Mugs Alehouse


113 Reviews
Mugs AlehouseMugs Alehouse

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(718) 486-8232 | map

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Reviews: 113 | Ratings: 141
Photo of Mark
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of lehows
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of brystmar
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of Ruds
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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?!?

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Photo of nriech
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Avantyawn
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of wahhmaster
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of SuburbanBrew
2.99/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

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Photo of weeare138
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of Mudstone
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of mltobin
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Located on Bedford Ave. in the Williamsburg section of New York there are many watering holes to choose from and Mugs probably tops the list. If you coming via subway, there is a stop conveniently nearby. Upon entering, we were impressed by the size of the space. With a long bar to our left with some spots open early in the evening and then a couple booths open to our right. Mugs has about 2 dozen tap selections. When we there, included were : Founders` double trouble, Brooklyn cookie jar, Pretty Things baby tree, Bear Republic Racer 5, Kelso recessionator and several more. They also have some bottles, which we did not consume, so that lineup escapes me at the moment. Bartenders here are knowledgeable and friendly. Some of their prices could be considered high, but hey it is New York City, so it comes with the territory.

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Photo of corby112
3.8/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Stopped by here late night during a recent visit to Brooklyn. This was the third stop on a three bar crawl that included Barcade and Spuyten Duyvil(sp?).

This place has a cool neighborhood bar kind of vibe mixed with a local sports bar feel. The bar is pretty large and there was ample seating throughout the establishment. There were a lot of those crappy plastic banner advertisements which were kind of cheesy but this place still seemed comfortable and more relaxed than some of the other stuffy NY beer destinations I've been to.

They had a pretty good selection of craft beers available. I didn't check out any bottle list but they had a fair number of taps with a nice focus on the local craft beer scene. They didn't have anything too rare but had beers from Chelsea and Sixpoint which was nice.

The bar was pretty empty by the time we got there but the service was decent. We ordered our beers, got them from the bartender and took the to a table where we remained for the rest of our visit.

This place was fun even though it was empty so I'm looking forward to going back again sometime for some more NY area beers.

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Photo of zoolzoo
2.73/5  rDev -35.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Stopped in one day with my girlfriend during a day in NY..

Stepped in during the afternoon for a pint. The vibe is local hangout. Its simple inside, pub knick knacks, worn wood, decent crowd forming during the afternoon.

Pretty good selection of craft beer, with about 20-30 taps if I had to guess.

The bartender was a little...odd. He was just standing there staring at us, waiting for us to order, when we just sat down and started looking at the taps. Gimmie a sec man!

So I see Stone 11th Anniversary Ale is on tap. At the time I wasn't sure what style Stone did for that one, so I asked the bar tender about the style. He literally told me "its an anniversary ale...", and didnt say anything else. Oh, cool, thanks for letting me know that....

He was either ill informed or he was insulting me, either way I was annoyed.

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Photo of jaluria
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

During a recent pub crawl in Brooklyn with a few friends, we started at Mugs and were tempted to call of the rest of the stops because we were that impressed with the place. Over 20 taps (2 casks) pouring from the various stations within the bar.

This place really feels like a local spot with the chalkboards, pub tables, and long wooden bar. Sure enough I had a chance to chat it up with a regular.

The beer selection was really good with an emphasis on local brews including: Brooklyn Backbreaker, Brooklyn BCS, Sixpoint Sweet Action, Sixpoint Righteous Rye, Blue Point Toasted Lager and Captain Lawrence DIPA. Other beers on the menu included: Smuttynose IPA, Sly Fox IPA, Great Divide Titan IPA, Victory Old Horizontal and Ithaca Amber.

Overall, this is a great place to stop in for a few beers with a cool vibe and plenty of character. The service was great, Drew (the non-regular bartender) was friendly and attentive.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.53/5  rDev -16.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

If you like hipsters, tight jeans, and single-gear bikes this place is for you! My girlfriend and I showed up too early for the Brooklyn Brewery happy hour and my friend, and Brooklyn resident, recommended we go here. Good pick.

We didn't know that this section (Williamsburg) is known as hipster-riffic but we quickly figured it out. There was graffiti on a near building stating "hipsters move out." Honestly, it was that bad.

Both the bartender and our server were attentive and polite. The tap selection was all quality beers (Weihenstephaner hef and Smuttynose baltic caught my eye) and fairly diverse with some one-offs and hard to find stuff. They have 2 casks (Moylans XX IPA on cask = awesome). Very few beers were listed under $6 but maybe that's just NY.

The food was really bad. My salad was shiny and soggy with saturated balsamic and my girlfriend's chili tasted like it came out of a can. Eew.

I'm glad Mugs was there for killing time but I wouldn't come here specifically.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went here on a Saturday night during the place's anniversary party, so vibe was real festive. A local hangout where you grab a table or spot at the bar and can just hang out w/ several other locals. Beer selection is nice w/ beer bar standards from the US and Belgian/German imports as well as local offerings and some harder to find beers, although on this night they had some special beers on the anniversary menu. Had the wings and they were good, nothing special. Cool place that if I lived there I could see myself hanging out here w/ friends on a Saturday night and worth checking out. Was watching the LA Dodgers game w/ some people in Brooklyn Dodgers gear so I guess the local spirit still lives on.

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Photo of Nickls
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

(From notes)

Very much a neighborhood pub feel; fairly chill on a Sunday afternoon, but still quite a few patrons. Lots of old-style pub fixtures from the signage to nick-knacks. Vintage-looking tile floor; very worn-in feel to the joint, but OK.

Nice tap lineup; almost half were more normal craft and imports, with the other being devoted to more interesting brews. Had a Bear Republic Apex on tap, for example.

Food was pretty decent for pub grub. Wouldn't go out of your way for the food, but certainly did the job. This was an overall nice visit, and pretty chill place. I don't think I would consider it a destination, but a must stop if you're in the area.

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Photo of tph767
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Visited Mugs after reading BA reviews on it. Showed up around 3:30 pm on a Friday when it was kinda dead inside. Got a seat at the bar and met the bar tender. Cool guy and knew his stuff. Tasted several beers that aren't available where I live, including their Sierra Nevada cask beer. I was pleased with everything! There's a very diverse group of people that seem the be regulars, all who like beer. I like this! Stayed until later in the evening and Mugs became very crowded, but no wait for the men's room. Overall one of my favorite places I've been to!
Food isn't served until after 5pm, but you can bring in your own stuff before that. I got the wings, and they were wings.
Most of the drafts were $6, my opinion a good price for New York! I saw a Rochefort 6, 8, 10 in the cooler. The 10 was $10. Kinda pricy but it's $8 at the beer store back home now...

Overall, great place, great beer, great people, I'll make sure to visit again ;)

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Photo of sirsteve42
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Went here with some friends on a sunday afternoon to check out the beer selection. They had a huge beer bottle list with a big price range. We stuck to tap beer...good selection with a good variety of local micro brews. Friendly service, very laid back but our waitress knew her beers and was very helpful. pretty average in ambiance.... had quite a few "hipsters" hanging out but thats Williamsburg I guess. We had a good time here and would return. Good place to go relax and have a few cold ones. Food was average but we only had apps. Rocommended but nothing to rave about.

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Photo of SeanRedd
4/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Hit this place up on the BA Brooklyn Pub Crawl. Immediatley was impressed with a selection of Dark Horse, not to mention several cask pulls and a hearty, varietal tap selection. Staff was cool and didn't mind the floors covered with standing, jolly, tipsy patrons. The atmosphere was comforatable, promoting louder than nescesarry conversation and boisterous craft orders from half across the room. Didn't try the food and didn't interact much with the staff. Gotta go back though since I was already half in the bag upon entering.

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Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY
4.22 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
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