of people. Definitely around or slightly above average.
Quality: Food is great, Pizza Boy beer isn't the best but it's definitely pretty good.
Service: As evidenced by many reviews on Yelp, their customer service isn't good. Bartenders are apathetic and uneducated about the beer they serve and can't answer simple questions as to why nitro is used, food pairings or flavor profiles. It's not an uncommon sight to see them playing on their phones, brushing off customers to serve their friends or drinking behind the bar. The service is as bad as it gets. Rude, irritable humans with not even an ounce of common courtesy or good manners.
Selection: Out of the 100 taps, 90 some are usually active. The selection features great local beers, their own brew as well as some of the top names in the craft beer industry. You won't be disappointed with your beer once you get past the rude staff. Typically, this would be a 5/5 because hell, 90-100 beers at a given time is awesome. However, their pick six selection to go isn't very good.
Food: Again, the food is great. Their pizza is awesome.
Value: $5+ for a pint of craft is definitely reasonable. Food's not too bad either.
02-23-2014 00:10:24 | More by AMBREW13
4.45/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Nice place. Good bottle selection, and you cant beat the 100 plus taps. They have a nice selection of their own Pizza boy brews, as well as a huge selection of local and hard to find national distro beer as well. I would recommend anyone passing through the area to stop by and have a couple beers here.
01-28-2014 14:19:56 | More by robieobie1
4.09/5 rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4 | $$
Al's is putting out great beers, and offers a good selection from other breweries as well. The pizza is good, and very family friendly atmosphere. I am not a huge fan of having to go to the bar and ordering food/beers when sitting at a table. It would also be nice to get bottles to go, although they do offer growler fills of most of their beer.
12-29-2013 16:21:00 | More by HoppyKilaMonster
4.76/5 rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I've been to Al's three times now and I love this place. Great food and an even better beer selection. The most recent visit was spent trying only Pizza Boy Brewing beer. Angel of Death and Toadal Devastation were both amazing beers. The Straight Up Hefe wasn't too bad either...exactly as the name describes.
12-06-2013 06:27:10 | More by NEPABeerReviews_Joe
3.08/5 rDev -30.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Updated Nov 30 2013
I want to love this place. I really do. On my second trip--in the new location--I was again met with horrible service (like the first time), but this time around I learned that they have done away with small pours of their beer and instead only do full pours.
This is a brewery right? People visit breweries specifically to sample beers, right? Not here: over 20 of their beers on tap and you'd have to buy full pours of each to try them. WTF? I'm not asking for free samples: more than happy to pay. I just don't want to get tanked trying more than two beers. Even half pours would be okay.
If you want to try their beers, bring a DD or about 20 friends.
Ridiculous. Dropping my service rating from a poor to an awful.
11-30-2013 22:07:38 | More by jwjon1
4.98/5 rDev +12.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75 | $$
An awesome place! I'm not from PA but when I visited the state, I knew I needed to check this place out. I went there on a Sunday; loved it and came back on Monday once more!
Atmosphere: incredible. You can find a seat about anywhere. Not too crowded. The menu selections of the beer is like looking at the flight information display system at the airport. So many to pick from. The place is not to loud and there's plenty of room for you to move around.
Quality: perfect. The place was clean, including their bathrooms. Food was good quality and so was their own beers.
Service: the staff were wonderful. They were very knowledgeable of their beers, especially the Pizza Boy products. They also are very patient and give you ample time to decide what you want. In addition, I ask one staff about their glass and how much it cost. He just gave me one with no charge! Plus he said "thank you" in sign language. He saw that I had hearing aids and thought to sign. I really appreciate people that do this :)
Selection: I said this before and I'll say it again. So many beers to pick. Not only different breweries but different styles. You'll find IPA's, double IPA's, barleywine's, sours, stouts, etc. They also have a nice selection of food. I just got the pizza by the slice but there is many pizzas to pick from. Some are meatless which was what I picked. They also have a nice selection of bottled beers to take home. Much cheaper than bottled beers in Philly but maybe a bit more than the beers in Pittsburgh. That was my experience when I traveled across the state.
Food: very good food. I picked a slice and they heated it up and brought it to my table. Nothing to complain!
Value: The beers and food was not overpriced. The prices did vary on the beers which was what I expected. I tried a Pizza Boy raspberry sour which cost more than most other beers. But considering it's a sour and the labor it takes to making it, it made sense.
Overall: if I'm from the area, I'd be a regular there. I had so much fun, they had a packer game on, I drank awesome beers, the staff were friendly and helpful, and the customers were nice as well! Visit this place if you get the chance!
11-20-2013 17:23:35 | More by Benish
4.2/5 rDev -5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75 | $
What a hidden gem! Calling this a "pizza place" is a gross understatement.
DRINKS: The beer list is impressive, and unlike many places with a huge beer list, it has such great diversity and unique beers. In this area, most pizza places don't serve beer, and those that do have like Miller, Coors and Bud... mmm heartburn & diarrhea.
The beers brewed in house are amazing, we go about once a week, and I haven't gotten tired yet.
FOOD: The Harrisburg east/west shore area is overflowing with crappy pizza places, eager to serve canned & frozen crap for $$$. This is not one of those places. The food is really good, definitely the best of all the Al's. It is amazing what a little pride in your product does for food quality.
SERVICE: The staff are all friendly, the place is kept pretty clean. One thing I will recommend, if you have questions, don't be afraid to ask who can answer them. A lot of the cashiers might not be the best at answering beer questions, but the staff over at the taps are great.
And the hours are awesome, especially for people that work outside the 9-5. Definitely a winner!
11-18-2013 00:36:35 | More by HeatherN
Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing in Enola, PA
97 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.