Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
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Active Beers: 92
Beer Ratings: 1,635
Beer Avg: 3.91
Taps: 102 / Bottles: 350
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 117 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
4.34/5 rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 2.75 | $$$
The last time that I was in Al’s they were still in their old location which is less than a mile from the current location. The new location is a basically a renovated warehouse located in the middle of a suburban industrial park. They brew on-site with the tanks and brewing staff visible to the customers. The place is clean but a bit spartan and lacking in character.
The only alcohol served is beer, but since they have over 100 taps and a decent bottle collection who needs hard liquor? The service is set up in stations with a couple people tapping beer behind a long bar and another register for food orders and take-out beer purchases. However, anything can be ordered at any station and the staff is very willing to set up tabs for customers.
The food is pretty much basic pizza shop-type grub. It is mediocre and pricey for what you get. However, let me be blunt: the food is good enough to provide a base for consuming more of the tasty beer offerings available - ok?!?
The feature at Al’s is the beer, particularly their on-site Pizza Boy brews. They have more than 20 of their own beers on-tap at any given time. Their home-made beers are absolutely outstanding! The remainder of the taps are dedicated to a good mix of regional and national craft breweries. If you can’t find something that you like at Al’s, then you simply don’t like beer.
05-01-2014 02:38:18 | More by 57md
4.13/5 rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
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
Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing in Enola, PA
97 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.