1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brendan Behan

Not Rated.
Brendan BehanBrendan Behan
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

13 Ratings
Ratings: 13
Reviews: 9
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.16%
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]

378 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 02130
United States
phone: (617) 522-5386

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 13 | Reviews: 9 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ian_pvd
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of tomharris73
5/5  rDev +20.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

My favorite bar. Ever. Thought about giving it a bad review to drive some of you all away. Couldn't do it. So, go ahead and come. Just please try to leave me a seat at the bar. Apparently I still need more characters for this to be a "full review." Fine. My one knock on the place: it's a black hole for Verizon service. You AT&T types will have no problems, though. Pretty sure this is no fault of the Behan's.

Photo of Gushue3
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of eldraque39
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of kinopio
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in on saturday afternoon for a couple rounds. Very dark inside despite the sun being out. About a dozen people inside, indie rock playing, the one guy tending bar was nice and knew his stuff. Really liked the chill vibe.

I didn't see any printed menus so I relied on the chalkboard and tap handles. This worked fine but I'd rather have a menu with ABV, pour size and price.

Some excellent and hard to find locals on tap. Started with Jacks Abbey Framinghammer, which as of now has just come out and only has one review on this site. Very nice beer. Also had a belgian IPA from Cody. 30 taps and a cask they open up on fridays. From what I could tell all beers were $6 with most being in pints and stronger beers like the 10% Framinghammer severed in tulips. In addition to locals they had stuff from Troegs, Founders, etc with a couple Euros(though don't expect anything crazy).

I now consider myself a fan of Brendan Behan. Its quality surpasses the amount of attention it gets on the web. Probably the most underrated beer bar in Boston.

Photo of soze47
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I've been going to the Behan for 5 years now. I love that you can bring your own food (great chinese take-out from Food Wall across the street or Oriental de Cuba a couple blocks away). It is cash only too.

It wasn't until recently that I really started taking advantage of the variety they offer. For the neighborhood, you are not going to find a better selection of quality taps. They have 30 handles.

Over the summer of 2010, they had Hennepin, Six Point Brown, MOJO Rising, 60 Min, Arrogant Bastard, Dead Guy, Dales Pale Ale, Left Hand Milk Stout, Endurance IPA, Harpoon Belgian IPA, Smuttynose Big IPA, and a ton of others.

I have some friends that get put off by the hipster vibe, but I think that is really selling this place short. I find the regulars to be more blue collar or old-school folks than hipsters. The place does change quite a bit from late-afternoon/early-evening and the later crowd. Maybe it is me, but I love the music selection. On a recent day, they went from Doo-Op like Run-Around Sue to David Bowie to Beck.

Overall, I like this place a lot. For the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, it really doesn't get much better for a pure beer bar.

Photo of morebeergood
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Ate dinner with a bunch of people at El Oriental de Cuba on Saturday night in JP. A few people after wanted to grab a beer, and Brendan Behan was suggested. When we walked in, and I looked at all the glorious taps, my wife said to me "You like this place, don't you?" From the outside, it looks like an average dive bar. When you walk in, it has a run down Irish bar feel to it. Not great, not bad, but...everything else impressed the heck outta me. First off, it's dog friendly, so there's was a dude with his terrier at the bar. Second, the cool female bartender twice gave me samples of beers I inquired about. Great service. And lastly, there were 30 beers on tap (more in bottles), and all thirty were craft, no crap. Just some of the ones that I could remember later: Allagash, Left Hand, Victory, Sixpoint(!!), Blue Hills, Stone x 2, Endurance, Dale's, Boulder, Long Trail, Ommegang, Brooklyn, Troegs, Wachusett, Smuttynose, and the list goes on. I went with the Sixpoint Brownstone and the Blue Hills Xtra Pale Ale, while my wife stuck with her fav Allagash White. Pints were $5 each. This bar is located right across from where the Milky Way used to be. If you are a BA and you are in JP for the night, there is no doubt that this has to be your destination.

Photo of GWaters
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

After a tasting that the Sam Adams Brewery with my BA buddy "BlatherBeard", we met up with fellow BA buddy - "mtnbiknma". mtnbiknma suggested a jaunt over to Brendan Behan, and of course we were glad to oblige.

A small dark pub. A few tables, a large screen T.V. covering the Bruins spanking the opposition (volume low), and a bar with two stations of pulls. People were talking and laughing. There was no loud music or prefabricated plastic atmosphere. There were just people drinking pints of beer and hanging out.
We stepped up to the bar and the rather large bartender with the shaved head smiles and asks, "What will it be guys?"

With many solid beers to chose from we all stood there with big eyes. The bartender, obviously experienced, offers samples. Aha! A bartender that is confident in his selection - this is good.

I went with the Troegs Hopback. BlatherBeard went with the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and mtnbiknma went with an Arrogant Bastard Ale. All were masterly poured and served.

We then found a table toward the back of the bar and chatted about our beers. Again, no need to yell, we spoke freely at our normal volume. People poured in as the evening went on and we went with more selections.

Being a dog friendly bar, a couple of folks brought their dogs in and we got to say hi to them.

After a couple of hours of imbibing, we realized our need for food. This bar focuses on beer and spirits and leaves the food to decent selection of local eateries. We opted to order Chinese food, (there is a Chinese restaurant directly across the street) We were finishing our round with the intent to run across the street and pick up our food, but as we were just standing up, the food is brought to us. Delivered from across the street.

We ordered another round and enjoyed our Chinese food. Yes, my friends, this bar has no problems with you bringing your own food.

I wish this bar was in my neighborhood. A true Old Country Irish bar w/ all the rare, but simple luxuries - great beer, excellent service, and an easy environment!!

Photo of mtnbiknma
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

***Update***
Since the new ownership, the Behan has reached new heights. As of last week they were carrying Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout, Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, Fisherman's on rotation, Dales Pale Ale, Dogfish 60min, Six Point Brown, Left Hand Milk Stout & Sawtooth Ale, The usual Harpoon & Sam Adams, Guinness and many more.
Now they won't give you the fancy glass of your dreams with your beer, but they will give a decent pint for about $5.
This now makes my neighborhood bar my favorite place to drink beer in Boston.
***Old Revue Continues Below***

Brendan Behan's is a fantastic neighborhood watering hole beacause they stay true to the Irish spirit of public house's or pubs. How do they achieve this?
First, they serve both Guinness and Murphy's (It is sad to me how little Murphy's is served in Boston bars).
Second, they have no visible TV's, which like most Pubs in Ireland, keeps the sense of community alive by creating an environment where beer and association with your neighbors are the focal point. (They do have a drop down screen for their Monday night movie-viewings as well as Red Sox & Patriot games, but these are the ONLY times the screen is pulled down and active).
Third, the place is so small it is like you are forced to face others and interact. The pick up dart games are great when there is room to throw.
Finally, NO food, just chips or crisps as they are known on the emerald isle.

As for the remainder of the beer: They have 10-12 taps that feature the usual Boston fare Harpoon, Sam Adams, plus a couple of British, Irish, and regional American micros (although these are usually lack-luster). Last time i experimented with their random micro, i had something that claimed to be barrel-aged in oak. The poster for it in the bar didn't even list the brewery's name. How's that for confidence in your product! To this day, i still don't know who brewed that beer. I just remember that it tasted old, sour (like bad), and hit you over the head with way too much vanilla. The stouts and the Boddington's are always delicious here, but the other tap lines definitely need to be serviced more often. Even the Harpoon can taste a little off at times and it's brewed across town.

The bartenders are very friendly and can pour a great stout. While they are people who can carry on conversation about sports, music, and politics, they are not versed in beer vocab.

My hope is that this cool little pub will begin to bend and reflect the current beer movement by taking their tapline to a higher level. It is still worth a stop because of the people (and dogs!) and the atmosphere. Not too many pubs capture this feel anymore.

Photo of flightjkt
4.4/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Recently, Brendan Behan Pub has been purchased by the ownership group that owns The Mission Bar & Grill. Among other things, this has lead to a radical change in beer selection which needs to be reflected in a spankin' new review.

2 Left Hand taplines, 2 Wachusett tap lines, Endurance Pale Ale and the all-time favorite, Mojo IPA, are now on tap inside J.P's favorite dog bar. Also, Rogue Dead Guy and Franziskaner, among other new bottles, are available in their recently installed clear glass refrigerators.

While they still have the regular taps (Guinness, Harpoon, etc) and the hipster beers (High Lifes for low lifes), Brendan Behan's is now a place where beer lovers can definitely find a home.

Photo of dbalsock
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

How I love Brendan Behan's. Monday night (tonight infact... right now infact) they play a movie from the video store across the street, usually something absolutely amazing. The other nights... I don't remember what they do, but fun things. They play wonderful music, and the crowd is always easy to talk to. Dogs... yes dogs seem to be sleeping on the floor or looking for rubs most times I go in, and that's wonderful. The place seems kinda small at first, but after awhile it seems to grow, with wonderful nooks and crannys to sit in, i love it here. Every time i go in, i meet someone new, and my social skills are pretty poor, so it is definitely an easy going place. The bartenders are all good looking, not conventionally so, and that makes it even more wonderful. The beer is generally fresh, only once did I have something that tasted a little old, and the selection is pretty standard for the area, but other than that, the place is great, and probably my favorite place to drink in Boston.

Photo of fdrich29
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I've been to BB's a few times over the years. I don't find myself in JP that often anymore but really enjoy the feel here, a good, neighborhood Irish pub. Not a bad selection although I still don't look passed the Guinness while I'm here. Irish history, culture and art adorn the walls and any number of four legged friends adorn the floor. Always dogs here when I've come and I can't truly express how much I enjoy that. Once you step off the sidewalk and into the bar you feel like you're somewhere else, it's a great way to escape the city, without really escaping the city.

Brendan Behan in Jamaica Plain, MA
92 out of 100 based on 13 ratings.