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Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing

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Based on:
110 Beers
3,531 Hads
Place Score: 96
Reviews: 87
Visits: 214
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

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Reviews: 87 | Visits: 214
Photo of slander
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Hard time work life on the road in Carlisle once ago. Used to be this joint up the highway some; pizza, subs, & salads, coolers with bottles and 2 dozen or so taps. The grilled chicken salad was my jam, and a few pints of the house basement beers in the early days of house beers there, before they went big time and moved a stone’s throw away. Oh, my many travelling garbage man days…

A standalone in the back up that road, there, it’s a large open room with a black tortoise shell marble topped ‘L’ bar along the far perimeter, dark gray cinder block base, & foot box brickings; seating for 14 on hightop stools. Triple wide coolers with bottled selections available behind the bar on one side, and a shit ton of non-descript handles on a loooooong row on the short side; 3 handpumps on center and 49 taps to each side on stainless steel. Dangling stems from the underside and 5 tap boards running the length atop over a shelf of logo’d house crowlers, bottled selections, and house growlers. On the side wall, a large ‘102 beers on draft’ sign denotes ‘here’s the first 21’ below. And then the 5 tap boards list 80 beers collectively in white print on alt red & black lines (brewery, beer, style, ABV, serving glass, $, & 32oz & 64oz crowl/growl pricing). Okay, I understander what’s what now.

Concrete floorings, industrial high ceilings with exposed ductwork & drop lighting over the kitchen and elsewhere about, and light cream walls. Brewery placards, a large horizontal ‘Experience the art of beer’ brewing process banner, and 3 flats up high; 1 of them showing the dirty Mets. Roughly 2 dozen tables in rows out across the room mostly between the hightops, lowboys, booth styles, & 2 long shared tables in the corner. Carry out & mix-a-six coolers, and mountains of pumpkin beers on the far wall displayed; they should display them nowhere ever. Slight arcade play around the corner (Hey, it’s Phil’s Golf Game; he would be pleased), and another set of beer boards there. And there’s brewing equipment back past there and above the bathroom block; the equipment stainless up there not looking so sturdy or upright. 20 tables high & low in the back room on the end with a few flats for the viewing, and outdoor seating, a buncha tables off the curb there.

As I have neither the attention span or want to list 102 beers, I will summarize. Roughly 3/5 of them are from PA; 26 houseish beers, including a few collabs with the likes of East End, Troegs, ABC, & others, and some Intangible beers. And another 3 dozen or so in-state offerings; 8 from Troegs, 6 offerings from Tired Hands, 7 from East End, 4 from Free Will, and then onesies, twosies, or more from Crystal Ball, Helltown, Lavery, Liquid Hero, Yards, Funk, St. Boniface, Voodoo, Molly Pitcher, & The Brewery @ Hershey. The other 2/5 are mostly American craft with some imports and ciders thrown in the mix.

Having gone through a good amount of the house beers one by one (grumble grumble), it has been decided that ‘Eternal Sunshine’ (dry hopped sour), ‘Haters Tears’ (sour salted Gose, “salted with the tears of the entitled”), ‘717’ collab with Troegs & ABC (hoppy tart Saison), and Freefall (Grisette), are best of show, versus others, which were, well, no. Wound down with a shorty of ‘Moonstomp’ collab with East End (Berliner). It’s real tough for me not hitting the Tired Hands beers (Cat Statue, Fripp, HopHands, SaisonHands, Thesaurus, Trendler Lager), but I’m here for the house beers (sigh).

To the right of the bar, there’s an open kitchen with a bazillion pizza boxes stacked fronted by a place where you order food, and don’t trip on the chips, yo. The complete food menu posted on the far wall (love!), as well as lunch specials and the like. While I was getting my beer on, someone gone ordered wings, 30 of them to be exact, done hot garlic. I could have done with them being less hot (yes, the hot was hot for tenderfoot, me), but they had the good garlic (can there ever be enough garlic?). Me, I would have done sweet & sour, or Al’s bourbon, maybe. ‘Why didn’t I get the California fries’? Witz asks. Only you know, Dave. Search your heart.

Ben won’t shut up about his Mets. They’re going down. There’s a lot going on here but not a lot of atmosphere, I must say. Service was kind of douche-y. I do not enjoy this only 1 beer at a time policy, especially when they don’t do a sampler or tasters and you want to assess 2 beers side by side. Only one bottle for sale (black barrel aged sour), so very not my favorite style. Yes, they’ve got a lot of taps, but when you talk about lines, is biggest best? Some good house beers and others not so much. Virginia found the Eternal Sunshine to have not held up in crowler 3 hours out. Props for the good showing of local/regional PA guest taps (‘No crowlers of Tired Hands’, thank you, Jean!). Definitely worth the visit.

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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 Billolick
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A lot going on here. Its a dinky little place, jammed with several tables, numerous cooler units and the small kitchen all squeezed into one small, cramped feeling room. Its a full menu pizza joint, Italian eatery. Def not the place to take a date or the family. Better to drop in for a bite with the guys or take food to go or just to pick up some of the many fine beers they offer.

Loads and loads of quality locals, regional and national good stuff in bottles in the coolers and they fill growlers from a large variety of taps..always a huge plus. They had numerous growler fill options I would have taken advantage on a regular basis if I was local. They also brew their own beer right here and offer it in growlers. Nice. Very beer friendly athmosphere. I got the feeling I was in the company of many beer geeks ( a good thing) when I visited with my local buddy.

Support this place - they respect beer

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Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Had occasion to visit this excellent beer bar for the first time last night.

Located just off of I-81, Al's is in kind of an odd location, and is not the sort of place I think many people are going to just happen upon. However, even at 4:15 on a Friday the place was pretty much packed, so obviously it's pretty well known in the area (the reason for which I quickly saw why).

Walking in from the parking lot, the place looks like a nothing special, fairly small deli, with a smattering of tables, a couple of cold boxes, and a cash register area with some chips laid out. My initial reaction was "am I in the right place?".... but then I noticed what was in the cold box and saw the draft list over head. Atmosphere-wise, there's really nothing to distinguish this place, and Al's is so small, you have folks waiting in line for a beer, standing in the middle of the dining area (you order your beer and food at the cash register - the beer is poured on the spot and your food is dropped off at your table once it's ready and/or reheated). Normally I'd give the atmosphere here probably a 3 for average, but I feel as if I need to give this place a score bump somewhere for doing something I have NEVER seen elsewhere. On the draft board, along with the beer name, brewery, abv. and pricing, there is also included the beer's BA score (letter grade). Very cool guys.

Service was pretty good I thought. The folks working here were friendly and knowledgeable, and both my beer and food orders came quickly.

As for the beer selection, aside from the 200 or so bottled beers on hand here, this day there were also 27 beers on tap. Three of those beers were cask conditioned, while 4 more were on nitro (very impressed by this). The quality of the selection was outstanding. While bottles included things like breakfast stout, hopslam, nugget nectar, etc., the tap list included Yeti, hopslam, cask NN, cask double simcoe and cask winter fidy. This place clearly knows good beer and it's apparent they make an extra special effort to obtain and provide it.

As for food, I got a couple of slices of pizza while here. Both were fine (the white spinach was superior to the stuffed philly cheesesteak - had to try that!), though I wouldn't describe them as anything memorable. On the other hand the slices here are good size, and my two slices were completely filling.

Prices here are very reaasonable, bordering on inexpensive. My 12 ounce tulip glass of hopslam cost $5, while my pint of cask NN was $6. The pizza slices were $3.40 a piece. Also, while I didn't take advantage of it, Al's fills growlers here (except for super rare beers like hopslam and cask NN), and on Friday's they typically have several beers on special (5 of them on this day) where they will fill a growler for only $9. Anyway, when I went up to pay my tab, I was a bit surprised when I was given a customer copy of my credit card receipt, but no store copy. Obviously, I wanted to leave a tip, and so wasn't sure how to go about it. I was told the reason for this is that they want to keep costs down, so the only way to leave a tip is to put cash in the tip jar (which was stuffed). Whatever. That explanation doesn't really make any sense to me, but I didn't feel as if it mattered.

This place is great and there's no doubt I'll be back any time I'm in the Harrisburg area.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

*Note: this review and rating is for the old location. Working on updating soon.

We stopped here on the way back home from Pittsburgh to Philly, figuring we'd have a little mini picnic outside with the dog, as not many good spots are pet friendly (but the wife HAD to bring the dog on the trip :P). If you don't know what you're looking for, this place is hard enough to find, but it didn't help that I put the wrong street number in my GPS. But after backtracking a few miles, I saw the place--it's down a little hill and we drove right past without even noticing it.

As far as atmosphere goes, there's really nothing to speak of. It's a pizza place with a few tables. I'd imagine that it's a nightmare during busy hours. It seems like there should be a few tables outside, but there aren't, and though they won't allow you to take an open glass out, I got a 1L growler of one of their house beers, a small pizza, and we ate and drank out in the car for a little change of pace.

Note: there is no bar here. You order drinks right at the counter.

As far as beer goes, the selection is pretty impressive. Lots of stuff to choose from on tap, including local favorites and about 5 or so micros made right on the premises. Seems like the most random place ever for a microbrewery, but there you have it. And if that's not enough for you, there are tons of bottles to chose from, cold and room temp. Food was basic pizzeria stuff, and the pizza we got I thought was pretty good, even though I kind of scarfed it down, wanting to get back on the road.

Service was fine. It wasn't busy when we visited, but everyone seemed pretty on the ball. Prices were generally pretty good, with $8 for a liter growler fill and $4-6 on pints. I was kind of disappointed that the liter growlers didn't have logos on them, but I got a logo snifter to compensate. I didn't notice bottle prices. The only oddity revealed itself when I asked for a sample of a couple of their beers, and was hit with a $3 bill for each one. $3 for a sampler? And $4.50 for a full pour of the same stuff. Hmm. I don't think I've ever seen a sampler for more than $2, and those were at places much classier than this. I like a little taste before committing to a growler...just a sip...not a $3 shot.

Anyway, overall it was a nice experience, and I wouldn't mind going back if I'm ever in the area again.

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Photo of akorsak
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Edit on 11-Apr-10: First visit since expanding their tap last. A great selection that is IPA/DIPA heavy, just the way I like it. Our cheesesteak pizza was rockin' too. Atmosphere up from 3.5 to 4.0; Selection up to 5.0 from 4.5; Food up to 4.0 from 3.5; Service up from 3.5 to 4.5.


Atmosphere: Al's is a pizza joint in a two-store strip mall (okay, maybe it's not a strip mall). Approximately 10 tables are aligned around the counter (back right), six pack coolers (back left), soda/water/etc. (left) and singles cooler (right).

Quality: My sandwich was average and the restrooms were reasonably clean. Staff was friendly and lunch came out quicklty.

Service: There was no table service, only counter ordering. They diligently checked my id before serving my beer.

Selection: Six tap offerings and at least fifty different bottle offerings were available. I had a Blue Pointe Winter Ale with lunch. They also have Arrogant Bastard, Mad Elf, and Gritty's Christmas Ale on-tap. Bottle-wise, the selection was surprisingly good. I've seen Pennichuck bottles in the area but never Pozharnik. Guess what? They have bottles here. A nice array of Stone, Chimay, Lindemans, Victory and Troegs were available as well.

Food: Food is decent with an Italian focus. Subs, pizza, calzone, and stromboli are the headliners. I went with an Italian sub and found it to be average.

The restaurant is worth visiting for the bottle selection.

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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 dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped to eat lunch on the return trip from visiting family during the holidays and I'm pretty glad that I did. The place was very small and we arrived right around lunchtime on a Saturday so it was pretty busy and I felt pretty excited that we were able to score a table. There is not much in the way of decor here but the place has a real beer geek vibe to it.

Beer was served at a good temperature and in proper glassware - it was actually a very nice pour with a proper amount of head and everything. Beer tasted fresh and I saw the taplist change twice in the 1.5 hours I was there... There were also tons of folks filling growlers here during my visit.

You go to the counter and place your own order so I don't have a lot of comment on the service - the gent working at the counter was very friendly and pleasant, willing to offer an opinion/suggestion on beers that they were serving on tap.

Very nice selection of taps that included 5 Pizza Boy beers and the rest were regional offerings from pretty decent craft breweries - I only wish that we were not on the road and I could have enjoyed a couple more...

The food was essentially a pizza/sub shop and not very fancy but still enjoyable. Nothing out of this world but not something I would avoid either... I think the pizza was better than the subs but to each their own

Prices were reasonable and average, no complaints there.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

I visited Al's for lunch today. Do you like Pizza and Craft Beer? You will like Al's then. The atmosphere of a nice corner pizza shop, clean, well-lit and easy to understand menus. The coolers flank the counter which has several pies displayed and the taps are in plain view.

The selection is the real reason to go. They have about 12 or more taps mostly craft and such bottled selections as Troeg's (even scratch and Nugget currently)Stone, DFH, Green Flash, Bell's, St Bernardus, Samuel Smiths and the list goes on...

The service is fast friendly, no-nonsense and they have a handle on what they sell, recommending and helping with new items.

The quality and value is top notch as both are hard to find fault with I appreciate the freshness of the selections and pricing is very reasonable. I found the buffalo wing pizza to be tasty and it was served hot. The food is worth it for portion sizes and I would only criticize by saying it didn't taste like buffalo wings on the pizza, just chicken slices, but tasty and filling.

I appreciated the variety of menu choices: 4 kinds of pies-neopolitan, white, deep dish and specialty, easy to read beer and food menus with prices under each selection. I enjoyed the visit and they were able to provide good service while there was a lunch rush-recommended

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Photo of orangesol
4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Al's is an interesting case of what a pizza place really should be. Not the biggest place in the world, getting smaller every day in fact, but it makes up for it with good food and even better beer. I have tried just about everything on the menu now and have not been disappointed yet. The subs are great, and the pizza's are even better. I prefer the buffalo chicken pizza personally but the beer geek is awesome as well.

Now on to the good part, the beer. Simply put, there is no better selection of beers in the harrisburg area. From the 24 taps, 4 on nitro, to the 3 cask hand pulls, you will not find a better selection. The mix-a-six for $13 is a good deal if you are looking to try multiple offerings. They also sell and fill growlers with nearly all of the beers. Bottle selection is usually pretty good as well. You can find anything from Lost Abbey Angles Share to victory at Sea to nearly all of the beers dogfish makes.

Al's has started to brew under the name Pizza Boy Brewing and has begun to have them on-tap at the shop. I look forward to trying his beers for years to come.

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Photo of Deuane
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Hit the place up for lunch. After stopping in to check out the goings on a few times I thought a proper BF is in order.

Hey it's a pizza/sub shop what more do you want? Nothing fancy but the place, if a bit small, is fine.

Clean, comfortable and convenient. Easy to find, just east of the Wertzville (PA 944) exit of I-81. Exit I-81, go east on 944 to first light, turn left onto Valley Rd and then make immediate left in small plaza.

A damn good beer selection with 24, constantly roatating, taps...only 1 dud being Coors Light. The other 23 taps are solid American and imported craft beers.

Ten cooler doors for six packs, bombers and singles hold a good variety of beer with about 75% being craft. A nice array of American craft with a smattering of Belgian offerings. Beers were priced fairly, especially for a PA bottle shop. They also have a make your own six-pack section at 6 for $13.

They offer growler fills, including selling the nice German flip tops at cost for $18. Specials include Troeg's Tuesday, with growler fills of Pale Ale and Hopback for $5,that is $3 less than the brewery! Also, they have Victory Fridays with various incentives.

Food is solid with in house made rolls, pizza dough and soups. I have ordered many an item off the menu and it is all solid, filling, good stuff.

Counter service only but the staff was pleasant enough and brought my cheesesteak out to me. Nothing extraordinary but certainly not sub par either.

A nice addition to the local beer scene. Will I make Al's my local, I doubt it. But, I surely will I keep it in mind as a place to check out every now and then!

*EDIT*--Well since bumping the taps up and becoming friends with Al and the folks that work there Al's HAS become my local. C and I head there at least twice a week for pizza and a few pints.

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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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Photo of rfgetz
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Coming down the road, one barely notices the tiny shopping center at the bottom of the hill. From the small lot, it appears Al's is your typical neighborhood pizza joint, deli and 6-pack store rolled into one. Upon entering the brightly lit room, one sees about a dozen tables, 10 or so beer coolers and a counter with the pizza and sandwich menu posted above. No bar?

Above the coolers sits 2 LCD monitors which lists what the 24 or so tucked away beer handles offer with 4 new Pizza Boy offerings, 3 cask options and 4 nitro options. Further inspection of the coolers shows a wide variety of 4 and 6 packs and singles which range from standard brews by Sam Adams and the local Troegs, to the slightly more flashy brews from Evil Twin, Mikkeler etc. Good bomber selection tucked between one row of coolers and the counter, many of the standout brews can be found here.

Expansive menu sure to please, pizza and wings were very good. Service from the counter was quick and friendly. Beer prices were reasonable. Hard to rate this place... as a pizza place, all classifications are blown away but the lack of space could present issues with stock and seating. A must visit when in the area.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Al's is quite a unique place, can't say I've been to one place like it. It has a real odd layout and almost a mish mash of ideas that seemed to be born straight out of the fact of PAs odd liquor laws. It's one part brewery, one part bar, one part deli, and then one part shop, all set in an open floor plan that makes it look like 5 different businesses were just crammed into one space.

There are minimal 12oz. singles for mix packs, and just a very few bombers, but there are a few odd gems you might find if taking a look closely, some Lost Abbey, the odd Voodoo as well, and some Dark Horse. Still it seems the big draw though are the numerous on tap fills for growlers which are highlighted by a fancy electronic red and black billboard designating glass shape, pours and price.

No sample pours are given only full, thus this doesn't allow you to come in and try a lot of different beers (although I am not sure if you just wanted a sip if they would offer it to you). That being said there are their own beers for growler purchase, plus all the others the offer which are quite numerous, but rather common (Stone, Southern Tier, Troegs etc..). Still you can easily find something on the board worth trying.

Service is very good, and everyone is eager to answer any questions about the food, layout, or anything else which at first for newcomers seems quite confusing. I did have some wings, which were fine, but I am not going to grade the food unless I were to eat more of the pizzas, calzones, etc... Although "greens" of course seemed to be lacking on the menu no surprise there.

The place is probably a good place to know about if you are in the area, there doesn't seem to be much else, so who knows how good it can get. But something tells me if you have that many taps that you can growler fill up, you'd probably be very happy if this was in your backyard.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The brewpub is in a very convenient location, right off Route 81, but a bit difficeult to find, in a little strip mall. Not very big inside with only about 10 tables. My wife and I were lucky to get a table because someone was leaving. The beers are listed on an LCD monitor with descriptions and prices for glasses and growlers. Excellent selection for PA, with a mixture of premium microbrews and there own brews. The prices are great for their own produts and very reasonable for the others.

Service is at the counter, which I enjoy, because I hate being rushed by a waitress toi orfder food when I want to enjoy a good beer, or 2, or 3.

I had 2 of their house beers with my meal and took a growler home of another one. All ofd them were great.

The service was great. Our food was served promptly. Everything we had was delicious and in geberous portions.

I wish I lived closer, because this is truly an excellent establishment. Weel worth the trip from Lancaster.

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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 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 stakem
3.65/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.25

I have been going to Als for over awhile now and recently the establishment got a bit of an upgrade. Al's now features 24 quality taps (6 of which are on nitro.) There is an oversized white board that clearly displays what is on tap along with the beer name/brewery/ABV/BA rating/cost for single serving along with the price for 1 and 2 liter growler fills. Even more convenient is Al's web site that gets updated multiple times throughout the day and lists what beer is on tap, has been kicked and what is next in line.

I will be honest, I don't pay much attention to the food when I visit because I am usually just stopping by to enjoy a quick pint, pick up some bottles (which the selection I might add is quite good) or fill a growler. However, the pizza (more specifically the chicken bacon ranch and/or bacon cheeseburg pizza) is awesome. Al's offers "mix a six" variety of beers that you choose from their large selection of beer in the cooler. Very nice option if you are looking to expand your horizons for a particular style or want to try some offerings from a brewery you are unfamiliar with.

Some minor complaints are that the seating arrangement is a bit small and cramped. After work lets out on a Friday, it is not uncommon to see people standing around waiting to snag a place to sit. Also, if you are looking to try a sampler of the beers on draft the price is a little high. A dollar for a sample isn't bad until you see how small the serving glass is.

Overall Al's is a great stop. What strikes me as being the most important aspect about Al's is that Al cares about beer and is always devoting his time seeking out the next quality beer to have available for the customers.

***Update 6/22/10
Add to the list of upgrades the incorporation of 2 super big wide screen monitors that electronically display the beer that is one tap with brewery info, BA rating and pricing. The web site got a bit of an overhaul and now includes a voting system for the regulars to show their preference in what beers get tapped next. Also added to the in-store lineup are 3 casks. Absolutely loving this place and what Al is bringing to central PA.

***Update #2
There are no longer white boards but 2 huge monitors which boldly display all of the offerings on tap along with prices and BA ratings. The serving sizes for samples has increased and there are 3 hand pumps for cask offerings. This is the must-see beer place in Central PA.

***Update #3
This place is now a brewery too. Ive been patronizing Al's regularly for more than 6 years. Unfortunately, the owner is an outright asshole and its no longer a place I or my friends enjoy visiting. Its still the premier beer stop in the area but id rather not see my money supporting that type of person and behavior.

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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 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 Flashy
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Used BA to find this great stop on the way through Harrisburg. Good food, great beer. Wish I had a place like this near me. Food staff was great, beer staff seemed a bit put out about doing their jobs.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Came here on nice Saturday afternoon, good size place with plenty of parking. Big L-shaped bar inside with lots of tables, and a pretty big outside section with lots of high tops.

No servers here; everything is ordered at the bar, which I'm a big fan of, personally. Another huge plus and one of my biggest bar pet peeves, they have a huge electronic tap list above the bar with styles and prices clearly listed. Nothing is worse than ordering a good beer at a bar with 'mystery pricing' and seeing the damage on the bill later. No samples here, but they do offer 8 oz. pours and 16 oz. pours. Also, the prices here are incredible. I don't think I saw a 16 oz. draft of any beer over like $5.50, including the sours and high ABV stouts/IPAs.

Selection is incredible with 100 or so beers on tap, including 15-20 Pizza Boy offerings. All the beers were really good to excellent, wish I could have stayed longer to try more. Food was average but solid enough, nothing beats some cheap pizza slices to soak up the beer. Another weird note, tipping appears to be 'optional' and isn't expected which is quite odd (I guess because there are no servers and you order yourself?). I had them run my credit card on my tab and asked to leave a tip on it and they said "we don't do tips on credit cards".... never heard that line before. So FYI, have cash with you if you want to tip. Awesome place, well worth a stop in if you're in the area.

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Photo of thain709
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in after reading the excellent review on this place. It's a pizza shop with a hidden treasure inside...good beer! It's kinda small inside with all the tables...which were packed when I was there. They have a cooler full of nothing but six packs. On the other side of the restaurant is a cooler with singles and bombers. With the singles you could mix-n-match for $13...not a bad price. I walked away with Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Victory Storm King, and Rouge Mocha Porter and Santa's Private Reserve.

The selection all over is excellent. They have everything from Victory and Troegs...to Stone and Rouge. They also have a few taps which included Stone, Troges, Blue Point and a few others that I didn't get a good look at.

If you get the chance...stop in at Al's of Hampden. It's an easy on/off spot at 81.

Update: I finally tried the food here and it's really good. I went for a sub and I must say the bread was delicious. The pizza is also top notch! Also, they have expanded their tap selection to 24 taps and now 3 casks. This place keeps getting better and better.

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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 nickd717
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Pretty legit beer bar/restaurant/store way out in the boonies west of Enola - not close to much other than the I-81/PA-581 junction. Came here with a bunch of guys from the Harrisburg crew when I was in town recently.

The tap list is extensive and interesting. I had Terrapin Wake-n-Bake on cask, which was outstanding. They'll fill growlers of the draft beers to go if you're so inclined.

The food is pretty solid. The cheese steak pizza was amazing, but man, that shit will put pounds on you!

There is also a very good selection of bottles available. I picked up a DFH My Antonia, some Central Waters beers (which I didn't expect to see), and other stuff.

Prices seemed to be on the cheaper side, but then again I've been living in Ripoffland, California for way too long, so don't trust me on that.

I met Al, who seemed to be a good guy and knowledgeable and passionate about beer. Next time I'm back in my old stomping grounds of Hummelstown, PA (the HTP) I'll make a point to get back out here.

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