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Champs Sports Grill

Your Rating: None
Very Good
26 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1611 N Atherton St
State College, Pennsylvania, 16803-3055
United States

(814) 234-7700 | map

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Added by mjc410

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by BeerForMuscle:
Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of MKrauss
4.18/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Brew_ski
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Champs is a fairly cool spot owned by the same people that own Happy Valley Brewing Company, Phirst, and Local Whiskey (and there's another Champs further out). It's a large open space with a mezzanine, a tin ceiling, and a "brick" tile floor. The bar top is black granite and there are big screen TVs at the back. The odd and unusual, and certainly unexpected twist in the design is the pinkish-red printed wallpaper with images of corsets on it along the walls by the booths. It certainly doesn't fit, but somehow it works. Maybe it's trying too hard, and maybe not.

They offer 45 taps which is phenomenal, but the service is crap. Expect to wait even when they're slow. But... they fill growlers and do crowlers as well, both at reasonable prices. I, however, am rarely willing to wait for a beer when it's obvious that the bartenders are simply fooling around and not working.

The food includes hoagies and cheesesteaks which is an interesting twist, burgers and pizzas, and raviolis and pierogies as well. The prices are surprisingly reasonable for a college joint.

So, overall, except for the shitty service I'd call it a winner.

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Photo of RyanHouseknecht
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of Woodman
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Photo of EMV
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Champs Sports Bar in State College (not to be confused with the Champs chain) is a great place to grab a pint in Happy Valley. They have a fantastic rotating selection of craft beers... over forty on tap... and usually with several harder to find (Belgians!) available. They get new stuff in all the time so you never know quite what you're going to find when you stop in (beware the online beer list.. it's often out of date). The food is decent pub fare (others are bigger fans than I am) but the pizza is quite good and they make a good plate of nachos which is just about all that I need. The ambiance is great... 2 floors with a large bar and ample seating (plus outdoor in the summer) so it's rare (i.e. only on game days/graduation from the university etc.) to have a hard time getting in. I love stopping by on a Friday after work with a growler/grunt to take home a weekend treat.

My only real complaint with the place is the service. It's terrible. I've gone in to fill growlers and waited 30 minutes to get 2 filled (with an empty bar) and it can take forever to get served.

 1,096 characters

Photo of slasich
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Barnsley
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Uniobrew31
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of ridgeline23
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of pcsnyder
3.19/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

I like Champs because they offer a decent selection. There are other bars in the area with a larger selection of harder to find beers, but Champs usually has some pretty interesting offerings on tap, like Green Flash or Founders, and they seem to have a good rotation. It's a sports bar, so the atmosphere is about what you'd expect, as is the food. They do have a nice deck for outdoor seating, as well.

 404 characters

Photo of NathanAileo
4.66/5  rDev +22.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

probably the best draft selection in town. The place is large so you can always get a seat and with 40+ selections on draft there is always something great. Whomever selects their beers does an amazing job in having a great variety and always several new or special selections.

 277 characters

Photo of chubing
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

My go to bar in State College. Great rotating beer selection with lots of my staples, as well (Bell's 2 hearted, Troegs Perpetual, Founders). With 45 taps, there will be a beer here that you'll like. Lots of tvs for watching sporting events. Good atmosphere. Nice deck seating for the warmer months. Good food. Great happy hour weeks days 5-7 (1/2 price drafts).

 362 characters

Photo of superdaveee279
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

With 45 great drafts, whether you're looking for a blue ribbon beer to watch the game with your boys(or gals),a good smoked black lager/bourbon aged stout to pair with a generous cut ribeye, or if you just want to contemplate dogfish head's latest concoction in front of the fire with your buds.. Champ's is the place to be since the renovation. About two years ago they went from 21 to 45 beers on tap with all stars like Delirium Tremens, DFH 120, KBS, Rodenbach Gran Cru, and more! Victory, Avery, Troegs, Southern Tier, DFH, and Sly Fox are amongst the regular rotated big hitters. The menu changes almost every week and can be found on www.champssportsgrill.net along with a great Italian based food menu that you don't find at regular sports bars. After you've finished dinner don't forget to visit Lou's stickroom downstairs for the best pool tables in the area, shuffle board, and cigars. Last but not least get your Champ's Growler filled to-go(they will fill other growlers) Located an hour and a half from Harrisburg, 15 minutes off route 99,also accessible by 322, or 80.

 1,083 characters

Photo of wdeck9
4.18/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have decided to review Champ's because nobody has reviewed it since it has been remodeled. After the remodeling, this place now has 57 beers on tap with many of the taps filled with quality rather than fizzy yellow crap. Aside from Zeno's, Champ's provides the best overall tap list in town with the occasional rarity like KBS popping up for $6.50 a 10oz every once in a while. You are guaranteed to have a good selection of Erie, Elk Creek, DFH, Avery, Allentown BrewWorks, and a couple Belgians.... with other taps rotating between New Holland, Terrapin, Left Coast, etc. If you play your cards right and come during happy hour (5-7pm mon-fri) all of their beers are half-off but MAKE SURE TO SIT AT THE BAR FOR THE SPECIAL. Also, they fill growlers of all of their beers and the prices are the most reasonable in town. Food is good and you can't go wrong with a big sandwich there and mac & cheese. Enjoy.

 910 characters

Photo of GoalieRon33
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

The place just isn't that impressive after you get past the really nice dining room and downstairs pool hall. They have a decent amount on tap, and a pretty good bottle selection, but it takes forever to get waited on. College town cliche's are everywhere, from the wasted frat boys to the cliche' magic hat number 9 being their number one seller. They generally have at least one victory on sale, which I like, but they could do a lot better. Their "extensive" tap list includes mainly domestic macros, which i dont consider a turn on for me in a beer bar. wow, you have yuengling and budweiser....awesome, i guess. Overall, the place has some sweet potential, they just are not quite there yet.

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Photo of slvrmon82
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The atmosphere is big there are two levels the bottom being a newly renovated pool hall. Upstairs is seperated into a huge bar and then a clubhouse and 6 pack shop. Lots of frat boys but great sandwiches. Actually best in State College. However the service is horrible. We stopped in for lunch on Superbowl Sunday at around 1:00 and didn't leave till like 3:30 because of the service. The worst part was there was noone else in the bar eating. Just a couple of couples drinking at the bar. They have a decent selection with some seasonals but thats about it and a pint can run upwards of $5. Becareful and ask how much the pint is cause you will be suprised. Also NEVER ORDER A PITCHER OF MICROBREW. They don't have most on tap and will actually open and pour 4 bottles in to a pitcher and charge you $15 for a pitcher of beer. Its crazy. Not one of my favorites but have lots of tv's if I want to see a game that I cant find anywhere else I can find it at Champs.

 964 characters

Photo of jsbrendle
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Not a bad joint. Nice inside. Deck is great in season. Beer selection for carry-out and over the bar not too bad for a College town "sports bar". Bar munchies always good, the higher end food even better. Service variable unfortunately, sometimes very attentive & good, other times neglectful and borderline rude. Bunch of college kids working for some extra $, so some times you get lucky, other times not. Bar staff can be better than wait staff overall. A popular place for some decent food and beer & sports watching. Location somewhat out of the range of many of the students (a drive, not a walk) helps to keep things more pleasant for a slightly older crowd.

 665 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Atmosphere: Champ's is a great sports bar in a great football town. Patio seating and a spacious dining room/bar define the restaurant. The whole place is antiseptic but far removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown State College.

Quality: I've had some wings that were slighlty undercooked, but service and offerings have been acceptable.

Service: During busy dinner rushes, service slips a little, but not terribly. I've found the staff, generally students, to be friendly and attentive.

Selection: Decent, but not groundbreaking selection. I've seen Troegs featured prominently, alongside Anchor, Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head. The selection won't be Beer Geek Heaven but the odds are good that you'll find something to go with your dinner.

Food: As a student 10 years ago, they used to run an occasional cheesesteak and wings special (a footlong cheesesteak and dozen wings) that I eagerly awaited. Those cheesesteaks and wings remain favorites from a pretty good menu.

 983 characters

Photo of rdub
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Been to Champ's many many times. The beer is average except for the small specialty refrigerator of singles in the back bar. BA's should head back there to find some good stuff. They have some micro's in the front large bar usually catering to the college crowd. The food is always exceptional. We get wings and quesadillas. The blue cheese is freakin' awesome - has to be homemade. The pizzas are top notch. The taps are usually clean and the beer moves fast enough to be fresh. Great place to get some space and be away from the downtown scene. And the waitresses are hot.

 574 characters

Photo of sinistrsam
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

This is a wonderful restruant/bar outside of the main area in town, so cars will be needed. It has a very good atmosphere, large spaces, a lot of room for big parties, games, tv's at most of the tables. This is a fantastic palce to meet friends, eat food and watch the game.
They run specials sometimes, both food and beer, but the beer selection is once again less exciting than other places in town. This is more of a restruant than a bar, and not much of a beer bar at all.
In any event, a good place to stop on your way into or out of happy valley.

 556 characters

Photo of AudioGilz
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I can't say that this is a beer bar persay, but they do have pool tables, so I was happy. The selection is above average at best, basically gets by compared to other bars in the area, not much of a microbrew selection, but at least there's a few there to get myself through the night of beating all of my friends at billiards. The food appeared to be good albeit I didn't try any. The service at the bar was swift, a welcome commodity to not wait long to get a beer. Other than that, the place is large, comfortable, kick ass choice of a cooler temperature rather than the usual borderline "room temp" that will cause a sweat when laughing too much. So for touring state college for beer, there are better places to go, but this might be a good stop to have plenty of space to relax without being crowded or smoked out.

 819 characters

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Champs Sports Grill in State College, PA
Place rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 26 ratings
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