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Carlyle Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BEER AVG
3.93/5
BEER STATS
Beers:
13
Reviews:
21
Ratings:
80
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
91
Reviews:
26
Ratings:
39
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
13.14%
 
 
Taps:
12
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
Y
Carlyle Brewing Co.Carlyle Brewing Co.
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

215 E State St
Rockford, Illinois, 61104-1010
United States

(815) 963-2739 | map
www.carlylebrewing.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick

View: Beers | Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 39
Photo of Humulus51
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

At $3.50/pint for all except the specialty beers, this place is a great value. It's all about the superb beer, and the owner has no intention of becoming a restaurant.

It's good to note that about a year ago this place voluntarily went smoke-free. The strip club next door, Ken's Hideaway, went out of business in fall of 2006, and Carlyle Brewing has purchased the building and is in the midst of expansion, including plans for a beer garden sometime in the summer of 2007. As of this writing, the stone wall for the bg is half finished.

Food is secondary, but tasty, and freshly prepared to order. The 7" and 12" pizzas have a super thin crust...they are actually flour tortillas..and they are tasty. The 16" is made with a different crust, still thin, but not like the tortillas. The ingredients are fresh and what goes better with beer than pizza? No fried foods, no grilled foods.

The beers are mostly excellent. The owner/brewer is a Belgian fan, and a big beer fan. Trippels, dubbels, quads, American strong ales all dot the menu. Thankfully Don Carlyle, the owner/brewer, who is a graduate of the Seibel Institute, isn't afraid to experiment. While most of his beers are very true to their styles, he's had some fun with a variety of bourbon barrel stouts and monster big beers.

The atmosphere ranges from quiet, a place for conversation...to crowded and fun. Don't look for TV's, neon, juke boxes or ashtrays.

When the place gets busy, service can be a little slow. The wait staff insists on personally pouring every beer order, then walking the length of the place to behind the bar....then back around. Also strange is the absence of any touch screen order entry. Not a problem during quiet times, but it's a comedy watching the staff operate during peak hours.

Regardless, Carlyle Brewing produces beautiful ales, and when in Rockford, you must visit.

 1,883 characters

Photo of TechMyst
2.94/5  rDev -28.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4

Not very large but they had good seating for the space they had. There is a front and alley entrance. Reasonably priced. Good Quality beer. Sandwhiches and Pizza are on the menu. I did not notice anyone smoking. Middleclass 30 something crowd. Service a little slow for how busy it was, but one cannot judge from just one waitress. Plenty of schwag to purchase. Growlers available also. Quite a large selection of beers. I had their IPA which they have monikered Humulus Lupulus. Plenty of seasonal beers also. Good atmosphere. I'd definitely go again!

 552 characters

Photo of dickroop
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stopped in two nights in a row while traveling to this burg. The place obviously has a good set of regulars, which gives it extra points for the neighborhood bar feel. Not crowded when I visited, service was attentive and friendly. Menu is limited. I got a small pizza and it was fine. Not great, but a good deal, tasty, hot, good ingredients.
The beer selection is OK - they had what was important to me, a dry-hopped IPA with a killer nose, good flavor. A fine brew. The American Wheat was awfully close to MGD, althogether lacking in distinction. Coulda-shoulda-woulda tried the stout.
From a seat at the bar, one can see through to the brewing area, and there is serious production going on here. Too bad they don't offer tours more often. This is a solid place, deserving of your visit and patronage, and capable of providing you a brew to remember. Recommended.

 873 characters

Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Nice simple decor. Old brick building and the owners are milking the old brick feel. It's in downtown Rockford, right next to a titty bar and a hip little vintage clothing store.

Came in early evening, right when a bunch of professional-class types were getting off of work and getting ready to drink. The crowd was almost enitrely in its 30s and 40s. Smoke, but not too smoky. Dim lights, but not bar dim, not depressing. The music was old blues and it wasn't playing very loudly.

The bartender and waitress were both friendly. I didn't have any need to test their knoweldges, thanks to a large chalk beer menu that listed and described each beer that was being offered, along with a menu at each table. There were about ten brews to choose from.

The beers ranged from middle of the road to exceptional. The pints were 3.50, quite reasonable (and cheap, compared to the Chicago area). All in all, it's a nice little place. Worth stopping by if you're in the area.

 974 characters

Photo of zjungleist
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Located in downtown Rockford, very near the Rock River. You can easily see the cool brewing equipment in the window from the street. Nice, cozy atmosphere, though maybe a bit small. There were several strip clubs in the neighborhood (one next door), so I expected maybe a rougher crowd, but it was surprisingly laid back. Perhaps all the ruffians were next door drinking macros for half the price. Not to say that the joint was expensive. Pints were $3.50, and then they had Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout for like $8. That's fair in my book, for a brewpub.

The beer selection was not huge in any sense, but somewhat unique. They had a vanilla cream ale (which was not great but worth a try), and a triple/belgian seemed interesting. The rest of the selection was fairly standard.

The service was prompt, helpful, and moderately attractive. I had one pint while I got my growlers filled. I didn't have food, but the menu was real simple. Brats, sandwiches, pretzels, that's all I recall. The simple menu is a plus in my book, sort of, because you can tell they are focused on brewing and not cooking. The menu seemed well matched to the simple atmosphere

 1,157 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

My in-laws were nice enough to stop in here with me on our way to Madison today. From the outside you can see the brewing equipment. From the inside, it sits behind the bar, visable through a window. I saw that their bourbon aged imperial stout had just gone on and asked about getting a growler of it. I was told that it would run me $60 bucks...so I got a growler of the Pale Ale to go and had a chalice of the stout while there. It was a typical bar-type establishment. I've heard rumors that they do food, but saw nothing that let me know that while there. The bartender was very nice, taking the time to let the brewer know I had a question. He came out and I was able to ask him what barrels he used to age the stout (Jack Daniels barrels, so bourbon stout is a bit of a stretch). The beer was good, there was a very nice patron that was rather interested in my love of beer and my reviews, so it was really nice to see people taking the time to ask me about what I was doing. I gave him a note with the web address here and my username, so hopefully he will be reading this some time and sign up and see what it is all about. There were 8 brews on tap, all house beers. OVerall, this was a very positive experience. Everyone was very nice and I could easily sit down and have a few beers there.

 1,301 characters

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Carlyle Brewing Co. in Rockford, IL
91 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.