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The Ale House
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
3744 Vestal Pkwy E
phone: (607) 729-9053
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 23
Reviews by klewis:
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$$
Very tiny and a bit cramped, even when slow. Dingy lighting. Contrary to other reviewers, I found the selection to be quite lacking. Sure, there are 36 taps, but many are local brews that, quite frankly, I didn't find to be quite interesting, and the remaining taps are mostly common beers of large production. And for 36 taps, the assortment of beer styles was quite small. Everything appeared to be served in pint glasses. Service was prompt and friendly and the prices a bit higher than I would have expected. A lack of a beer menu was an annoyance. Not bad, and apparently one of the only good places in Binghamton to get a beer, but far from what I've come to expect from a beer bar.
06-16-2007 17:12:52 |
More by klewis
More User Reviews:
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | $$$$
Pulling into my hotel I noticed a small strip mall place called "The Ale House". Thinking I had lucked out and found a place that might provide me with a place to relax during the evenings while in town on a consulting gig I checked into my room and crossed the street.
Upon entering I noticed a small bar with maybe 12 stools and maybe 6 tables. All the stools were occupied so I grabbed a table. Found a menu on my own decided what I wanted to eat from options that included about 5 types of sandwiches and a hot dog. Bar help seemed overwhelmed.
People came and went. Noticed there were actually two people behind the bar, but that only one was helping customers. Got my phone out and looked the place up on BA. Found many negative comments regarding service and that the help won't come to tables. Wonderful. So now I have 30 minutes invested, no beer in hand and not one person has bothered to beer me.
Final straw was when i did go to the bar. After about five minutes standing there like an idiot, during which time 3-4 more people came to plead for beer. One by one, the bar tender took orders from people who showed up after me. I left at that point and went across the street to an Applebees where they were really nice and responsive albeit without any beer I could drink.
Still not sure what their deal is. So can I recommend this place? Not really - unless you are fascinated by how bad bad can be and just want to see it for yourself - I would say avoid at all costs.
06-19-2012 00:58:03 |
More by jlancemiller
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
36 Taps. Some are usually not available. Often have to go with my third choice. Bar service is good. Table service is non-existent. They need to hire a waitress, not just have the bar staff deliver food that you have ordered at the bar. You need to go to the bar to get your own beer. Beer is pricey at $6.00 a pint. Best beer selection in the Binghamton-Vestal area. Many New York state beers available. Only a few macro's. Food is decent. Pizza is good for a bar. The beer list on their website is almost always out of date.
12-27-2011 00:23:45 |
More by nova73
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$$
They advertised 36 drafts, but that's not really true. I had to run through my first 5 choices before finding one that was actually available. Why don't they just cross things off the board as they kick? Trying to keep up appearances I guess.
When we were there on a Saturday night the service was poor - bad attitude from our server and a long time for drinks to arrive. The lady working the bar seemed to be doing the best she could while the guy in the back just stood and watched.
The beer prices were pretty high considering the offerings that were actually available were standard selections. Think $5+ a pint.
It seems like this place is graded on a curve - since there are so few options in the Vestal/Binghamton area this looks better than it is, but compared to Syracuse or Ithaca it is pretty poor.
10-10-2011 01:41:59 |
More by nh2032
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
My wife booked a hotel for us in Vestal NY not knowing it was across the street from the Ale House, well I had to check it out right? I will start off and say this place is small. You walk in the front door and there are maybe 8 tables against the left side of the wall and a bar with 10 stools off to the right. Bathrooms against the back left and a small kitchen against the back right. I went there around 8pm on a Friday and sat at the bar. The place was fairly slow but became moderately busy by 10pm when I left. 36 taps and only one or two were macros. They had some bottles, but I focused on the taps. I didn't have any food, but what I saw looked good. While the taps are solid this place is a bit pricy. Just about everything that I saw ordered was 6 dollars a pint. I would go back, maybe during happy hour.
07-31-2011 19:57:46 |
More by johnnnniee
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I go to the University, just a walking distance away, so this is the only bar I really go to.
Fortunately, the relative lack of cheap lagers keeps the rowdy college crowd away. In consequence, this place almost feels like a neighborhood bar (despite the fact that it's on the side of a highway), generally split between college students and other patrons. It can get cramped at times, but is generally as comfortable as it is undistinguished.
Usually only one bartender working, but things are usually kept moving fairly well. Again, solid, but nothing really worth noting.
The Ale House boasts 36 taps, most of which is pretty regional. Offerings from Great Lakes, Southern Tier, Sly Fox, Cooperstown, and Troegs are almost always available. That said, I really wish they'd expand their variety of styles; American and English styles rule the house (esp. (D)IPAs), not leaving much room for the Germans or Belgians.
They have an "around the world" where if you can drink X amount of beers from Y amount of regions within (I think) a year, you get your name on the wall. Also $1 each of your drinks if you kick a keg.
When I'm looking to grab a pint, I'll stop by the Ale House to try a new beer or two, but there's also nothing special enough about it that I wouldn't rather grab some bottles and hang out elsewhere. Don't get me wrong though; it's a perfectly nice bar that would be especially worth the visit to someone new to the area.
04-01-2011 18:38:04 |
More by Sneers
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
My favorite bar in Vestal/Binghamton and I always stop by when I'm in town. The selection is good for Bing, as there are about 36 draft lines, but many are often dry. Every once in a while they bring in a cask ale as well, and sometimes they'll do brewery nights (Harpoon especially). I do wish the taps rotated a bit more often. I sometimes find that they'll keep the same couple beers on for quite a while.
The passport program is nice and a lot of fun (try 36 different draft beers and get an Ale House glass, try 36 + a bunch more bottles and you get a sweatshirt and your name on the wall). The biggest problem is the lack of bartenders, the few that are there are overwhelmed and it can take 15 minutes to get a drink on a busy night. I'd also love it if they kept a draft list on their website or on their facebook site, that would get me in more often. I also wish they would open on Sundays as they have great TVs and I'd love to go there for football. Prices are okay, just a little on the steep side for upstate NY.
All in all, a great bar.
03-22-2011 01:33:51 |
More by bpalfrey10
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
The place is not much to look at from the outside, but its pretty nice once you get in. Feels like any other bar, really, until you bask in the glow of the selection. So many beers. They ask you if you've had a passport yet, then if you want one. A passport filled is truly an achievement. For doing the front you get a mug and the front and back together gets you a hoodie. You cannot get these things otherwise, so they are serious trophies. Though the selection is the main draw, the good is nice too. Good spiedies. And three prices are about average for a bar. Special deals make it easier some nights or if you kick a keg.
03-09-2011 13:59:31 |
More by Crystufer
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
This is where I was first introduced to many craft beers. I used to go up after work try one or two of the thirty six beers on tap that I had not yet tasted, and then finnish with a Guinness to make sure I ended on a good note. Well, now I know there are beers out there alot better than Guinness and I find them here.
Last night, my wife and I went up, and I found Troeggs Java Head Stout on tap as well as Rougue's Mocha Porter. Thirty six different beers on tap and they rotate often, so there is always something new to try.
The food is pretty simple, but very tatsy. An excellent ribeye sandwhich with caramel onions, which keeps my wife wanting to go back as much as the beer does, a good burger, or a speedie sandwich. The service has always been excellent. The bar tenders are always helpful with suggestions and samples.
08-21-2010 12:23:29 |
More by Chickenhawk9932
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$$
This place is right off the Vestal Parkway, near the apartment complex where my wife and I just moved.
I love the dive bar feel to it. Not too many lights. Small, old school televisions. A bit dingy, but clean, if that makes sense.
About 12-15 bar stools, give or take, surround the 30+ taps. There's a cool old-fashioned cash register that they still use, but they do take credit cards also. And then there are some tables behind all of the stools and the bar. There's not a ton of room in this place, but it seems like people are coming and going a lot, so it's fairly easy to find a place to sit even when it's crowded. Just don't go with a party of 3 or 4 or more.
Lots of good and mostly fairly local stuff on tap. Sly Fox. Cooperstown. Ithaca. Erie and Great Lakes. And there are some other Macros, not many, for those folks wanting that stuff.
They do the beers around the world thing, and if try 38 different beers, I believe, in one year, you get your name on the wall. And maybe a t-shirt or something.
The only minor problem is the prices, where not during happy hour a pint will run you about $5.50, which I find a tad high, especially since many of these are more local brews and they really don't seem like they'd have to charge that much for them. It'll probably be the deciding factor of not spending as much money as I otherwise would there. Happy hour, however, is 6-8 P.M. every day, and the pints are all a dollar off. That's a little better, but still, I just find it a bit much, considering.
The food's supposed to be good too. Maybe I can update this when I eventually have it.
With a bar like this so close to where I live now, and since I'll be here for at least the next four years, I'll be going during 6-8 when I get the chance.
08-20-2009 13:52:43 |
More by asabreed
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The Ale House in Vestal, NY
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