Geneva Ale House


15 Reviews

Type: Bar, Eatery

319 W State St
Geneva, Illinois, 60134-2156
United States

(630) 262-3877 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by thewimperoo on 12-11-2009

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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 30
Photo of PBIU
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Have been here many times since moving to the area three years ago. If there is a knock on it, it's the atmosphere. There really is not much once you get inside. Kind of sterile but I keep in mind the space they have doesn't allow much for creative decor.

Besides the owner, their staff is not too knowledgable when it comes to beer. However, when my wife and I (and even 1 year old daughter!) have visited the service has always been good to very good.

The location is prime, as it is right on the main drag in Geneva,Il and the old movie marquee sign is a nice touch.

Food is pretty tasty. Never had a bad burger and their pulled pork and turkey bacon sandwich are solid. Could they do more with the menu, yeah, but the beer is the main attraction here.

Now, they only have about 10-12 taps (large bomber, bottle and can selection too) but they usually have a few things that are unique. Meaning if you searched you may see Geneva Ale House as the only or few that have that beer. Recent hard to find drafts here include Deschutes The Abyss, Black Butte XXV, Three Floyd's Zombie Dust, Hop Trip, Alpha Klaus, Permanent Funeral, Sixpoint Special Releases, Ballast Point Victory at Sea. They most likely will be carrying Penrose Brewing as well, once those folks open their doors in early 2014.

If you are ever in the Fox Valley Area and need a decent burger and a great craft beer
seek Geneva Ale House out.

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Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

It's a dimly lit bar with a log cabin feel. The servers were very nice and friendly. There is a lot of awesome APAs/IPAs to choose from, and a few other gems, but the selection as far as other styles were slightly limited. My only complaint was that I was served a hoppy beer that I was told was fresh, and it was kind of old. It wasn't very old, so it really wasn't a big deal. Some of the beers were pricy, and others weren't. It is a very good place that I will be going back to.

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Photo of YogiBeer
3.44/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Solid tap list, if a bit pricey for what you get. None of the servers, for the most part, have any idea what is going on in relation to beer... be it glassware, how to pour, what to recommend, etc. Food is decent, typical gastropub food, nothing outstanding. Never really have to wait for a table, which is nice. Great place to stop in for a beer or two while on your way to somewhere else.

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Photo of ethanmc12
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

Was pleasantly surprised by this tiny little bar in downtown Geneva. Their beer selection was great and had really good breweries like Sierra Nevada and Three Floyds. I tried their Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and was taken back by it. I had been looking for it at several other placed and was so glad I had finally found it.

The Ale house burger was very good and the homemade chips we delicious. I don't usually like chips but was very happy with how this place turned out.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

I love going out to Geneva. It is a peaceful relaxing area, where one can go on bike rides, relax in the park, and hit up the downtown. I go there often, and literally every time I do I hit up Geneva Ale House. The atmosphere is normally either quiet (on the weekdays) or pretty bustling during the weekend. The clientele are not "beer" people, but regular patrons who may or may not be looking to get a pint.

The quality of the establishment is on par with what you would expect, and the service has always been very good. They often have at least one fun special thing on the tap list, and overall have a solid, albeit smaller tap lineup.

The food here (well, what I've had) is phenomenal. I highly recommend the Chipotle BBQ Chicken breast. I get it almost every time I go and it hasn't gotten old.

I will say, my biggest gripe with this establishment is that they overcharge what THEY think are "rarer" beers on tap. It is absurd. For example, they are charging $12 for a 12oz pour of the Dogfish Head Sierra Nevada Rhizing Bines IPA. This beer can be purchased anywhere around the area, is NOT that expensive, and is frankly, not that good. This bugs me mostly because it makes it seem to me they are trying to make a quick buck off of what they think is a limited beer. Don't do that Ale House - it makes you look cheap and that you don't care about your regulars/clientele. If you want to charge a bit extra, increase the price a reasonable amount. Don't charge a dollar an ounce for a mediocre, sub-par, not rare beer.

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Photo of bears256
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Love the beers they get there. Food is good but not great. Kind of feels like you are in a funeral home. But I do enjoy the ale house for sure. They usually have 3 floyds on draft as well as other great beers. I really like Brian the owner. I have only talked to him twice but seems very friendly. There is a lot of beers here and I really appreciate that. I am sick of the same old thing all of the time. There is a couple workers that I really like but a few of the girls get a little b#$%^tchy at times. Like i said I really like this place and plan on going more often as I have been there maybe ten times now.

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Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located on the main drag in touristy Geneva, this "Ale House" is not associated with the chain of Ale Houses that I'm more familiar with. Small, quaint, and friendly, the beer here is much more impressive than I was expecting. The limited number of taps focus on American IPAs , but there is a little diversity in the mix (recent taps included FFF APW, FW union jack, Bengali Tiger, and Rasputin)
Highlights include GF Linch Pin, Frangelic brown and love child2
Friendly and attentive service with a respectable amount of beer knowledge.
Good bar food. Again, better than expected: Fresh house made fries and chips. Decent salads and sandwiches.

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Photo of ssimpson89
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Hometown spot that I too often forget about. I've always enjoyed it every time I go. It's in a renovated movie theater under the marquee in downtown Geneva.

It's a family friendly place if you go early. It's always nice to be able to take the family out to dinner and be able to get some great beers.

The food is good. The Cajun Rigatoni is my favorite and it's pretty much become my default dish as it pairs well with the nice selection of IPA's they usually have on tap.

FFF Dreadnaught, Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster, Two Bros Hop Juice and Founders Centennial is the current IPA tap list.

Good food, good beer, worth a visit.

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Photo of Dhren1979
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

From notes during a February 16th, 2011 visit

This is always a favorite stop when visiting my college buddy who lives nearby. It’s a great location! Located in historic downtown Geneva in an old building that once used to be a theater. Walking in you’ll see 3-4 bar-height tables to your right and about 10 or so normal-height tables to your left. In the middle of the place is an “L”-shaped bar with a couple of flat screen TV’s on the wall. There is always a great line-up of brews at this place. 12 Craft beers on tap, 112 of bottles of various Craft brews and 2 Craft brews offered in cans. This is always changing so if you want to see the most current list of brews see the website for an updated list. Prices are reasonable, as low as $5 for some Tap & Bottle offerings and high as $20; however, you should see most in the $5 to $10 range. On this visit I had Tyranena’s “Shaggin’ in the Wood” on tap!

The food here is also quite delicious! Prices are reasonable as well. Basically you are going to spend around $7 to $10 for a huge burger, sandwich, or Panini. Like I said the food here is very delicious! For this visit I had the Blacken Turkey Panini which is by far my favorite sandwich there. Price is $7.95.

Well, if you are in the area and looking for a nice place to enjoy a nice craft beer and maybe have something to eat Geneva’s Ale House is the place to go!


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Photo of spankdog42
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Finally got a chance to stop by on my way home from work. I had been meaning to get here for months now.

12 craft taps. Tons of bottles. Some tap prices were very good, some seemed a little high. Settled on a pint of Racer 5 for $5. No complaints here. Grabbed the pulled pork and homemade chips. Sandwich was good (I am a sucker for the pretzel roll) and they put a ton of chips on the plate. More than I expected for $8.95.

Overall, I will definitely be back in the near future. I'll definitely consider coming here more over the Bavarian Lodge. The number of taps may not be as good, but I didn't get the holier than thou attitude I sometimes experience at the Lodge.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Geneva Ale House offers a pretty decent selection as well as a great menu of food items. The atmosphere is a bit too classy for me and had brightly lit lights inside which i am usually opposed to. I prefer dimly lit spots personally. The service is pretty quick and friendly and the quality of everything is on the high side of the spectrum. The price is a little high too but you get what you pay for.

When I had recently visited, the Ale House had many great brews on draft. These included HopSlam (@ a generous price of $6 a pint), Firestone Walker Double Jack, Founders Double Trouble, Left Hand Imperial Stout and Smuttynose Brown.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The Geneva Ale House was a meet-point for DavidEddie and I for our in-person trade. Located under the large marquee, it was a little difficult to find if you didn't know what you were looking for. Thankfully there were parking spots right out front!

I walked in and immediately headed for the bathroom walking through a long, rectangle building painted a burnt auburn red color inside. The deep tone gave it a low-level, moody, chill feeling that was average. Nothing on the walls stood out and the place in general seemed rather small and boring.

After the hitting the bathroom I found Dave sitting at the edge of the bar and I popped a squat next to him. I looked at their great bottle list and saw a bunch of fantastic beers and things I'd love to try but I opted for a tap beer. I asked Dave what he was having and he offered to buy my pint in return for the drive out there. I got what he had, a Bell's draft only offering called Poolside Ale.

Not a bad selection at all, it was pretty good for the small location. The service was good but nothing to speak of either way and I didn't try any food. In the end, it was a good meet point for a brew and a trade but I wouldn't go out of my way to get there. Thanks again for the brew Dave!

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Photo of mmckee82
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Located in historic downtown Geneva, IL underneath the old Geneva Theater marquee.

Atmosphere: Excellent environment consisting of friendly people and relaxed ambiance. Friday and Saturday dinner sees an increased pace, but this doesn't detract from the overall experience. Several TVs are scattered thought the bar area and the staff controlled music selection is a mix of classic rock and blues.

Quality: Outstanding. Traditional glassware and pours, although this can be confusing for some who are always expecting a MGD draft experience. Owner knows his stuff and is always willing to discuss craft brews with interested patrons.

Service: Staff is well trained and friendly. They are always willing to answer any questions about the beers and offer 'tasters' of draft beer you might be on the fence about.

Selection: 12 taps all of domestic and international craft brews, with another 100+ on bottles/cans. More traditional mass market beers (Miller Lite, Corona, Coors etc) are also available, making it a place you can take anyone, even if they aren't interested in the craft brews. Although, the staff will try and convert them!

Food: Burgers and sandwiches are amazing. Signature 'Ale House Burger' comes with a friend egg, bacon, grilled onions, and sharp cheddar. Simply amazing. All burgers are served on pretzel rolls, which compliment the beers nicely.

Value: For the same prices you pay at other local establishments you get a better selection of beer and some of the best pub food around. When it comes to getting your money's worth, it's hard to come up with anywhere else to go in the Fox Valley area.

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Photo of krtman
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Been here twice now; first time was in December and things were a bit sketchy...service slow, food was good but long wait and waitress didnt know much about beer. Although I enjoyed the beer was a bid disappointed with beer tap selection.

That changed when I was there in mid-Jan. Albiet it was a less crowded night, the beer tap selection included Dreadnaught and Hopslam! Great choices....I was able to talk to the owner and he is very focused on getting quality beer and will use that to drive business. It worked because with those selections, I'll make a special trip. He also had snifters which he didnt have the first time i visited. Seems the place has their heart set on good quality craft beer and I think it will be very successful. Also, he was very open to hear ideas from his patrons.

I'd highly recommend visiting if you're in the area!

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Photo of thewimperoo
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited the Geneva Ale House, a new craft beer bar in Downtown Geneva, on 12/11. It opened on 12/9 and is located under the marquee sign on Rt.38.

Atmosphere: Cozy place with a few tv's, quiet music. It's easy to hang out here and have a conversation.

Quality: Beers were all fresh and properly handled. All beer was served in proper glassware.

Service: You can tell that this place has only been open for a couple of days. Knowledge of products, both food and beer, was a bit sketchy. I'm sure as the staff becomes more familiar with the menu this will improve. Don't go in expecting a ton of knowledge on beer from the wait staff at this point.

Selection: 12 beers on tap, all craft. I don't think that there is anything else in Geneva that can say that. There is a good variety of beer styles. 65 bottles in the fridge of all varieties. Hopefully the business will be good enough to keep the turnover high enough.

Food: Mostly what you would expect: burgers, sandwiches, salads and a few other entrees. Homemade chips, fries or sweet potato fries accompany most meals. Food was good.

Value: Most beers on tap were $5 for a pint. Some of the Belgian selections were $6-$7. Bottles were in the $3-$6 range for 12 oz. Food entrees ranged from $8-$15.

Overall it's great to have a place where you know there is going to be a solid selection of craft beer. The business on Friday night was brisk with a lot of people that used to be regulars when the location was Citizen Kane. As they work out the kinks I can only hope that the selection improves and this becomes a real beer destination spot in the western burbs. I expect after they get some more experience under their belt my score for this place will increase as it has a lot of potential.

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Geneva Ale House in Geneva, IL
4.05 out of 5 based on 30 ratings.
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