Clark Street Ale House
Taps: 25 / Bottles: 50
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 88 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by 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.
11-17-2003 15:55:06 | More by Realale
More User Reviews:
3.8/5 rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in here as part of my nearly-weekly excursions into the Big City. It's a cozy little pub, the kind of place I could see drinking at after a long day of working in the Loop or something, with dark-ish wood lining the place, an L-shaped bar to the left, and small tables spread out around the rest of the area. I was surprised to be greeted by a dog upon entering, but he was well-behaved, and I didn't mind much at all. Things were relatively quiet, so I bellied up to the bar, as per usual, and perused the beer list. The draft list wasn't anything overly impressive, but it was relatively expansive considering the place's appeal (...maybe that's not the right word...how about apparent target audience?), with a supposedly custom-brewed pale ale from Two Brothers and offerings that included Three Floyds, Boulevard, Stone, Sierra Nevada, Two Brothers, Metropolitan, and Southern Tier, among others. Pint glasses seemed to rule the day, but I only partook in the pale ale, so I don't really know if they employ other styles of glassware. The bartender was friendly enough, if a touch aloof, and I didn't really press him as to his knowledge of the beers. (Maybe I should have, if for no other reason than to get more information concerning the pale ale...lord knows Two Brothers probably'd never get back to me...) The prices seemed right in line with the majority of Chicago bars. Overall, this place ain't half bad. I don't think I'd consider it a destination, really, but it's a very nice option if one were to find oneself in the area and desired oneself a drink.
10-19-2012 19:32:15 | More by TMoney2591
4.58/5 rDev +12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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.
09-29-2012 21:41:42 | More by SpasticKoala
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.
05-04-2012 22:31:16 | More by elNopalero
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.
04-12-2012 23:13:00 | More by EricCioe
Clark Street Ale House in Chicago, IL
91 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.