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Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing

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Based on:
109 Beers
3,535 Hads
Place Score: 96
Reviews: 87
Visits: 215
Avg: 4.34
pDev: n/a
Taps: 102
Bottles: 350
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

2240 Millennium Way
Enola, Pennsylvania, 17025
United States
phone: (717) 728-3840

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: petesuphi on 10-19-2008

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 87 | Visits: 215
Photo of AutumnWolf13
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Great small brewery and tap house! 102 beers on tap! 25-30 of their own well crafted brews in a wide variety of styles. 75 or so east & west coast micro-brews...not a single Busch/Coors/Miller in sight!!!

The only knock on the place is they don't do flights. with such a selection it would be nice to get to sample 6 of your favorite beer styles at a time!

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Photo of BigRizz62
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Great selections of beers (100). This includes over twenty of his own beers , which hold their own. Basic Italian food that compliments the beers. Nice selection of take out as well. A must visit

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Photo of RLM15
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Pizza Boy Brewing has quickly become my favorite local brewery, and that is saying a lot given the abundance of great craft beer in the Pennsylvania/Maryland area. It's been great to see them progress and begin to develop their flagship beers which I'm hoping will soon be available for distribution. With 102 taps and countless bottles and cans to choose from, Pizza Boy has something for everybody. Often 20-30 taps will be dedicated to Pizza Boy Beers, the other 70 or so taps will offer choice crafts brews from all over the country. The food is also very good at Pizza Boy as they have a large selection ranging from specialty pizza's to entree's and many great appetizers. It's been a pleasure having Pizza Boy in the area and I look forward to their future creations.

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Photo of JEM717
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Been here many times and it never disappoints. They always have a good selection of other brewers beers as well as their own which are great. Food is good as well. Best brewpub in PA hands down.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Typically, I review a place after one visit as I like to keep checking out new spots since there is so much out there.

For whatever reason, I am finally entering a Pizza Boy review after 3 visits.

Generally speaking, there isn't much more that you could ask for from Pizza Boy. You have a ton of taps, and as of yesterday, I hear they are finally going to do smaller pours. (Too bad they couldn't have started that a few days earlier, for my sake!! Oh well.) The pizza is pretty good, and there always seems to be something I haven't seen available on the bottle shop side of things. It will be interesting to see how this recent expansion goes for them.

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Photo of IPAchris
3.35/5  rDev -22.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I absolutely loved this place and hated it at the same time. The Pizza Boy beer was amazing, well worth the hype and the food was also very good. However, not offering samples or flights of beer is very puzzling. At least offer 4 or 5oz pours. This would allow customers to try more of this great beer and certainly increase sales. It was also really odd that you cannot tip using a credit card. Not sure about the reasoning behind this but it has to hurt the servers/bartenders. We ran up decent sized bill but had very little cash on us to provide a tip. Overall, great beer, good food but unusual business practices.

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Photo of UAhuntt
4.95/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

The move from the old location to the recent location was the BEST thing Al could have ever done for business. The selection is phenomenal, he does a great job of promoting other "Local-PA" breweries. The sour program he is starting I'd is stellar, I believe it will one day match the likes of Jester King or The Bruery. His IPAs are a top seller as they are all quality. The food is always very good and the atmosphere is friendly and great for families/friends.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Driving from NYC to Charlottesville, Virginia, the wife and I stopped at Al's/Pizza Boy for a brew and some pizza.

Located squarely in the middle of nowhere, this is an industrial-looking joint with brew tanks on view and the works. Inside the place looks like a high-school cafeteria, and the ordering system is annoying (one beer at a time, no tastings, no service).

But you know what, the pizza is delicious and the beer selection is stunning. 102 taps, including rarities like Creme Brulee, Founders Imp Stout, Palo Santo and Weyer Heresy on nitro, DuClaw Hell on Wood (bourbon barleywine), Liquid Hero Imp Stout, Full Pint Rye Rebelation plus a ton of Pizza Boy beers. I loved the Galaxy IPA, and also the Azazel (Imp Stout with chilies).

This is my kind of tap list: lots of variety, a ton of bourbon-aged stuff, big beers...

Draughts are priced between three and seven dollars, and they also sell growlers (only for takeout).

Service is minimal, and they do not accept tips. Take it for what it is and enjoy it. I look forward to experiencing Al's/Pizza again.

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Photo of bum732
3.4/5  rDev -21.7%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Re-reviewing this since it's in a new location. I really don't want to write an entire diatribe, so let me just quickly point out the major flaws:

1. Their 2L growlers are clear glass
2. They have an entire shelf of beers exposed to the outside sun
3. Beers they serve on tap are way too cold
4. The inside has a women's penitentiary feel to it
5. No tasters allowed, can only get full pours
6. When ordering one of their bottled beers, you can't have any other beers on your table

Many people would point out that many of these issues are minor. But I would argue that selling clear growlers and not allowing trying beers on tap without ordering a full pour as complete bullshit. There is really no excuse for doing this. I just don't understand this place, there is so much potential and the beers here were for the most part, excellent. But it's the little things that are just baffling to me. There is just a weird vibe of paranoia that makes this place reek of amateur hour. I feel bad for the head brewer, he's clearly a great at his job but unfortunately has to deal with piss poor policies from the owner. Too bad.

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Photo of facesnorth
3.56/5  rDev -18%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3

For beer alone, this place is close to perfect. The bottled sours in particular are some of the best you can find anywhere. There's also always a number of quality offerings on draft. Note this is attributed to Terry, not Al, and while I think I would follow Terry wherever he brewed - if he left Al's I don't think I'd ever need to return.

The food is another story. While the pizza is decent, the hot subs are not good. A bunch of us went and tried a good variety of them, including the meatball parm, the chicken cheesesteak and chicken parm. We all forced ourselves to finish half and then couldn't go any further.

Probably my biggest disappointment was the attitude of the staff. The young manager there in particular was very rude after a misunderstanding, and some of the other servers I found to be arrogant and slightly off-putting. I've been here twice now, and felt the same way both times. After speaking with Al, I believe this attitude trickles down from him.

Besides this, clear 64 oz growlers? When asked why they would have clear growlers, the answer given was that no one keeps the beer long enough for it to matter. And the cost is unnecessarily high. $6 for a 32 oz grenade style growler? The lack of any samples, half pours, or flights makes it difficult to try all of the beers, and some are better than others.

They are also very uptight about carding - so make sure you have your ID with you, or you won't drink, even if you're 60 years old and drove 3 hours to get there. I've never seen another bar in the state of PA who was as uptight about everyone in a party having an ID as this establishment is. The level of enforcement here reminded me of visiting Egypt and having our public buses constantly stopped, emptied and inspected at vigorous and drawn-out checkpoints.

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Photo of 57md
4.34/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 2.75

The last time that I was in Al’s they were still in their old location which is less than a mile from the current location. The new location is a basically a renovated warehouse located in the middle of a suburban industrial park. They brew on-site with the tanks and brewing staff visible to the customers. The place is clean but a bit spartan and lacking in character.

The only alcohol served is beer, but since they have over 100 taps and a decent bottle collection who needs hard liquor? The service is set up in stations with a couple people tapping beer behind a long bar and another register for food orders and take-out beer purchases. However, anything can be ordered at any station and the staff is very willing to set up tabs for customers.

The food is pretty much basic pizza shop-type grub. It is mediocre and pricey for what you get. However, let me be blunt: the food is good enough to provide a base for consuming more of the tasty beer offerings available - ok?!?

The feature at Al’s is the beer, particularly their on-site Pizza Boy brews. They have more than 20 of their own beers on-tap at any given time. Their home-made beers are absolutely outstanding! The remainder of the taps are dedicated to a good mix of regional and national craft breweries. If you can’t find something that you like at Al’s, then you simply don’t like beer.

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Photo of DrBier
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of Shandycan
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
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

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Photo of girlwithnojeep
4.95/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of AMBREW13
3.2/5  rDev -26.3%
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.

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Photo of robieobie1
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of HoppyKilaMonster
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of NEPABeerReviews_Joe
4.76/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of jwjon1
3.08/5  rDev -29%
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.

Not here.

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.

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Photo of Benish
4.98/5  rDev +14.7%
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!

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Photo of HeatherN
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
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!

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Photo of Era717
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 1 | selection: 4

For such an excellent beer selection (huge fan of the pizza boy sours) it's a real shame that the staff is so rude. Also, its obnoxious that they wont let you sample beer when deciding which delicious selection would like to fill your growler with. I'm thoroughly upset about this since als could have easily become one of my new fav spots.

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Photo of Jamey61
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

102 beers on tap and not one was Miller light or Coors light. Priceless! Only tried one house beer which was my girlfriends. OK but not my style. Didn't try their other beers but their selection is amazing. Service is timely but Not personable. Wings and pizza were good. Was very happy with this place because I got to try beer outside the norm and am able to look forward to different experiences. Defiantly must got to place if in the area.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.78/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Alright, time for a re-review since the new location has opened. First off, I absolutely love the new location. So much more room makes me a happy camper. 99 taps flowing here, but between a quarter and a third of them are usually kicked at any given time...not a huge deal, though. You order your beer and food at a counter and sit wherever the hell you want, which is both a good and a bad thing...but it is what it is, and they'll bus your table if it's not too busy. Pricing can fall on the high side for to-go bottles, food, and drafts, but the bottle pricing is expected given PA's liquor laws, the food is worth the price, and the drafts are reasonably priced (all things considered). Speaking of which: no flights here, which irked me at first, but made more sense as I've started coming here more often. This place is definitely worth a stop, though you can rack up a hefty bill pretty quickly if you're not paying attention. At any rate, you're not getting Pizza Boy stuff anywhere else (and it's DELICIOUS), so it's worth the price.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Visited on a Sunday for lunch. Arrived just around noon. Very slow when we arrived, but definitely getting busy when we left..

Overall, I like this place. A brand new facility.

A - A little sterile as it is more a brewery than a pizza place/pub. Clean and spacious. Family friendly, almost every group that came in for lunch had kids. They have a small kids menu. I rated a little low because of the sterileness. Also, can't see much of the brewing process unless you are off in one corner of the place.

Q - No complaints.

S - No table service. Folks behind the bar and at the counter were friendly and very helpful. I like the video screens with the on tap beer selections, but it also means you must stand at one of two locations to consider your beer selection. It would be nice to have a daily beer sheet to read at the table. Maybe there is table service at other times, but I rated a little lower for having none when we visited.

S - Great selection of beers. 40 or so on tap, with about seven Pizza Boy beers. I considered the taps more regoinally focused, but there was a stone and two founders, etc. Also six packs to go, pick your six to go and some bombers. Don't not ask if you could buy a bottle and drink there. I found an Alesmith Speedway Stout, which I bought. Also 1L and 2L growlers available. I picked up 1L off Bumble Phuq. I was disappointed that the Pizza Boy Intangible was only available for in-house consumption, no to-go.

F - Come for the beer and then have some nice pizza. But there is much better pizza around than than the white pizza w/ added sausage that we had. The pizza was too thick and the sausage was run of the mill.

V - The food is still an excellent value. The beer value is dependent on the selection. My Alesmith bombmer was $18, which I thought was a $$$ rating, but I don't get to th Alesmith distribution area much so I purchased.

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Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing in Enola, PA
96 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.