30 Reviews

Type: Bar, Eatery

21 N Eutaw St
Baltimore, Maryland, 21201-1718
United States

(410) 545-5112 | map

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Added by broadchillin on 09-20-2010

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 65
Photo of mynie
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

I don't know what constitutes a "dodgy" area in Baltimore, where the boarded up buildings and flaming trash cans start appearing less than a quarter mile from the downtown's poshest area. The bartender here advised me not to venture out on foot, for what that's worth.

So Alewife is maybe a gentrification effort? And it does a good job at that. The insides are old and gorgeous, with decently maintained fixtures, high ceilings, and large mirrors hanging weird and silent above the bar.

It's dark and quiet and warm. A good date place.

I visited on a Wednesday evening around 8 PM. There were people, but it was far from busy. The crowd was youngish and they all looked like they had jobs. There were no TVs and if there was any music playing I don't remember it. I sat at the bar and tried to get work done.

The bartender was friendly. The food was good. The selection was wide and reasonably priced.

So everything was good, really. The minimalism provides a great deal of character. If I were in a better mood at the time, or with someone I loved, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more.

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Photo of Xenoreactive
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

My favorite place to go to in Baltimore. Before reviewing everything, alot of the negative reviews of this place seem to be attributed to the fact that individuals were seated at a very busy, yet small environment. Service can obviously be lackluster even in slow times when the personnel are prepping for peak hours.

Vibe: A bit chilly, but beautiful. There is definitely a dark and sinister atmosphere to this venue where dim-lighting and close-quarters bring a tight-knit and open-ended resolution to the joint. Nevertheless, a diverse crowd always comes out, be it visitors, tourists or local beer-snobs. Love going there late at night when it's generally packed and everyone is enjoying their time off.

Quality: Exceptional. Be it food, drink or service, this place is top-notch. Their brew selection is phenomenal ranging from international players down to the local one-offs. Fantastic rotating tap with roughly 40 beers always ready for your enjoyment.

Service: Love all the bartenders that I meet here. They are welcoming, appreciative of good conversation.

Selection: Incredible. For such a small venue, I could not be more satisfied. A definite hot spot for anyone in the business center of Bmore. Well-priced and free-flowing.

Food: Phenomenal. Had a few of their artisanal dishes. Was impressed by the presentation, balance and overall flavor. Although the food may be a bit pricey, the quality definitely speaks for itself. Portions are on the short side, but it's not leaning towards greasy big-portion bar food, so much as catering to delicious pairings. Loved the mac n cheese along with a particular fresh scallop dish.

Overall: Will always visit whenever I'm in this great city.

Edit: Not to scare anyone, but this place is haunted for sure. Be wary.

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Photo of PuppyClawz
3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I have been to Alewife several times and each time I wonder why I keep going back. I think they have a decent selection of drafts and bottles. The problem each time I have been there is the service. On a weekday afternoon while sitting at the bar you should not have to wait 15 minutes to be waited on. There are plenty of other great places in the city to frequent. The food is ok but overpriced and a very limited menu. Each time I go is a disappoint which sucks when they have pretty good beers on tap.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

I've wanted to visit Alewife for awhile and finally got the chance. We specifically stopped by to sample a few beers they had on tap based on their website. When we arrived we were told the beers were no longer available and that approximately 5 taps were dry. We were also told that there were beers in the cooler that could be put on the taps but that they were waiting for the weekend to start tapping them. Very disappointing.

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Photo of qchic
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Good beer and food (and cocktails). Interesting building--old bank--which explains why it doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies. Loud, too, but I like the low light. The location can't help them, but I love me some Bmore and don't scare easily. I wish I was more compelled because it's around the corner from the light rail. Still, I recommend.

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Photo of Klebe
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Great food and equally matched draft list. Oh and LOTS of bottles. But then hey, who goes to a bar and drinks bottles when the tap selection is on point?

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Photo of slander
4.46/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Not that one but the other one. Yes, Baltimore, for work at drink and now transitioning to at drink for play. Did the blind stumble about town but found my way, some way, anyway. Parked a sweet slander spot, fed the poser muni-meter wannabe, and assessed the shadybag factor (high)...

Old corner bank looking place in a not that great ‘hood. It is a beautiful fucking room though. Mad vaulted ceilings, tin pressed black with crown moldings, with a single center spiny, and squared drop hexagon paneled glass chandeliers. Blood red walls over black lowers with tall arched windows, some stained glass and an arched window forward where the door once was. White tiled floors with black diamond borders along the bar and slat wood floorings beyond. Framed wood balcony to the rear, the rails lined with garland & baby colored holiday lights and wreathes mounted below.

‘L’ dark wood bar with a framed panel base, and my feet left to dangle. Seating for 18 on hightop wood chairs. Row of 16 taps on the barback center and a pair of box towers along the bar with a dozen taps each. Tiered booze to both sides of the tower on the barback fronting horizontal mirrors, and glassware shelved countered and below, and more dangling from a slat rack lined with wrapping white. Large slanted horizontal mirrors above. Long drop baby spots in a row over the bar and fewer on the opposite wall, and lantern things along the bar.

Flats mounted in 3 corners, bright colorful art, and a blackboard listing tap selections on the far wall not even remotely updated or attempted. Neons in the front windows, and a Christmas tree where the door used to be. More art heavily packing the back room, and a baby faux fireplace there; it’s giving off some heat. I do not understander.

A pair of 8 stooled bar counter dividers off the bar and a baker’s dozen mix & match tables; highs and lows, singles and in rows, on the far side. Small back room with 10 tables and another small small small room with a single table there. And a handful of tables up there in the rear clock tower balcony.

40 taps, a mix of everything local (Full Tilt Berger Cookie Chocolate Stout & Baltimore Pale Ale), regional (Flying Dog Pumpkin IPA, DogFishHead Indian Brown Ale, 60 Minute IPA, & Sah’tea, Victory Golden Monkey, Prima Pils, & Headwaters Pale Ale, Yards Pynk, Troegs Perpetual IPA & Dreamweaver Wheat), New England regionals (Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, Allagash White, Black, Dubbel, & Tripel, Oxbow Farmhouse Pale Ale, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale), Midwest regionals (Oskar Blues Old Chub, Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, New Belgium La Folie, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale), West coast regionals (Rogue Double Dead Guy, Ballast Point Sculpin, Stone Ruination & Double Bastard, Bear Republic Red Rocket, Grand Am, & Racer 5, Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout, Green Flash Double Stout & Green Bullet Triple IPA, 21st Amendment Back In Black), a handful of imports (Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Monchshof Schwarzbier, Kulmbacher Eisbock, Schlenkerla Rauchbier Oak Smoke Doppelbock), and ciders from near (Millstone Farmgate) and far (Original Sin). I drank the Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, Oxbow Farmhouse Pale Ale, & New Belgium La Folie, You would have too.

And bottles, 64 of ‘em, by the look of things. They do a list, I looked it over. Priciest items are Firestone Walker Parabola, Bruery Tart of Darkness, & Oude Gueuze Tilquin a L’Ancienne, all at $45 a pop. Things look to be reasonably priced overall, although it’s hard to tell without my standardized price gauge (lovely) Orval.

Was looking for some din & done gave the menu a-lookin’ at. Something light me thinks; not too much, but enough. The blue catfish tacos (Potomac River blue cat, chimichurri, blistered corn salsa, chipotle cabbage slaw, sweet potato strings, one of those things makes some heat). They were perfect. I had been on the fence between them tacos and the smoke burger, airliner chicken breast, Maryland crab cake, & wild boar sliders, but I think I chose well.

We have been sucked into trivia night activities and we “guys at the bar” are not faring too well. Round 2, not much better. Caught a great meal, and would like to take in another. And the beer... Boulevard, New Belgium, & Oxford (fuckers!) Yeah, I’d do this again.

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Photo of Gravitron
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

For a beer destination bar in Baltimore Alewife is up there. Great decor in an old style bank. The bar itself is beautiful. Bartenders are always on point and know their product. Don't leave without sampling the food menu. Burgers are bangin'. Conversation is easy and the crowd is pretty diverse from theatre crowd to University of Maryland medical grad student happy hours. Alewife is only 5 blocks north of Camden Yards so if you're a beer snob and want something nice before you go buy $8 Miller Lites at the ball game than hit this place up for sure.
Bring your wallet though. Those beers add up. You get what you pay for though.

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Photo of WreckingBrew
4.38/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

My wife and I (from Boston) were on a sports trip to see Camden Yards and Ravens Stadium. We found Alewife advertised on Beer Advocate and made it a MUST destination. It ended up being 4 blocks from our hotel. We stopped in for lunch and we had a BALL! Great selection of brews and we struck up conversations with three or so employees. I believe our server was named Joe, and he knew about all the beers. Talked hockey with another server (awesome), and someone from the kitchen talked to us about REAL Baltimore crab cakes.
Go to Alewife if you are in Baltimore. Sit at the bar and tell them you came from Beer Advocate. It's a really cool building too. It was originally a bank and some of the vaults are now rooms.

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Photo of jmaharaj
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Overall Alewife is fantastic, good beer, good food, interesting(but usually great) service. As a beer place alone its very good but the selection while expansive (40 or so taps) doesn't seem greatly balanced. also it seems like they are out of a lot of bottles on the menu. Don't get me wrong, I am stoked to have a bar like this around, but its just that sometimes the selection seems weighted too heavily towards one genre. The food is wonderful, great jazzed up versions of pub favorites. and they do a late night menu for stragglers.
Beautiful dark wood interior with lovely large windows, but you never know whether its going to be crowded with loud music or calm and quiet.
Honestly this is my go to bar, despite the fact I live moments from max's. Its got its warts but it rivals the brewers art as the best beer and meal place in town.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited on a Wednesday night (there was an Orioles Game down the street). Sat at the bar for dinner. It was not busy.

A - Good vibe. Clean and friendly. Your standard darkish pub. No real issues but I would probably not bring my kids. Seems more of an adult place. Looks as if lots of folks hit this bar on the way to an O's game, about four blocks straight down Eutaw.

Q - Beer in coolers or some down in the cellar. Served in proper beer glasses. No glass washing machine behind the bar (+).

S - Good attention from the bartender. Gave me tastes and talked beer with me. No compliants about the food timing.

S - Great but not overwhelming selection on tap and in bottle. Perfect. [Not 40 taps as per data above]. Common to rare. No BMC. Berliner weiss to RIS. Had three Catillions.

F - Food Menu is broad. Something for everyone. I had the catfish tacos - excellent, WOW!

V - Standard mark-up on bottles.

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Photo of Mantooth
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

An old bank converted to a kick ass bar, amazing atmosphere, feels more like an old church than bank. The draft list was damn good and the bartenders were absolutely on it, amazing service and beer discussion. Layla so hooked us up, my girlfriend couldn't stop talking about everthing Layla did to help us out. Check this place out, it's what I look for in a great pub. The exact opposite experience we had at Max's. Super chill awesome pub.

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Photo of atpben
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went there a week ago on an overnight. Two blocks from my hotel in downtown BWI. It was about 1pm on Saturday afternoon so not very crowded. High ceiling in the main bar area. Got lucky with the table next to the big ass window next to the street. Awesome waitress. She was very good in recommending good beers for my non beer drinker friends. 40 beers on tap and about a 100 bottles. Great selection. Lot of the beers I wanted were understandably gone. But had the Stone Dayman Coffee IPA, Ballast Point Big Eye,and Green Flash West Coast IPA (They had the parabola but for 45$ not worth it for me). Had the fries made in duck fat(awesome and highly recommended). Did not have other food on this trip but had the burger on my last one and it was awesome. This place is on the pricey side but great selection. I will be back in BWI later on this month and I'm definitely gonna start at the alewife.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped by here while staying in Baltimore near the stadiums. I saw a handful of good reviews here on BA so I gave it a shot. From the outside it looks like an old Library or former Education building of sorts. I almost walked right into the glass covering the opening of the "front doors" (actual entrance is to the right). Cool vibe going on inside including a huge handwritten chalkboard draught list. They have high ceilings with a second floor deck overlooking the main bar and restaurant area.They had about 40 beers on tap when I went, and another 95 in bottles. The beer selection was nice and well packed with local brews which is cool. The food menu was short and sweet with a few small plates, artisanal sandwiches, mussels, calamari etc. I had a big tasty burger and some of the calamari. Both of the bartenders working that evening were helpful, personable and friendly. I'd recommend this place to anyone looking for good beer and a cool spot. I'll be returning here on my next visit.

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Photo of sholland119
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A great stop in the Inner Harbor area, Alewife was about three blocks up the hill from our hotel right outside Camden Yards.

Cool vibe inside, one large room with extrmely high ceilings and a mezzanine with a good amount of seating. We got two seats at the corner of the old school bar.

Beer selection was really excellent, with a heavy emphasis on regional craft beers. We never see Evolution on tap in PA so that was a nice surprise. Also, Weyerbacher, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas, DFH all nicely represented.

Our heavily inked bartender was very friendly, always there when we needed something. Food was good as well.

A new favorite to add to our Ballmer rotation.


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Photo of Gavage
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A short walk up Eutaw street from the Inner Harbor area, you can easily see the Alewife sign from a distance. The building looks like an old bank building from the outside, but inside it has more of a dark wood and maroon colored walls. The bar is large and has an impressive lineup of about 40 drafts. There are also some other tables in the area where some people were eating while enjoying beers.

We pulled up some stools at the bar and had a hard time deciding which of the beers to have. The beer list covered numerous styles including some sours which is nice too see. Bear Republic, DFH, Heavy Seas, Allagash, New Belgium, and Weyebacher were a few of the breweries represented. The several pints we had were all very fresh which shows good turnover with the number of taps here.

Service was very good here - friendly and beer knowledgable - any question regarding the beer selections was answered quickly and accurately. We did not try any food here.

Defintely a must stop for any BA in the Inner Harbor area, especially if want a different mellower vibe to enjoy some great beers.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Located not too far from the Lexington Market subway station Alewife is a place easy to miss.

Entering though you are in a giant large ceiling building that has been redecorated and screaming new gentrified fashion, while still remaining old world charm. The patronage is diverse, and the place was very busy for a Tuesday night when I visited.

Aside from one foul mouth racist drunk in the corner trying to stir things up (who didn't last long), everything here is quite comfortable and pleasant. The building and crowd reminds me a lot of the nice places I frequent to drink in DC, although the clientel in Baltimore is classic locals who are different from their nearby DC counterparts.

Service is ok, some minor attitude but nothing you can't really fault. Beer selection here is a step up and also contains lots of good glassware to go with it.

Didn't get to try all the food, but the fries in duck fat never fail, and the burger is rich if perhaps a little too rare but no major complaints.

I really like the atmosphere of this place the most, it really feels and gives me an idea of what the residents of Baltimore look like and what their city has to offer, and the building is real nice inside. I will always keep this place on my radar when visiting Charm City.

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Photo of Jesstyr
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Pumped to check this out pre-O's game, and was glad to give it a shot. Overall this was a good experience with a great waiter, interesting beer selection and decent food - overall worth a shot in the area.

Love the old bank building, and they did a great job making this place comfortable, but interesting. Cool bar, stained glass, bank doors, etc. Was really pleased by our friendly and knowledgeable waiter - helpful picking out food and beer to pair, just a good guy.

Beer selection both on tap and in bottle was great. Definitely seasonally focused, but a great mix of local craft and great beers from the world, including St Bernardus on tap, and a strong selection of bottled unique beers (JW Lees, etc). Food was just so-so - the cheese grits were as good as I've ever had, but the mussels were not good. Similarly kobe hot dog was great, but shrimp (with heads on in bbq on grits) were not well executed.

Worth a shot if you are in the area.

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Photo of smokeypeat
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Finally used a O's game as an excuse to check this place out. It's nice to finally have a high quality bar on the West side of Baltimore. I was really impressed with the building, it's all old-school wood and nicely detailed accents. It makes you really appreciate the time, effort, and craftsmanship that went into these old downtown buildings. The selection of beer amongst the 40 taps was rock solid and while nothing really stood out to me as "rare" I couldn't fault a single selection. The beer was served in proper glassware (true 16oz pints) and service was prompt. We also ate to fill up before the game and while the food selection was somewhat limited compared to the beer choices, all of us were more than happy with the quality. The only thing I'll point out here is that it took a long time for the food to come. Of course with good beer and conversation the wait was bearable and didn't detract too much from the experience. I was happy to see the place pretty full for a Thursday night. I'm hoping that this is a good sign that it's taken root in the community and will be around for a long time to come. I know that after my first visit, I was impressed enough to make sure to come back soon.

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Photo of jmel10
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Was looking for a bar Friday night during my visit to Baltimore last weekend and decided on Alewife because I thought I had heard something good about it at one point in time. I was pleasantly surprised upon walking in when I saw there were 40 beers on tap.

It was a Friday night so the place was full but definitely not crowded. The atmosphere was laid back and enjoyable. We were able to get seats at the bar almost immediately.

Both the draft and bottle selections were good. The service was also good. I didn't try any of the food.

I did feel that the prices were maybe a little high but I had a good experience and I would come back if in the area.

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Photo of Perrumpo
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Alewife makes great use of their 40 taps. They always have plenty of high class craft beers to choose from. Their Stone event was amazing... all 40 taps were Stone beers. The beers are fairly priced, but the food is more expensive ($15 Smoke Burger w/ fries) but you get what you pay for with the food. It's the best burger I've ever had. Great rosemary duck fat fries, too.

The atmosphere is nice. It's never that crowded, and it has a great vibe to it. One of my favorite places to go in the city.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Stopped in around 7:00 on a Wednesday in mid January a month or so after they opened. Pretty crowded with what appeared to be the after-work crowd. Sat at the one open spot of a large bar and large bar area.

Forty beers on tap. Lots of IPA's and mostly common beers for the region with a couple exceptions and what I wound up getting...

Cask keg of Stone IPA with Amarillo and Simcoe hops
Stillwater Existent (dark farmhouse ale that seemed more like an alt bier). They did carry a couple keg/bottle offerings from this local brewery.
Saison DuPont for my rock fish dinner
Sone 7.7.7 vertical aged in red wine barrels
Also had Stone Lucky Bastard which I passed on as I had to drive.

They participated in a recent Stone "take over the taps" event that was held in a number of cities across the county which explains the strong Stone showing.

I passed on crab cakes as the bartender told me they were not in season but the rock fish was. Can't say I would do the rock fish again given the $22 price tag but that's just me when it comes to sea food which I think is over priced.

Overall, they had lots of very good beer options in a comforting historic location in the city. If not for the recent Stone event, I would have struggled to find something new/unusual to try which is the way I roll.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I have been to Alewife a few times now, but only for drinks- never for a sit-down meal.

Atmosphere- The decor is fantstic, and while it's not much different from when the previous tenants were using it, the decor just seems perfectly suited to a higher-end craft beer bar. The feel of the place is excellent as well- a healthy mix of people from all walks of life. The only thing that keeps me from giving a perfect 5 for atmosphere is the layout near the bar... while the bar is huge, the space can get really cramped around the bar during busy times... and there's nowhere else to go unless you're getting a table.

Quality- High quality abounds here. Everything is clean, served out of clean tap lines, and often in appropriate glassware.

Service- Barstaff are reasonably knowledgable/at/worst and highly knowledgable about beer at best. Service can get quite slow during busy times. However, I would still say the service is a notch above average.

Selection- A very well-thought-out selection. While they don't have the sheer volume of beers in their selection as say Max's, they have done a stellar job of putting together an excellent range of beers that are world-class examples of an array of styles.

I will definitely be going back to Alewife and would definitely recommend it to friends.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Alewife is Baltimore's newest purveyor of craft ales. Proudly situated opposite the Hippodrome Theater in an imposing building that was once the Eutaw Savings Bank (the vault is still here), it offers Charm City beer advocates another opportunity to quaff great brews accompanied by some very eclectic cuisine, one item being Belgian-style fries cooked in duck fat.

The room is beautiful; spacious and airy, it is accented with dark wood, brass, stained glass windows and sleek crimson walls. There is a large, comfortable bar that is opposite a row of hightops that serves to separate this area with the regular dining area. Additionally, there a few tables along the windows, the large ones in the center once being the front entrance of the bank.

As previously noted, Alewife offers their customers about 40 taps to accompany a well chosen bottle list, which represents several of the great Beer Countries (i.e., Belgium and Germany). Several of the bottles are a bit pricey - such as De Ranke Golden Ale for $26.00. (Ouch!) During my visit, on a quiet Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to quaff the following: Loose Cannon IPA, Boulder Mojo, Evolution IPA and O'Hara Dry Stout. I could not help but notice that a good portion of Alewife's draft list favored hoppy beers. But, who's complaining? Not I.

Nor can I complain about the service: efficient and friendly; nor the menu, which went above and beyond the ubiquitous "pub grub" that one would find in many a bar, saloon or tavern. And yes! Those duck fat fries; this and a hearty Cuban sandwich sent me home stuffed and happy.

Alewife is a welcome addition to the Baltimore beer scene; and it is a most welcome sight to the thirsty Beer Advocate who wanders into this neglected section of town.

Given its' location well away from the Inner Harbor and Fells Point, this building has not had the best of luck (there have been two Irish pubs in three years); however, Alewife is worth a visit. In fact, the owners are also responsible for several such venues in Massachusetts: Lord Hobo (Cambridge) and Moan and Dove (Amherst). I wish them the same success with Alewife.

While I will always reserve a special love for Max's (See My Review), Alewife will indeed make a wonderful mistress.

Update: Paid another visit during Baltimore Beer Week 2011; this place grew on me even more. I remarked upon the serene atmosphere - as opposed to Max's sportsbar vibe. During Visit Two, they had two Bear Republic Double IPAs!

Update 10/19/13 - Another wonderful visit; this trip provided the chance to tatse Green Flash Surf Up, a Black Bear Racer, a new Belgian Pale Ale (Birdhouse) one from Baltimores Full Tilt and Boulevard Nommo Dubble. Max's is still my favorite but Alewife is catching up. Note: It gets very crowded with theater goers since H=the Hippodrome Theater is across the street.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

*A little re-reviewing here*.

After a handful of visits to Alewife Baltimore, there are some points that need to be reconsidered. Once the Stone historic event was over, what we have left is a draught list that is solid good but not exceptional. I've had trouble finding something I wanted here. Not a lot of variety, not many (if any) Imperial Stouts, no Barleywines, few (if any) Imperial IPA's. Lots of quality Euro brews from Belgium and stuff, if you care for that (St Bernardus, La Chouffe). But really, a little more diversity would be nice to appeal to all palates.

Prices are still incredibly out of control. Nasty expensive, both the beer and the food. No correction here.

Service can be hit or miss. At first everyone was super knowledgeable. Now they got at least one new bartender who's got no idea about beer and is also slow. She is willing but inefficient and can't tell a pilsner from an stout.

So I'm knocking down some points, but Alewife is still a very good beer bar with a unique, classy atmosphere and great food.


My wife and I are stationed in Baltimore for two months and have already been exploring the beer options. The new Alewife is a cool addition to downtown Baltimore, in a somewhat strange and desolate area where Broadway-style theaters meet check-cashing joints and the homeless mingle with college students outside a Starbucks.

How well will this expansive and beautiful beer bar do in this sketchy area of a sketchy town? Hopefully well enough to survive!

The atmosphere is very nice, an old Irish-type pub with lots of wood, high ceilings and the works. Gorgeous and airy. Service is very good too, with beautiful bartenders who are extremely helpful and know their beer and food (how rare is that!).

40 beers on tap, and all of them interesting. No fillers here, no Guinness or Stella. When I visited, they had taps leftover from a massive Stone tasting (all 40 taps for them!), and I was lucky to drink Double Bastard '08 and Double Dry Hopped Stone IPA. Vertical Epics from '06 to '10 were available too!

The food is a winner here too. Imaginative, well made, different. I love it when places like these go beyond the nachos-and-fries fare of most bars. Here you can have beef carpaccio, tuna tartare, wild mushroom risotto cake, a meat-and-cheese plate with foie gras, chorizo and different cheeses... WOW!

Beer prices are all over- $5 for Dogfish 90, $6 for an Anderson Valley IPA, $6.5 for all the Stone specialties served on 12-oz glasses... the prices advertised on the board didn't match the prices I was charged, though ($8 for a Double Bastard, but a free Stone, nice but confusing).

Food is incredibly expensive, sadly. Tuna tartare was $12 and it was barely two bites, with no much dressing or garnish.

Three appetizers and two beers: $60, and they charge you for extra bread. SIXTY, that is correct. I can go to Brewer's Art and have the same amount of beer and food for half the price.

We loved the Alewife, but with these outrageous prices, I doubt we'll come often... we'll consider it a "once-a-semester treat".

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Alewife in Baltimore, MD
4.17 out of 5 based on 65 ratings.
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