Elmer Sudds

Your Rating: None
22 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

475 E Northhampton St
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 18702-6325
United States

(570) 829-SUDD | map

Monday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 2:00am
Sunday: 5:00pm - 2:00am

Added by stingo

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by ffejherb:
Photo of ffejherb
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Visited Elmer Sudds on Friday 2/5/10 on the way up to the metropolis of Mehoopany, PA. I've been wanting to not only visit this place, but also to try some beers from Breaker Brewing, a PA brewery that has eluded me thus far in my travels.

Elmer Sudds is housed in small but a clean, cozy building decorated with brick walls, a tin ceiling and even some stained glass windows. It's a quaint looking place with a pub feel and a dimly-lit atmosphere, which creates a pleasant drinking vibe. The wooden, wrap-around bar is a focal point of the room, although they make great use of their limited space with smaller bar tables dispersed throughout the establishment. But there was plenty of vacancy at the bar during our visit, so we planted ourselves and ordered each of the Breaker beers on tap - Anthracite Ale and Malty McGuire. Having grown up in the relatively nearby mining town of Shamokin, the names of Breaker's beers originally caught my attention due to their aptly named coal heritage monikers. Both beers were solid, plus it was happy hour, so each beer waws $1 off, which made them taste even better! Service was very friendly (I think we were speaking to the owner, a younger guy) and we talked about the bar and Breaker beers. Their DIPA was just about to go on, but nothing kicked while we were there, so I'll have to try and make it back sooner than later. Unfortunately, we didn't try any food, as we had already eaten, but the burgers looked fantastic, and several people who were there were partaking in Elmer's food offerings. Next time we visit, we will definitely make plans to eat.

As for the beer selection, it was solid but not amazing. Still, it was nice to see a pair of taps from Breaker, plus local selections like Lancaster Shoo Fly Porter as well as excellent stuff like Founders Double Trouble. Bottle selection looked pretty solid as well, with some of the rarer DFH beers, some Belgians and what not.

Overall, I really enjoyed the vibe of this place and could see it easily becomming my go-to bar if I lived in NEPA. I definitely look forward to our next visit.

 2,099 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of QuadBen
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Photo of RobAM
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of beerdedking
4.15/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ridgeline23
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of IntoIPA570
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Anyone who's from -- or familiar with -- Northeastern, PA knows that the bars/pubs per-capita is probably one of the country's highest. That said, it's very tough finding gems. Elmers is one such gem. With so many "fratastic" bars and clubs in downtown Wilkes-Barre due to the universities, it's always great to visit Elmers and enjoy great beers in a relatively quiet, relaxed atmosphere without recently-turned-21 morons screaming and ripping shots of Jack Daniel's and vomiting in the bathroom. Sure, Elmers is in the heights section, which isn't necessarily the friendliest in the area, but I think that's a part of the pub's charm.

 636 characters

Photo of catman76
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My girlfriend and I are regular visitors to Elmer Sudds. We both enjoy the atmosphere there, which is usually mellow. Occasionally, depending on the mix the crowd gets a bit more lively but not out of control. Most nights is a nice place to sit and have quality beer and conversation. Or hang out with your friends and watch the game.

Beer list is a nice rotation of micros with a good showing from PA, including the local Breaker Brewing Co. Add in the large bottle list and you will find something to fit your style. Food is limited but what is offered is very good. The owner does a good job of mixing in specials and if they are not listed definately ask. I am a big fan of the Cajun wings and all flavors of pizza are great. Couple of seafood apps/items are also very good.

Overall this is a great little bar. Check it out!

 832 characters

Photo of skiofpinsk
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Been going here regularly for the past couple years. Great old bar with dim lighting and a very relaxed atmosphere. Decent selection on tap, usually one or two are occupied by the local Breaker Brewing, and one by a macro. Hand pump is up and running currently. If nothing on tap excites you they have a varied bottle list, so you're almost completely guaranteed to find something!
Food is standard bar food (burgers, wings, fried food, etc.) and never disappoints. Seriously, how can you go wrong with Mac 'N Cheese bites?
Very friendly service, the people who work there are very sociable and knowledgeable about their selection. Bottom line, if your either a local who hasn't made it there yet or just visiting the area, check it out!

 738 characters

Photo of antiqueguy
2.1/5  rDev -49.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 1.5 | food: 3

Any one who was a regular at Elmers in the past can tell how far downhill this place has gone. From service to beer selection theres no comparison to the Elmers of old.It seems they want to put little effort into the place. The owner ,and i presume his GF, seem to have this I couldnt care less attitude about it. I belive this may be the final nail in Elmers coffin. After trying it AGAIN, i can say after out last visit on July 16th 2010, it was our last visit! Shame on you John..you blew it!..RIP Elmer..you will be missed.

 527 characters

Photo of beerpyr
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

An old philosopher once said that nothing is permanent but change. There are still eleven (11) taps but the hand pump (cask) is broke. At least two (2) taps are always assigned to Breaker Brewing. The bottle selection is good and remains a strong point. Glassware is limited but you can get lucky and get a Delirium Tremens glass with your purchase of a Delirium (if it happens to be on tap). There usually are some goblets available for the Belgian ales. Pint glasses are the norm. I must also give some praise in that the glassware is clean. The big change is as follows: the bar service is mostly lacking. I have fond memories of Elmer Sudds circa 1998. There is no comparison in terms of customer service. Having been a loyal customer for many years, I now see clear signs of a once vibrant business now in steady decline. Say what? Yep! I have seen dirty restrooms and heard of customers who received burnt food which the server was reluctant to take back to the kitchen. I have heard inappropriate language from another customer which offended my wife. Who needs the hassle. I do not think I'll be going back anytime soon.

 1,128 characters

Photo of coachdonovan
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

simply put, i love this place. i first stopped in 2008 shortly after ownership had changed hands. i liked it then, and i liked it even more during a Feb '10 visit.

10-12 on draft, and i did see a hand pull also. when i saw the draft list, it was two Belgian, one German, plus Breckenridge and Founders. the rest were from PA, and mostly local - Lancaster, Breaker, Berwick (formerly One Guy Brewing). oh, and also Guinness and Miller Lite (so yes, you can bring your BMC friends here.)

bottle list was comprehensive, and included the full offerings from many PA breweries. a nice surprise was Pretty Things, which i hadn't previously seen outside of New England.

menu includes the safe bets of wings, nachos, etc. but also features several scallop dishes and items that went beyond regular pub food. in fact, i can't begin to tell you how great my salad was. the menu said it was organic, and everything looked/tasted fresh, even the blueberries. impressive that they pulled that off in February in NE PA.

there isn't a ton of seating, but the crowd is very friendly and just lively enough without being too loud or annoying. this is the kind of place that i wished i lived down the street from, but in the long run it's probably a good thing that i don't.

you should drink beer at elmer sudds. it will make you happy.

 1,323 characters

Photo of number1bum
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I've stopped at Sudds a number of times since they reopened a couple years ago. It's a bit small, but cozy inside, and the times I've been there - Friday nights all - there has been enough room to move around. They have about 12 taps plus one hand pump and generally have a very solid selection. I understand that they will now feature all 4 of Breaker Brewing Company's beers, as well, which is cool. Only thing that worries me about that, though, is that with only 12 taps to start the selection on the other 8 may not always be quite as appealing. I guess that just means they'll have to try extra hard to keep it balanced.

Nonethless, tap selection has always been solid when I have been there, with good variety and an above average bottle selection, as well (not quite as extensive as the River St Ale House but still good).

Service is sometimes a little on the slow side; I've stood at the bar and had bartenders walk by me numerous times before noticing I existed, but they do know their beer, which is a plus. Prices are reasonable and all in all it's a very good place to enjoy a beer or three.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Deuane
4/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located in an old corner building in a residential section of Wilkes-Barre Elmer's has the feel of a neighborhood bar. A fairly small place on the inside gives it a cozy and welcoming feel.

Elmer's offers a good draft selection consisting of twelve taps, all but one being craft choices. A cask selection is also available. The bottle selection is also quite solid consisting mainly of top Belgians and American craft choices.

The tender on was friendly enough and would ask us for a refill whenever we got close to empty.

The menu is a bit limited mainly consisting of sandwiches, burgers, wings and pizza. I had a smoked turkey club with smoked gouda. It was quite nice. I really liked the variety of cheeses with at least seven available. I cannot recall seeing smoked gouda as a choice on a bar menu before!

Overall, Elmer Sudd's is well worth visiting if you find yourself with some time to kill in the greater WB area.

 929 characters

Photo of VegasBill
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

My first time here, so I cant speak for the previous ownership.
This is a small bar, sort of like the old corner bar, with a nice feel to it.The beer selection is limited but some very good selections, I had the Victory Storm King, which is not available in the west. They also had a cask conditioned ale.
I did try the wings and they were above average. When I was there they were quite busy and it does not take a lot of people to fill this place up so I did not have a chance to talk to the bartender or server, and ask questions.

 533 characters

Photo of McLovinmybeer
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Elmer Sudd's is located in an historic building in the Height's section of Wilkes-Barre. It is a small bar that reopened under new ownership in 2007. They have a good draft selection of about twelve in total that is constantly rotating, . At my most recent visit, I enjoyed a De Ranke XX Bitter (a great Belgian IPA) and a Boulder Mojo. Sudd's is the only establishment in the area to offer cask conditioned ales. Their bottle list is exceptional and constantly changing. A rotating stock of good Belgians, American micros, and other imports are displayed in two large cooling units. The staff is friendly and knowledgable. Although the menu is limited because of the bar's size, the food is always prepared fresh and of good quality. Their wings and burgers are excellent. Overall, Elmer Sudd's is well worth visiting.

 819 characters

Photo of organizized
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Elmer Sudds has always been one of my favorite beer bars, with it's cozy corner-bar atmosphere, friendly service, courteous and friendly owner, great prices, and fantastic food. The menu is a little bit limited, but what they do, they do very well. The food is fresh made and quantities are good. Service is usually pretty quick. Try the wings, they're one of my favorites! The salads are always made from very fresh ingredients and have much more to offer than your usual iceberg with Ken's dressing. The french fries are also very good, as they're seasoned with a ranch-y spice. It's not a huge beer selection, but taps rotate regularly, and the focus is on keeping a variety of things on to try. There's also a decent and fresh selection of bottles. They always use the appropriate glassware. Great place!!!

 810 characters

Photo of juniorkrz
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

We have been visiting Elmer's for nearly 10 years. Eventhough ownership has changed hands, we continue to love the corner bar feel with the big city selection, Food is great, staff knows their beers. They have advised us wisely on several occasions. This is a favorite and we are glad to see it reopened. It is also a family tradition: go to Elmer's for your first REAL beer. Try the soups, always outstanding. My husband and I had our first date here. We keep going back becaue the selection is fantastic, the service is personable and wonderful, and there is something on the menu for everyone. If you are in the Wilkes-Barre area, its a must go

 647 characters

Photo of tgbljb
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited the establishment early on a Sunday evening after dropping my son off at college.
There was only one other patron at the bar and my wife and I had our choice of tables. The waitress promptly brought our food and beer menus and our drink orders were taken. They were quickly served and our meal order taken, which was served in an appropriate time frame. They have about 10 quality drafts on tap, including belgians, germans, and North American microbrews. There is also one hand pump. Their bottle selection was about 60-70. The food was delicious and very reasonably priced. While we were there, several other patrons came in and descrobed how the new owner had really improved the place. If you are in the area, and want some good, reasonably priced food, and some good beers to go with it, this is the perfect place. About 3 minutes off Rt 81, it is easy to get to. Well worth a stop.

 895 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This visit was on Saturday 12-02-06
Wow, it's been a while since Elmer's was last reviewed. I try to get here about once a month and every time I go, There is something new both on draft and in the bottle cooler. I counted about 75 different bottled selections and the draft lineup is always great. I started with a Victory Storm King draft, followed by SN Celebration on tap. Followed that up with a bottle of Killer Penguin which I split with my buddy. Finished the night with the latest release of Troegs Mad Elf. Spotted some Bells varieties in the cooler (I had some Expedition Stout on my last visit) and a nice selection of winter beers. My buddies girlfriend ordered a Lindemans Pomme draft and wouldn't you know it, the keg kicked before the glass was 3/4 of the way full. The bartender did not charge her for it. Food is always way above average. The burgers are very good but I can't help but order the pizza. I've been a big fan of the goat cheese pizza on my last couple visits. It's always awesome. BTW - they do have a beer engine which on this trip was pouring Bullfrog Scotch Ale.
Beer is served in the proper glassware. I've been coming here since the early 90's (different owner then), and as far as beer destinations go in NE PA, this is one of my favorite spots to try something I have not yet had as well as to revisit an old favorite craft beer. Highly recommended if you are in the area.

Cheers for now.

 1,432 characters

Photo of slander
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Inadvertantly arrived on a Friday evening just as happy hour kicked in and found the place pretty full, although we were able to snag the last open spaces at the bar. They had what?? 10?? 12?? taps running with some great american micros and I counted roughly 160 bottled beers (no swill) on the blackboards suspended from the ceiling. The blackboards broke out the beer selection by style and type so it was easy to get around. Everything from Belgians to bitters, ales to alts. They were somewhat short staffed for the crowd they had there, but our glasses were never empty too long. They were serving free pizza for happy hour, but it was to jammed in that corner for us to get to it so I can't speak for it.
There's a big Warner Brothers cartoon characters motif here, with paintings and artwork of Bugs, Daffy, E. Fudd and the gang and they've got a selection of most unusual house specialty drinks (some with Tang in them) named for different characters (I'll stick with the beers, thank you).
A stone's throw from, and the perfect compliment to, Black Rock Brewing.

 1,075 characters

Photo of stingo
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is the local beer bar to me - and it is quite good. While not much to look at, they serve a very wide variety of brews both in bottle and on tap. The first time I was there I had La Duchesse de Bourgogne on tap and was very well pleased. The food is regular bar food, though there's just something about their pizza that makes you want more and more. Prices are a bit upscale for the area, but considering you'd have a tough time finding the brews in any shape or form here, let alone on tap, I'd say it's a good deal.

 523 characters

Elmer Sudds in Wilkes-Barre, PA
Place rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 22 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.