The Black Sheep Ale House

Your Rating: None
26 Ratings

Type: Bar, Beer-to-go

78 2nd St
Mineola, New York, 11501-3008
United States

(516) 307-1280 | map

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Added by blacksheep78 on 10-19-2011

View: Place Reviews
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Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.16/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Because I’m out to see an Islanders game, is why. I generally root against them but they’re playing the Bruins, and I don’t want Boston to win anything ever, except for pain. I really have no interest here whatsoever, but it’s a work stint for the team, and I am part of the team. Pregamed at some place back in Forest Hills. Yes, I know. Queens and then the dirty island; comedy of awesome...

Hoofed it out to Min-e-o-la, circled and parked; a whole lot easier than ‘burg these days. Corner door entrance to a dark room. ‘J’ish bar on the inside wall black wood topped with a rounded trim, vertical wood plank base, and foot box; seating for upwards of a dozen on wood chairs.

A 5 tap tower below the bar and stainless steel barbells of 10 to both sides, and a handpump somewhere along the way. Barback wall displays the tap list is all color chalked up; beer, ABV, serving size, pricing, and growl pricing, where applicable. Vertical shelving with booze on the ends and more tiered counterside below the center board and in between. 4 TV’s atop and strung baby pumpkin & skull lighting lining.

Windows on both corners and the wall painted something blueish in this light up high over 2/3 vertical slat wood framings below. Beer tins, neons, pub signage, & framed prints. Wood slat floors, pressed tinesque ceiling tiles and a pair of spinnys. A trio of 2 seat hightops adjacent to the bar and a dartboard in the rear corner of the room. Back room holds seating on a baker’s dozen 2-seat tables, a single hightop, and a cushy horseshoe raised in the rear rear corner. Brewery & baseball décor. And a framed Frank pic. Zappa, that is. Track spots on a side wall draft board.

25 taps; 4/5 of them are American craft beer; local (Great South Bay Snaggletooth Stout, Massive IPA, & Blood Orange Pale Ale, Barrier Dementor & Saazsquatch Ale, Blue Point Toasted Lager, Port Jeff Starboard Oatmeal Stout, Brooklyn Cuvee La Boite), regionalish (Ommegang Gnomegang, Southern Tier Warlock & Pumking, Victory Red Thunder, DogFishHead Punkin, Smuttynose Pumpkin, Maine Mo, Hoppin Frog Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale), and other time zones (Avery Dugana IPA, Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Wild, Stone Enjoy By, Ballast Point Sculpin). The remainder are imports (Mikkeller US Alive, To OL/Omnipollo Brewmance, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Guinness), and a cider (Mckenzie’s Reserve Cider).

And a single cask offering (Great South Bay Snaggletooth Stout) and they’ve got bottles, true; 6 dozen or so, the list broken out by style. Orval, she runs $12. Hmmm, that‘s pricey. It would be completely reasonable in NYC but not out here. I drank me a Mo, yo. And then Dev & I split a bottle of Maine Red Wheelbarrow, that one also running $12.

Good crowd, I’m guessing a group of locals by their demeanor and service was some fun, too. Was hoping for one of them free hot dogs all the kids are talking about on the interweb, but there was nothing percolating. Good tunes, except for that heinous fucking song Ben polluted our lives with last Summer. An excellent place to put up pre-anything at Nassau.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of AnPiobaire
4.89/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is one of those great little neighborhood bars I wish was closer to my neighborhood. It's the kind of place you could easily lose the entire day in here watching sports and drinking excellent beers. Great staff. Awesome side events like vinyl punk records being played during certain days and their team trivia to win free beer is a fun night as well. Only draw back is the lack of a kitchen but otherwise this place is a must go.

 435 characters

Photo of Yungling
4.67/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of Icemann383
5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of BeerBucks
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of 2Xmd
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of abkayak
4.18/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of Pete_IV
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Awesome selection that is constantly rotating, including local and international choices.

89 characters

Photo of PVMT
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.16/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of SwG237
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of JoeMans
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is my favorite bar out of every bar I've been to in NYC and Long Island for two main reasons: the selection and the price. These two are not typically (positively) related but here makes for a match made in heaven, so to speak.

There's always at least a few world-class brews on tap. I've never once arrived and been disappointed by the selection. They've also got some lower quality beers for the non-craft crowd. Most of the beers are $6, which is incredible for quality craft beer anywhere. Another great thing is after July 4, they have all draft beers on sale for $4 through Labor Day. What kind of magic is this?! The staff are pleasant and a few of them are knowledgeable about the beer they're serving.

I really enjoy the atmosphere in here, especially when it's less crowded. I always forget that they have free hot dogs all day every day, since I do not eat hot dogs, but they're there. The jukebox also has lots of independently released choices, which is really cool too.

If you live anywhere near here or are visiting the area, this is the one place to visit beer-wise. Hands down.

 1,103 characters

Photo of sunofneurot
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Spyderglx
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Tschnab
4/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Ilovelampandbeer
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of 1BeerToRuleThemAll
5/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of cestlavie
4.85/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Before I go on a rant about how wonderful this place is, I'd rather just make a simple list of why this is the best Craft Beer bar in Western Nassau County:

1. The ownership is awesome, along with the management- Vince and Bob do a great job of following their blueprint, which is bringing the best possible beer, and ONLY the best, to their growing clientele.

2. The beer is fresh- these guys do not sit on kegs that are not meant to be aged... if it's hoppy, it gets tapped right away. If it's a lower ABV beer, it goes on right away. Selection is always rotating, which keeps fresh product on tap at all times.

3. There is a balance of crazy, rare beers, along with session-able craft favorites.... you can find staples like GSB Blonde Ambition, a handful of Blue Points, alongside the latest Stone Collab, Maine, Ommegang, Ballast Point, Goose Island, et al.

4. They support local more than anyone on LI.... from nano's to small local crafts, you can find Bronx Brewery, Singlecut, Port Jeff, Barrier, Spiderbite, GSB, Blue Point, Rocky Point... these guys continue to help these breweries flourish in a very saturated craft market.

5. They offer REAL ale, or as we know it, Cask Ale. A handpump always has one of Long Island's local breweries 1-off cask, which makes it 1 of only 2-3 places to do so... and the only REAL cask engine in Nassau County.

6. Their events are awesome. They always have a bunch of great tap invasions and what not going on, and even though their "$4 pours on all 24 taps all Summer" just ended, get your butt into one of the events they throw, and you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself.

7. No meatheads and crazy people fighting- the atmosphere here is very chill- you can play board games, eat FREE HOT DOGS, and just hang out in a low key manner and enjoy some awesome brews.

8. Last but not least, I almost totally forgot about the bottle selection. They have over 75 different bottle offerings on top of the draft... and that list is always evolving as well. Special Maine beers, Goose Island Bourbon Counties and Sours, Cans... the whole deal.

Just go, check out the selection, meet Bob and Vince, and thank me later.

 2,159 characters

Photo of BobConner
4.81/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

The Black Sheep is my first review here on BA. I fear I may being doing the place an injustice, as Im hesitant to go throwing around 5's my first time out, but it has been my go to place since I found them last Christmas for an office holiday gathering.

The Beer. 25 Rotating Taps, 1 Hand Pump and more than 75 cans/bottles. I dont know the exact bottle count, but their sign tauts over 100 beers, so doing the math, Im saying 75+.

The selection is outstanding. Always quality. Always a good mix of styles, and prices are kept reasonable. Everything moves well there. Nothing sits on the lines. In fact, I don't know if this should be a complaint, of sorts, but one thing that gets me sometimes is that the hard to find stuff, that they are very adept at getting their hands on, may be gone by the time you get there. I suppose that may be my fault. They are diligent in keeping their beer list up to date on line, so Ive made a quick check part of my morning routine. Ok, and my end of day routine too.

The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, which is welcome and not all too common these these days. For some reason, if seems to be fashionable in beer bars here in NY for staff to be obnoxious. Not all places are like that, but truly too many of them seem to revel in it. Not at the Black Sheep. The staff is very cool and, as I said, well educated.

The atmosphere is relaxed, as are the patrons. Its hard to nail down an overview for the customers. Its a wide mix of ages, professions, ethnicities. In conversations with the manager, Bob, he's said their core tends to be 25-35, but they get plenty of folks outside that box. Myself included. The snob factor is also held to a minimum. Which I find refreshing as well. Again, to quote the manager, they are "beer enthusiasts, not beer snobs". They encourage folks to "drink what you like". But will also tell you that they are happy to educate (Bob says enlighten) the BMC drinker and they do take pride in their many successful converts.

I put a good score up for food. Perhaps that was a little tongue in cheek, as they dont have a kitchen. BUT, you can get a FREE hot dog there all the time. I happen to like a good dog. And they make bar pizzas, which are surprisingly good. Also, the bartender will be happy to produce a folder filled with local take out options, as they dont discourage folks from ordering in.

The owner, Vin, is a good dude, who will tell you that he has worked very hard to create a place where everyone is made to feel welcome and can come to enjoy each other and great beer.

Trivia on Wednesday nights is a blast with Liam and Sara (a winning combo behind the bar). Thursdays are good too and are when they usually do brewery nights. Sunday nights you get alot of people in the "industry" coming in after they close their places. Ive only been in on a couple Sundays, but its fun recounting stories of my own bartending days back in college. I mean to try and get in on a Sunday day sometime, as folks talk about Liam's IPA Bloodies (I know, sounds crazy, but people love them), and he does FREE bagels on Sundays. Weekends are what you would expect, or should I say hope for. Full house. Good time had by all. There really isnt a bad night to go there, but I will admit that some of my favorite times have been for Monday and Tuesday Happy Hours. I shoot over after work for a couple. They tend to be a little less busy and Bob is on the bar. Its a good time to get my geek on, enjoy a few quality brews and some good conversation about beer. Though perhaps now Ive given a away one of my previously better kept secrets about the place.

So for the guy who was criticizing members for not reviewing enough and letting folks know where the good places are, here is my first and its my favorite. I will endeavor to put up some others going forward.

 3,838 characters

Photo of libeer4182
4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Stopped in here on a Tuesday night - 5/7/13 - coming from Nassau Coliseum to celebrate an Islanders playoff victory.

Atmosphere is of a typical neighborhood bar. It's on an unassuming street corner a couple of blocks from the Mineola train station, with no other bars or restaurants in the immediate area. Laid back vibe on the weekday night I stopped in, with a few other people talking and enjoying a few beers.

As for quality, this is a top-notch craft beer bar. Without a doubt, the go-to spot in Nassau County for craft beer. The owners care about craft beer and only keep the best stuff, with an emphasis on locals, on tap.

Service was very friendly, with the bartenders being knowledgable of the beers they're pouring and more than willing to talk about craft beer.

Selection is unmatched in the area - 25 taps, all quality crafts with a nice selection of locals and hard-to-find stuff. I had a Barrier Dunegrass Double IPA, as well as a couple of drafts from Singlecut. They were pouring four Singlecut drafts on the night I was there, so I'm guessing they must have just had an event.

The one drawback to this place is there is no kitchen. It'd be a great place to stop in for dinner before or after an Islanders game (it's only 10 minutes from the Coliseum), which is really the only reason I'd find myself in the area, but without food I sadly won't have many opportunities to stop in.

 1,402 characters

Photo of ebelcherjr
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

Seems to be the best beer bar in this area. 25 beers on tap. Decent selection of bottles. Was able to add to my collection of unique beers and it seems after my second visit that the turnover is quick. I'd rate service higher but world of diff between Tue night and Thu night bartenders ;)

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Photo of RichThatchr
4.29/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

I am always entertained when I visit The Black Sheep Ale House of Mineola, NY because of its exceptional selection of beers, primarily of the craft/micro/local variety, and because of its versatile nature in being a relatively comfortable place to hang out with friends. I enjoy the exceptional tap line ups as well as the polite and efficient service that outshines many of the other bars in its general vicinity.

Dressed in a dark suit of black wood paneling, The Black Sheep seems to have been an old style Irish bar of another era that was purchased and renovated in the past 2 years to become a great craft beer bar within a few blocks of the Mineola LIRR train station. Sitting on a highly visible corner of Roslyn Rd and 2nd Street, it dominates the area with a subtle presence as there are no other bars or real restaurants in the immediate area. While the general parking around the bar is lacking, one quick drive around the area exposes that the side streets have plenty of room, especially when large groups descend upon the Black Sheep as I did last night with about 60 people.

Upon entering the place, one can easily slide into one of the many chairs surrounding the bar and take in a ball game or even European sports on the many televisions that encircle the perimeter of the tall ceilings. The taps are right in front of patrons and chalk board menus in the place of mirrors display the beers available by size and abv content.

One of better things about the place is that while it engages and embraces the craft beer community with special nights for brewers, cask events with full cask engines drawing pints, supports local brewers with ample tap lines, and hosts friendly events, it does not get involved with the ubiquitous "tap takeovers" that would alienate it regulars. Yes, you can find standards like Allagash White and Blue Point Hoptical Illusion among the 30+ taps, but you can also find exotic ales like the awesome "Plead the 5th" (RIS) from Dark Horse, which I tasted last night.

My only detraction about the Black Sheep is that it doesn't really serve food and hot dogs don't cut it for me. While the management seems to be very friendly with the idea of bringing food in, I think it really needs just basic menu of burgers/chicken/wings/ dogs/wraps plus chips to take to the place on par with the best LI has.

I am looking forward to returning to The Black Sheep when I am able to be in that area again.

 2,442 characters

Photo of laxxx47
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is great. The beer selection covers all styles. Always have a large selection of local beers (brooklyn brewery, port jefferson brewery, six points brewery)

Bartenders are for the most part knowledgeable about what they are serving and can recommend a new beer close to the style you enjoy.

there are 2 draw backs to this place; 1.) no food unless you count hotdogs

2.) the jukebox covers a wide range of music so you may hear a long stretch tunes you don't care for

the best part about this place is it is $4 beers for the rest of the summer

 558 characters

Photo of suzbillyeddie
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Without a doubt the best beer bar on Long Island, bar none.... Great owners and barkeeps (they know proper glassware and know firsthand what they are serving)... Always a great selection on tap, always fresh and many hard to find local brews and great hard to find national beers also ... Why go to NYC with this hidden local treasure...A trip out to Mineola is definately worth the effort (no other bar in the area comes close).... With their new pricing the Black Sheep is an even a greater destination.

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The Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola, NY
Place rating: 4.45 out of 5 with 26 ratings