The Black Sheep Ale House
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
4.85/5 rDev +12.3%
Before I go on a rant about how wonderful this place is, I'd rather just make a simple list of why this is the best Craft Beer bar in Western Nassau County:
1. The ownership is awesome, along with the management- Vince and Bob do a great job of following their blueprint, which is bringing the best possible beer, and ONLY the best, to their growing clientele.
2. The beer is fresh- these guys do not sit on kegs that are not meant to be aged... if it's hoppy, it gets tapped right away. If it's a lower ABV beer, it goes on right away. Selection is always rotating, which keeps fresh product on tap at all times.
3. There is a balance of crazy, rare beers, along with session-able craft favorites.... you can find staples like GSB Blonde Ambition, a handful of Blue Points, alongside the latest Stone Collab, Maine, Ommegang, Ballast Point, Goose Island, et al.
4. They support local more than anyone on LI.... from nano's to small local crafts, you can find Bronx Brewery, Singlecut, Port Jeff, Barrier, Spiderbite, GSB, Blue Point, Rocky Point... these guys continue to help these breweries flourish in a very saturated craft market.
5. They offer REAL ale, or as we know it, Cask Ale. A handpump always has one of Long Island's local breweries 1-off cask, which makes it 1 of only 2-3 places to do so... and the only REAL cask engine in Nassau County.
6. Their events are awesome. They always have a bunch of great tap invasions and what not going on, and even though their "$4 pours on all 24 taps all Summer" just ended, get your butt into one of the events they throw, and you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself.
7. No meatheads and crazy people fighting- the atmosphere here is very chill- you can play board games, eat FREE HOT DOGS, and just hang out in a low key manner and enjoy some awesome brews.
8. Last but not least, I almost totally forgot about the bottle selection. They have over 75 different bottle offerings on top of the draft... and that list is always evolving as well. Special Maine beers, Goose Island Bourbon Counties and Sours, Cans... the whole deal.
Just go, check out the selection, meet Bob and Vince, and thank me later.
09-15-2013 17:52:20 | More by cestlavie
4.81/5 rDev +11.3%
The Black Sheep is my first review here on BA. I fear I may being doing the place an injustice, as Im hesitant to go throwing around 5's my first time out, but it has been my go to place since I found them last Christmas for an office holiday gathering.
The Beer. 25 Rotating Taps, 1 Hand Pump and more than 75 cans/bottles. I dont know the exact bottle count, but their sign tauts over 100 beers, so doing the math, Im saying 75+.
The selection is outstanding. Always quality. Always a good mix of styles, and prices are kept reasonable. Everything moves well there. Nothing sits on the lines. In fact, I don't know if this should be a complaint, of sorts, but one thing that gets me sometimes is that the hard to find stuff, that they are very adept at getting their hands on, may be gone by the time you get there. I suppose that may be my fault. They are diligent in keeping their beer list up to date on line, so Ive made a quick check part of my morning routine. Ok, and my end of day routine too.
The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, which is welcome and not all too common these these days. For some reason, if seems to be fashionable in beer bars here in NY for staff to be obnoxious. Not all places are like that, but truly too many of them seem to revel in it. Not at the Black Sheep. The staff is very cool and, as I said, well educated.
The atmosphere is relaxed, as are the patrons. Its hard to nail down an overview for the customers. Its a wide mix of ages, professions, ethnicities. In conversations with the manager, Bob, he's said their core tends to be 25-35, but they get plenty of folks outside that box. Myself included. The snob factor is also held to a minimum. Which I find refreshing as well. Again, to quote the manager, they are "beer enthusiasts, not beer snobs". They encourage folks to "drink what you like". But will also tell you that they are happy to educate (Bob says enlighten) the BMC drinker and they do take pride in their many successful converts.
I put a good score up for food. Perhaps that was a little tongue in cheek, as they dont have a kitchen. BUT, you can get a FREE hot dog there all the time. I happen to like a good dog. And they make bar pizzas, which are surprisingly good. Also, the bartender will be happy to produce a folder filled with local take out options, as they dont discourage folks from ordering in.
The owner, Vin, is a good dude, who will tell you that he has worked very hard to create a place where everyone is made to feel welcome and can come to enjoy each other and great beer.
Trivia on Wednesday nights is a blast with Liam and Sara (a winning combo behind the bar). Thursdays are good too and are when they usually do brewery nights. Sunday nights you get alot of people in the "industry" coming in after they close their places. Ive only been in on a couple Sundays, but its fun recounting stories of my own bartending days back in college. I mean to try and get in on a Sunday day sometime, as folks talk about Liam's IPA Bloodies (I know, sounds crazy, but people love them), and he does FREE bagels on Sundays. Weekends are what you would expect, or should I say hope for. Full house. Good time had by all. There really isnt a bad night to go there, but I will admit that some of my favorite times have been for Monday and Tuesday Happy Hours. I shoot over after work for a couple. They tend to be a little less busy and Bob is on the bar. Its a good time to get my geek on, enjoy a few quality brews and some good conversation about beer. Though perhaps now Ive given a away one of my previously better kept secrets about the place.
So for the guy who was criticizing members for not reviewing enough and letting folks know where the good places are, here is my first and its my favorite. I will endeavor to put up some others going forward.
06-18-2013 15:42:17 | More by BobConner
4.62/5 rDev +6.9%
Came to this place tonight due to the insistence of a friend from Long Island. I live in Manhattan, and I'll be honest, I was pretty hesitant to go schlepping out to the Island for a beer bar when I can't walk two feet without tripping over one in my own neighborhood. Well, I've known this kid since college. so what else can you do but reverse commute to Long Island on a Friday night. I frequent the best beer bars in NYC, and I had very low expectations of this Mineola spot.
As it turned out, they were celebrating the beginning of an Island-wide beer festival with a cask of a pale wheat conditioned with oranges from a local brewer. I always have to try "the Thing" any bar is spot-lighting that night, so I dove right in. Crazy good beer, super fresh tasting.
As the night went on, I had the opportunity to peruse the beer list and I must admit, it was impressive. They have beers on I haven't even seen around NYC. Oak aged Chocolate Yeti? Yes I shall, please and thank you. The bottle list goes on for miles, but I never quite got there because there were so many options on tap I had to try.
The bartenders were very nice and speedy. I usually don't need much direction in making a beer choice, so I didn't really need their attention except for each time we ordered a round, but busy as they were, they found time to check in with us and joke around which I liked. I will also admit that I had a preconceived idea of what the "Long Island Crowd" would be like. I am a little embarrassed to say I was expecting some Jersey Shore rejects, but man enough to say I was wrong. The crowd on this Friday night was very chill and down to earth, similar to the vibe of the bar itself.
The place had a definite pubby feel to it, but also not a typical old school pub look, either. It's hard to describe. Dim lighting, black painted wood, candles, really nice TVs (but not too many), nice Brewery signs and prohibition era pictures, and giant chalk boards in the men's room covered in people's random musings. Whatever music the bartenders were playing was way better than the jukebox picks, but you'd expect that. It's a free country.
I expected there to be some bar food available and was disappointed to find there was no kitchen. The bartender heard me asking my friend what the deal was with no food and he offered to supply me with some delivery menus from local spots. At that point, I didn't feel like ordering food and waiting however long for delivery, but it was a nice gesture. My friend pointed out that they have a free hot dog setup, so I just helped myself to that. It did the trick.
Overall, I had a really great time and enjoyed some top-notch brews at this bar. I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the area, and it might even be a reason to visit with my college buddy some more.
05-11-2013 05:11:26 | More by James_A
4.59/5 rDev +6.2%
This is my favorite bar out of every bar I've been to in NYC and Long Island for two main reasons: the selection and the price. These two are not typically (positively) related but here makes for a match made in heaven, so to speak.
There's always at least a few world-class brews on tap. I've never once arrived and been disappointed by the selection. They've also got some lower quality beers for the non-craft crowd. Most of the beers are $6, which is incredible for quality craft beer anywhere. Another great thing is after July 4, they have all draft beers on sale for $4 through Labor Day. What kind of magic is this?! The staff are pleasant and a few of them are knowledgeable about the beer they're serving.
I really enjoy the atmosphere in here, especially when it's less crowded. I always forget that they have free hot dogs all day every day, since I do not eat hot dogs, but they're there. The jukebox also has lots of independently released choices, which is really cool too.
If you live anywhere near here or are visiting the area, this is the one place to visit beer-wise. Hands down.
08-02-2014 22:57:39 | More by ArsMoriendiOU818
4.5/5 rDev +4.2%
Without a doubt the best beer bar on Long Island, bar none.... Great owners and barkeeps (they know proper glassware and know firsthand what they are serving)... Always a great selection on tap, always fresh and many hard to find local brews and great hard to find national beers also ... Why go to NYC with this hidden local treasure...A trip out to Mineola is definately worth the effort (no other bar in the area comes close).... With their new pricing the Black Sheep is an even a greater destination.
07-08-2012 20:54:18 | More by suzbillyeddie
4.44/5 rDev +2.8%
This place is great. The beer selection covers all styles. Always have a large selection of local beers (brooklyn brewery, port jefferson brewery, six points brewery)
Bartenders are for the most part knowledgeable about what they are serving and can recommend a new beer close to the style you enjoy.
there are 2 draw backs to this place; 1.) no food unless you count hotdogs
2.) the jukebox covers a wide range of music so you may hear a long stretch tunes you don't care for
the best part about this place is it is $4 beers for the rest of the summer
07-25-2012 21:03:36 | More by laxxx47
4.41/5 rDev +2.1%
Stopped in here on a Tuesday night - 5/7/13 - coming from Nassau Coliseum to celebrate an Islanders playoff victory.
Atmosphere is of a typical neighborhood bar. It's on an unassuming street corner a couple of blocks from the Mineola train station, with no other bars or restaurants in the immediate area. Laid back vibe on the weekday night I stopped in, with a few other people talking and enjoying a few beers.
As for quality, this is a top-notch craft beer bar. Without a doubt, the go-to spot in Nassau County for craft beer. The owners care about craft beer and only keep the best stuff, with an emphasis on locals, on tap.
Service was very friendly, with the bartenders being knowledgable of the beers they're pouring and more than willing to talk about craft beer.
Selection is unmatched in the area - 25 taps, all quality crafts with a nice selection of locals and hard-to-find stuff. I had a Barrier Dunegrass Double IPA, as well as a couple of drafts from Singlecut. They were pouring four Singlecut drafts on the night I was there, so I'm guessing they must have just had an event.
The one drawback to this place is there is no kitchen. It'd be a great place to stop in for dinner before or after an Islanders game (it's only 10 minutes from the Coliseum), which is really the only reason I'd find myself in the area, but without food I sadly won't have many opportunities to stop in.
05-11-2013 03:52:44 | More by MThiele360
The Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola, NY
94 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.