Ye Olde Forge Restaurant
Taps: 19 / Bottles: 250
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 30 | Reviews: 24 | Show All Ratings:
4.18/5 rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
On the road for hours now, the scenic tour of Vermont the long way around, jagged, cut and cut back down into Massachusetts. Down rte 7 forever, to this packed house on the side of the road; I landed a not spot out back, the last in the lot. Dinnering, we're going to eat and drink too much, and then come in on fumes to Pittsfield Brewing 5 miles down the road; wasn't the plan, just kind of worked out that way...
The place is basically split down the middle, seating to the left and bar area to the right, tight, and difficult to maneuver. 13 seat straight wood bar stained dark; 2 deep to get a beer, sucky for the people winging there seated, being pressed on and reached over. Glassware on the barback counter and more on a rack over a center nook with taps & booze, the unit lined above with figurines, bottles and some other pieces. A pair of doublewide glass front coolers housing bottled selections sit at both ends. 8 taps on a tower on the bar, another 8 from a barrel end in the barback nook, and another 3 on a smaller barrel end next to the other. Pewter mugs hanging and a rack with them twisty bar puzzles over the bar. TV's in the corners and boards listing the tap selections. Wood slat floors, plank side walls decorated with wing fling awards from the local "Y", brewery mirrors & signage, and the areas up high, lined with pieces of whiskey cases and beer coasters all the way around the room, and on the crossbeams. The front & back walls are brick with arched cut throughs, and above, wood shingled looking exterior rooflike. Mug club plaques for completed members line the rafters above. Golf clubs & snowboards hang over the bar, and a pulley system with ropes extending from here to there and back again. Colored lanterns over the bar, some strung Xmas lighting, and wagon wheel chandeliers over the adjacent seating area.
Bar/dining divider lined with faux spruce & white Xmas lighting. 10 tables here, pleasantly candle lit, flowered & clothed, a room to the rear with about a dozen tables and there's a banquet room downstairs apparently. We put our name in for a table with the guy you do that with, and then he totally spaced it, yeah, that's my favorite thing, waiting around for a table that ain't. Some remindin' got him back on track and us eventually seated.
Starter soup was beef barley, the champion of all soups, very good, tasty, veggies hooray, sturdy, and then the Atlantic Salmon with garlic onion spinach rice 'o crazy, and a 'lil thing of vegetables. And unlike Ben, I was awarded access to the salad bar, a privilege, I feel. I may be able to bring you back some bread, I don't know how it's going to play, don't get your hopes up. Food was very good. Ben claims the wings here to be the best wings ever, "Legendary", he said, starting with them and then moving on to the fish & chips.
19 taps, more than ½ of them imports mostly blah (Old Specklen Hen & Scaldis being the best of the lot), and the remainder being American craft (Fisherman's Ale, Cisco Bailey's Blonde Ale, Long Trail Blackberry Wheat, Rogue Chipotle, Stone Imperial Stout, Ballast Point Big Eye PA, Sixpoint Hollow White), and Capt'n Eli's Root Beer from Shipyard. We both started with the Ballast Point Big Eye IPA (yummy), and then thought "Sixpoint Hollow White? Does Sixpoint make a Wit? How did we not know that?" We both ordered it up, not a Wit. "You know what this is?" says Ben, "It's the Apollo Wheat". Yeah, 'cause if you say "Hollow White" enough times fast, "Hollow, Apollo", you know. The beers were fresh anyway, they seem to be moving things pretty well. They've got some wah taps, and a large, and probably dusty in places, bottle collection. 90+ micros, more than ½ of them regional, with some in state unexpectedities (a couple from Berkshire Brewing, Opa Opa Red Rock, and Pretty Things Saint Botolph's Town, which we split). And another 90+ Belgian, UK & Euro combined. The remainder being cheese imports, macros, maltos, ciders, sodas, N/A's and stray unnecessary beers of the world. Roughly 250 bottles in all, questionably compiled on a 7 page list (which I confiscated for dissection, as is my right).
Waitress was fun & playful. When Ben asked for the bathroom, she told him to go outside, down the path into the woods (Ben is not civilized folk and should always have to do his bidness in the woods, she sized him up well). And she knew what beers had just gone on tap, the draft list boards not being updated and all. They've been playing a whole lot of Neil.
Do you think anyeverybody will mind my singing harmony? Oh, okay. You could've just said "Stop fucking singing". Food was great, beers were fresh, service was very good (table service that is, the bar service was of the suck), and vibewise, I imagine the place would be a pretty cool Colonialesque hang any other time than the late on a Saturday night when we showed up. Good wings, too
06-30-2009 16:10:52 | More by slander
4.4/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I stopped here while in Pittsfield on business, after a recommendation from a guy who lives in the area (I had mentioned I like to go to the BBC when I'm in town). He was right, this is the best spot in the area so far.
The atmosphere was good, lots of wood floors and wood walls, plenty of tables and seats, nice aroma of good food (from chicken wings to steaks), and some outdoor seating with a view of wooded hills. There were maybe 15 beers on tap (including Old Speckled Hen, Blue Point Hoptical Illusion, Twisted Thistle IPA, Smuttynose IPA, Tucher hefeweizen, Special Rauchbier, Hop Rod Rye, and others I can't remember). Very nice. The bottle list is over 100, probably close to 200. You can see many of the bottles on display behind the bar, making ordering a pleasant chore.
I recommend a stop here, but it's a bit of a drive from anywhere that I'm familiar with.
08-15-2007 11:15:45 | More by TurdFurgison
4.33/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I actually had the rehearsal dinner for my wedding here. After almost three years we made it back!
The bar itself has lots of wood and things hung up to make it feel pretty cozy, especially after a day of skiiing which is when this place really gets packed. In the back is a nice eating area as well as an outdoor deck with a great view.
Beer selection is pretty damn sweet here, lots of local micros and imports both on draft and in bottles. I had a glass of Aventinus (on draft) and a pint of Pretty Things Jack D'or when we were there and both were excellent. The bottle selection is quite big and there is an extensive listing in the beer menu book.
Service was fine, waitress was young and took care of us without any problems. She didn't know anything about beer but whatever.
Food is pretty standard pub fare, nothing over the top but very filling.
I wish that Ye Olde Forge would carry some beers from Pittsfield Brew Works on tap, its so close by and it would be nice to see them throw some kegs around the area so people could get to know them.
Definitely worth a visit if you are in the Berkshires...
06-12-2009 17:36:00 | More by indiapaleale
4.4/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
A fantastic place that you have to know about -- it's off the beaten path a bit, so you don't just end up there. On Route 7 in Western Mass., about 5 miles north of Pittsfield, and maybe 10 miles south of Williamstown. Because of the latter, this is a big Williams college hangout, replete with beer club mugs hanging all over the place to canonize the personal acheivements of so many drunk college students.
Kind of a weird parking situation -- there is some parking just off the road next to the place, which is a bit precarious due to its proximity to the 55-MPH highway. There is a large lot down a small driveway and behind the building, though, and on Friday and Saturday nights, it's typically packed.
Upon entering, you see about a 14-person bar running the right length of the place, a dining area with about a dozen or so tables running the length to the right, and a divider in the middle kind of like a picket fence. A narrow walkway at the back leads you to a back room with about 8 more tables, some for larger groups. There is an outdoor deck that is open in the summer, which here lasts from about late June to early Sept.
Behind the bar is the wall of coolers, containing a fairly impressive bottled selection -- I think they claim 200 or so. There are also a few towers scattered about housing a total of 8-10 drafts. The bottled list is divided out by brewery name, and while it contains a few gems, it is mostly three or four decent selections from regional micros and the like. They are particularly strong on Unibroue beers for some reason, and featured the usual suspects, plus the new 15 Anniversary, Chambly Noir, Blanche de Chambly, as well as a $9.99 closeout on the Unibroue Edition 2004. The tap selection is a nicely chosen array of styles and breweries. Standouts included Clipper City's Loose Cannon Hop Ale, Geary's Winter Ale, Lindeman's Framboise, Corsendonk Pale Ale (you often see the brown, but not so much the pale), Sea Dog Blueberry, and Berkshire Brewing Steel Rail Pale. I didn't take notes, so I can't remember the rest, but suffice to say there weren't really too many clunkers -- maybe a Guinness and Magic Hat #9 were the closest.
I had a Clipper City, Geary's Winter, and a Corsendonk Pale the last time I visited, and all were outstanding and fresh. The really great thing about this place is the food. It's slightly inventive pub grub, but large portions, fair prices, and well done. The cajun etoufee with shrimp, chicken, and andouille over rice is outstanding, as are the wings (pretty much all the wings around here are good -- but these are truly outstanding. As good as any in Buffalo). The beer gal had a "Vienna" sandwich, which was open faced roast beef, caramelized onions, swiss, and au jus, served with fries, and it was also delicious. I've had the burgers before, and can vouch for those as well, and they have an array of interesting appeteizers such as butternut squash quesadillas, shrimp and smoked sausages, etc. The fish and chips plate is the size of my head and delicious.
A very convivial atmosphere and friendly, attentive, and fairly knowledgeable bartenders put a cherry on top. If you are ever in the area, you must visit. Makes a fine one-two punch with Pittsfield Brew Works just down the road.
11-27-2006 23:02:18 | More by bultrey
4.33/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
I loved the Ode Forge. Went there after a bad start at the Pittsfield Brew Works. On a Friday night, they were extremely crowded. We stood at the busy bar while we waited for a table. The patrons opened a lane for me to get in and order. Top notch! The selection is huge! There are two big fridges with hundreds of bottles. Everything you would expect is there. They have 10-15 taps going. I had a Fullers ESB from the tap. Nice. While dining, the girlfriend and I split a 750 of Ommegang Cave-aged Abbey Ale. It was great. The food was ok, but not great. The menu is large and might take a while to discover its highlights. Beyond the beer selection, the real bonus here is the service. The hostess, bartender and waitress were all great. I would come back here in a second.
05-18-2008 23:18:37 | More by citrusjim
4.2/5 rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I've been up in Pittsfield many times for Beer Visits, but only recently heard of this place. My next return trip warranted a visit to Ye Old Forge.
I was told the wings were really good so I diverged from my typical burger order. I had the "original" and my friend had another variety of which the name escapes me. Well, they were both very tasty and quite worthwhile.
The beer selection was quite spectacular. On tap there was a nice mix of styles and country-of-origin beers available. I immediately gravitated to the Sebago IPA. This brewery is not yet available in NY State, and I remember from some New England beer fests that they do a fantastic job with their beers-to-style. There was an English IPA that I was anxious to try; unfortunately, my request kicked the keg and so I am left with the mystery.
The bar nicely displays their extensive bottled selection in two tall glass-door coolers located on opposite ends of the bar. It's a great way to showcase what's available and surpasses the need for a beer bottle menu.
I hope to come back soon.
01-30-2009 18:14:10 | More by madmanjf
4.58/5 rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Hiked Mount Greylock with the wife and kids and when done, we took the short ride to the Olde Forge.
Found it opens @ 5 PM on weekdays and waited. Real nice deck in the back (but folks, can you please put up those umbrellas, it was like dining on Mercury). Nice people running the place. Food was very good, but the highpoint was beer selection. Couple of Dogfish heads, couple of Belgiums on tap, Beamish, Wexford....top notch selection. Well worth the trip.
Not a very big place from what we saw, but with the aforementioned deck, a pretty big back room and a front bar area I would have to say I liked the set up. And important to us...it's pretty kid friendly.
Stopped back on 8/20/08 (one of quite a few return trips) and found the place to be just as good. Arrogant Bastard, 60 Minute IPA, on tap just to name a few. The only down side was the hamburger which starts at $9.50, bit expensive. I guess it must cost alot to ship out to the middle of nowhere. Still the worlds best wings and still great for kids.
04-23-2004 05:53:17 | More by Flashy
4.25/5 rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
the forge is in a lot of ways what every pub in the united states should be. they have a great selection of ever rotating beers on tap supplemented by a very nice selection of bottled beers (probably a few hundred.) the waitstaff is very knowledgeable about beer and can steer you to a choice that you will enjoy. the bar also has tons of regulars (drawn in to fill their beercards--i used to be one before i moved) a lot of whom are also very knowledgeable about beer and who will not hesitate to get into very interesting beer conversations with you.
the pub grub is absolutely excellent. not to be missed are the burger, the wings (which have won about a thousand awards and also come in a few not so usual but delicious flavors) and the french onion soup. these alone get the food a 4.0. However, the 'fancier' options like the pastas or seafood can be a little pricey and dissapointing.
ultimately this is still the best pub i have ever frequented and well worth going out of the way for a visit.
11-09-2007 15:30:20 | More by hoegaardenhero
4.6/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
This place is unreal!!! Went for the first time this past Friday and was blown away. I understand that we were lucky to have been able to just walk in and get 4 seats at the bar. I guess it is usually packed but with the holiday weekend not so bad. the beer selection was so impressive, i didn't know where to start. I started with the BBC Coffeehouse Porter on a nitro pour, followed with a Guinness 250th on tap(could of done without), and get this finished with a couple STONE RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT ON TAP!!!
Let not forget about the food, The chicken wings are as good as i have ever had. We had the hot and the garlic. The garlic were just amazing. We also had a special house extra hot sauce on the side. My friend got the foccia pizza that just looked amazing and i got the shrimp and smokies in a house ale sauce.
Overall I am glad this place is 40 minutes away because it is to good. if it was close i would be there all to often. This is a must if your in the area. I plan on going back and just working on that stone ris while it is available.
05-26-2009 01:31:34 | More by nopucophop
4.45/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
I cannot BELIEVE that this incredible beer bar has yet to be reviewed. Located a tad off the beaten path (in the Berkshires Western Mass), this place is a MUST visit for any true beer fan if they live within 75 miles (or are even passing through or visiting the area).
The atmosphere looks like a converted barn or something. Really homey and warm inside with dark wood panneling. The main (front) room is adorned with various beer coasters and memorabilla, as well as pewter mugs (which you receive if you are member of their beer club). The back room is more basic with various country adornments. There is also a back deck for when the weather is nice. On a weekend night, you WILL wait at least 20 minutes for a table, but it's worth it. There is also plenty of stools and standing room near the bar.
There is a great, diverse menu selction, including everything from standard pub fare (they have THE best wings around) to more creative and pricy entrees and pastas. You can get anything from a $5 burger to a $17 scallop skilett. Everything is fresh and of good quality
On to the beer. There is a revloving draft list that features around 10 to 15 beers on tap at any given time. They usually do a good job of covering all the main varieties (stouts, heffe weizens, lambics, domestic brews, Belgians, etc). The draughts always taste fresh and revolve quite often. They also feature a bottle list that is around 250 bottles or so long. While they focus on many domestic breweries (Long Trail, Berkshire Brewing, Ommengang, etc.) there is also a great variety of international beers. There are plenty of stand by's such as Samuel Smith, Unibroue, etc. and some more rare, harder to find choices (Xingu, Skull Splitter, DFH 120 IPA, etc.) There is also tons of premium brews such as Chimay, Westmalle, Corsendonk, Lindemins, etc. The quality and freshness are always top notch, and they keep the list pretty well updated. Out of many visits they have only been out of a selection a couple of times. They also do a great job of matching the beer with the appropriate glass, which scores many points in my book. Service tends to run the gamut, but that is how it is at most places, and they do tend to get rather busy here. In all, the staff is very helpful and friendly.
I have been coming here for years and it is one of my favorite spots. I live in Boston, and even though there are many great beer establishments that I love to frequent out here, few hold a candle to the Olde Forge, and that is saying quite a bit.
01-02-2004 19:46:43 | More by belhav0322
Ye Olde Forge Restaurant in Lanesboro, MA
97 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.