Mugs Alehouse

Mugs AlehouseMugs Alehouse
Mugs AlehouseMugs Alehouse
Bar, Eatery

125 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, New York, 11211-2277
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 143 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

3.59/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

$8.50 for a soft pretzel? Only in NYC...

It's a good joint with decent service and well-kept draughts. Hill Farmstead brews are usually on at the same time as they are at Torst but are priced a few dollars lower.

I'd skip the food (though it isn't bad tasting) and bottles because the pricing is insane, but their selection of draught beers is good and the prices aren't bad for NYC. It's worth perusing their draft list on BeerMenus prior to visiting.

Vibe was quiet on a weekend afternoon, but I'm sure it gets busier on weekend nights - especially when the spillover crowd from Brooklyn Brewery comes in.

B (3.59)

Sep 17, 2016
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Gajo74 from New York

4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

One of my favorite places in the city. Great quality and selection both on tap and bottle. Food is basic pub fare(burgers, wing sect.) but is actually quite decent. Beer menu displayed digitally at bar. Cool old school bar feel. There are tvs for sports and a pinball machine. The crowd is cool and low key.( no frat boys) Spacious bar with two rooms, a long bar, plenty of tables and a patio in the back. The staff is friendly. Great place.

Jun 10, 2015
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AGust82 from Connecticut

4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Service is really great. Ber selection was impressive. Burgers were very good. I would go back without hesitation. Maine Lunch, Bell's Hopslam on tap, among many other notables.

Feb 22, 2015
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baakabak from New York

3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Love Mug's.
Great, pretense free neighborhood bar with an ever changing draft list of quality bees and pretty awesome wings. Dark wood and dimly lit like any good bar should be. The pricing is certainly reasonable, especially when compared to some of the other places in Williamsburg.
The bartenders are all friendly and knowledgable. John rules.

Feb 04, 2014
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GJ40 from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A great neighborhood pub. I stopped in on a nice Sunday evening so the windows were open to the street and the crowd was lively but reasonable. The draft selection is great. I had an Ithaca Flower Power which was fresh and fantastic. A truly authentic local!

Sep 23, 2013
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drewone from California

3.03/5  rDev -28%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 2.75

Stopped in on my way to Torst. Fine atmosphere, pretty bar-ish. While looking at the list was approached by a sever letting us know that all tables were served by servers - ok fine.

Was very underwhelmed by the tap list, nothing that I had to try, ended up leaving. Hard to compare with so many other establishment that are making an effort to have varied tap list. Perhaps I am missing something.

Aug 22, 2013
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metter98 from New York

4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Vibe: Mugs has been serving up craft beers since Williamsburg became one of the "in" places to live in Brooklyn and continues to serve as a neighborhood bar with a great beer selection. True to its name, they have a large collection of mugs hanging around the walls in the front room. It can get pretty crowded during their annual festivals such as the Split Thy Skull or Belgium 2 Brooklyn but isn't that bad during other times, especially since they have a back room with tables and an outdoor seating area. I really like how they still have a pinball machine and cater to a few regular customers that always seem to be sitting at the bar.

Quality: Beers are served at the correct temperature in the proper glassware.

Service: The bartenders seem to be very knowledgeable about the beers that are currently available. Sometimes the bar can get crowded but this is a good place to get a table and order some food as the waitresses are able to bring beers back from the bar a lot quicker. The wait staff is very friendly.

Selection: With nearly 30 beers on-tap and one on cask, this bar has a pretty good selection of beers. A couple of beers are usually permanently featured on-tap such as Guinness, Hoegaarden, Lindemans Framboise, and Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier but there are enough other taps to provide a selection of new beers. They also offer a "Sweet Hoe," which is a mixture of Lindemans Framboise and Hoegaarden. If you want to try interesting selections, come here for one of their festivals when they'll have about 20+ beers available on Saturday and another 20+ different beers available on Sunday.

Food: I've eaten food here on countless occasions and was never disappointed. The standard types of appetizers are available if you are looking for something to munch on and you can't go wrong with a burger or a BBQ pulled pork sandwich. They also have a basic weekend brunch menu with choices such as omelettes and a breakfast burrito. The best food selection is available during dinner when a couple of daily specials are available.

Value: Prices for beers and food are quite reasonable, especially when you consider that the draft beers come in 20 oz. pours. They also have a beer of the week special.

Jul 08, 2013
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socon67 from New York

4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Went here after visiting Brooklyn Brewery.

A - Place had activity. A couple tv's showed the World Baseball Classic. Nice relaxed feel.

Q - Plenty of well maintained taps. Glassware was appropriate. All offerings wer enoted on a chalkboard easily to see.

Ser - Bartenders were prompt and knowledgeable.

Sel - About 15 taps from what I could see and a great mix of imports and domestics plus some limited stuff. I had Clown Shoes Vampire Slayer and it was really good.

Food - Didn't have but what I saw people eating looked good.

Value - Compred to other places I went to the prices were better for what you got.

Honestly, this place should be the #1 craft destination in Brooklyn. I will find a way back here even though I'm not normally in Brooklyn much.

Mar 10, 2013
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DanTheBeerMan from New York

4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is the absolute best bar in Williamsburg , Excellent selection of taps that is constantly rotated, and service that is unmatched. This bar provides a much needed escape from the hipster dominated bars which line Bedford ave. The prices are very reasonable, and the service is always prompt. This is the kind of bar you can walk into on a Saturday night, and the place is never overcrowded. In addition, the food from the kitchen is excellent and is served until pretty late. If you are in Williamsburg, this is the only bar you need to make a stop in for a great night out.

Dec 13, 2012
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flexabull from California

3.83/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Stopped in here for Sunday afternoon lunch.

Atmosphere is an old small corner bar in Brooklyn, cool little spot, TVs showing the Jets game, a handful of seats, and a small bar up front.

Quality is good, taps were dominated by craft beers. I had a Rockway ESB and a Stone 10th Ruination. Unfortunately the Stone 10th Ruination tasted like it was either from a dirty line, and/or was past it's prime.

Service was fine. Our server was pretty nice and prompt enough, not super friendly though. Seemed a bit disinterested at times.

Selection was nice. They had about 24 taps with a nice variety.

Food was ok, I was hoping for better when I read the menu though.

Overall, a pretty nice spot, close to Brooklyn Brewing too.

Sep 25, 2012
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Mark from California

4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

We checked this place out for the first time on our recent trip to New York. This was our second trip to NYC and both times we have based in Brooklyn. My visit started out right when I got in a nice conversation with the gent who runs the place and his best customer. Both were great guys and added to the visit and friendly nature of this establishment. Kate the waitress was tremendous as well and helped us with directions around the neighborhood. Great selection of taps and a couple of cask offerings too. I normally would opt for cask but the beers being offered in real ale form did not appeal. No worries as the Kelso IPA and Smuttynose IPA were very very good. The beers at Mugs are very well kept and served properly. 20 oz pours in British pint glasses heightened my enjoyment. I only wish we had discovered this gem of a pub much earlier. Food was good too, a very satisfying experience overall. Very highly recommended!

Just completed our fourth trip to NYC and will say that visiting Mugs only gets better. Ed the owner is a great guy! Jim his ever present regular is a friendly gent, and all staff are welcoming, friendly, and know their stuff. Well kept beer and a nice food menu make this a must. One of my three favorite beer destinations in NYC.

May 06, 2012
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have to admit that I have been going to Mugs for over 10 years and just finally got around to writing a review of it. I used to visit whenever I was in the NYC area and now get there a little more frequently since I live in the area. I even stopped at Mugs for a wonderful craft beer during my bachelor party.

Mugs has a couple of different events each year that they have been doing for quite a while and are always worth attending - they really get some great beers in for the events.

Mugs is located in a very hipster neighborhood but that is not the people that you tend to find in Mugs nor is that the vibe - something that I happy to enjoy about the place. Mugs has been a haven for craft beer drinkers for well over 10 years. The decor is what I think of as traditional pub (wood paneling, slightly dark, lots of beer signs - not neon).

They have great beer that is served properly and never stale (at least I have never encounted that). They have a pretty good all the time tap list that does not change too much and bring in a lot of interesting stuff.

The bartenders have been around for a long time and certainly know their beers and most of the servers are pretty attentive even during the busy festivals/events. I have never had bad service and the people running the place are quite friendly.

The prices are reasonable, comparable if not a little better than the area.

The food is pretty solid for pub fare - they just got a new chef and have revamped the menu for the first time I can remember. The new stuff is good though they are not currently serving brunch - I believe that is supposed to start back up next month.

Mar 12, 2012
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lehows from New York

4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Located right on Bedford Ave in the heart of Williamsburg, Mugs Ale House gives one a reprieve from the hipster cachet of nearby bars. Once inside you could be in any popular pub in the northeast but with an incredible tap selection. The patrons in here on a Saturday afternoon ranged from bearded old timers to younger couples chatting by the windows. This is a great place to people watch and gaze out the windows onto Bedford Ave. The bartender was super friendly and knowledgeable about the beer. I wont go listing all the beer but others have below. I was super excited to have a Mcneills Imperial Brown, which was fantastic. I have not seen McNeills outside of Vermont before. Also, the prices are very reasonable. In fact maybe the best value for the beer in New York City.

Feb 19, 2012
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brystmar from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Hands down the best value for craft beer in Brooklyn, possibly in all of NYC. Despite its proximity to Overpriced-Because-It's-Ironic--burg's main drag, Mugs remains the most reasonably-priced bar in the region. About half of their ~25 beers on draft are only $4.50 for a 20oz pour!

Bottle list is impressive, but typically outdated. It's common for me to go through 2-3 choices before finding something they actually have in stock. What IS in stock, though, is typically outstanding. Last time I was there, I shared a 1988 Lee's Harvest Ale with my friend for the unbelievable price of $15. Did I mention this place was a bargain?

To top things off, this bar ranks among the least trendy or pretentious in the area without being run-down or trashy. It's open and spacious, rarely crowded (even at midnight on a Saturday in the summer), and very relaxed compared to its surroundings. All of this makes Mugs one of my favorite spots in the city.

Jan 25, 2012
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IronCitySteve from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Back home for a visit.

A: Definitely on the level of a dive type bar which is exactly my style. Not a tourist attraction, no tourists and no yuppies from Manhattan. Laid back and relaxed.

Q: The brews on tap were fresh with no signs of any dirty taps.

Service: Our bartender was a pretty quick and was knowledgable of the menu. He had to change a few taps,but made sure everyone was taken care. Did not really ask him much though.

Selection: A nice tap list when I visited. Nothing mind blowing but certainly has thing to appease many different palates. Had some 4 Calling Birds and some DeStruisee Outblack. They also have a bunch of other brews on tap and a quite distinguished and lengthy brew list.

O: This is a fairly reasonably priced bar with a really nice selection of brews. For you whale hunters, you will not be wowed, but for the most other craft beer people you will enjoy this place.

Dec 14, 2011
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Rifugium from North Dakota

3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Not the classiest joint in the world, but if you happen to find yourself in Brookyln, NY, and you feel like drinking good beer, this is probably as good as it gets without going back to Manhattan. It doesn't look like much when you walk in, but you'll be surprised with about 25 good and unexpected beers on tap, and more in bottles. A fairly decent menu (with ostrich burgers), and a staff that has seemed to me very knowledgeable, but a bit on the grumpy side. But in a good "that just adds character" way. Located just a couple short blocks from the first Brooklyn stop on the L train.

Apr 29, 2011
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Ruds from England

4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

As per the previous review I dropped into Mugs (not for the first time) during the 'Split Thy Brooklyn Skull' strong ale festival

They ordinarily have around 30 beers on tap from across the states, with a good 10 or so from NY and neighbouring states

When I visited 2 weeks ago, I stayed purely on the rare (and strong - all 8% ABV+) festival beers

They were reasonably priced at $2.50-3 each and were served in a 6oz glass

I've never been to a beer festival in the states but I've heard some of the measures are simply quite laughable - 2oz, even 1oz???? !!!

6oz was just right and about as small as I'd want to go in order to truly sample a beer, as opposed to sniffing a drop !

The place was busy, but the service was decent considering and we simply stood a few feet back from the bar and sampled some rare beers including, from memory :-

Arcadia Pappy's Bourbon Barrel Old Ale
Brekenbridge 471 IMP IPA
Sierra Hoptimum
Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout

Great bar, decent festival, hope to head back for the same weekend next year, this was the 12th festival I believe?!?

Mar 20, 2011
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nriech from Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Very easy to get to from the subway, only a few blocks (dont remember which one) and also a few blocks from Brooklyn Brewery. Very easy to find and from what I felt, a safe area.

I sat at the bar on what was the Split Thy Skull event for 2011. Amazing selection and from what I saw even when there isnt a special even the selection is decent.

The bartenders were attentive and brought water with my first beer which practically deserves an A for service alone. When you order a 10% ABV beer, it should be assumed that water should come with. I ended up tasting 6 beers (4 oz) and my water was never empty.

The atmosphere was great. It seemed there were lots of regulars and they were even helping when a keg was having some issues.

I did have the chicken nachos which were ok but it was from what I could tell the best thing on the menu. There is some breakfast food available too.

I understand there are lots of great places to grab a beer or two in the area, this should be on your top 5 list.

Mar 17, 2011
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The wife and I spent a day in Williamsburg checking out galleries, stores, the waterfront and some beer joints. Mugs was our final stop of the day, and it was a great one.

First of all, I love being able to walk into a bar on a Saturday night and not having to fight crowds or run for cover. Just for that, I would be willing to move to Brooklyn. Seriously! I live in Midtown Manhattan and can't go anywhere on a weekend night because of the crowds.

Mugs is a bar. Dark, roomy, woodsy, old. Nothing crazy or super special, just a good bar, with a bit of a neighborhood feel (well-worn and familial, not corporate like some of those big bars in Manhattan). The tables by the window are great for people-watching and just hanging out.

There are 25 beers on tap, all (I believe) served in 20-oz pints. Nice! When I visited they had Smuttynose IPA, Kelso IPA, Stone Smoked Porter, Ithaca Flower Power, Sierra Celebration, Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, Green Flash Imperial IPA, Rodenbach '08, Lindemans and a lot of average choices like Brooklyn Lager, Sierra Pale Ale, Anchor Liberty and Hoegaarden.

The real attraction here is the vintage bottle list. I went crazy reading it! J.W. Lees Harvest Ale '86 (!!!) and '88 (!!!), Chouffe '03, Thomas Hardy's '93, Aventinus '00, Fullers Vintage '99, Brooklyn Monster '01 and even Utopias '03 for 300 dollars!! Most vintages are very fairly priced, though, between $7 and $15, very nice.

Food is typical bar food, but well-cooked. At least the burgers we had! It was my first time having an ostrich burger and I loved it.

Prices are not bad, considering the amazing vintages and the 20-oz servings. Those huge pints of big beers go for $7. Service was real nice at first, then kind of unmindful, but still good overall. On my second visit, the waitress was super attentive, even if she didn't know much about beer. Better than most Manhattan bars on a Saturday night anyway!

I will go back, soon.

Feb 15, 2011
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Avantyawn from New York

4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Was walking down Bedford on my way to a gourmet sort of restaurant in Greenpoint, had to use the bathroom, thought I'd grab a beer and use the can and leave, ended up getting a Green Flash Imperial IPA and a veggie burger. Not bad!

A: A little dumpy, but not quite a dive, sort of feels like your average meathead Irish bar but it's almost all excellent craft beer on tap. I like that it is not a hipster haven and is relaxed and low key with local neighborhood sort of guys.

S: Stressed but friendly waitress, can't complain.

S: I was impressed with the selection, Green Flash Imperial IPA on tap, not bad! Smuttynose IPA and a few dozen more craft beer's on tap. They also have a huge list of bottles for sale on the menu.

F: I have to say, the home made veggie burger was excellent! The fries complaints here.

V: 20 ounce Green Flash Imperial IPA for 7 bucks? Great! A bomber is 7 bucks at the grocery store. I was shocked it came not in a smaller glass considering the APV and price of the brew at most places. I was pleasantly surprised by the value of this place, not totally blown away by the place in general , but it's definitely a good option for a a place to grab a beer in Greenpoint / Williamsburg.

Feb 14, 2011
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wahhmaster from Virginia

4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A pretty nice beer bar not far from the Brooklyn Brewery. Had a good selection of taps and bottles featuring locals, national micro brews, and a few imports as well. The bartender seemed knowledgeable and willing to give out samples for people to try. Had a nice atmosphere with a bar and a few tables without a lot of music or TVs. While a bit pricier than I'm used to, it's probably not that bad for NYC. Certainly a great place to stop within walking distance of Brooklyn Brewery. If you're in Brooklyn, it's really worth a visit for a beer or two.

Oct 18, 2010
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Mosstrooper from California

4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I stopped into this place after trying to get to the Brooklyn Brewery with a friend and failing to make it there in time. We saw this place and stopped in for one beer each.

Walking in, it was getting pretty dark in there, and they didn't turn the lights on until my friend and I were halfway through our pints. The bar is definitely a beer place, as they have lots of beer swag on the walls, and the obligatory chalkboards with the tap list behind the bar. The place is pretty small- it has maybe 10 tables (some with 2 seats, most with 4) and a bar that has maybe 15 seats around it.

The service was good- my friend and I were served quickly despite the fact that the bartender was relatively busy. He seemed to know his stuff as I heard people ask questions, and if he couldn't answer questions about the beer he would give out samples. They also have waitresses for the tables.

As for the beer itself, there must be 30 taps or so, mostly of craft beers but with some imports as well. There was also a decent number of bottles, mostly imports. My friend and I had Ithaca Flower Power, and that beer was obviously very fresh and therefore very tasty. I do wish we would have stayed longer and sampled more of what they had, though. The prices were pretty good- a 20oz was $6 (though some stronger beers came in 10oz servings for the same price- but these are good prices for NYC, as many places charge $7-$8 for a 16oz serving. We also didn't have any of their food and I didn't see a menu, so I can't speak for that. In addition to beer they also had liquors, but they definitely specialize in beer.

Overall, I would recommend this bar to visitors to Brooklyn. If you're heading to the Brooklyn Brewery, stopping into this place afterwards can make for a good beer day trip.

Oct 11, 2010
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SuburbanBrew from Pennsylvania

2.99/5  rDev -29%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4

We had a table in the back room where service was absolutely atrocious. Not only did it take 15 minutes before someone approached us but once we ordered drinks we were told to be prepared to move to the bar if we didn't order food. Granted dinner time was approaching but there were 3 empty tables nearby and they stayed empty well past 5pm. In the end after we tried couple beers and left the bar those empty tables were still....empty. What is sad is that I've never been asked to leave a table at any bar or restaurant until I visited Mugs Ale House. Definitely left a sour taste in my mouth. Would not recommend this place, nor would I ever go back there. Good beer selection, but pricey. You're charged pint prices for 10oz glasses of beer. Draft board in the backroom is not updated. Waitress did not know what was on tap, told me to look at the board which was blank. When she looked at it she told me to go to the main room/bar to find out what is on tap.

Aug 09, 2010
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

The atmosphere is that of a neighborhood pub, as expected. Lowly lit with a mixed crowd of business and blue collar folks. Small, industrial tile flooring up in the small seating area. Lots of beer signage and memorabilia is all over the place.
About 25 different beers on tap, mostly winners.
They've got some hidden gems on the vintage list, as well.
The quality of the many beers were right on.
The service was decent. A bit slow at times but friendly. The waitress was curious at some of the beers we ordered, so I schooled her on the one and even gave her a taste of the vintage bottle.
Some nice finds in here with a pretty cool soundtrack and mixed crowd that makes you scream Brooklyn.

May 26, 2010
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Mudstone from Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

When you walk in, it feels like the early 1900's with the black and white tile decor. With a quick glance it looked like they had about 20 or so beers on draft and another 20 in the bottle with a couple cask ales. The selection included Nebraska Hop God, Smuttynose, Blue Point, Founders, Bear Republic. The bartender was good and informative of the abv of the beers we selected. The music was a nice quiet jazz playing in the background. A nice and easy simple hang out bar. Didn't see any food menus but we just came from a place where we had dinner. If I lived in the neighborhood, I would love to hang out there on their slower nights when there were only a few people in the bar. We enjoyed it. The wide open windows into the bar is fantastic for people watching. One thing that I didn't like was the fact that it smelled of stale beer even though the fans were blowing and the windows and doors are open. That's a big turn off for me.

May 04, 2010
Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY
Place rating: 4.21 out of 5 with 143 ratings