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Crunchy's

Not Rated.
Crunchy'sCrunchy's
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

40 Ratings
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: n/a
Taps: 27
Bottles: 50
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

254 W Grand River Ave
East Lansing, Michigan, 48823-4212
United States
phone: (517) 351-2506

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @crunchys

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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 30
Reviews by CortexBomb:
Photo of CortexBomb
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Crunchy's is a study in contradictions. This bar is located a stone's throw away from MSU campus, and the decor reminds you of it...the atmosphere is something that any frat member would be comfortable with, as is the availability of beer in buckets...which are always a hot seller. The place itself though is definitely oriented toward the educated beer drinker...while they have a couple of macros on tap, and a few more in the fridge, the big emphasis is clearly on local micros as they carry a range of stuff from Bells and Founders to Dark Horse, Arcadia, King, Atwater Block, Short's and more, as well as some non-locals.

The staff is solid, quick service and friendly at that. The bar food is tasty and the price is reasonable. In terms of the beers, the prices are quite affordable and the selection is in a state of constant rotation.

Crunchy's, in short, is easily the best place to get a beer in Lansing. It's not an epic, top of the line beer bar by any means, but for a small local place it has a remarkable number of taps, and offers brews at an affordable price.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerGuyTy
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

For over two years Crunchy's was my go-to bar as a student at MSU (I miss it dearly). With a great selection of beer and an awesome dive bar atmosphere, its hard to find anything much better in the area.. Did I mention you can order a mop bucket full of beer?? =)

Photo of philerman
4.76/5  rDev +16.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I was with my son checking out Spartan Stadium and asked someone else who happened to be an alum where a good place for lunch was and he mentioned Crunchy's for burgers. Headed over here expecting the likes of beer pong and lots of BMC stuff and was extremely pleasantly surprised to find what has got to be one of the top 10 beer lists of anywhere I've been. The menu has good, honest descriptions while the selection leans heavily toward Michigan with more common micros (but more obscure like Lagunitas Sonoma County Stout, Dogfish 61) from the coasts. I had a bratburger that was outstanding and my son enjoyed the beef tacos. They also have tater tots which I never realized before (most of my local watering holes are too classy) are the perfect palette cleanser while working through a flight. 24 beers on tap and nothing outrageously priced, though I'd say there wasn't too much sessionable or summer-oriented.

Photo of Slay40
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Atmosphere is fun and friendly

Quality of food and beer is great

Service has been great on all of my visits

Great selection of food and always great selection of craft beer

Food is awesome, great burgers of course

overall a great place to grab a great burger and beer
and I realize i said great alot

Photo of stevepat
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

On sunday prices are the best. Overall the best place for beer heads in EL and one of the best in the Lansing area. Great selection on tap that rotates constantly. I've never had a bottled beer here but I've seen on the menu that they do have a decent selection. Lots of brewery centric events that let you try never bottled beers from your favorite brewer and pretty good bar food. All in all a great little beer and burger joint. Must for any beer head attending MSU or visiting family.

Photo of jbsteiny
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I came based on the BA reviews and wasn't disappointed.

As others have mentioned, it's a college bar with a great selection of Michigan beers. $8 for four 5 oz. samples and I was drinking world class (mostly Michigan, but also a good selection of Great Lakes, Stone 16th Anniversary & Dogfish Head Urkontinent) beers. Bartender also gave a nice number of samples of the taps I didn't order. I didn't try the food, but I hear the burgers are awesome. Also tried a house ale brewed by the manager at Dark Horse - a brown ale with Citra hops. Very pleased.

Photo of JDizzle
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I hit this place up every time I'm in town traveling for work.

It is what it is-a college dive. It can't be more than that or it would turn into a pile of nice shit in no time. But what they do have is a sick list of craft beer on draft at all times.

I have never been disappointed at their tap list. They always have a huge selection of MI beers that aren't always easy to find, anywhere! They also have brewery tap takeovers that don't cost a lot and have a brewery rep with 15 or so taps of special and std taps.

Food is always good-not great, but exactly what you would expect.

Parking is the only down side of going here. They are beside a coffee place that will tow your ass before you get in the door.-BEWARE!

Can't wait to get back there!

Photo of buffs9
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Hit Crunchy's quite a few times while living in East Lansing, but never reviewed. Just went back to visit friends and hit Crunchy's twice.

It's definitely a college dive type bar, which serves cheap food and beer, but at the same time they always have great stuff on tap that you can't find in the area.

I really like the burgers, nothing gourmet about them, just a really tasty burger.

I think my favorite part is they offer flights so you can choose any 4 beers on tap to sample. Only place in EL I ever found Kuhnhenn beers.

Photo of GRBrew
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place is funny because when I was in college we went here to drink buckets of Miller Lite and sing kareoke. While this is still welcome here, they added a ton of craft beer taps and have a legit selection. The burgers here are awsome as well.

This is the best place I have found in East Lansing and always make a point to stop in here when I am back in East Lansing for a Michigan State football game.

Last time I was in I found some great Dogfish Head beers that I had not found anywhere else.

Photo of Biere
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Crunchy's is by far the best beer in the Lansing area, and perhaps mid-Michigan. Indeed it is a college bar, but it is actually on the edge of downtown East Lansing, just outside of the core downtown E.L. bar scene. The nice thing about this location is that parking is usually not a problem, with a long row of metered spots directly behind the bar and a large metered parking lot just down the street if that is full.

Depending on when you go, the crowd is actually a good mix of college students, locals, and beer geeks from across the area. Sure, if you go on game-day or late on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night during the school year then it will be almost all college students and possibly a line to get inside. However, there is a good after-work crowd that consists of a good mix of people and almost never too crowded (the only exception to this is near the end of the semester when the occasional bar-crawl comes through). Its not completely uncommon to spot families earlier in the day, especially on weekends.

Although Crunchy's is a college bar, don't let that make you think that they don't have a strong focus on microbrews, especially Michigan micros. They host monthly "brewers nights" with breweries such as Founders, Bells, Sierra Nevada, Dark Horse, New Holland, and many others. They always have rare and limited-release brews during these events.

I have been a patron for nearly ten years, and the best thing about Crunchy's is the selection on the 30 or so taps. They don't carry 20 plus macros/imports with a handful of micros like many other "beer bars" that have that many taps or more (i.e. Old Chicago). In fact, the only "constants" they always have on tap are Miller Lite, Labatt, Labatt Lite and Guinness. The other 22 or so taps are constantly changing micros, and not just flagship brews from various micobreweries. They often have specialty and limited release beers on tap from many breweries (and not just on the fore-mentioned brewers night). For example, they are one of the few places in the area to get KBS on tap the last few years (they also had Blushing Monk on tap when that came out). Their website publishes the taplist at any given time, and I give them much kudos for keeping the list up to date!

Service can be hit or miss but pretty solid for the most part. Some servers really know their beer, while others can seem a bit clueless. Plan to wait a bit if they are really busy or if you sit outside on the patio. The bartenders are very knowledgeable if you sit at the bar. Although there have been a few times where I didn't have the fastest or nicest service, I have never had someone act rude or screw up my order/check.

Food is actually pretty good for bar food IMHO. Burgers are good, and so is the pizza. Their "nugs" (fried dough) are also tasty. Prices are pretty good (it's a college bar) but the specialty brew prices have definitely increased over the past few years. That said, you can still get a pretty good burger and fries for $5 and a mug (25oz.) of Founder's Centennial for about about $5.50 during happy hour.

Photo of kenm2118
4.18/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

As mentioned, it is a college bar. We went here on Saturday later afternoon. The place was not full but there was a group of college students, all with same green shirts on, having a good time playing some sort of drinking game. No worries to me but may be an issue for others.

The beer list was about 20 or so. You could have beer in a few different options. They had snifters, pints and mugs. The mug was huge-close to 24oz. I had a snifter of Expedition for $6. They also had flights of any four beers for $8.

The selection was decent. Besides, Expedition, they had about four other Bell's beers. They also had Left Hand, Brewery Vivant, Kuhnhenn, Founders, Arcadia, Shorts and a few others. Not much of a bottle menu.

The service was very good and quick. The guy didn't act like the annoying waiter from Office Space. "Sounds like a case of the Mondays"

The food was good. Nothing special but good. They sell buckets of food. We had the bucket of pizza nugs. Also, enjoyed the Salmon Burger.

I would definitely go back to Crunchy's

Photo of jale
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Hands down the best place in Lansing/East Lansing for great tap beer selection. I have stopped at Crunchy's a dozen times and have never been disappointed with the tap selection. I have had many Michigan beers that were seldom seen outside of the breweries. They also feature craft beer from around the country. The food menu is your typical bar food. This is a typical college bar but the taplist is what always brings me back. The taplist on their website is normally up to date so you can count on having what is listed. Most beers, even the higher alcohol ones are available in a snifter, pint and mug sizes.

Photo of Spiekerbox
4.06/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

As all East Lansing bar's, this is definitely a college bar and you should know that before you come. MSU is a big party school and all of the bar's in the downtown area reflect that. Crunchy's though is one of my favorites of all of them.

The atmosphere is usually good, loud with a lot of people but never too busy (they don't let that many people in), there is never a cover, and the beer specials (for cheap beer) are usually very good. Most people go in there to share a bucket of beer and end up drinking a lot, that's how college bars are. However their beer selection is also superb with many Michigan craft brews available at any time, usually for a relatively normal price. I have never had a problem with service and the bartenders are always very nice if you don't want to wait for a server.

If you want to go on a weekend though I recommend you make sure you get their early or you will be waiting in line for a while, as most people come early and stick around for a while, and they never let the place get too packed. It is a good time though and everyone one there is there to have fun.

Photo of dfillius
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I moved to Lansing recently and as a beer geek was told I needed to make it to Crunchy's.

The atmosphere is that of a college bar. It is smoky (until May 2010), loud, and there don't seem to be as many people interested in tasting great beer as in getting drunk. They do have lots of TVs playing all sorts of things, and they were more than willing to change one over to the San Diego Chargers games on Sundays when I visited.

Service is helpful, as noted with TVs above, but hit and miss with knowledge about good beer. They do seem to be overwhelmed at times by the number of tables they are serving.

The selection of beer is admirable for a college bar. They seem to specialize in MI beers. I didn't taste any off flavors from poor sanitation. However, it was difficult to taste much after being in the smoke for a while.

The food here is pub grub. Half-price pizza on Sundays is nice. Burgers are reputedly "the best in town", but are really just average burgers.

Pricing is way out of control on the beer. $10-12 pints for the higher ABV offerings! I paid less in Manhattan. There are specials, but for a reliable, affordable pint, look elsewhere.

I've been a few times now, and I now tend to steer clear due to the high prices and smoky atmosphere (the latter will change in May though and I may return if they have something special on tap.)

Photo of joedodger
2.4/5  rDev -41.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 3

Past reviews have some accuracy to them: this is a college bar. Plenty of cheap drinks and eats available for the crowd.

The beer menu was spartan (pun intended) in its' description of the selections. The staff that we had attend to us offered us nothing in the way of "assistance' in this even though we queried her. She was strictly a take-your-order-and-get-you-your-order kind of person. And it wasn't even busy there! Pints and mugs were not in line with what we normally pay at other establishments ($6.50 for a pint of Bell's Porter?). We did not find the selections to be consistent in their prices with other beer bars.

Very disappointed in this place based upon previous reviews. I wonder if maybe some are influenced by their days there as students and wax nostalgic about their glory days there. If this is the best that (East) Lansing has to offer this beer advocate, we'll just bypass stopping in Lansing and do our business at Webberville, Battle Creek, and/or Kalamazoo.

If I ever am in the area, "need" cheap beer and want to hang out with a college crowd, then this is a typical place to go and do it.

Photo of BeachHoppy
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This place is easily the best true beer bar in the greater Lansing area for its wide selection on 25+ taps and nearly all of them craft beer or rare imports.

The food is solid pub fare with easily the best bar burger in town. The half-off Sunday pizza special is a ridiculously great deal. You can sit down and get a pan pizza and a 25 oz mug of great beer for $12-15.

Some of the noteworthy beers on tap as of 1-18-09.

Bell's: Amber, Hopslam, Two Hearted
Founder's: Crumudgeon, Backwoods Bastard (Double Trouble is on deck)
Short's: Huma Lupa, Soft Parade ('ye Ole Leg Spreader)
Livery: Pale Ale
Dark Horse: Scotty Karate
Samichlaus Imperial Lager

The atmosphere is fitting of a college town pub. There are new flat panel televisions to follow your favorite sporting event, and a couple of dart boards available.

This is a fun place and I recommend a visit if you are a BA in town looking for a beer.

Photo of drxandy
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4

crunchy's!
love the fact that so many michigan craft brewers are represented throughout :D
thanks to crunchy's i've gotten to try 8 different shorts brews at the brewer night, a 1oz taste of sam adams utopias, and various other deliciousness that no other place in the area would care to test the market with.
the place gets busy so service can be horrible, but other than that their food selection is what you would expect from a sports bar, but their burgers are delicious and they make a few different types with beers they have on tap, which is a nice touch.

well worth a visit.

Photo of ahartmurmur
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Crunchy's holds "Brewer Night' every other Wednesday where they have the brewer from a great lakes area brewery along with a good selection of their beers on tap. It's like Christmas every time for me. (being on a Wednesday, brewer night doesn't usually draw the stereotypical college crowd which is a plus for us atypical few)

I went there Wednesday to meet the people from Arbor Brewing and i was thoroughly impressed. I sampled Arbor's goods and enjoyed the live band that actually played quality music including some of their originals.

It was a bit loud, so people who don't like that might want to take my review with a grain o' salt.

This is my bar of choice in the saturated East Lansing market.

Photo of toolbrew
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I went there last week when Larry Bell was hosting a Bell's beer tasting there. It was my first time but I will return.

Crunchy's is small. In fact there were only two tables open when I arrived at 6:30. There is writing all over the walls, and it is definately a college bar.

Typical bar food. Lots of things come in buckets: beer, wings, burgers, pretzels. If you do get the wings, be forewarned that they are all drums. I had the pretzels which are a great snack if you need something to fill up on and kinda sober up. They are known for their burger, and I saw several and they looked great!

The beer that I had that night was great. It was Bell's because of the event, but the beers came in 25oz(?) mugs for about $4! They have several taps that seem to have a good selction at all times. And they have many bottles if you can't find what you're looking for. Some rare bottles too.

If you get a bucket of beer, and mind you it's mostly Miller/Bud, they are $25 a piece!

Service was poor.

I will definately return as it is small and not crowded. It's easy to chill in that bar.

Photo of tboom29
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ah Crunchy's. To quote the great Homer, Crunchy's was to me in college "The cause of and solution to all of life's problems." The "cause" because I often lingered there long after I should have left, even after the bucket O' beer was gone, but solution because of the great selection, hangover curing grease burgers, and good times one could have there.

This place is usually ensconced in small white twinkle lights, which are draped over the bar, which is to the right and back, or the booths, which are to the left. Spartan schwag is throughout, as one would expect. Because of the location, this is a great place to watch the Spartans, and then drown your sorrows following the inevitable football loss, or celebrate without abandon after the basketball team wins. Cheap tables split the booths on the left, and are in front of the bar to the right. 2 large console tv's stand watch at either end of the place. Also, feel free to leave your mark on the wall, whether it is in marker, etching, or something else not involving a bodily fluid. Don't touch the carpet. Just don't.

Fellow BA's,keep in mind this is a college bar, so there will be macro swill among the heavenly nectars. Hell, there might even be Stroh's on tap. But most of the taps, around 20-30 (though I"ve never counted) are craft beers, and primarily dedicated to beers from Michigan, all in top quality condition. I'm not a macro fan anymore, but if you've never been to Crunchy's, it's worth it going in with some friends to get a bucket of beer. Or at least watch someone try to tackle this endeavor. This is a five gallon bucket, and I believe you need 4 people to get one. One short, you can probably talk them into it. 2 short, go ask those guys in the corner to sit with you for a minute so you can get the bucket. No, the bucket is not respecting beer, but since when is college about respecting anything, especially your body.

There is only pub food here, and even the healthy stuff will cause your cholesterol to go up 20 points, but the burgers are greasy and delicious. I've never had good service here, but I've never really cared either as I was usually focused on my beer.

As it is a college bar in the economic wasteland that is Michigan, the prices are very reasonable. What's not to like about a $2 burger and beer that is not much more expensive.

Crunchy's is an EL institution, one that should be cherished as the dive bar that it is for many years to come. That they have amazing MI craft beer makes this the place, unlike other former college haunts of mine, that I'll absolutely hit once I make my way back through East Lansing.

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

We stopped by this spot after the 2007 MBG Winter Beer Festival. This is an interesting place, definitely a dive by just about any standards, just feels very much like a college place. Lots of green and white all over the place, not surprised at all obviously. I didn't like the atmosphere at all honestly, lots of loud drunks, grimy tables and rickety, uncomfortable furniture. They did have excellent beer on tap though, the likes of Bell's Hell Hath and Short's Chocolate Wheat were notable among the dozen or so craft beer taps. At $5.50 for a 22 oz mug, you can't top that. The food was good, well priced, though a bit greasy. Our waitress was quick and helpful, always a good thing. I'd stop by again when in Lansing, but this isn't worth going out of your way for.

Slàinte!

Photo of BMoney575
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Crunchy's is an East Lansing institution, and recently became my favorite place to go for a few brews. The atmosphere is dark and cozy, with writing and carvings all over the walls. The taplist is good, if you like local Michigan beers (I do...), with selections from Bell's, Arcadia, New Holland, and Dragonmead, with other staples like Stone and Rogue. The food is great, their burgers are fantastic and the selection is good. One of the best things about Crunchy's though, are the deals. The other day I went for dinner, got a burger for $3.95 and a 25oz mug of Rogue Chocolate Stout for $4.75. This is even cheaper than buying a bomber at the store! I'm getting hungry and thirsty as I write this. Highly recommended.

Photo of david131
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Considering that I pass this place every time I walk to and from class, it is a frequent watering hole. The outside looks kind of sketchy with the dark windows and older looking sign, but once inside it has a very warm atmosphere. There is writing all over the walls and it is quite smoky, but it is a perfect dive bar. The service is quite good. The wait staff always makes sure that you have a drink in hand and visit your table very often. The tap selection changes every week, but there is always something worthwhile. On my last visit there was Bell's Two Hearted and Hopslam, Arcadia London Porter and Hopmouth, Rogue Imperial Stout and Brown Nectar, Stone Arrogant Bastard... just to name a few of their beers on tap. The food is quite good (especially the burgers) and is also quite cheap. And on top of all of the other positives they have excellent specials (burger specials on the week days, half off most beer and spirits after 9pm on sundays) and the beer is amazingly cheap at all times. The other day I had a 25 oz. mug of Rogue Imperial Stout for $6.50. What a treat. All in all, this is a fine establishment and I almost wish I didn't type this review- I kind of wish this was my little secret hideout.

Photo of mcsecne
3.2/5  rDev -22%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 2

A typical college dive but I like dives. There were twenty-six beers on tap, including Stone Arrogant Bastard. I was really surprised to see that.
I didn't have any but it caught my eye as a friend is a fan. They did have Bell's, Hell Hath No Fury. I have seen this in only three places. It is a great Scotch Ale type beer as much as I can tell
I had some chicken strips with hot sauce. That wasn't that great but alright for a late night snack.
I will be going back before/after Michigan State Spartan basketball games.

Photo of HopHobo
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I would be remiss if I didn't comment on one of my all time favorite hangout's. This was my bar of choice in college. Its a little out of the way of the block and a half of bars in EL, but if your willing to walk the extra block and a half down Grand River you won't be dissappointed. So lets start with the negatives of Crunchy's

1. Its not your typical college bar.(no dancing or live music which means not a whole lot of hot blondes running around in skin tight black pants).
2. Its kind of a dive, lots of MSU stuff hanging on the wall and people are allowed to write on the wall(don't let your kids read it), and in general the bar doesn't have the most fragrant smell.
3. Depending on who the waiter or bartender is it could take awhile to get your food or drinks because they tend to serve regulars quicker.

Now for the positives....

1. Best beer selection in town...usually ranging from 20 to 30 beers on tap, most of which change every month or so and almost all the beers are microbrews from Michigan.
2. Buckets of Beer....have 3 or more friends with you, why not get a bucket of beer....oh yeah 200 oz.
3. Their food...burgers and pizza mmmm mmm.

I cannot even tell you the amount of times that I have been drunk at this place....check it out!!

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Crunchy's in East Lansing, MI
91 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.