Syracuse Suds Factory isn’t a typical downtown bar full of townies. Known as “Syracuse’s first brewery since 1962,” Syracuse Suds Factory brews its beers on the premises. You can watch them make the beer as you drink it by the pint. But the Suds Factory isn’t just a pub, as its food provides an awesome complement to any beverage selection. Whether your favorite team is playing at home or on the road, every game feels like a home game at Suds.
When to Go: Anytime is a good time to be at the Suds Factory. Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. and Sundays from noon-2 a.m., anyone can have an awesome time whether you’re looking for an affordable lunch, an afternoon happy hour or dinner and drinks. Be aware, it gets pretty crowded on weekend nights and during NFL and SU games. The bottom line: Bring your appetite and be adventurous with the house brews.
On Tap: Suds offers eight domestic and import draughts (highlighted by Molson Canadian and Magic Hat) along with 25 or more bottled domestics and imports. But if that’s why you’re schlepping to the Suds Factory, then there’s a problem. The Suds Factory continuously brews seven different beers on premises: the Weizen, Sweet Stout, Irish Red, Black Cherry Lambic, Honey Light Ale, Pale Ale and Brown Ale. The bottom line: Don’t mess around with what you can get at the grocery store. Try the Irish Red or Pale Ale, but you can’t miss by trying one of the others. Somewhere or another Homer Simpson is drooling.
Blue Plate Special: Nothing goes better with a fresh, ice-cold beer than chicken wings. Served by the dozen with creamy bleu cheese and celery, you get your choice of Easy, Decent or Fiery for $6.50. Try Fiery if you want that freshly brewed ale to taste that much better. The Suds Bomber sandwich is a close second, though, if wings aren't your thing. What can beat a delicious steak sandwich on a fresh sub roll with cheese, peppers, onions and mushrooms? Served by the half-pint ($6.25) or full pint ($7.50), this sandwich will make you forget about the Philly. The bottom line: Get the wings. You won’t be disappointed. However, the Friday Special (fish fry with New England clam chowder) and Saturday Special (prime rib) are delicious.
The Scene: A huge illustration of the Dome decorates the wall as you walk in from the South Clinton Street entrance. But the main attractions are the televisions. More than 10 big-screen TVs adorn the pub. If watching sports isn’t your thing, check out the pool table. But the main catch is the 20-seat bar. Fourteen tables ranging from two-person booths to eight-person round tables make every night a fun night at the Suds factory. The bottom line: Take a seat at the bar so you can see a TV so you don’t miss any of Coach Jim Boeheim’s players in action.
The Crew: The service is always friendly. Bartenders and servers are down-to-earth and extremely helpful when it comes to selecting a brew or one of their signature entrees. The bottom line: If you’re not sure what to order or which house brew you might like, the bartenders know their stuff. They may even give you a free sample.
The Crowd: The Suds Factory's crowd is always different. The busy lunch crowd is made up of those working in the neighboring Armory Square. Happy hour unites townies and students - a wonderful thing. Whether you’re rooting for the Orange (football or basketball) or the Bills on game days, you’ll be in good company. The bottom line: For a real Suds atmosphere, go watch a game with the townies.
The Deets: Located in downtown Syracuse, the Suds Factory is definitely a place that you have to check out. Whether your calling is the house brews, the good food (seriously, try the wings) or the fun times, the Suds Factory offers an affordable night out on the town. If you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, go during happy hour, Mon.-Thurs. 4 to 7 p.m., or Friday all day for specials. The bottom line: Chuck’s, Faegan’s, Lucy’s and Harry’s get old. Go downtown once in a while, and make Syracuse Suds Factory your downtown spot. It’s worth it.
Syracuse Suds Factory accepts cash, all major credit cards and the Off-Campus Meal Plan. Also, it provides Wi-Fi free of charge.
Review by: Darren Benda