Mahar's Public Bar
Taps: 28 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 64 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
A stop off on my way home from college. Very easy to find tucked in between some non-descript buildings all that would let you know its a beer bar by the cask of J.W. Lees jutting out over the door. Very promising indeed! Walking in revealed a very small but cozy looking room with a very worn bar on the left housing all the mugs for"mug club members" and limited seating on the right. There were no stools at the bar. Definitely standing room only. All of the walls were adorned with taps of yesteryear which fit in nicely with the exposed beams.
The beer selection and quality was excellent. 2 casks, about 25 taps and about 75 bottles ranging from the verylocal such as Berkshire all the way to Belgium and Germany. The selection was thoughtful and very mindful of the season. Plenty of holiday beers. The tap lines were obviously well maintained as there was no off flavors etc.
Service was pretty good. The barkeep was a bit gruff and would not believe me when I told him that Gearys just started brewing the winter after the HSA went year round. Besides that he was generally helpful,but he probably would have been more so if I were a regular.
All in all Mahar's is a wonderful stop. It is cozy and oriented towards repeat customers. By the time we had left there were about 12 people there all of whom were obviously regulars. The first thing they all did was go to the back and print out the current draught and bottle list. This is definitely the kind of place I would like in my neighborhood and would recomend seeking it out.
12-14-2003 03:49:45 | More by GreatPondBrewer
4.94/5 rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
What can you say about what is arguably one of the top 3 beer bars in New York state? ( my 3 picks? The Country Inn, Mahars, The Blue Tusk)
Mahars is small, it's different and it kicks ass with an unrivaled variety in tap selections that can only be chosen by a true Beer Lover and Advocate.
That would be Mr. Mahar. As knowlagable as anyone in the biz, Mahar goes to great lengths to provide his customers with the finest quality, rare and exceptional tap offerings available. Belgians, cask British and US Ales, Traditional Ciders, keg only offerings and limited production seasonals all find thier way to Mahars. I believe more than 5000 different beers have been served at Mahar's since he opened. I wonder if that includes the Raspberry Hoegaarden....?
At least 25 beers and up to 6+ cask ales on tap with a staggering list of hard to find specialty bottles. Walk in and set yourself up on his computer, and you can begin your beer tour. They keep track of the beers you have tried by marking your list and entering data at the end of the night. No bar stools or live music, a few tables and , sadly, usually no women, but this is a place for drinking and talking beer. Always a BA type to talk to and always something great to drink you probobly never had before.
Without doubt, a Must visit for any BA that finds him/her self
( notice I invite the Lady BA's ) in the Capital region of NY.
Bless you Jim and Bill.
11-28-2003 19:41:33 | More by Shiredave
4.94/5 rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Don't miss this place when you're looking for it - a small bar located between and on the same block as Bruegger's Bagels and Peking Restaurant. Look for the blue building with the Lees cask over the door. Parking can be scarce, so try behind the building or on a side street.
Hmm, let me try to be objective about a place in which I've had roughly a thousand beers... The tap selection is always interesting and changing - if it's out there, Mahar's had it or will be getting it. The bottled selection is generally huge (150+), and the beers are generally in great shape. Everything from cask to micros to Belgian oddballs to you name it, it's either here now, been here before, or is waiting to be tapped in the basement. The staff know their stuff & the owner (Mahar) and manager (Bill) are cool, interesting folk. It's small, the rules are strict (e.g. no feet on the chairs, no harassing/loud yelling, etc.), the hours are short (4-12, sometimes open at noon), and the food menu is very limited, and it's a wonderful place to enjoy a pint or two or three or four or... taxi!
Re the beer tour: The ultimate prize (after 500) is to have your name engraved on a plaque that hangs over the bar. I find it to be a convenient place to hang my liver when I visit.
Edit: Scratched the "sometimes smoky" part, courtesy of the NYS smoking ban in restaurants and bars. Smell the beer... ahhh!!
07-08-2002 09:39:55 | More by sponberg
4.8/5 rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
Mahar's is THE beer bar for the tri-city area. And they do it by their own rules: close at midnight every night and maybe they'll open for lunch when the beer is delivered. Otherwise it's 4:00-12:00. 25+ taps always changing. Hundreds of bottled beers. There's a "beer tour", after so many beers you get a shirt, then a mug and so on. Knowledgeable people serving the best they can find.
06-26-2002 11:23:02 | More by MTMugs
Mahar's Public Bar in Albany, NY
96 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.