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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev +2.3%
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
3.75/5 rDev -5.3%
Visited with the family, on the way to a no alcohol (boo!) family xmass gathering. Nice multiroom set up, we sat in the front room with a nice (but fake) fire going, u shaped bar, fermenters on view, decent (but too low) juke box. The foods sampled were pretty good, wings were worthwhile and pulled pork was spicy and nicely turned out. Brews sampled were all decent to higher quality, service was a tad slow, but I'm from NY and this is Ma., so I guess it was pretty good. Worth a stop if in the area for some decent pub grubby chow and better then average suds.
12-26-2004 01:20:38 | More by Billolick
4.14/5 rDev +4.5%
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 Hoovers Porter which was my favorite. I had taste samples of other peoples 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 didnt have any whilst here, but what I saw offered up to some hungry BAs 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 didnt 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+ BAs 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
4/5 rDev +1%
A very decent, above average bar, off the 91. There are several good beer bars within a 20 minute drive, in this college area. This is on the more urban style, and attractive lighting and semicircle bar attracts people ready to socialize. The place and the area was 30-something graduate students and associate professors. It is decisively white collar. Good for moi but not for others, another drwback being a decision for isolation to go up the stairs to tables, There is a good selection of their own beers. A few good guest picks and almost instant service, a feature of Western Mass. from my experience. A bit more variety would help.
07-12-2007 02:00:19 | More by Sammy
4.05/5 rDev +2.3%
Located in Northampton, MA, not far from Amherst, MA. I made a pilgrimage here because of my fondness for their sister brewpub, the Portsmouth Brewery, in Portsmouth, NH.
The bar area is not too large. The bar is bright but comfortable. I found the service to be good. The selection of beers is also good. The beer quality is very good, similar to that found at Portsmouth Brewery.
Overall this is a nice comfortable place. Due to its proximity to U. Mass. Amherst, and other area colleges, it is popular among the college crowd.
01-12-2003 12:32:27 | More by UncleJimbo
4.14/5 rDev +4.5%
Delayed hours on the BA Bus Tour waiting next to the diesel pumps at the Ludlow rest stop watch the worst thunder head drop inches of rain thing look pretty dismal to say the least. I guess youd want the bad luck to happen first, well it did on the BA Bus tour, of course the bus breaking down did not break the Bas spirit. Northampton Brewery was our first stop ... seen to me as a savior and sanctuary from such a crappy beginning of the day. The 30+ BAs descended on that bar like it was last call and the staff worked quickly to get us our first pints. I opted for a pint of Daniel Shays Best Bitter and a pint of Hoovers Porter to warm up on the side. The bitter was played very well and taste as close to style as I could tell, very drinkable. After the porter warmed up at tad it dispersed waves of chocolate and malt sweetness, very delicious. All of the beers tasted fresh and were cheaply price @ around $3.50 a pint ... cheap compared to Boston. I could see spending several hours at the bar going through the well rounded list of beer, they also showcased several guest brews.
08-29-2004 11:22:21 | More by Jason
4.13/5 rDev +4.3%
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
4.14/5 rDev +4.5%
First stop on the 2004 BA Bus Tour, the Northampton Brewery resides on the flipside of the Thornes Market. Though its 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 theres 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 Hoovers Porter (with its smooth chocolate, coffee and smoky notes). The beers wont 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 youll 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 arent busy brewing.
08-26-2004 14:02:43 | More by Todd
4/5 rDev +1%
My wife and I go here quite a bit as we live up the road. For awhile I was concerned that this place would never quite live up to the hype and beer quality that its sister establishment, Portsmouth Brewery, tends to get. While, it may never have a line out the door and down the street to buy a bottle of its Imperial Stout (they don't sell bottles by the way, but their Imperial Stout is incredible) I do feel that the beer quality is steadily getting much better and more dynamic.
Right now the Northampton Brewery is going through a remodeling to become more green. Not a bad idea in this town. For the most part its a little funky, a little upscale and a little brewpub-y. Its sort of tough to describe the place but its very comfortable and the bar area (although it can get crowded) is fairly large.
Food is upscale pub food with some eclectic stuff thrown in. They do have soft pretzels as an appetizer which is great and they also do a great jambalaya.
Service has always been good when we've gone. No complaints there and the brewers seem to be around the place quite a bit if you want to talk to them.
I already mentioned the Imperial Stout, but they currently are also pouring a Rye IPA and the first of a single hop variety IPA (centennial). For a long time it seemed that they usually just had some of their old favorites and weren't branching out but I like the direction they seem to be going. They also have some guest drafts and a cask.
Great place with great food and very good beer. Also, if you sit upstairs and like Kurt Vonnegut (famour writer for those who have not heard of him) check out the display of his art work and the beer labels with his portrait on them, he was a resident of Northampton and there is an homage to him upstairs.
02-05-2009 17:49:07 | More by indiapaleale
4.25/5 rDev +7.3%
a very cool place in a very cool town, drove down from a conference in Amherst to have dinner here last night. funky little place this Northampton, gov't mule playing near by, place crawling with dead types, lots of funky cafes and eateries, good stuff. this place was a little hard to find, as its tucked back off the main drag and obscured by a parking garage. smallish at first when you walk in, but you notice clever and character rich architecture, little nooks and comfy seating in front of a wrap around bar. upstairs eating and beer garden as well. 8 or 10 beers on, a couple of guest taps. the beer was all good, alpha project single hop cascade ipa was the highlight by far, a cool series they are running. food was also nice, gourmetish white pizza and squash crostini, but wasn't perfect, good effort though, and props for the local farm partnerships. the best part here is the service, my bartender was a real good human being, generous to a weary traveler with samples, remember most people by name, being conversational, interested in beer, and actually bought me my last pint, a total class act. goodluck to you my friend in fatherhood by the way! overall an affordable and enjoyable experience, if you can tolerate the red sox fans...
09-23-2013 02:14:34 | More by StonedTrippin
Northampton Brewery in Northampton, MA
89 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.