Merchant Ale House
Wingage Score: 92%
Address: 98 St. Paul St - St Catharines
Intersection: St. Paul & Queen St.
Last Reviewed: August 18th, 2022
Last Visited: August 18th, 2022
|BHON - Aug 2022
|BHON - April 2019
|BHON - July 2005
|BHON - Oct 2001
Overall - Aug 2022:
Yessir, we made it back to ’The Merch’ once again. As usual, we enjoyed numerous pints of this season’s on-tap specialties along with several pounds of their still-tasty-as-ever wings. They even added a new patio out back since our last visit, but sadly it wasn’t open at the time. That’s our only real gripe about the place, as it is hard to get a table when it is busy...which it frequently is!
Unfortunately both the Oatmeal Stout and Coffee Porter we enjoyed the last time weren’t available, so we worked our way through the current lineup instead. The Bitter Rival West Coast IPA turned out to be our favourite of the night and made up a few subsequent rounds that were enjoyed by all.
For wings, we enjoyed the usual Buffalo Hot and while they are average sized, they were perfectly prepared and the hot sauce was tangy and tasty.
Overall - we’re glad to see they survived the pandemic and kept their standards up to our expectations!
Overall - April 2019:
Wow....has it really been 14 years since we last reviewed this place? We’ve actually been here a number of times over the past few years but never bothered a re-review, so I guess it is time for a proper update!
Not much new to say about the Merchant Ale House. They still brew some fine quality craft beers here, and that makes sense since they’ve been doing it since before craft beer was a thing! We enjoyed numerous pints of their Oatmeal Stout, Old Time Hockey Ale and their ultra-tasty Coffee porter along with a pound or two of wings.
The wings were a decent size and quite tangy. We also coined a new BHON term here - ’Pre-suffering’. This stems from the ordering of a batch of suicide wings that initially didn’t seem very hot, followed by a round of regular hot wings. It seems the suicide wings opened up the taste-buds for an onslaught of heat that we were unprepared for. The regular hot wings came with an intense afterburn that was unexpected. It was something I have yet to understand in layman’s terms....you had to be there!
Overall, the Merch is still one of St. Catharines downtown hotspots. Really, the only thing we can fault them on is a lack of seating. It’s often packed and you end up getting stuck downstairs in the overflow dining area next to the kitchen, which is a bit of a drag.
Overall - Jul 2005:
Well it has been a few years since we’ve done a downtown pub crawl so we decided to give the Merchant Ale House another visit and we’re glad we did!
This time around, the wings were really good. Big, hot and saucy with a nice afterburn just the way we like them! Combine that with a pitcher of their homemade dark wheat beer for their twenty buck beer and wings special and we were most impressed.
Will definitely have to pay them a revist in the not to distant future!
This was the first stop in a downtown pub crawl after our visit to Taylor and Bate brewery. A neat nostalgic pub atmosphere with their own brewing facilities on site.
The wings were a good size, but dissappointingly cold and no where near the spicy flavour were used to. They also ran out after the first batch, so we couldn’t get another round to see if they could be improved.
A good effort though, atmosphere and the quality beer on tap is a plus!