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Tap & Barrel

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

16 Ratings
Ratings: 16
Reviews: 10
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: n/a
Taps: 52
Bottles: 75
Cask: N
[ Bar ]

550 Smithtown Byp
Smithtown, New York, 11787-5006
United States
phone: (631) 780-5474

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @tap_and_barrel

Notes:
Place added by: sbeaner on 04-05-2011

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Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 10
Reviews by JasonA:
Photo of JasonA
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Welcome to Smithtown, NY

Was in the area for a wedding where my wife was in the bridal party. Ceremony with mass starting at 2:30pm, with the reception starting at 6:30pm. Whats a guy to do?

Beerfly is what!

Reading the reviews I was quite excited to see it was less than 10 minutes to the Hyatt I was staying at, where the reception was. I arrived with a couple other bridal husbands and we arrived to a relatively empty beer haven, what bliss.

Enters Chris. Chris the bar steward is a beer loving hippie of the best kind. Chris's best quality is his humbleness. While he knew quite a lot about the beer selection as well as local offerings, I had even more. Chris offered to look it up as well as asking the owner. He was incredibly accommodating.

Chris offered all 3 of us tastings of every beer they had. I started feeling bad after about 6, but I went with the Petrus Oud Bruin as I had never had a Flanders Brown before. I was not disappointed. Chris continued to make suggestions for the entire party, trying to match tastes to styles. We couldnt have asked for more of a gracious beer host.

So the place. Its new and well decorated. They havnt even had their Grand Opening yet so I felt almost special being able to spend time there before it really opening. The 52 tap copper beer distribution set-up was amazing. Im confident that its unique, and no one like it exists anywhere. I found myself staring at it quite frequently, just curious about what each elbow or joint. Also note that the Stripper Pole (which I have a picture of myself on) was a fascinating addition. Im hopeful it will get lots of use in the future.

The beers. Where do I begin. Probably the best selection I have ever seen. While ive seen the same variety before, what I have seen is the quantity with the local intermingling. Lots of solid country specific offerings with local craft, not just micro, selections. I will say I didnt see any cask or Barley Wines, so just a minor deduction.

So the food. They dont have a kitchen, but the amazing part was Chris offered to dial up a pizza that was in the same complex, have them walk it over, and serve it up for us. This was really cool and being someone from MA, getting additional opportunity to get NY style Pizza, I was quite pleased. So in reality, I would love to give a 4 or so here as they were quite accommodating, but alas they dont have their own food.

Overall this was an awesome find on my part if I dont say so. If any beer advocates get a chance to get close, you will not be disappointed.

Finally, we bought a couple bombers to go and considered getting a couple growlers but passed. Perfect service!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Gkruszewski
4.29/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

The beer selection was above average...The flight options were amazing. nice bar just to hang out get away

Photo of juliovega914
4.51/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Amosphere: Nice place, copper and browns made it feel homely like a nice brewpub. A bit small though, and can get crowded on the weekends. A bit loud when it's packed, but they don't blast music like most of the local pubs, which is a plus.

Quality/selection: 54 taps, all great craft brews. Often they run out of certain beers, which is unfortunate.

Service: Excellent staff, great to help or converse

Food: None

Value: Typical bar prices, 6/7 for most things, more for the more special things.

In summary, great place to go.

Photo of OptionParalysis
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Upon entering Tap & Barrel you are greeted with pleasant surroundings, wooden bar, 52 Taps, 4 of which are on Nitro. There are empty kegs with cushions on them that are a nice touch to the environment.

Tap & Barrel have some excellent offerings, some brews which are near impossible to find on tap. Their righteous selections have boasted some true gems like Goose Island BCBCS & BCBS, Founders KBS, Stone's Enjoy By, not to mention some real palate pleasing surprises.

Bottles are also sold here, my buds and I have taken home Fruet on numerous occasions.

The service here is great. The bartenders know the beers, make great suggestions and most importantly, they know how to pour.

Prices may run a tad high, but for the quality brews that they get in... well worth it.

Some new additions include vintage arcade games and soft baked pretzels.

Tap & Barrel is a staple in the craft beer community on Long Island, I have nothing but positive things to say.

Photo of MJsGhost
4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Stopped in the Tap and Barrel driving back to city, was amazed at the selection of tap beers. Several great locals, Spider Bite Boris was favorite, Bartender answered every question without having to go ask someone else. Lots of college kids, never heard one curse while I was there. Great place.

Photo of vfgccp
3.94/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

First the obvious, 52 taps of all quality craft brew. The selection obviously changes but always spans the gamut from basic standard craft beers all the way up through special hard to get seasonals and nitro stouts. As far as beer selection goes I really have no complaints.

As far as atmosphere this is where I have my criticisms. The music is far to loud when they have a live band, but even when it is just the house PA music it is obnoxiously loud most times. Also, what is the deal with the stripper pole?? Let's just say it is useless and out of place in this setting. And finally, the TVs are too small and almost always just looping the DVD menu of whatever was on last, plus there is no sound so it wouldn't matter if the movie was playing anyway.

The staff is courteous and for the most part very knowledgeable about there beer selection which is a must for a craft beer bar. Also, there glassware selection is mediocre, they have some basic / generic glass types (pint, belgian style, tulip) but definitely could be improved.

Overall, it is a cool place to hang and have a beer. There selection is ample, they have interesting tasting nights, and the cover charge is not absurd on special nights (however i wish the 1 free beer with cover didn't HAVE to be rolling rock!! - the bouncer neglected to mention that part). Plus let's not forget it is in the same parking lot as 24 hour bagel!!

Photo of steelerguy
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This is a small place in a strip mall...going to be hard to be impressive. Step inside, nice wooden bar, row of taps and a great looking distribution system, nice brick work, some LCD TVs that are not front and center but let you keep up on the scores. Awesome!

The selection and quality of the beer is top notch. This isn't one of those places with a ton of taps serving crap. This is all nice stuff, even if some may not be your style. Everything from root beer (1 tap), hefes, pilsners, pales, ipas, double ipas, stouts, imperial stouts, barleywines...etc. Great selection and the owner who was pouring while I was there was passionate and very knowledgeable.

There is some bad. The prices are a bit high, but I am willing to pay a premium for such a selection of great beer. The problem is that when they start to get busy, the pour fast...lots of head (normally good!) and you end up with a beer glass that is 75-80% of what you paid for. This knocks the value down a bit, but won't deter me from going...just show up before 9 or 10.

Second bad which sounds like it will be fixed soon, no food. They are working on it and it should be there around New Years. There is a pizza place just a couples stores down and they actually called and had the pizza brought over for us...now that is service!

Very good place that looks like it will be great in a few months when they start serving some wings and waffles!

Photo of pezfiend
4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Top to bottom this place is great. I spent months passing it waiting for the opening sign. Upon opening, NO TAPS :( just bottles. A few weeks later, I see a sign on the wall that says 6 taps now up. They were running 2 taps out of a kegerator, and the other 4 out of jocky boxes on the bar. After another few months of waiting and talk with the owner over brews the tap finally went up. It feels great being able to watch the evolution of this bar. Terific taps, outstanding bottle collection, and a great concern on glassware selection... yeah, the right glass for the right beer. Great bar!

Photo of Paulydeets
4/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Nice little place with 52 beers on tap. Prices are pretty reasonable and the owner, Tony, is a stand up guy. They have a very nice selection with a lot of local NY breweries on tap including Six Point, Blue Point, Greenport, Long Ireland, Ithaca, and more. Also had 2009 Bourbon County Stout on Tap. They have live music on the weekends and a lot of special events. Seems like Ill be going here a lot considering there arent any places in Suffolk County with that many brews on tap. A must visit for beer lovers on the island.

Photo of SkunkWorks
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I'll be updating this review later on once they make the improvements the owner told us he's making, i.e. getting their tap tower later this week, and opening a kitchen in October.

Stopped by last night for a few rounds. I called ahead and the guy said that they didn't have a kitchen, but we could bring our own food.

For beer, they had about 30 cans/bottles of what you would expect for a craft beer bar. They had a few jockey boxes and a kegerator, so there were 8 taps overall. There will be a lot more soon though.

I had a Sierra Nevada Ovila dubbel, served in the appropriate tulip glass. This place has appropriate glassware, which is nice. I also had an Ithaca Anniversary beer, served in an Ithaca pint.

The atmosphere is fairly good. The lighting and everything is spot on. The place wasn't very crowded, since it was a Sunday night. There's a pool table, one of those Pacman tables (at least, I think it was Pacman) and a Terminator 2 arcade game, that is still on the 50 cents for the first play and 25 cents per continue, instead of price gauging like most arcade games.

And, there's a stripper pole. The owner/bartender assured us it came with the place and he was planning on getting girls to dance on it (not strippers). Its unusual for a craft beer bar, but hey, why not?

There is some craft beer swag around but not a whole lot. Neon lights in the window, a few signs here and there, and a bottle cap mirror in the bathroom are really all there is.

The bartender is a little slow and seemed to get stuck in conversation a little too easily. He's also incredibly passionate about craft beer and that's definitely a good thing and helps him out a lot. You can really feel his passion for craft beer and that is a great thing to have locally.

I am glad this place opened. Its the closest beer bar we have except for the quasi-micropub John Harvard's. It also has lots of potential so I can see going back often. I can't wait for the full tap tower to arrive so I can get a better sense of the place. Cheers!

EDIT: on my second visit, they've added a 52 tap tower. 52 taps down the street? Yes please! They have only set up 21 or so, but I'm looking forward to when they are all up and running. Cheers!

EDIT x2: Annnnd they've added all 52 taps, plus they have a kegerator adding 2 more taps for a total of 54 taps. Not bad, not bad at all. Once this place adds a kitchen, and assuming they make halfway decent food, this will make it hard to go anywhere else. Cheers!

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Tap & Barrel in Smithtown, NY
96 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.