The Ale House is a place that can easily become *your* bar. I went there in the late 80s and it quickly took on the atmosphere of "Cheers." Though I haven't lived in the area for almost twenty years, Tim and Diane the owners, still know my name and always welcome me back.
So why is this a great place?
* A large beer selection. Over 30 on tap and over 120 available. All of the other drinks you might want are available too.
* The World Tour. A fun "beers of the world" promotion that Tim has been running for over 20 years. A great way to try a lot of different beers, win some prizes and get your name on the plaque.
* Atmosphere. The Ale House is small but it has a great pub feel. Lots of wood, a copper top bar, classic rock, many TVs with sports, darts and a video game machine.
* Food. While there is no fryer, the pizza alone is worth the trip. Add to that a grill (burgers, hot ham and cheese, spiedies) and you won't leave hungry.
* People. The Ale House draws a diverse crowd: Locals, college students (mostly grad), profs and it all works. Generally no stupid drunks and if you sit at the bar by yourself, people are friendly.
* Owners. Tim and Diane in my experience are friendly and as I mentioned, after 20 years (17 of them out of the area) they still know me and welcome me back. That says a lot to me. They work most of the shifts and The Ale House is a busy place. There have been times when they have not been immediately chatty upon my arrival, but it has always been because they were getting an order up, a keg replaced, etc. That said, when the opportunity has presented to catch up, they always have. I genuinely like them and they have absolutely earned my loyalty.
* Summary. If you're into the club scene, dancing, looking to hook up, or just drink a beer and check it off a "places visited" list, this may not be your kind of place. But if you want a place to spend memorable times with friends, have great beer and food, then it's worth your time.
For me a trip back to the Binghamton area is not complete without a visit to The Ale House.