The J. Clyde

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The J. ClydeThe J. Clyde
69 Ratings
The J. ClydeThe J. Clyde

Type: Bar, Eatery

1312 Cobb Ln S
Birmingham, Alabama, 35205-4918
United States

(205) 939-1312 | map

Casks are now tapped on Friday at 4pm; call ahead.

3 Beer Engines.

Added by Poser on 12-08-2007

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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of TheBlack77
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Nothing but good things to say about The J. Clyde. Well maybe one semi-negative and that is the restroom situation. One toilet for the men at a beer bar can create lines. But i'm pretty sure that will addressed in the future. Right now they are refinishing the back bar.

The J. Clyde's selection is second to none in this state. The staff really knows their beers. There's always something on cask as well. Lots of one-offs from Good People Brewing that are always a treat.

The food is quite tasty as well. From pub food to a little nicer grub, everything is tasty. The beer dinners are always fantastic. I think it is a necessity that one should try the fried saurkraut balls. They are fantastic! Didn't sound appetizing to me until I tried them, but now I get them just about everytime I go.

If you're in Birmingham for anything, a stop at the J. Clyde is a must.

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Photo of Bounty628
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Finding a good beer bar in Birmingham, Alabama was a bit difficult but at the recommendation of Good People Brewing we checked out The J. Clyde. We did not dine here, simply ponied up at the bar for a couple of good beers.

Great selection on draft and the bottle selection was as impressive as it was voluminous. The draft selection featured several offerings from Good People Brewing, which I certainly can appreciate since supporting the local guys is important. The rest of the draft selection featured a good mixture of stouts, IPAs, etc.

Interesting finds on draft included a couple of Bell's offerings (Two Hearted Ale which is always a nice find since in Massachusetts you cannot get the stuff) as well as some Colorado offerings like Tommy Knocker and Durango Brewing Company. A cask was pumping away and a trusty favorite like Guinness could be found on draft.

The J. Clyde did offer a sampler selection of 5-6 different offerings. The prices were quite reasonable across the board and the high selection was not matched by high costs to the consumer.

The staff behind the bar was as knowledgeable as they were friendly. When people had questions about beers, they knew the answer and when others sought recommendations the entire staff seemed to make sound decisions.

The J. Clyde is sort of tucked away so you might need to ask a local (or a cabbie) how to get there but if luck should have you landing in Birmingham, Alabama anytime soon this is a must stop location for you!

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Photo of Seru1
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Atmosphere- Very quaint and fun place. Two patios and a cool bar to sit in. Room for everyone, and a few TV's turned way down to.

Quality- Awesome attention to care and craftsmanship on the product that's given. Fresh beer with knowledgeable service

Service- No better beer service in the state, maybe the south itself. The staff are well versed int here product, honest, and always friendly.

Selection- Amazing selection, All craft beer, with a new cask every week. If your in the Birmingham area and love beer. This is the place to go.

Food- the food's diverse and good, I don't think I have ever ordered the right thing, but the beer dinners are breathtaking, perfectly timed, and well worth the price of admission.

Price- Good prices lots of deals on Monday and Tuesday. and a regular happy hour. Watch out though, so much good stuff you'll run up a tally fast.

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Photo of PsychoJedi
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I will get the only bad thing out of the way first: the "community" need to do something with its sewage system. There is a bit of a bad smell outside. This is not the bar in particular, but the whole area.

The good things are everything else. Good beer and good food. I strongly suggest the Bavarian sausage! They have an exceptional stock of specialty beers and the staff knows comparative substitutes if they are out of a beer. Both on tap and bottled beer. They attract the in crowd and can see what other people are drinking if you want to try something. They are the bar you go to for specialty beer in Alabama.

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Photo of tiger88
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I don't know why it's taken me so long to review but it has. I have been here numerous times in the last two years and have never been disappointed. Whether it food from the pub menu or the more gourmet menu, everything I have had has been exceptional. the Caprese Stacks are a must every time I go. The beer selection is better than anywhere in the state and will only get better now that the HOPS ARE FREED! You couldn't find a more involved and nicer guy than the owner, Jerry. He and his sister, Susan run a first class operation at the J Clyde. One would be in sad shape if they missed the Clyde while in Birmingham. Seek this one out, keep going...

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Photo of Bamabrew22
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Great place to grab a quality brew in Bham. Loved the courtyard/patio outdoor seating. Beer selection was just phenomenal. Also love the owner's support of Free The Hops and dedication to bringing good brews to Alabama. Food is good, a little on the hoite toite side, if you catch my drift, but delicious and creative, to say the least. I tried some Lazy Magnolia offerings on tap. Their tap selection is second to none. Great atmosphere, really laid back despite the glitzy menu. Great beer bar! Can't wait to go back.

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Photo of dukedevil0
3.98/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I've stopped by here twice on business trips that took me to the area.

Atmosphere: Both times I've been here have been during the week and prior dinner hours so the place was pretty empty. The front room has a nice big bar, but apparently it isn't being used or hasn't been when I've shown up there. The main bar is small (fit's ~8 people), but is nice and has glasses hanging from above. All the taps are on the wall to the left of the bar stacked next to each other and it makes me wonder how they fit all of them in such a tight space. There's some nice outdoor covered and uncovered seating and it looks like a cool place to hang out when the weather is nice. A big screen TV is mounted out there under an overhang that had Sportscenter on mute while I was there.

Quality: Beers were generally served in pint glasses, but they did have snifters so they must use them for some beers although I didn't observe which.

Service: Service when I was there was very good, although it might have been a function of not being very busy at the time. I ordered drinks from the bar and was served quickly and courteously.

Selection: For Alabama, which has some ridiculous beer laws that keep lots of great beers from getting in the state, this place has a great selection. If this place were in a beer friendly state, then I would say average for a "craft beer bar". They had lots of Rogue beers, some Sweetwater, Yazoo, and other local, low alcohol brews.

Food: I had a chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries. The food was typical bar food, nothing outstanding, but was decent.

Value: Overall I think the value here is pretty good for your money, but mostly just because of the circumstances this bar has to compete with. Again, if this were in a big city or beer friendly state, this would be a notch or two lower. If you are in Birmingham and looking for a good beer bar, this is what you have to work with.

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Photo of lfd807
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

By far the best place to drink craft beer in Alabama. I drive, actually the wife drives, all the way from Tuscaloosa (an hour away) just to enjoy the half price pints on Tuesday & Thursday nights along with a three piece jazz band on Thursday nights. Kind of hard to beat $2.75 for a pint of Good People Brown Ale. The food is priced as expected. Be sure that you ask for the Pub Menu also. The wife and I really enjoy the sweet potato fries. Great selection of Rogue. We went this Thursday night at arrived there at about 7:30. Of course the back patio was full, but we happened to find an empty table...unfortunately it was away from the heat. We sat there for about 15 minutes before someone came to get our drink order. My wife finally found us a spot at the front bar and the server immediately took her drink order. We were informed that there was a birthday party that had reserved the front and that we would need to be done by 9. This was not a problem for us, but we did stay there till about 9:15 without being bothered. It was a special occasion for me and I thank my wife for taking me. I really feel that an hour drive is worth visiting this place. My only suggestion is to arrive early (they open at I believe 4) as it tends to fill up quickly. The front bar also has a very impressive amount of taps that will be filled up as soon as our Senate quits filibustering and get some work done! I really look forward to visiting when this happens.

I can't wait for Good People to be served in Tuscaloosa!

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Photo of eahennin
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

When you walk in this bar, don't be fooled by the underutilized front room...keep on walking past the bathrooms to the beautiful shaded patio past the back bar. Now you're set for the night.

The J. Clyde is Mecca for Beer lovers in Alabama.

Birmingham's only Beer Garden will keep you comfortable, relaxed and, for the most part, well served. The Bartenders are more than willing to help you find the perfect beer, so just ask.

The selection is the best you'll find in this state, and it will be even better when we adjust the ABV.

It's like a laid back Saturday night in your back yard, with better beer, better music and cooler people, plus you don't have to clean up.

It's my default bar.

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Photo of kels
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Thank you, BA, for BeerFly. Traveled to a professional conference in Birmingham last week and relied on BeerFly to pick the place we'd be going to dinner. Glad no one argued with my pick of The J. Clyde.

Atmosphere: Absolutely great. It's nestled in a really unique little part of town in an old building on a brick street. Lots of little cozy spots and several different bars inside with an awesome outdoor seating area out back. Lots of attractive people in Birmingham, at least at this bar...who knew?

Quality: Pretty average - everything served in a pint glass cold, but that's cool. I'm not terribly picky as long as it's fresh.

Service: Not the best, but I have to include that there were 12 of us, which seemed to shock, stress and rattle the staff up. Guess it would've been helpful to make reservations ahead of time, especially because this place got slammed by 9p on a Thursday night. Our server gave it her best.

Selection: Really about as good as I could have ever imagined in a state with a low ABV cap. Large on-tap selection and a huge number of bottles to choose from. Most of the choices I can find at home, so I stuck with Sweetwater for something different.

Food: Pretty good takes on upscale pub food. A little on the pricier side.

Value: Beer value was great. It was pint night, so my Sweetwater 420 was only $2.40. Awesome.

I can't imagine a better place to visit in Birmingham even thought this was the only place we went. It was pretty much all I could have asked for. I'd definitely be a regular if I lived in town.

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Photo of bamadog
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Just got back from one of my favorite places in the world - Alabama! We had one night away from the conference that we were all at and this was the place that we chose for dinner. We showed up fairly early in the evening (8-ish) but there were 12 of us and they were very accommodating to us, and they eventually got hopping busy.

Atmostphere was a little kitschy - a lot of people walking around with horn-rimmed glasses and sports coats, so kind of the hipster crowd (there was also a 3-piece jazz band playing too to add to that notion), but there was also some college kids and locals in there as well, so kind of something for everybody.

Service: Well, I'd like to say high, but for all that we ordered, the poor girl seemed confused. Perhaps she was new though and will get a little better at what she's doing, or may she was just having an off night - but still, not bad to the point where I'd slam them or anything.

Selection: OMG, you need to see it to believe it. Easily the widest selection I've ever seen in a bar. Great selection of some pretty impressive brews.

Food: Bar food is kind of hard to screw up - but I definitely enjoyed my veggie burger (didn't feel like beef, don't know why) and yam fries. Everybody else seemed to enjoy their food as well.

Value: They were running a half-price special on draft beers, so I got a pint for 2.10 and cannot and WILL not complain about that :) But even if there wasn't the special, I could easily justify paying 4-6 bucks for a pint of decent beer as that's what you're going to pay anywhere else.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A: The J. Clyde is an open-air patio bar that is covered by a canopy of trees. The rustic surroundings are nice considering that it is located near the bustling five-points area in Birmingham. It's a very private, cozy kind of place--a nice beer drinking environment. Obviously, open-air means one is at the mercy of the temperature and the elements, though they do have strong heaters and covers to roll down in case of rain or cold.

Q: The beer is usually good, poured from clean tap lines. Sometimes the pints don't arrive with the volume of head I'd like, and they could do a bit better with glassware. Still, this is only a minor complaint to an otherwise immaculate beer drinking experience.

Ser: Service at the J. Clyde is pretty slow. I've been three times and each time my party has sat for a good while before even being recognized by a server. I've found myself ordering my next beer almost as soon as I get a few gulps down of my first one because sometimes they take a little while to arrive. On a positive note, the servers are always friendly and I've never received the wrong beer, wrong food, etc. I just wish the service would be a little quicker--there needs to be more of a team-work ethic there. If you aren't a particular server's responsibility, then odds are that server isn't going to acknowledge your existence.

Sel: Bar-none the best selection at any beer bar in Alabama. They've got probably close to 40 taps of non-macro, high quality beer, with a solid bottled menu, as well. Score is a 5 because of the sheer will power and effort it must require for them to stock such a nice selection in this state.

F: Food is good and they have a wide range of options. You can snack on cheap appetizers or go full-bore and get an expensive entree. I've always snacked on appetizers while I've been there. Hummus and fried green tomatoes are both good.

Prices are very reasonable--between 4 and 5.50 for any pint on the menu. Pints are 1/2 price on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is awesome. Paying 2 to 2.50 for a pint of good microbrew is unbeatable, especially in Alabama. The bottom line is that the J. Clyde could charge more given their location and exclusivity in selection, but they don't.

Overall I'd contend that the J. Clyde is probably the best beer bar in the entire state, and one of the more interesting beer spots in the southeast. I enjoy dipping in there every now and then, and will really rejoice if/when Alabama's inane beer restrictions are lifted, since I'm sure the J. Clyde will be on the cutting edge of showcasing high-gravity, bigger beers.

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Photo of shivtim
3.98/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Stopped here while visiting Birmingham. It's on a small brick street, in a mixed residential/commercial neighborhood just down the street from UAB. We walked in and it was completely empty in front. Walking around the corner past the bathroom and kitchen we found out there was a back bar area and outside covered seating, with several people eating and drinking. Odd layout, thats for sure. Good selection of brews, with maybe 30 on tap, including several from local-ish breweries and a large Rogue selection. Service was friendly but slow. The food was a limited pub menu. I had a pretty good chicken sandwich, with average sweet potato fries (I could tell they were homemade though). A friend said the pizza had good sauce and toppings, but the crust was not very good.
Seems like a good hangout, and I'd believe it's probably the best beer bar in Alabama. I'd like to try their full menu, and it'd be nice to see a couple more breweries offered on tap.

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Photo of everetends
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

My buddies and I used to make the drive over to J. Clyde's at least monthly because this is the place in Alabama to get good beer. It has the best of the best that this state has to offer and if you go on Tuesday's and Thursdays, it is half off draft (like 2 bucks a glass, glass size depends on the style you are drinking).

The atmosphere can get a bit college heavy with UAB being just around the corner, but it has never been unpleasant. Tables are outside on a porch atmosphere and there is usually a musical act. They can close it off in the winter and warm the porch. Very pleasant.

The beer selection is wonderful. The beer menu has an extensive draft list and they have twice as many beers in the bottle.

The food is great and decently priced. The chef wants the food to be high end and has the presentation. Portions are decent and flavor is excellent. I have enjoyed everything I have eaten there.

If you love beer and are in Birmingham, this is the place for you.

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Photo of freethehopspc
5/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The best beer selection in Alabama, not just Birmingham. They have excelent food, and a variety of beer that is unmatched anywhere in the state. I can't imagine the choises they'll offer after the laws are changed.

They offer half price draft on Tuesday & Thursdays, and their hummus is to die for!

They have a patio that is open with fans in the summer, and inclosed with heaters in the winter.

I'd have alot more money if I didn't go there 3 times a week!

I would highly recomend this place to anyone looking for a good time with a great choice of beers.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

the j.clyde is easily the best place in birmingham if you want a pint. their selection is the best in the area and it's always growing. lots of tap lines now including cask ale becoming part of the regular rotation.

the staff is friendly and the food is excellent. their hummus is some of the best around and i've never had a bad meal here. as others have mentioned, the fish and chips are great as is the grilled chicken.

prices are very reasonable and you can't beat two half pint nights a week.

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Photo of ddarden
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

The J. Clyde is definitely the go to beer bar in Birmingham (there are only a few to choose from). With the recent addition of additional keg space, the number of draft beers have tripled. They by far have the best selection and continually bring in the latest beers to enter the market. The owner and his sister are great people and are constantly working the floor to make sure everything is going well. It also has been very exciting to have a proprieter in town actively seeking cask ales of beer never before available in the area. It has been great to have a place with the number one priority being beer. I have not eaten to many dishes from the kitchen, but the fish and chips are good. The outside area is very nice when the weather is good and they are able to keep it nice and toasty even in the cold weather. The one thing that is missing from the atmosphere is a nice big bar area to belly up too. The owner is constantly working to improve the facilities, but the restrooms are very small for a beer joint and the service can be hit or miss. All in all, this is the place to come when visiting Birmingham for beer and it is wonderful to have such a committed owner.

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Photo of grumpygerman
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 5

It is difficult finding a place where you can bring your little one as well as beer loving visitors from out of State. And although I wouldn't schedule an job interview at the J.Clyde, I love treating business partners to memorable dinners right below Vulcan park .

The J. Clyde offers the best beer selection in Birmingham and the menu has surprisingly sophisticated variations on regular menu items. It is s not easy being a beer loving vegetarian in the Deep South but the J. Clyde offers some food combinations you should definitely try the next time your are in Birmingham. Where else in the world could you enjoy cornbread with a side of raspberry butter and Sweet Magnolia's Southern Pecan? Or grilled portabella on cheese grits with Sweetwater 420? I just wish they were open for lunch and I could have Sunday brunches with my family and an excellent selection of beers.

Since I m a grumpy guy after all, I have to add at least some criticism: There could be more restrooms (its a beer drinking crowd), and so far I had only 2 waiters which combined quick service with friendliness and serving skills.

I like to add that since I wrote the review I went back several times to receive outstanding service. I guess it just takes some time to get good waitstaff.

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Photo of Poser
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

THE place to go to in downtown Birmingham. Most of the food is a bit pricey (but reasonable given the quality and style), but they have recently added some "bar food" options so you can enjoy the atmosphere and the quality beer without going broke. If you have the cash, the food is absolutely delicious. It's really the best of both worlds.

The atmosphere is normally perfect if sitting outside. I give it a 4.0 just because it's sometimes too crowded and I'm personally not a big fan of one-man bands that they do occasionally. In the winter, the outside area remains open thanks to several heaters. I was skeptical about the temperature, but I was too warm at one point.

Service is the only area that is lacking, but it's mostly growing pains and has already been improving. It's hard to find good help, I know.

Selection is beyond reproach. I only wish they would quit running out of cask ale.

Really, I can't say enough about the place. If I'm in Birmingham (I live an hour away), t's where I go if I'm taking the wife out, it's where I go with friends, it's where I bring associates. Go to The J. Clyde.

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The J. Clyde in Birmingham, AL
Place rating: 4.43 out of 5 with 69 ratings