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Clark Street Ale House

Not Rated.
Clark Street Ale HouseClark Street Ale House
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

90 Reviews
Reviews: 90
Visits: 104
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: n/a
Taps: 25
Bottles: 50
Cask: Y
[ Bar ]

742 N Clark St
Chicago, Illinois, 60654-3502
United States
phone: (312) 642-9253

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @clarkstreetale

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Monday - Thursday: 4pm - 4am
Friday - Saturday: 4pm - 5am
Sunday: 5pm - 4am
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 90 | Visits: 104
Reviews by Realale:
Photo of Realale
4.74/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Located a brisk 15 minute walk west of Daly Plaza, the Clark Street Ale House is close to being this beer lover's dream pub. Its a long, narrow, building with a nice mix of tables and seats at the bar, which runs almost the entire length of the place. Ditch the music and keep the sound off on the TV and I'd be in heaven.

22 beers on draft, all regional micros (except Guinness and Harp), and Bell's Two-Hearted ale on cask (no sparkler for those who care). When I was there, I noted selections from Bell's, Three Floyds, Sprecher, and Two Brothers, Dog Fish Head although there were more. There is a chalkboard list and a paper menu describing the beer's in more detail, and the selection rotates.

The bottled list was impressive as well, and limited almost exclusively to small micros. Anderson Valley, seven from Rogue, Dog Fish Head, Shipyard, Allagash, and seven from Bell's (including Expedition Stout, Third Coast Old Ale, Batch 6000 and the Sparkling Ale). The Bartender said they had Expedition going back over seven vintages, but that a staffer had unknowingly consolidated them all, so they were charging the same price for them all as there was no way to tell them apart.

The Bartender was extremely knowlegable and friendly. We had a rather long discussion about the various beers on offer, homebrewing and other great bars in Chicago. I was there early, and it was not yet very crowded, however. Proper glassware was used for each of the beers I sampled.

Prices are outrageously cheap, particularly for downtown Chicago. An imperial pint of cask 2 Hearted was $4, and bottles of Bell's Batch 6000 were $5. Highly recommended. Need more? They also have a great selection of small batch and single barrel bourbons and single malt scotches (including independent bottlings) for equally reasonable prices. (1,829 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of srletend
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Thursday night in July around 9 PM. Walked in and heard the blues (spotify?) station. Great music. Couple of local guys standing at the bar. They bantered back and forth with the staff, but never engaged me. Decent beer list, but not anything special. Beer garden area in the back pretty empty too. I can see the potential in this place, but it wasn't there for me (solo) on that Thursday night... (397 characters)

Photo of 98green
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by at 5 on a Sunday. Dark place with classic metal playing quietly. Almost nobody inside, but the outside beer garden might have been. Came for the Zombie dust, left satisfied. 25 handles and $6 pints ($7 snifters for high abv). (236 characters)

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of evan35
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Kraj30
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

4 am bar right by my place... so solid and always a New Belgium Sour on (71 characters)

Photo of deakin
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of TheRealPour
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of fthegiants
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of PYITE86
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of BKotch
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Alpar
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Nick_isthatstillcool
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of cadaugherty
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Flabbyjandro
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of larbush
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Stopped in here as part of my nearly-weekly excursions into the Big City. It's a cozy little pub, the kind of place I could see drinking at after a long day of working in the Loop or something, with dark-ish wood lining the place, an L-shaped bar to the left, and small tables spread out around the rest of the area. I was surprised to be greeted by a dog upon entering, but he was well-behaved, and I didn't mind much at all. Things were relatively quiet, so I bellied up to the bar, as per usual, and perused the beer list. The draft list wasn't anything overly impressive, but it was relatively expansive considering the place's appeal (...maybe that's not the right word...how about apparent target audience?), with a supposedly custom-brewed pale ale from Two Brothers and offerings that included Three Floyds, Boulevard, Stone, Sierra Nevada, Two Brothers, Metropolitan, and Southern Tier, among others. Pint glasses seemed to rule the day, but I only partook in the pale ale, so I don't really know if they employ other styles of glassware. The bartender was friendly enough, if a touch aloof, and I didn't really press him as to his knowledge of the beers. (Maybe I should have, if for no other reason than to get more information concerning the pale ale...lord knows Two Brothers probably'd never get back to me...) The prices seemed right in line with the majority of Chicago bars. Overall, this place ain't half bad. I don't think I'd consider it a destination, really, but it's a very nice option if one were to find oneself in the area and desired oneself a drink. (1,577 characters)

Photo of SpasticKoala
4.58/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This was definitely a solid place to go. I went during somewhat "off-hours" (a Saturday afternoon) and hung out for a few hours. I was pretty impressed with their beer selection on tap and ended up trying 3 snifters and a sampler of 3-5oz beers. Since it was fairly quiet, I got to chat with the bartender. He was rather knowledgeable about the beers that they serve and gave me some insight on what they were aging and what I should try.

Overall, I'm looking forward to going there again. It sounds like they rotate their selection and I'm looking forward to seeing what else they get. (587 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

I came here with my friend on a Thursday evening in mid-March on a Chicago trip, right around happy hour. I wasn’t sure what to expect. They have a decent tap selection although I didn’t find much exciting about their house pale ale, and my conspirator in drinking ordered a beer which was clearly infected. I found their house brew to be like the bar itself, boring yet passable. The vibe, like the beers, was somewhere between unremarkable and …eh. Sorry, but this isn’t going to merit a follow-up visit. (514 characters)

Photo of EricCioe
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Went here with an old pal and the lady while we were passing through Chicago. It has the virtue of being close to two different L lines, red and brown.

The vibe is pretty cool and low key for a northside (ish) pub. Our server was a bit slow and it wasn't busy. I like being left alone but not with an empty glass. The selection was quite good. I had Daisy Cutter, Breakfast Stout, and a Summit bitter on cask. The downside were the prices, which sadly were normal for the neighborhood.

Overall, this place was an okay place to grab a brew, but it's hard on the wallet to sit there for too long. (596 characters)

Photo of brewandstew
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

My girlfriend and I visited CSAH on 4/4/2012 during a short trip to Chicago. The place was a little dark, but overall the atmosphere was nice.
The draught beer list was excellent in my book; we both had Founder's offerings and split a flight of a few others.

Our bartender was honest about his preferences and very knowledgeable. He suggested a great beer, was prompt, attentive and was conversational. A nice touch was the pretzels served alongside of the beer.

I highly recommend this place if you're in and around downtown. (531 characters)

Photo of wieserjd
4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Wife and I spent some time here while we visited Chicago this past fall. Conveniently located and easy to get to via public transportation. It was pretty empty when we arrived mid-day on a Saturday. We sat out back in their beer garden at first but since you only got servce at the bar we soon moved in there. Once inside bartender was attentive and chatty. Good selection of east coast, mid-west and west coast brews with some belgians mixed in. Kinda pricey for my taste but they seemed to be charging market price for beer in chicago. Nice juke-box and golden tee was a plus. All in all we had a nice time and would definitely go back out next trip in town. (660 characters)

Photo of beesy
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stooped by here the night of 11-11-11 after chowing down some Gino's.

Excellent little place located in the River North/Magnificent mile area. The old bar and woorkwork were very neat. It was pretty busy, but was still able to get beers at th bar quickly and snagged a table. Waitress serving the seated area was attentive for a bustling night.

Bummed the 120 minute on their board was gone as well as the cask Zombie Dust. A nIce selection of taps and bottles to suit a wide variety of tastes.

Seems it could get a little hipster at times, and was a younger crowd, but a variety of people there. (600 characters)

Photo of madpentzer
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Stopped by this place at the recomendation of a local while on vacation.

The atmosphere here is amazing. It's got beautiful wood and dim lighting, perfect environment to enjoy a nice beer.

The quality of the beer selection was really good. Had plenty of good stuff on tap and in bottle and I even got some Zombie Dust on cask. Also, their whiskey and vodka selection is pretty extensive.

The service was good initially, but then my server left, because her shift was over. The girl who came in to replace her was nice, but ignored my girlfriend and me for over 30 minutes (with empty beer glasses) while she managed to serve every table but ours, which was a little dissapointing.

Prices are reasonable, most drafts are $6.

Overall, I would recommend this place to anybody traveling to Chicago. Just sit at the bar rather than at a table you'll get served quicker. (870 characters)

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Clark Street Ale House in Chicago, IL
91 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.