Waterfront Ale House

Waterfront Ale HouseWaterfront Ale House
Waterfront Ale HouseWaterfront Ale House
Bar, Eatery

155 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, New York, 11201-6724
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 23 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by msboyd:
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msboyd from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

By far my favorite restaurant in NYC -- the burgers are some of the best I've ever had and the rotating beer list is always interesting. This was our default go-to restaurant when we lived in Brooklyn; it's kid-friendly but a great place to enjoy a few good beers over popcorn (provided free) or a meal.

I make a point of going back to visit every time we get back to town -- there is usually a good cask ale and even on days when they've run out, I can always find something in the bottled selection.

Jun 22, 2007
More User Reviews:
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cubfanbudman81 from New York

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Oct 16, 2014
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seanchai from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Dec 31, 2013
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mtullius from Minnesota

2.35/5  rDev -42.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 2 | selection: 4

If you love beer, you should avoid this place and go to the nearby Brazen Head.

I had 2 beers. The first tasted stale and showed some evidence of draft-line infection. The second was unmistakeably infected: it was an Oktoberfest and was profoundly sour! Ugh. The bartender didn't know much about beer, but knew enough to warn me off of 3 of the beer offerings, which she said were at the end of their keg, had been on draft for a loooong time, and were not good at all. If that's the case, why are they still on offer??? The management of this place clearly doesn't care much about beer, or about offering quality fresh products. Avoid.

Oct 12, 2010
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A trip down Nostalgia Lane began at the Brazen Head and continued here. Many was the night that David Atkinson and I spent here. The front was brightly lit by a number of neon signs. Entering, I transited a phone booth-like vestibule with standard restaurant tables and chairs to the right in the window. Just beyond them was the dark wood, elongated "U"-shaped bar with an extensive mirrored back bar. Above the back bar were back-lit metal silhouettes of the Statute of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline as well as several color chalkboards detailing "Spirits of the Week", "Red Wines", "Draught Beer[s]", "White Wines", and "750-ml. Bottles". In lieu of an m.d.s., a self-serve popcorn machine sat in the center of the space at the midpoint of the bar. Two rows of standard tables and chairs ran down the left side of the space. A few booths were on the right side of the space, culminating in the kitchen, all of the way aft. The left side culminated with the lavatories. Also on the aft end of the left side was a color chalkboard with the nightly food specials.

Beer: Eighteen (18) taps and one (1) cask engine. Oak-aged Yeti; Anchor Bock; Delerium Tremens; Avery Czar; BKLN Monster and Pilsner; Green Flash IPA; Chelsea Blizzard - those were the standouts. Allagash Cureivex (sp?) was on cask! Holy Liver, Batman!

I loved coming here on a routine basis and David's return to his home state of MI made me curtail my routine visits. Let nothing hold you back!

Dec 07, 2009
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I was a little confused finding "Pete's" when I was looking for The Waterfront Alehouse, but I quickly caught on. Apparently some other people entering just after me were a little lost as well.

Once inside, the dining area is on the left, and the bar is on the right, with a short wall divider in-between.

It's a nice wood bar, although there's no brass foot rail - instead they've got a quarry tile covered ledge. The back bar is just solid mirror, nothing fancy. And in a way that seems to be kind of a theme here, with things kind of halfway done like they were in the 70's. The goofy NY buildings theme doesn't help; but the dining area with booths and tables is much nicer than at the Manhattan location. My rating for atmoshpere gets a bump though because it was so comfortable and friendly.

As for the beer, they've got 1 handpump and 19 taps (or is that 20 and one was off-tap?). Overall a very good selection. There were 2 beers I'd never tried! And if I'd had more time I'd have tried a beer from Chelsea on the hand-pump (not sure if it was really cask or not).

I had a beer and I ordered the Vegetable Dumplings ($6.95) and Tandoori Vegetable Burger ($9.95), both were good, but not great. The prices were reasonable though, and I certainly didn't feel short-changed. Cross the bridge into Manhattan and everything goes way up!!!

The bartender was friendly and attentive, and really on the ball. The bar was full and there were a few regulars at the bar that he needed to chat with here and there, but he always delivered right on cue. Quality service is always welcome in my book.

So, last swigs, I'd drop by here again. I wouldn't pass up the Brazen Head just down the street for beers, but for a bite to eat I'd certainly got here.

May 09, 2009
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bonbini26 from New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went here for lunch one day, pretty impressive tap and bottle selection. Alot of local brews on tap (sixpoint, brooklyn, bluepoint, capt lawrence) and other regional and west coast along with some belgians. I believe there is a cask line also. Only had a chance to have one beer (Ithaca Cascazilla). Had a catfish po-boy which was excellent. Can't really comment on the atmosphere or vibe there, because i was in for lunch on a wednesday so it was pretty empty. Would def. go back if im in the area again

Oct 07, 2008
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soviettelecast from Oregon

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

likely the best dinner ive had since moving to brooklyn. although the owner is from philly, i had a catfish po-boy and in house hand made lousiana style hot sauce that brought tears to my southern born eyes. didn't count the taps, or ask, but they pretty much went from one end of the bar to the other and were pretty much all craft or local. full bar aswell. i dont know whether i'd go for the food and stay for the beer or vice-versa, an all together great joint and a gem in brooklyn and new york.

May 30, 2008
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plaid75 from New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Located on Atlantic Avenue, two blocks west of Court Street.

Upon entering, the long bar is on the right hand side and the dining area on the left. A nice popcorn machine greets you as well.

The draft list included Weihenstephaner Weiss, Jever, Brooklyn Lager, Yuengling, Liberty Ale, Rogue Brutal Bitter, Avery Collaboration, Brooklyn Antwerp Ale, Harpoon Hibernian, Guinness, Stella Artois, Original Sin, Dentergem's Wit, Rare Vos, St. Bernardus Triple, Old Crustacean, Stoudt's Double Maibock, SN Schwarzbier and Chelsea Pier 59 on cask. The bottle list included Unibroue 15, Brooklyn Local 1, Achel Pale, Daleside Monkey Wrench and DeKonick.

The menu featured a mixed bag of offering, from BBQ to fish and chips. I had the Lamb burger with black olive relish - very nice.

Mar 29, 2007
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Buildscharacter from Georgia

3.98/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

When I am in the area, I will usually stop by this neighborhood staple. They have a good selection of brews that are listed on the board behind the bar. Pretty much every style. 2 words of warning:
1) If you are going to sit down and eat the popcorn (wonderful and free) be prepared to be angry at yourself because by the end of the night your mouth will be bleeding from eating so damn much of it... so tempting and good
2) if you're going to order beer and beer alone, sit at the bar. It's just better.

The place is comfortable and quiet so it's a good place to go with your friends. Kind of out of the way though.

Aug 29, 2006
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francisweizen from Alaska

4/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Up the block from the Brazen Head, one will find this nice local watering hole. Not as good a selection as Brazen Head (on my visits at least) but always a cask going, and 15 or so good tap selection with usually some rarer brooklyn seasonals available and a decent bottled range. The space is nice with lots of dark wood and a very locals/uk workingmans pub feel to the whole place. Service is always fast and friendly and they have (or at least used to have) one of those cool free popcorn machines. I've never eaten here except for the popcorn, but the food looks good, and I hear the fish and chips are great here...worth a stop on your beerklyn itinirary.

Mar 26, 2006
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johnniemarg from New York

4.1/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I've been to the Manhattan location several times, but the Brazen Head Cask Ake fest was an excellent excuse to visit the original.

The place is very similar to the Manhattan location. Long bar on the right as you walk in and a bunch of tables opposite. There's also a few tables in the front near the windows. There's a popcorn machine you can help yourself to. Place is very old school. A bunch of chalkboards above the bar detailing the beer selection. There's a wide selection of sauces (mustards, curry sauce, steak sauces, hot sauces, etc) at each and every table.

The taps are on the bar between you and the bartenders. I continue to think this setup is dumb and prefer to have taps on the wall. I counted them out and then proceeded to drink several more beers at several more bars throughout the day, so I forgot how many they had. But I think I only saw 15 or so. Selection was good, but I didn't see anything especially rare or exciting. I enjoyed a Brooklyn Fortitude and I think a friend had a Sixpoint Diesel. I can't remember what else was on tap, but not a lot of wasted taps.

The waitress we had was friendly and prompt. I ordered my favorite from the Manhattan location - the texas dip, a huge beef brisket sandwich served with spicy BBQ sauce to dip it in. It was better than I've ever had it as the brisket was very moist and greasy. Awesome food at this place. A friend had a burger and said it was awesome. Everyone loved thier food. This place does the same lunch special (M-F) as in Manhattan - $9.95 for a sandwich, cup of soup and a beer. Their habanero-based hot sauce they use on their wings is a local award winner and the wings are great. They have daily special burgers, which was lamb when I was there, but they also do venison, ostrich, etc.

Beers and food are both very inexpensive.

I highly recommend this place, although it's not much different than the Manhattan location and thus not worth the trip from Manhattan on a regular basis. But I definitely will go back to fill my stomach before an event at the Brazen Head (or if they have their own event or something).

Feb 26, 2006
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Nutleybeer from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place is located in a little trendy part of Brooklyn that I had not even known existed. It is also only a block away from Brazen Head as well. Parking can be an issue, this section of Brooklyn is a lot like Hoboken. Not a lot of spots. I think there was a parking gargage a few blocks away, but we lucked out and found a spot a block or so off Atlantic Ave.

While the selection here is not as incredible as the Ginger Man, they have done a nice job in selecting a good variety of microbrews from around the country and world. A few Blue Points were on tap, including their barleywine on cask (which was good). I saw Stella, but no Bud, Coors, etc. The Waterfront Alehouse also has a decent selection of bottled and specialty bottled beers; along with a nice amount of Belgians. The Gulden Draak on tap was excellent.

The food was reasonably priced and much of the menu was beer infused. My salad had raspberry lambic dressing...many of their soups and battered foods also used an assortment of beers in their recipe.

Overall, this was a nice spot. Not massive like some of the Manhattan bars. More of a local feel with friendly bartenders. Getting a seat can be hard during their more busy hours. Maybe not worth the trip all the way from NJ on a regular basis, but worth the stop if in the area again.

Nov 20, 2005
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SCW from New York

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A classic bar close to the waterfront in Brooklyn. Over the years, this place has seen the microbrewry craze come and go... and now it sees its resurgence once again.

A massive long bar fills the right side of the room. There are about 24 total taps, half of which are permanent, the other half either seasonal or rotating. There is a definite emphasis and love shown towards the micro and small breweries. You'll find Heavyweight, Brooklyn, Sixpoint, Magic Hat, Southampton, and others at almost any time.

The food is nice as well, and there are very reasonable lunch specials to go with great beer. After work, this place becomes a very lively happy hour place. Stop by, even if it is only because this place is classic.

Jul 06, 2005
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.94/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Thankfully the Waterfront Alehouse in Brooklyn is no where near the waterfront and was in fact only a short walk from the Atlantic Chip Shop, which was great because it was bloody hot outside by the time we decided to head here for a few post late lunch brews.

The exterior has an old divey neighborhood pub look, dark yet faded old wood with an entranceway offset to the left. Once inside the scorching bright 90+ degree sun was replaced with a cool air-conditioned somewhat darkened interior. The bar runs all the way down the right hand side, akin to the one in Manhattan in style. To the left a selection of tables and chairs give the place more of restaurant feel, rather than a bar I have to say. A rather cool and notable black & white picture of Michael Jackson during one of his visits here I presume hangs on the back wall.

Around 15 brews on tap, including a Beer Engine, but sadly that was empty on my visit. A mixed selection of beverages comprised of a few regular brews plus “nothing specials” with a few more notables including Hair of the Dog Fred, Jever, Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA, Old Thumper and the local Brooklyn Pilsner (do I also remember a Magic Hat offering too?….maybe). Has a bottle list too, but I never got chance to peruse that. I started with a Marston’s Pedigree, I have not seen that over here on draft so I decided to give it a whirl, dispensed with mix gas it had a smooth feel but very little taste, exceptionally disappointing and not the Pedigree I know but I know that this is obviously aimed at the Boddingtons crowd so I should not be surprised. My second Pint was a Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA which was nice enough. The beer range is a borderline 4.0 and I feel like it is pushing it a bit, but 3.5 is a little too harsh. Prices were reasonable.

The atmosphere feels more foody than anything else when walking around, but as we all sat at the bar area it retained a nice local pub aura and it was a pleasant enough stop for a few brews on a quiet-ish afternoon.

Service was solid, in fact the dude behind the bar was serving at the other Manhattan Waterfront Alehouse during the infamous Spanish Woman incident during one of my last visits to NYC, on that occasion Davo turned up to join me for a brew……as in fact he did on this occasion too and the dude behind the bar even recognized us.

This is one of those solid Bars that is a must do if you’re passing by, but not quite worthy of a special ‘go out of your way’ visit. If I am in the area again, <read if I am at one of the Brazen Head Cask Festivals> then I’ll pop back here for sure, well maybe after another visit to the Atlantic Chip Shop!!

Last Visit: Saturday 25th June, 2005

Jul 03, 2005
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palma from New York

3.98/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Came here for lunch one day because my girlfriend had a meeting in that damn nyc board of education building. Turns out waterfront ale house is a few blocks away. You could walk it.

Medium sized place. Dark, quiet. Free popcorn which you just help yourself to by walking up to the amusement style popcorn machine. Nice little gimmick.

Two chalk boards listing the current beers. One behind the bar, the other in the dining area. They have a cask beer which is always a big plus. Prices are pretty damn reasonable. 4.50 for almost every draught beer. The cask beer was 6 bucks. Here’s a few that were on tap: Leffe Brune, Jever, Sixpoint Bengali Tiger IPA, Brooklyn Pilsner, Shipyard Old Thumper, Geary’s Hampshire Special Ale, HOTD Fred, Weyerbacher Prophecy. I'd say they had probably about 15 beers on tap. Didn’t have time to look at the bottle list.

Food is absolutely great. Amazing for a beer bar. My girlfriend (who hates beer), is willing to go back to the place just to eat. The burgers are top notch. Easily makes my list of top five burger spots in all of nyc.

The waitress we had when we sat down to eat was very nice and professional, but the solo bartender sporting the Irish accent was a real ass.

Overall, this is a great bar for food and drink. I’m already making plans to hit this place up again next week.
In my girlfriend’s words: “it’s one of the best dives you’ve ever taken me to”.

Jul 02, 2005
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ikats from New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Quite a nice place. A place to have dinner with good beer. The best part for me was that the atmosphere is very relaxed. The place is spacious, so no feeling crowded, and yet it is small enough to have that cozy, "neighborhood" feel. The music is subdued, so you can have a decent conversation, but it still provides relaxing background. The place seemed full, yet there were always a few spots available, so no need to wait. I sat at the bar and the service was excellent.

Beer selection was good. About 15 beers on draft, 1 cask, some bottles. On draft: Abbaye de Leffe Brune, Trois Pistoles, Ephemere Cassis, Hennepin, Sierra Nievada Bigfoot, and others. On cask: Fraoch Heather Ale.

The food is good. A few items are prepared with beer. Last time I had a burger and it hit the spot perfectly. I had venison chili some time ago and it was pretty good too.

I went there Thursday night. I was planning to have dinner at Waterfront and then had out to Brazen Head, but my stay here was so relaxing that I decided to put off Brazen Head for another visit.

May 23, 2005
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

One of the longest running beer bars in the area, you could tell cause of the pictures of MJ with out and gray hair hanging out at the bar. Nearly a score of beers on tap with one cask offering; HOTD, Inbev duo, Heavyweight, Magic Hat, Long Trail, Acme, a few Germans and Darkstar Hophead on cask. Old school looking bar with great pub grub that seems to dabble in game meats. Nice rounded selection of bottle, about 50 on the list.

They also had a full bar but few were ordering mixed drinks, service was freindly and attentitive. I could see hanging out here for more than a couple of rounds.

May 04, 2005
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Dithyramb from Maryland

4.1/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Our second stop during the recent BKLYN Bar Stumble. Great selection of taps, with all the usual micro goodies, plus some truly originals. Service was quick (slightly unfriendly) but they knew the food and brews well. Would make regular stops if I lived near DUMBO. Atmosphere was cozy.

Location was stellar. They are near that little park between the bridges where U2 just played, just around the corner from that pizza joint with a G where people stand in line for pies. A few blocks from both Brazen Head and Henry St Ale house.

Suffered from us going to warm and friendly Henry St. first. The waterfront did a great job recreating the neighborhood pub, Henry St. just was. However, both are better than average bars and well worth your time.

Dec 30, 2004
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Billolick from New York

4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This Atlantic ave spot, was a welcome suprise during a recent BKLYN tour. Selection, athmosphere and crowd were top notch. Had a bunch of impressive selections on tap. Alot of the usuals, but also a few harder to find selections. The music was soulful, the barkeep was friendly and generous with a few tasters. It was too late to try the food but the menu looked impressive w/ a bunch of BBQ/pub grub type items. Close to down town Bklyn location (only a block or two from the Brazen Head) means I'll be back to explore this place further. Worth a visit.

Feb 22, 2004
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wbthink from New York

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

The original location was actually across the street on Atlantic Avenue. The Waterfront "Brooklyn" Alehouse is an institution of sorts. A great place, comfortable surrounding, fantastic food, gratious service, and terrific beers (draft & bottles) makes this a well-rounded beer experience. Sam, the owner, has created warm, friendly space with personality, but no snobbery. Certainly at the forefront of the NYC beer movement, the Waterfront in Brooklyn could have rested on its reputation, but instead chooses continue its tradition of serving new local, regional, and international beers whenever they're available. They have great local, live music on Saturday nights as well.

Oct 20, 2003
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saltydog from New York

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

A long time institution, the first great beer bar in Brooklyn, though it was originally across the street. Somewhat larger than the Manhattan bar, and a little more comfortable looking. As with Manhattan, the beer selection of about 20 drafts always includes some unusual items, and there is a fine bottle list as well. And, again, as with the Manhattan location, the best food selection of any beer bar in NYC.

Oct 20, 2003
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slander from New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Saaay, didn't they used to be located on the other side of the street?? Places should just stay put when I get to be knowin’ where they are. Seriously, I get all confused when they move about. At least it was just across the street and I didn’t have to hunt them out down by the actual waterfront, although I would have if needed be. They’ve been a player on the better beer scene for a buncha years now (my first off-brewery sighting of the Brooklyn Dry Irish Stout was here) and they make-a the good food too. Probably the reason why this Waterfront location generally gets all my Atlantic Antic & Cask Head Festival love…
An “L” shaped bar seating 15 sits to the right, with tiered booze on the barback below mirrored panel walls. A pair of boards up top with the draft selections written in colored chalk and the wine boards, one for reds, one for whites, to both sides of center, plus a specialty bottle board. Riding the ceiling trim forward of the boards sit the warped and angled small scale building models with windows and lighting within. I’ve always thought them kind of cool; I’m taking them in just now seated in one of those 2 angled square tables below the big front windows that blow on the Atlantic.
There’s a room separator between the bar and the seating side, holding 10 tables in the area behind the (free) peppery popcorn machine, plus a pair of booths down past the bar, and another pair up front off to the left. Autumny murals on the walls above panel wood lowers, except for on the brick bar wall, and tile floorings, TV’s in the corners, ceiling fans and sunken spots. Another chalkboard on the back wall with tap listings, and a big bottle collection on a shelf above the far wall, with ceramic steins in a row just below. Otherwise, much of the décor is of sports prints, although they’ve got a great old framed Brooklyn Brewery ad from back when the Brown Ale was the Dark Ale (“Brooklyn’s first National champs since 1955”). If that thing weren’t nailed to the wall and under watchful eye…
4 towers of 3, 4, 4 and 7 on the bar holding a collective 18 taps, and a handpump with nothing on it this night.
Local and regional (Brooklyn Lager, Schneider Hopfen Weisse & Octo, Legacy Belgian Euphoria, Harpoon Glacier Harvest, DogFishHead Punkin’), someone else’s regionals (Goose Island Pere Jacque, Lagunitas Imperial Red, Rogue Dad’s Malt Liquor, Anchor Liberty Ale & Old Foghorn), a few imports good (Kasteel Rogue, Weinhenstephaner Weisse), and blah (Stella, Hoegaarden, Guinness), whatever, wherever we classify Yuengling these days, and a cider. Beers were fresh, no problems there.
B-he ordered the spicy mac & cheese casserole and a catfish po’ boy, B-she, the venison burger special and I opted for the Sante Fe chicken wrap, sans the jalapenos, I was told that this was a mistake, but you know I’m really not cool with the hot. It came with some damn good sweet potato fries, and they did rejoice. Last time around on my not-date, I did the French Dip, also, very good. Food’s always been a constant here.
I used to be all about the Manhattan location but I’m really ‘ppreciating Brooklyn these days.

Mar 11, 2003
Waterfront Ale House in Brooklyn, NY
Place rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 23 ratings