The Wharf Rat

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The Wharf RatThe Wharf Rat
38 Ratings
The Wharf RatThe Wharf Rat

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

801 S Ann St
Baltimore, Maryland, 21231-3404
United States

(410) 276-9034 | map

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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of morebeergood
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Stop number six, day two, of our Baltimore pub crawl. Wow, when you walk in, it's pretty unique. Looks like a sailor's bar from 1785. Very dark and dusty. Loads of junk adorning the walls. Normally, I would think that this place is a dump, but I can tell that this is the look they are going for, and it works. I would have given service an average rating, but I am going above average because a nice woman employee took the time to tell me the history of the Wharf Rat and the Pratt St Ale House. Plenty of Oliver beers on tap, including two different ones that I didn't see yesterday at Pratt. I went with the Anniversary Bitter and my wife had the Vanilla Ice. Both tasty and different. This was the last stop on our tour, and I am glad that we had a chance to stop by a place with so much history.

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Photo of mltobin
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

The Wharf Rat is located on South Ann St. in the Fell`s Point section of Baltimore. When I was there, they had 10 or so regular draught lines and 2 cask offerings. Half of these beers were from Oliver`s Brewing, which I believe used to owned by the owner of this establishment, but was sold off some time ago. Guinness, Bud Light, Hoegaarden, and others were also on tap. They also have small bottle list. The room is dark with a lot of bric-a-brac on the walls and graffiti covering the bathroom walls. A relaxed and unpretentious environment that serves up a good selection of Olivers and a small selection of guest beers. If you have never had an Oliver`s before, I would stop by The Wharf Rat.

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Photo of ProV1392
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of HarryPotHead
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of snowghetto
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of baybum
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of jjboesen
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Wharf Rat is your definitive "waterfront tavern," even if it is more than a few blocks from the water - although it's a short stumble up the street from John Stevens (see my review) and a 5 minute walk/stumble from the beloved Max's (see my review).

It has a dark interior, low lighting with plenty of wood; upon entering, is a very small bar area on the right opposite a few rickety but well-worn tables. Off to the side is a poolroom. There is another larger bar/dining area in the back. Throw in some muted TVs (always nice) and some interesting music, then you are ready for a pleasant quaffing experience.

The Rat offers a veddy fine selection (16 taps) of Oliver's British ales and some good lagers, including several casks of the former. They range from Manchester Cream Ale (think Boddington's), a smooth pour stout, a bitter and an Old English Ale (think Old Peculiar) all served in room temperature in a bloody imperial pint glass. And ... if this isn't enough, the prices are very reasonable. During my recent visit, a pint of their Merry Ale went for $4.00.

Note: the Men's Room is literally at the end of the front bar.Certainly convenient. The Wharf Rat must be included in your Fells Point pubcrawl.

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Photo of akorsak
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Tomorrow: Max's Belgian Beer Festival. Tonight: Dinner at Brewer's Art followed by a pint at the Wharf Rat. For all the days spent at the old Wharf Rat (now Pratt Street Ale House), I'd never been here.

Atmosphere: An old English pub, Americanized. The obligatory red phone booth is to the right on entrance. Two bars abut seating, more seating upstairs and a pool room to boot. Kinda reminds me of the Pratt St. Wharf Rat back in the day.

Quality: Good beer, varied selection. No table service; clean heads. I really enjoyed sipping through my pint here.

Service: Order drinks and food at the bar. As per my guidelines, that warrants a 3.0. Bar staff was friendly though, so...

Selection: I counted at least 8 Oliver's offerings, including two on hand pump along with 15 or so additional brews. Hop Devil and Loose Cannon joined Oliver's Best Bitter and ESB on the handpump. I had the aforementioned Best Bitter, ksak went with the Oliver's Scottish Ale (on CO2).

Food: Food is prepared by your bartender right in front of you. I perused the menu but didn't partake, so I'll pass on a rating.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

The Wharf Rat is a very cool sailor's bar in the "wateriest" area of Fells Point. Lots of character!

Pretty good but not great service in a very slow/dead early afternoon. He was a little busy chatting away with some bar folks, but fine.

Selection is pretty good but not great. Lots of Oliver beers (anybody know the straight story on this?), all of them English-style. Too British for my taste!

Nothing outstanding, no crazy American craft brews. Mostly lagers and smooth ales. Five cask ales, though, including Victory Storm King, which was too hot for my taste.

They had a focus on Oktoberfest beers, and also Guinness, Hoegaarden, Stella, Yuengling, Stella... this is quality beer for the masses! :-) Not the best selection, but acceptable.

Nice deals on pricing, though. I had the "try 3 beers for $5", and the pourings are huge! Full mugs of any beer. On Fridays, three casks for five dollars.

Didn't try food, looked very basic, the bartender cooks it all... how good could that be?

I had Heavy Seas Prosit, Victory Storm King cask and Paulaner Oktoberfest just because bartender recommended it, even though I know I'm not a big fan of it.

I wouldn't come back here, considering the amazing Max's is a block or two away, but it sure is worth coming at least once for the atmosphere and the British-style ales.

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Photo of joe1510
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I stopped in here with BA Dyan on a recent trip to Baltimore. The Wharf Rat is a dive bar and runs with it. Multicolored Christmas lights decorate the ceiling beams while the tables are old and grimy. A pool table in the back gives you another pastime while being in the bar. People seem to really enjoy both carving and drawing on anything in the place. The minimal crowd the night I was there (Wednesday night) was of the hipster variety but it was a quiet night.

It was tough to get a very good reading on the service considering all I did was walk to the bar and place an order but it seemed standard enough. Two cask ales were pouring the night I stopped in, a bitter and ESB, the bitter was excellent and the ESB was a strong example of the style as well. The pints ran right around $5 which is acceptable in my opinion. I had a pretty good time during my short visit to The Wharf Rat and wouldn't hesitate to stop by again in the future hoping to catch more of that wonderful bitter on cask. Good choice on the quick stop Dyan!

This place specializes in English beer so keep that in mind on your visit.

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Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in during a late afternoon with my wife. Very old looking bar, with only about 7 bar stools. Many empty tables and a closed back bar. Bathrooms were very psychodelic with multi-colored spray paint to deter graffitti, but it really didn't. Food was served from microwave or kitchen heaters as there was no official kitchen here. A phone booth sits by the front door just like the parent place in the Inner Harbor. For a Friday afternoon, I was surprised there were only 3 other people there.

There were plenty of Oliver's beers on tap, and we went during the 3 for $4 happy hour which meant 3 mugs (about 8 - 10 oz) of Olivers beers for $4. For us that was quite cheap to sample several brews. The beers were of good quality and the ESB I had was on the hand pump. Beers covered everything from cream ales to stouts. The bartender was friendly and made some personal recommendations for beers to have.

Worth a stop if you like Oliver's beers and are bumbling around Fells Point, but personally the wife and I prefer the Inner Harbor location.

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Photo of jgasparine
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place looks like a sailor's shanty. You walk inside, and you feel like you should be handed a wooden mug full of frothy grog by a one-eyed peg-legged pirate. The atmosphere would only be better if it were more filled with beer geeks.

The only beer you'll really find here is Oliver's; a solid line beers, but I've just never been head-over-heels for an Oliver's beer. So while you have a good range of beer styles represented... and a bunch that you may have never sampled before... I just don't think the beer is something to write home about.

The service is good, the atmosphere is good, and the beer is good. This makes for a good place to go with a group of friends.

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Photo of claytri
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I have to say upfront this is one of my favorite places in Baltimore.

Now the atmosphere is not for everyone, it is a very old building and the age shows. To me that's great, and I love looking at all the beer and nautical bric brac that lines the rafters and covers much of the ceiling. This is not some modern restaurant that serves beer, this is a very old bar that serves food.

The beer is excellent and always very fresh as it they brew their own. The food is of high quality but limited selection.

The staff is always great, and work hard to keep you served even when the bar is packed.

The beer selection is great if you want their beer. They have 9 to 12 on tap at all times, including their ESB and Bitter on cask. If you want something else they have a decent, but moderate selection of other's beer on tap and in bottle.

Now on to food. The menu is somewhat limited, because they have a basically pizza oven and a deepfryer behind the bar. So, it's amazing the way they use these to produce the menu they have. Everything is good to eat, and I would suggest the Fish and Chips which is the best I've found in Baltimore.

I've found the food and beer prices to be slightly less than comparable fare elsewhere in Baltimore.

I would highly recommend stopping by the Wharf Rat. You can get a decent meal and some very good beer, and save a few dollars. Their Oliver beers are usually English styles, and done with great care. One of my favorite beer experiences is sitting at their bar and enjoying a nice cool Oliver's Best Bitter. If you get there early in the evening they also offer 3 12 oz's draws for $5.00 dollars which is a great value. My personal recommendation is their Oliver's Pagan Porter, a wonderfully smooth and sweet porter that always delights.

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Photo of seanchai
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

We stopped in here on our Baltimore pub-crawl and I was a bit caught off guard by the cluttered yet comforting beer decorations. Mostly it was the coasters on the blue painted steel beams in the low ceiling, but what really got me going was the laminated lattice tables with either bottle caps or foreign coins in the open spaces. This, although trivial, it was a nice touch. The brick walls too were loaded with fun pictures, paintings and masks and the windows had wooden shutters on the inside.

The beer selection consisted of the Oliver brews and a load of taps, but we were there for something local so Oliver it was. The brews were all solid although I seem to have neglected to write down which ones I liked other than the one I reviewed.

Service wasn’t really there for our table so we went to the bar to help our selves.

We did get some appetizers consisting of some run of the mill muscles and some bland fries. Nothing amazing, but it did the job.

I rather liked this place with its groovy vibe (augmented by some folky-trippy-definitely not sung in English music) and great beer selection. When I find my self back in town, I’ll stop by.

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Photo of AngusOg
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of dedrinker
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Inexpensive as in "I drink in the Washington D.C. area." Very cozy, lots of wood - old wood - floor, bar, tables, chairs, walls, ceiling; rustic, but real. The patrons are real too, as in regular, normal people. What's normal? Here's what's not normal: most of the sorry fakes that drink in the D.C. area. The beer was great - real English beer all the way; none of this "British Style" nonsense spewed out by most east coast breweries as a code word for bland, but real, authentic English tasting beer. Close your eyes - it's Fuller's, it's Young's (before the sellout). Standard but solid pub grub mostly cooked from scratch right behind the bar. The service was somewhat indifferent to my existence, but I never felt like I was being dissed either. You wanna beer and you speak up and ask for one like an adult and they'll get it for you. Good value for my money. I'd gladly drive an extra hour just to not drink in D.C.

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Photo of Umbra
4.13/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The Wharf Rat rocks. Though many of our lady friends might be a bit taken back with it’s dive bar characteristics, it is definitely worthy of you checking out. Have no idea how many taps there are, maybe 50? They have a wide range of their beers, from the year round offerings (Blackfrier Stout, Biere de Garde, ESB, IPA, etc) and whatever seasonal may be in store (your hot monkey love and vanilla ice). A few "guest taps" are available. These are usually Bass, Shiner, and Guinness. Never seen AB on tap at this place, never.

Oliver's beers are 3 for 4 in ten ounce glasses every day until 7. (There are many fond memories from when ANY beer on tap followed the 3-4-3 happy hour rules). I hazily remember it being extended on Thursdays to all night. The jukebox contains a nice eclectic mix that gels with the place. Monday or Tuesday is quiz night, but that always makes me feel inferior. The employees, who whole-heartedly sample as well as serve, are friendly and attentive. Growlers are $12, refills $9.

There is no established kitchen at the Fells Point bar, the former being modified to allow for the pool room. They have finally gotten their wits back and brought back the pool table. They were smart enough to figure out that the new one should be fixed; there were several years of pool played without paying a dime.

Behind the bar, the bartenders quickly fashion anything that can be microwaved or deep-fried. Stick to the usual bar grub (chicken fingers and nachos). Then again, if the beer is so good, who really cares about the food, anyway? The food is better at the Camden Yards location. However, what you gain in food quality, you lose in the grubby atmosphere and odd balls that only a Fells Point bar can give you. They now use real pizza dough to make the pizzas. They used to—way back in the day—use the crappy shells. The newer ones are very tasty.

The bathroom is all kinds of beat up. But they may be fixing the joint up, so who knows what will happen. On cold, snowy days, we'll be in the back, attempting to get the table next to the fat fireplace.

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Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

It had been a few years since I last visited the Wharf Rat. I confess I tend to take it for granted, even though I've always liked Oliver brewing beers. However, it's just down the street from Max's, where new and exciting beers are brought on line every week. The wharf rat, on the other hand, always has on the same old reliable, good (if not always particularly exciting), sizeable selection of traditional English style ales.

The Wharf Rat has the look of an old English pub, with lots of well weathered wood everywhere you look. The place is actually pretty sizeable, with a couple of different bar service areas. There are also plenty of tables and plenty of stools for bellying up to the bar.

By and large I find the quality of the beer and food to be pretty good. The beers are solid, with an emphasis on session and low alcohol beers. There are some higher gravity beers as well, but most of the beers brewed on the premises are below 6% in abv. Last time I was there they also had on an English Cider and the Hoegarten white for good measure.

I can't really comment on the service, except to say it was fine the day I was there. The place was not very full at the time and I was the only one sitting at the bar most of the time I was there. The bar tender was pleasant enough, though I didn't get the impression she was particularly knowledgable or interested in good beer. Still, no complaints about the service. It was fine.

The selection of beers made by Oliver Brewing is quite impressive. I think they typically have around 15 beers on tap, rotating in 2 or 3 seasonals on a regular basis. They also usually have at least 3 cask conditioned beers available. Frankly, considering that they are committed to brewing only English style ales, I find the selection on hand to be quite impressive.

The food here is fine. I got the wings last time I was there and they were pretty good. Have to try what looked to be some excellent soup and chicken ceaser salad next time I'm there.

Prices here are pretty reasonable. I think pints normally go for $4, though the evening I was there it was still happy hour, when one could get three 10 oz. glasses of ale for $4. Food prices also seem to be moderate.

All in all, a very good place. It won't be another couple of years before my next visit.

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Photo of fulcrum
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 2.75

Anyplace in the US that has four active beer engines is outstanding for me. The Wharf Rat had a delicious English IPA (which had a nice American hop kick), a quaffable red and pale, and a winter warmer that was spot-on--no lame spices, just the right mix of malt and hop. I enjoyed these four cask ales so much I didn't bother with the food--which if it looked better I might have. Not that it looked bad, and not that the staff didn't work very hard on the pizzas I saw made, but it just didn't look worth the distraction from the great beer. The service was outstanding as well, which we all know can make or break a place. Sean made sure I had plenty of water to "stay hydrated", was well-informed, and made the place feel warm and welcoming.

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Photo of sideshowrob
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Great place to grab pint down in Fells Point, a bit off the beaten path perhaps, but well worth a visit. This place has obviously been around for a while, I'd guess the building is from the early 1800's, lots of rough woodwork, huge fireplaces, staircases to nowhere, and various nautical brickabrack. Very cozy.

I'm not sure if this place used to be Olivers brewpub, but all the beer is now brewed a few miles away at Warf Rat's "cheers" styled restaurant/pub on the main tourist trap strip at the inner harbor.

The beer selection is great! Lot's of interesting english-style brews on tap. They usually even seem to have some cask-conditioned stuff on the hand-pumps. A very good thing indeed.

Food is standard bar-fare, descent when sober, ever better with additional pints. Waitstaff/Barstaff are friendly and attentive.

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Photo of MaximumYuks
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of esv
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

Atmosphere is great. Everything is well-worn and comfortable. Bar up front and in back. I thought it was going to be cheesy but it isn't at all. Very charming. Pool table in the back room.

Everything looked clean. The bar was what it promised.

Everyone was friendly. It's the type of place where you order at the bar and they'll bring it out.

8 taps on the back bar plus another 5 on cask. I can't remember the exact # of taps up front. Maybe 10? A lot of Oliver beers, which is the local brewery now owned by Pratt Street Brewing Co., I think. Wharf Rat previously owned Oliver's (or something like that). The selection was good though. North Coast, Victory, Troegs, DFH were all there.

The prices were cheap compared to VA. $5 got you a sampler comprised of 3 10oz beers, anything you wanted. Everything was $5.00 - $5.50 for an imperial pint.

It's a block from the harbor and there are lots of cool shops, restaurants, cafe's within walking distance.

If you are in Baltimore, you should visit.

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The Wharf Rat in Baltimore, MD
Place rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 38 ratings