Clark Street Ale House
Taps: 25 / Bottles: 50
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 88
4.06/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Good selection of drafts and bottles. Local and hard to find stuff. Three Floyds, Goose Island, Two Brothers. Selection was very season, so fresh, but if you're looking for local dark beers in the summer, you won't find much. Alpha King hand pump=best Pale I ever had. Prices were on par, maybe even a tad low for Chicago, which would be high for 75% of the rest of the country. Wood laden building. Looked like a descent seating area outside out back, which for some reason was closed? Golden Tee, but nothing much else to do here. Service was good and helpful. Seemed like they could have used another bartender when they got busy, but there wasn't much room behind the bar either. No food served, so it keeps the tourists out pretty much, except for someone who wants to be there for the beer. Was able to drink beers I have no shot at getting in NC all night, without having to travel far out of downtown, so I was very pleased. Felt way more comfortable sitting here all night than at the Hop Leaf, about the same as the Long Room.
07-07-2009 00:14:32 | More by Bung
4.36/5 rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
This is the place for regional beers in Chicago. About 20 beers on tap with regional breweries Kalamazoo, Sprecher, Two Brothers, Great Lakes, and others represented. Better regional selection than The Map Room. When I was there they had Bell's Two Hearted on cask --- very delicious. They also had some others on tap and in bottles like DFH, Sierra Nevada and even Allagash and Shipyard from Maine (JohnnyP would be happy here). Service was great -although the place was not that crowded. The display case at the end of the bar seemed out of place and a waste of space though. Close to downtown area, so if you're traveling and staying downtown this place is not to be missed. And don't forget to check out the Rock 'n Roll McDonalds just a few blocks away.
10-22-2003 20:02:16 | More by Longstaff
4.3/5 rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Went to this one while at a neuroscience conference in Chicago... weird...
Atmosphere is pretty good. Lighting is dim and the place is small but its set up so it doesn't feel that way.
Beer is served at the right temperature and in the proper glassware... so that's good enough for me.
Service was rather impressive. There was only 1 bartender but he kept everybody's orders in line and coming at a very reasonable rate.
Selection here is pretty impressive. They have some FFF stuff, some Surly brews that aren't common (at least where I'm from), and an appropriately wide selection of Goose Island.
Prices are very reasonable for what you're getting; good service, great beers, and a very impressive selection.
10-22-2009 16:46:54 | More by SpeedwayJim
3.28/5 rDev -19.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $
I came here with my friend on a Thursday evening in mid-March on a Chicago trip, right around happy hour. I wasn’t sure what to expect. They have a decent tap selection although I didn’t find much exciting about their house pale ale, and my conspirator in drinking ordered a beer which was clearly infected. I found their house brew to be like the bar itself, boring yet passable. The vibe, like the beers, was somewhere between unremarkable and …eh. Sorry, but this isn’t going to merit a follow-up visit.
05-04-2012 22:31:16 | More by elNopalero
4.08/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I finally visited this spot a week ago on my way home from work. It is a long room with a bar on the left side, few tables for seating towards the windows and to the right of the bar. I was there right at opening time, so it was me, the bartender, and a scotch salesperson. I had 2 beers, both of which were very nice. I never had an empty glass either. Very prompt and attentive service. There were at least 20 beers on tap, with some very nice things such as Punkin from DFH and a Blueberry Wheat from Two Brothers, only available there. There were glasses full of pretzels on the bar for snacking as well. I enjoyed my trip there, and would definately hit this place again if I hear there are more rare beers on tap. It's a little more out of the way than other spots in the city (for me at least), but worth the effort every once in a while.
10-12-2006 01:42:45 | More by kmpitz2
4.22/5 rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I was happy to get to check this place out on the BA/CTA Pubcrawl. Upon entering there are plenty of circular tables set up throughout along with a long bar on the left hand side. A somewhat industrial/architectural vibe that was really cozy and relaxing as well. There weren't too many people when we were there and there wasn't any heavy smoke smell which is always nice. Extra kudos for the free pretzel rods on all the tables too!
There were probably about 20 taps, covering about every style you can think of. The macros were there, along with Celebration Ale, Bigfoot and even Storm King on tap. Most of us drained the Storm King which was quite tasty. Chances are there will always be something interesting on tap when you walk in here. The service was good and the bartenders were very nice. We had quite a little group and no one was ever without a brew.
Prices for drafts were well in line with Chicago standards, I think the Storm King was around 4.50 for a pint, which is definetly not over the top. Overall, I really enjoyed Clark Street and I hope to get back here again sometime. A great little bar to sit down at and enjoy some great micros on draft...you can't go wrong there!
03-15-2006 03:47:15 | More by orbitalr0x
4/5 rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I am kind of surprised at some of the negative reviews for Clark Street Ale House.
First, yes this is a neighborhood bar, nothing fancy, but a nice homey atmosphere.
The beer selection was decent. I stuck with Bigfoot, but there were several other worthwhile selections. The most interesting thing was they had a crockpot of a delicious warm local mead, just what I needed after a cold walk to the place.
No food, but our bartender made a decent suggestion, Kerrymans up the street.
Our service was fine on two visits.
12-10-2010 16:25:20 | More by wingedeel
4.24/5 rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
I stopped by here on a recent trip to Chicago late Saturday night. The place was somewhat dark on the inside and seemed to be a spot for mid 30ish aged people. Being a college student I felt a little out of place but it wasn't a big deal. I looked at the selection and it was all midwestern micros and a few macros (i think). Having no imports at all was unusual but i really liked the idea. Support the American economy right!? Good tap selection of capital, sprecher, 3 floyds, goose island, bells, great lakes, etc. The best part though was the cask conditined two hearted they had! This seemed to be pretty damn authentic and true cask conditioned the way the British meant for it to be. The cask conditioned two hearted was simply amazing! One of the best beers I have ever had imho. I also had the Robert the Bruce which is something that I can't get in Michigan. They had a good sampler deal as well (3 4oz for $4). Solid pricing and decent, knowledgable service. Definitely worth a visit if you're in Chicago.
11-24-2004 18:28:41 | More by granger10
4/5 rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
Stopped by here yesterday night after wanting to go here for quite a while. Was packed to the rafters at about 9:30 which is understandable. Managed to grab a few seats in the back of the bar then worked our way up to the bar. Even though this place was back we were always quickly served and the staff seemed generally glad to be working there which is always nice and upped the overall enjoyment of the place, if just a bit too crowed to completely comfortable. The beer selection was a bit disappointing compared to some of the bigger name beer bars in the city, I'd say that the Bavarian Lodge has a better selection. Focus was geared to domestics, a number of taps from Two Brothers, Bells and FFF. Not many one off beers or anything making a special trip for, but the atmosphere and staff and the fact that there is pretty much nothing in the way of beer bars downtown, it's generally the place to be if you are in the area and hankering for some good beers.
03-08-2009 03:19:03 | More by bluemoonswoon
4.14/5 rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
this place looks not unlike your typical chicago irish pub. dark, lots of wood. if there is a theme i was too drunk to figure it out. my friend lives upstairs next door so i have somehow found myself stuck in the city every time i go hang out with him. they have a lot of taps (can't recall exactly how many) and an immense, ever-changing bottle selection. lots of good stuff to try here. service is good. this place can be a little busy on weekend nights but not as bad as a meathead bar. no food served here. prices were fine. they are open 'til 4am on weekends so if you are in town visiting make this your last stop.
05-06-2007 17:29:07 | More by MrMcGibblets
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Clark Street Ale House in Chicago, IL
91 out of 100 based on 88 user ratings.