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Northampton Brewery

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Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 31
Beer Ratings: 181
Beer Avg: 3.73

Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
89
very good

75 Ratings
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.6%
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Eatery ]

11 Brewster Court
Northampton, Massachusetts, 01060
United States
phone: (413) 584-9903

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

After a short stop at a roadside rest stop to swap our BA Bus for a replacement because of a Battery problem with ours, we were soon at the Northampton Brewery. From the outside it looks rather low key, a smaller building sits to the left of a larger building which runs perpendicular to the roadside on which it sits. The gable end of this larger building has a 45° tiled roof and the outside brick walls are all painted in a light pastel yellow. The entrance has a small orange awning which has the words Northampton Brewery in white. To the right of this a small sign has the Breweries logo which you find on the (as yet incomplete) Website. Above the entrance at the apex of the roof is a round window which contains a neon sign, a yellow pint of beer surrounded by the words 'Northampton Brewery Fine Food and Ales' in blue.

Inside, there is an air of quality that immediately greets you. Wood and steel construction materials have been used to great effect here and the whole interior is put together extremely well. The restrooms are just to your right as you enter, and in front of those there is a decent sized seating area. To your left, set inside a semi-circular bar, is the main serving area. Solid wooden beams around the semi-circular bar hold up a partial upper floor which overlooks the Bar area and the Brewery. But the BA gang of 30 or so all decided to stay on the ground floor from memory. Many chose to sit in the area in front of the bar, but several of the more rowdy backseat bus gang located ourselves in some comfy high seat chairs at the back of building. Later I would sit at the bar for my last pint which is surrounded by wooden stools.

The Brewery is visible to your immediate left as you enter, and is located behind a full size glass window giving the imbiber the chance to view the equipment that produces the local brews. 12 brews on draft in total, 8 house brews and 4 guests. I had the chance to try the Nonotuck India Pale Ale, a decent IPA but a little restrained, and the Hoover’s Porter which was my favorite. I had taste samples of other people’s offering as well. The Northampton brews are solid efforts, never over the top but not exactly run-of-the-mill either. I was also surprised to see that you could purchase Pints and Half-Pints which was a neat touch.

Northampton does food, though I didn’t have any whilst here, but what I saw offered up to some hungry BA’s looked like solid pub fare and the prices seemed to be reasonable as well.

The beers are above average offerings, with a few notable exceptions like the Porter, but I have to praise the service here, there were two servers behind the bar, and they were both great, service was quick and very efficient and you didn’t have to wait long to get your Glass filled, in fact I was spotted with an empty glass whilst approaching the bar on one occasion and the server moved round to where I was to serve me immediately, proactive service, rather than reactive, which was very impressive.

Nothing much to bitch about at all really, a solid all round performer that offered a warm welcome and handled an infusion of 30+ BA’s extremely well. A good stop if you are in the area.

Last Visit: Saturday 21st August, 2004.

08-28-2004 23:06:35 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Todd
Todd

Colorado

4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

First stop on the 2004 BA Bus Tour, the Northampton Brewery resides on the flipside of the Thorne’s Market. Though it’s been opened since 1987, the interior remains somewhat modern while being inviting though the exterior is an odd shaped cement building painted yellow with hop vines crawling about. Inside, the bar hugs the room, providing a view of the glassed brewhouse, while there’s plenty of drinking and dining space both on the ground floor, upstairs, new sunroom and outside deck that sits atop the building. They offer up to 8 rotating house beers on-tap, with 4 guest taps, some of which hail from its sister breweries (Portsmouth Brewery and Smuttynose in New Hampshire). Standouts were the Decadent Ale (a 10 plus percent Old Ale), Nonotuck India Pale Ale (a mild and floral IPA, and highly drinkable one at that) and Hoover’s Porter (with its smooth chocolate, coffee and smoky notes). The beers won’t knock beer geeks over with excitement, but all the offerings are solid, very appealing and highly drinkable. They also offer half- and full-pints and insanely cheap prices, with an average of $3.50 for a pint. Food-wise you’ll find a selection of standard brewpub fare, decent and fairly priced. Beer-battered Shrimp were delicious and the burgers and pilled sandwiches looked very appetizing. Service is friendly and prompt. The bar staff made eye contact and were on top of low pints. Definitely worth a visit, and ask one of the brewers for a tour, if they aren’t busy brewing.

08-26-2004 14:02:43 | More by Todd
Photo of masterbruewer
masterbruewer

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I visited this place while waiting for the broken-down BA bus.

The atmosphere was interesting. A mix of 80's restaurant with an outdoor deck. It rained all day so I didn't get on the deck.

Tried one of just about each beer they had on tap. All were great.

The service was excellent and quick, even when the bus full of 30 thirsty BA's showed up.

The selection on tap was good. Many styles brewed in house and a guest tap of Magic Hat.

The food was delicious. I recommend the Killer Kowalski sandwich. It's a sliced sausage/kielbasa sandwich.

08-24-2004 15:06:49 | More by masterbruewer
Photo of gentlebubbles
gentlebubbles

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Very cool, huge space with two levels in the main pub, a (slightly quieter) restaurant section to the side, a bier garden out back, and kettles visible through a glass partition from the pub. Too bad it was pouring rain that day. Friendly staff who kept up with a demanding crowd. The brewpub beers cover the fairly standard range of ales. Plus a good selection of guest taps. No cask, though. The beers themselves seem a mixed bag, with the Decadant Ale shining like a star amid a decent, if unremarkable array.

08-23-2004 18:44:49 | More by gentlebubbles
Photo of slander
slander

New York

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

First stop on the "Reeeal long way around to Albany" tour.
It took some senseless wandering about to find the place but it was under our noses the whole time...
On approach, you will see that this place has some good size to it, bar, restaurant, and the roof top deck. The main bar is semi-circular, and seats a dozen. Adjacent to it lies a half dozen tables, a corner room with a few more tables, and seating above in a blacony that partially overlooks this room. Fermenters behind glass in the corner over there and in the opposite corner, an entrance to the dining room which is large and spacious, with a dozen and a half copper topped tables, a fireplace at the far end, arched wooden ceiling, neat checkerboard floor, horizontal windows on one side that look up to the deck and on the other side, big open windows facing out towards the street, and a stairway to the rooftop deck which is where we opted to do lunch...
The rooftop deck is the place with the space. All wooden, 3 tiers to it, with it's own bar and roughly 3 dozen tables with plastic chairs. Most of the seating areas fall beneath the large red steel framed canopy, either here or there. The tables that aren't enclosed by a canopy have umbrellas over them. Flower boxes and hanging plants everywhere, it's a sharp looking place.
The bar has 12 taps. 8 house beers (Gold, Pale Ale, Weisse, IPA, Nut Brown Ale, Raspberry Weisse, Bitter, Stout) and 4 guest taps (SIerra Nevada Pale Ale, Magic Hat 9 & Fat Angel, BBC Steel Rail Ale). Did a samper which is your choice of 4 beers on the standard paddle. The Nonotuck IPA was good, although it smells considerably more hoppy than it tastes, the Northampton Pale Ale was nicely copper colored, with a sweet hop aroma but a very light hop flavor, the Raspberry Weisse was not offensively sickly sweet (as many raspberry beers can be), and the Black Cat Stout had a nice coffee aroma and flavor but was a little light on bite and body. We did lunch. I wanted the Jambalaya but they ain't servin' no fricken Jambalaya 'til 5!!! Bummin', I opted for a pound of wings in some sauce of sorts. Service was good, no complaints there, all in all a good stop along the way.

07-31-2004 14:15:25 | More by slander
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited the brewpub today with the my wife, 4 month old daughter, and a friend, and enjoyed a nice meal in their upstairs, outdoor-but-covered-well patio. So cool to enjoy the outside but to not have to worry about the elements such as rain and the like. They also have a nice ~10 seat bar, nearby bar-style seating with about 8 table settings, more elegant seating upstairs in a loft area, and also a nice sunroom with ample seating as well.

Plenty of brews on tap, with probably 7 of their own, a couple from their sister breweries Smuttynose and Portsmouth Brewing, and then three guest taps. They always seem to have the gamut covered for beer styles, from pale ale to stout, and most everything in between. No barleywine, but probably because it's summer or some lame reason like that. Brews I had (Porter, Stout, and Smutty Weisenheimer) were all excellent.

Food and service were exemplary, with our orders brought out in a prompt manner, and all was as advertised and tasty. Each time I neared the bottom of my glass I was asked if I was interested in another, and never finished before the next arrived. Made for nice and continuous brew enjoyment.

Still miss the days when they used to run the Great New England Beer Festival, but where would we be without nostalgia. If in the area, definitely worth your time.

06-13-2004 00:46:42 | More by ppoitras
Photo of edchicma
edchicma

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Nice atmosphere. Sat at a bar table with high stools. Waitress was extremely efficient and pleasant and offered beer menus very expeditiously, This night there were around 7 or 8 offerings as well as bottled SNevada. Sizes ranged from 8 - 16 oz glasses. Bombers and growlers were available for takeout.

Bar was laid out in a semicircle with nice appointments, including wall hangings and mirrors.

As mentioned previously, the selections were there for a variety of taste....pale ale, stout, porter, amber, maibock, pilsener, biiters amongst others.

There is also a restaurant associated with the pub. I did not eat upstairs, however, an order of buffalo wings with bleu cheese certainly complemented my Black Cat Stout quite nicely.

Northampton is a great town for culture and other attractions. It's nice to see that they also have a nice brew pub too.

Addition 6/27/04. Had lunch and the pulled pork barbecue sandwich was outstanding. They were out of a few brews so I had to settle for my 2nd and 3rd choices, which were ok, but not spectacular. My party also had the ruben and turkey bacin club sandwiches which they also rated very highly.

04-23-2004 23:38:47 | More by edchicma
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place was a good stop on the way from NY to Maine. It was located in a pretty upscale section of town and seemed to maintain that sort of atmosphere. The place was a split level rest/pub done up in wood planks. The bar was located right in the center of the building with tables around the outside and in the upper deck.

This was a quality brewpub with many good offerings to choose from. I stopped in with two of my friends and ended up buying a beer sampler platter to split. There were 12 different beers consisting of most every style. The bartender went through the list and was very friendly. We had a bit of bar food to create a food base for drinking. It was quite good although if I had more time and money I would have liked to try some actual dinner entre's which seemed to be very popular.

We had great service the whole time and actually recieved directions for our next stop. We grabbed a few bombers to go that they were selling from a cold cooler in a nearby room. I rather enjoyed the IPA the best. This is a stop to remember for future roadies.

01-21-2004 18:32:18 | More by WesWes
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

Colorado

3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I went here with my girlfriend a ways back. It's very close to Table and Vine, a great liquor store, so the two stops went hand in hand.
The place was a little hard to find, mainly because neither of us had ever been to Northampton before. There's a nice big parking lot right across the street, so that was nice. The place itself is a big brick building right in downtown, with a very classy sign proclaiming that it's the Northampton Brewery.
Walking inside, it's very nice. Somewhat dark, spacious interior, with a small brass bar. We decided to eat, and they escorted us to the patio/beer garden area. Very, very nice. Intimate outdoor setting with small tables and a single candle. Classy. The only drawback is that it got hard to see when it grew late in the evening, particularly while reading the menu.
The food and the beer are great. I ordered a philly cheese steak, and that was super. The beer is excellent. We got a sampler, and all the beers were terrific. I especially liked the decadent ale and the hefeweiss. The raspberry brown ale was also good. Prices are reasonable. I would have liked to bring home a growler of one of their tap only beers, but you could only get 22oz bombers of the pale ale, which is available in 6 packs. They had 5-6 beers on tap, which isn't bad, but no guest brews. I imagine that if you came here often enough, you'd want to try other things.
Definitely worth a trip if you're in the area. It's a stone's throw from Table and Vine, and right on the way up to VT. Nice place.

08-02-2003 18:42:39 | More by UnionMade
Photo of ecoboy
ecoboy

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Review derived from four visits 1999-2002. The western brother of Portsmouth Brewery, they even share a logo, and a few recipes. But a unique building set-up places the two apart. Your choice of atmosphere for your quaffing always impresses me: you can eat in the second floor dining area which feels nothing like a beer-devoted area, you can sup at the central bar on the first floor, or you can catch some fresh air outside at the enticing rooftop bar. Service (as usual) is most prompt at the bar.

Fairly extensive beer choices beyond the usual, and I've never had a bad pint. I'm a standardized pale ale guy in a new place, and theirs is plenty good. Menu also extensive with gradients of how much you'll spend for a snack or a full entree. Suffice it to say you could get out of there on $15. Good town, good brewery, good vibes.

07-23-2003 16:36:29 | More by ecoboy
Northampton Brewery in Northampton, MA
89 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.