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Taps: 30 / Bottles: 100
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
33 Main St
phone: (978) 388-1950
From the owners of the Barking Dog in Amesbury, MA.
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vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 2.5 | $$$
Oh Amesbury Ale House, how things have changed.
Prices used to be downright reasonable for the area. In the last year they've crept into Boston Beer Bar territory. $7.50/pint for Nugget Nectar and Green Flash WC IPA? Also, all beers are served at one temperature (COLD) and casks are left on for far too long (6+ days in some instances).
Food used to be more hit than miss, last few times have been a definite miss all around. Burgers overcooked and dry. Flavorless short rib.
The service has always been suspect, especially when busy, lately it's been worse.
In the area, it's a great spot to hit for a beer and conversation, but I no longer go out of my way to stop in.
04-15-2013 18:34:15 |
More by messrock
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
I first visited the Alehouse several years ago when they were in their old location. At the time they were a hole-in-the-wall with amazing beer. When we went in, we were treated well by the knowledgable bartenders and felt like we'd found a hidden gem. Then they moved around the corner to a new, fancier location. At first I was still impressed, but over the past year or so each time I've made the 45 minute trek to the Alehouse I've been disappointed.
Food: Food is hit-or-miss. I'll get a dish one time and it will be great, only to get it the next visit and encounter problems (ex: nachos with unmelted cheese).
Beer: The beer selection seems to have gone down in quality from a few years ago. There are still better beers than other places in the immediate area and a large selection, but where once I considered it the best in the region (counting Boston), now it is no longer a bar I'll be going out of my way to visit. I'm not a hophead, and for me I find less and less to get excited about with each visit.
Service: Service is another area that has gone down with their success. Servers often don't know about the beers they have on tap. In one case a few months ago they made a point of tapping one of their beers on their Facebook page, but when I went in to try it the server had no clue what I was talking about.
Overall, if you're in Amesbury try it out, but if you're used to top quality beer bars don't go out of your way for a visit.
11-13-2012 00:01:53 |
More by skyelorien
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$$
I went here for the first time today with the wife and kids. I know St Patrick's day probably isn't the best time to bring the family to a pub, but they enjoyed it. The beer selection is really good for the area with probably 20 taps and a bottle list that's at least a hundred deep. The food we had was fantastic, my wife and daughter raved about the French onion soup and my shepherds pie was great as well. Our server was less than attentive, but it was busy and hes did apologize more than once and took some stuff off the bill for making us wait. I found the beer a bit pricey, 5 bucks for Guinness, 6 something for smuttynose. 8 for breakfast stout and choklat. I'd go back again the selection a food were great. I would have rated higher if the prices were a bit more reasonable.
03-18-2012 01:16:40 |
More by johnnnniee
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$
First, I would recommend you visit. If you are within 30 miles of Amesbury, this is likely the best beer bar you can find. If you are also within 30 miles of Boston/Cambridge then the Alehouse is not yet at the level of Mead House or The Public House and a few others, but still worth a visit.
- The beer selection on tap is large, varied, and impressive from West Coast IPAs, to German Largers, Belgians, to local craft, and a lot more. They have a World class beer selection that would compete with any large urban beer bar.
- Their new space is very attractive with dark wood, expansive, long bar, tastefully decorated, with lots of different seating options.
- Location is downtown Amesbury, right near the waterfall through the middle of the city is superb. Look out back and check out the mill area. Amesbury has come a long way in 20 years and is an attractive little town, that is worth a visit or a walk around.
- The beer knowledge of the staff is very spotty and service can vary a lot. They have a new person on staff that is enthusiastic and super knowledgable so perhaps this will move in the right direction. The rest of the staff, I have encountered could be working at any bar and seem to have no real knowledge of and in some cases almost any interest in the beer. For me, this is not a big factor, as I am a beer geek. But, it is not unusual for someone to come in, looking for advice on the large selection, and the best the staff can do is just wait for them to decide.
- The food is really below par for almost any pub in the area (Newburyport to Portsmouth). I would choose very carefully. If you find an unusual combinations of ingredients in a special on the menu, don't assume the chef is going to surprise you by making it work, instead imagine a beginning home brewer thinking that 15 unusual ingredients not knowing what they bring to the table will be better has to be better in a beer recipe then 5 ingredients. I am hoping there will eventually be a Ramsey style intervention to bring up the food quality to the level the beer selection deserves.
Great place, worth a visit, and a super addition to the area, but be careful if you plan to eat.
12-24-2011 20:35:26 |
More by rbowser
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
We are fortunate to have a place like The Alehouse. Only issue with the location is that it is in Amesbury, as this town has a slightly seedy reputation. Other than that, this is THE place to go for hand crafted beer on the North Shore / S. New Hampshire area. The selection is good (not Great Lost Bear or Sunset good) but still very good.
The best part is that they changed locations. The previous location was terrible, it felt like an airport bar with foam drop ceilings and wall-to-wall high-traffic office carpeting. Yech. This place feels much better, with an pub-like organic feel. The only thing lacking in the new place is the placement of signage, decorations and "flair" on the bar and walls. Everything is placed with precision, and looks like they used a level to make sure it is 100% in the right position. The best bars let things accumulate over time, and have a slight level of disorganization to them that give the place character, and just a right amount of dust. While this location is much better than the old, you can tell the decorations were all new (even if meant to look old) and all went up at the same time, in perfect order and are perfectly clean. It feels like a TGI Fridays, where all the bar decorations come in a kit with an instruction book as to how to put them up. Again, I will reference the Great Lost Bear, that place has a true pub look and feel inside, with millions of things (stickers from around the world, old beer ads, porcelain advertisement signs, badges, foreign currency, neon, vintage beer cans, etc., etc., etc...) on the walls and behind the bar to look at. It really sets the right vibe.
07-21-2011 16:03:19 |
More by dugmar
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Went down there to try out the Barking Dog Pug which has 16 taps - review another time - but they didn't have the Berkshire Lost Sailor IPA (they did have the Boulder Hazed and Infused) and they explained to me they had their Berkshire taps at their new resturant, they purchased Tanya's Pizza across the parking lot and its a sister place - its got 24 taps, a double wide cooler of bottle selection and its great.
Atmosphere is nice - dining area separate from the bar so you could do a family dinner or just hang in the bar, nice 42" for watching the game, wait staff was very pleasant.
Quality - food was good, beer selection superb, bar-tender and owner partook in a nice Belgian bottle that we opened (I think it was Corsendonk - have to find my notes). Taps were all fresh and running very well - all Craft/Micro/Euro.
Service/Selection - excellent
Food - I didn't have enough of it but i will go back - the fried pickles were great, reminded of the Cambride Common menu - nothing too frilly but good solid food.
Value - very very reasonable
Those of us in the Newburyport, Exeter area have a little mini sunset grill sitting in Amesbury between these two places, over 40 taps - no duplicates.
01-06-2008 14:04:11 |
More by MugOfGoodness
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Visited the Amesbury Ale House for the first time today for lunch with my son.
This place has a pretty darn good draft beer list. Lunch menu food prices were very reasonable. Quality of sandwiches was excellent. I highly recommend the Cuban Sandwich.
Some "food snobs" may wish to argue....but I found the Cuban to be absolutely delicious. Washed it down with a Gouden Carolus Noel belgian strong ale. Outstanding! Son opted for a turkey wrap and a Notch session ale. He was also very satisfied. We will be back soon.
If I had to nitpick...service could be just a tad friendlier. Bartender/server did nothing wrong...just wish person was a bit friendlier.
Beer prices may be borderline too high for some. Have seen worse. Without a doubt would happily pay the price of quality beer at the Ale House than for sometimes higher priced domestic swill one has to settle for at all Boston team sports events.
12-28-2011 23:36:44 |
More by capeannbass36
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
The atmosphere is nice with high tin ceiling making the space seem larger than it is nice wooden bar with plenty of open space around to accomodate the busier nights. The restaurant sits along the pow wow river in Amesbury with tables overlooking the river in the rear of the pub.
I have visited on a few occasions since moving relatively close. the beer selection is solid with 30 taps and a wide selection of american craft beers and a few nice belgians as well.
I have enjoyed Dulle teve, Slaapmutske Nightcap Tripel, Ithaca ground break, DFH world wide stout, tripel karmeliet and Green Flash west coast IPA on tap and a 750ml of 08 Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek.
The food good but nothing too special, but let's face it I came here for the beer so the food is better than it needs to be really.
I would highly recommend this place to anyone who enjoys fine beer and is in the area. You will find many fine brews drafts that you do not usually see on draft and the opportunity to try something new with each visit.
04-06-2011 01:04:23 |
More by Nuggethops
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I really liked this place. Went to dinner on a Thursday night and it had a good crowd.
The food menu is pretty diverse from balsamic glazed ribs to fresh fish and seafood. It's a cross between fine dining and pub food at reaonable (higher than a brewpub) prices.
The steak and ribs were excellent. The risotto was pretty mushy, though. Apps were what you would expect. Folks rave about the fried pickles, it just isn't my thing.
Beer selection was great as others have mentioned. I had a dogfish 60 and an IPA from Saratoga NY. A minor criticism is that there was a martini list and wine list at the table, but no beer list. At a place called the Ale House? The was a chalk board listing beers above the bar that could not be read from the dining room. The waitress tried to recite it but it was easier to walk over to the bar and read it myself. There was no info on where the beers were brewed or ABV or IBU unless you asked the one bartender that was working. He was polite but didn't have a lot of time to chat.
That being said, I am already looking forward to a return visit. Besides the co-owned Barking Dog next door, it's definitely one of the best places in the area.
10-23-2008 05:45:21 |
More by JimFalzone
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This may be the bar that has convinced me that you don't need to live in anything close to a large city to enjoy a lively, comfortable bar dispensing a huge selection of world-class (and local) beers.
In our attempt to visit all seven (or at least the six continental) Flatbread Company locations, my girlfriend and I headed to Amesbury after an afternoon at Plum Island and a visit to the Tap in Haverhill. We arrived to cross the bridge over the Powwow River in the waning Saturday daylight, and emerged to the thunderous roar and mist of the overflowing river in the closing moonlight. We walked out into the square, then up the road to the Ale House. We had drive by it earlier in the day, and even by night it looked more like a stripped down Applebee's than a special local bar, but we'd soon be proven wrong.
Upon entering, the dimly light, small space was immediately homey and sophisticated; the owners clearly knew how to make an unassuming building in a great location into a truly worthy vessel for excellent libations. We sat at two of the few open seats at the bar, directly in front of the glorious display of the beer fridge. The tap list was long, diverse and contained detailed explanations of each offering. The bottle list was astounding and beautiful. We only had time for one beer, and I had the Clipper City Loose Cannon IPA on cask, which was excellent and mellower than when I've had it in bottle form. Our server was attentive, friendly and prompt.
Before leaving, I stopped by the bathroom and noticed the couches and patio overlooking (or at least overhearing) the adjacent river. I wished we'd come early and had more time. This place really doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside it's very special, and seems to be quite a hit. I'd love to be a regular here, as it manages to be sophisticated and homey, and reminded me a bit of Cambridge Common (right down to the questionable soundtrack). Lackluster music aside, every small town should be so lucky as Amesbury.
03-22-2010 22:06:25 |
More by FrankLloydMike
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Ale House in Amesbury, MA