Armsby Abbey

Not Rated.
Armsby AbbeyArmsby Abbey
BA SCORE
100
world-class

115 Reviews
Reviews: 115
Visits: 194
rAvg: 4.64
pDev: n/a
Taps: 22
Bottles: 85
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

144 Main St
Worcester, Massachusetts, 01608-1105
United States
phone: (508) 795-1012

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @armsbyabbey

Notes:
Place added by: dougnboston on 08-02-2008

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 115 | Visits: 194
Photo of matthewp
4.45/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

For a hop head this is a great destination. From an IPA perspective this is a 5 for selection, their rotating beer selection for local (New England) beers is phenomenal. If you were going to hit one bar for great IPA's in the state I'd recommend this place. I haven't had a lot of their food (yet) but what I had was great and they have great attention to detail in ingredients and selection. (392 characters)

Photo of WunderLlama
4.89/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Found myself in downtown Worcester, MA and after reading about the acclaimed AA, I had to visit. Long wooden bar with built beer glass shelves. All of the right styles:pint, chalice, weissbier, snifter, etc. with a nice assortment of brand names. Looking at the beer selection and it was micro beer nirvana. Five Hill Farmstead beers on tap ( only 4 servings in a tasting flight ) plus other fine selections. The HF beers alone would save at least 8 hours in my life transmitting to & from the Northeast Kingdom. Needed food to go with the tasting flight and selected the breakfast sandwich. Heartily recommended with a collection of locavore farm ingredients: egg, brisket, etc. Excellent! I now know where it is located and will make it point to head there again and again. i strongly recommend you do the same. (815 characters)

Photo of tatooedsn
4.03/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.5

Beer variety is kind of limited. 98% of the selections are IPAs, which is great if you are a hop head.. not so much if you're not.

A bit annoyed the beer menu doesn't list the style unless it's in the name. Even worse when I need to struggle to read someone's hand writing to Google it. Maybe I'm just too cranky to work for my beer today.

Food is kinda pricey, but it comes with the hipster territory. Nice selections of local cheeses and healthy menu items. For the adventureous there are some quirky items like pork jowl, smoked bone marrow, and a plate with beef's tongue and pig's feet.

Presentation of the food is quite impressive. A young lady was even kind enough to explain what came on my cheese plate. I kind of left feeling a little spoiled.

Overall I think it's a pretty cool establishment with a real friendly environment. I wouldn't come back for the beer, but I would for the great service and tasty food. (926 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.41/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My wife and I stopped in while passing through town based on the BA rating and the seven Hill Farmstead offerings on the tap list. I went with high hopes but it was even better than I expected.

We didn't have a lot of time so we maximized our impact with two four beer samplers. We got the seven HFs and a Maine Lunch. They were all fantastic!

The woman behind the bar was a bit rushed and unhappy. I think she was upset that the guy with her left her with too much to do. He was more outgoing and engaged. We were there very early on a Saturday and they had brunch going. We just split a yogurt parfait because we were heading to meet family for lunch. It had fruit, honey and granola and it was outstanding.

I was disappointed we had to leave without eating and drinking more. But it was a great visit and I hope to make it back soon. (846 characters)

Photo of brewmeister1984
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This was such an amazing experience. Only the best quality here, farm fresh ingredients and the best New England beers on tap. This is the tops when it comes to quality. Love this place (185 characters)

Photo of SRBush1974
4.93/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Wish I lived near this place! Found out about it on a thread and stopped in for a pint on Friday since they had plenty of HF on tap. Could have stayed all night!!!!! Will be back again when up that way. (202 characters)

Photo of darkandhoppy
4.83/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

been going to the Armsby for several years now. I now look for even the most minute reason to go to Worcester, as it means a stop at Armsby. Overall, the place is exceptional and I recommend without hesitation. Things have changed a bit over the years. Last time I went, I ordered a flatbread and it seemed like the crust was very different. It's been forever since some of my fave brunch items have made an appearance (please bring back the Monte Christo or the Croque Madame with all due haste!) Other than a few minor, picayune complaints, the place is pretty much peerless. Go! (588 characters)

Photo of kevdemers
4.66/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Fantastic place! Great taps - I enjoyed a Hill Farmstead George and Tree House Double Shot. The food was also outstanding: we tried many smaller plates including the pork rinds, bagel chips with jalapeño jelly, jerk chicken wings and a cheese plate. All were very tasty.

My only nitpick is there were not a lot of low chairs, so in our case a member of my party had to streeetch a bit to get into a stool after a recent mid-section surgery. Keep that in mind and call ahead to get one of the few low tables if you have anyone mobility impaired attending. (561 characters)

Photo of rab53
4.58/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Great place, went frequently when it opened. Unfortunately, became overrun with scene-sters and people more interested in snapping photos of their food than eating it. However, would love to go back, just not on a weekend. (222 characters)

Photo of MystikCelt
4.98/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I've been to the Extreme Beer Fest for the past three years running. But what I look forward to -most- about that is the chance to stop at Armsby for Brunch on the ride home Sunday. (181 characters)

Photo of apex_predator
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I have been to the Abbey many times, and I have never left disappointed. Their beer selection is among the best I've ever seen. Their food has an incredibly short journey from farm-to-table. Their service is spectacular. I can honestly say that this might be the best spot in all of Massachusetts. (301 characters)

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
4.73/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Hands down the best draft list in central mass. Now they offer Hill weekly...it is ridiculous! Always have great local beers on like Treehouse and Trillium, as well as amazing belgian offerings and favorites from up and down the east coast.
Their mac and cheese is bubbly, gooey goodness that pairs perfectly with everything. They have a serious meat and cheese plate menu with awesome pairing possibilities. The staff are very knowledgeable and always super friendly. The events they have are always top notch as well. This is a great place to hang out with old friends or talk beer with new ones. They have a stellar brunch lineup as well. The only deterrent is that this is known as the hot beer bar and people flock here, so it is definitely crowded most of the time. But, that would never stop me from stopping in anytime I am near Worcester. (848 characters)

Photo of Fernans
4.78/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A beer geeks, beer bar. All interesting and different craft on their non-descript tap handles with many different styles of both U.S. and European beers. Clean with a solid wood with a vibe of people who understand and appreciate beer. This place also does real cocktails (made the old fashion way).

Though the food was well done, the menu is very limited, unless you like cheese, alot of cheese. Best in class. Definitely a place worth seeking out. Only 50 minutes from Providence or Boston. (502 characters)

Photo of boredalready
3.96/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 2 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

My only real issue with Armsby is the service. It seems that every time I go the bartender is a condescending jerk. I live very close by but after a dozen or so visits over the course of a year I don't plan to go back no matter how good the beer and food. But with the selection they have they won't miss my business and people won't stop going there anyway. (358 characters)

Photo of Strickzland
4.85/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

This place is a hidden gem! If you are anywhere in the Worcester area this is a must stop! Great locally grown food, great craft selection, and great vibes! A small hole in the wall with just a great atmosphere filled with a diverse group of great people. (255 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.3/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Very nice place, good size for a bar but not huge. Fairly dark interior; music was kept low enough that conversation was easy.

Great tap list from around the country, with a couple from Germany and Belgium, as well. Excellent selections across multiple styles. Very impressive bottle selection, too, mostly focused on Belgians: 3F, Cantillon, etc.

Food is very modern farm-to-table kind of fare: fancy cheeses, mushrooms, etc. They also have more traditional pub fare, like burgers and fries. What I ate (and saw) was excellent.

Service was fine and friendly on my visit.

Truly an outstanding spot.

Edit: they now have a contract with Hill Farmstead, with several offerings on tap. (688 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.9/5  rDev +5.6%

Well apparently my review of Armsby was deleted or lost accidentally. Well... let's just say this is one of the best bars in the world! I've been around many places in the world, through Europe, some Asia, a little bit West coast U.S., and all over East Coast U.S., and this is def one of the best, if not The best bars I've ever been to. Many people get a pretentious beer geek vibe from it, which I can totally see, but you really have to get to know them to know that's just an external vibe. They are really great here, very knowledgeable and fun to talk to. They can pick out almost any beer to match one of their amazing locally sourced cuisines almost perfectly.

Prices are maybe the only issue... beers are decent but a bit on the high side, typical for a bar that has such an amazing selection, and the food can be pricey but is top top notch food almost all coming from a local farm too. Their selection of beers are amazing, with many taps, 8 or so always dedicated to Belgian beers, and countless amazing bottles that are constantly changing. Often I really have no idea how they can get many of the beers they do, lots of aged beers, super limited beers, and ones I had no idea existed or were only made for a specific event at Armsby.

Speaking of events, nothing compares to the Armsby events, from their Founders Breakfast, to stoutfest, their Christmas beerfest, to brewery take-overs, everything is always amazing. And now that they expanded the size it's even better so they can fit more people inside.

As a semi foodie it's also amazing. I try not to spend too much, but the food can be awesome. If you've never been, first thing to get is the mac and cheese, or bone marrow. From there is just gets better and better. Jerk food and other spicy food can be so hot even I have to take a step back. My only regret is that I can't make it there very often anymore due to family and financial obligations. Someday though I'll be back htere a couple times a week, probably with my son when he's old enough. I just hope Alec can hold out that long and keep this place as classy as it is! (2,105 characters)

Photo of Nichols33
4.75/5  rDev +2.4%

Tap list is one of the better ones in the area but over the past half year it's been a tad stale. If you love belgians, there is always a good selection. They tend to have the same breweries on tap (Victory, Stone, Smuttynose, Firestone, Allagash), not that those are bad ones, but if you frequent this place more than once a month, you tend to get bored waiting for new stuff. They do get Trillium and Maine Beer Co. every now and then which is always a bonus.

Most people love the food, but it's a little too out there for me (no pub cheeseburger, etc.) but the cheese slates are outstanding.

Depending on when you go, it tends to get a bit packed, therefore extremely uncomfortable unless you got a seat. But nothing beats getting one of the outdoor tables on a nice summer afternoon.

Bartenders are hit or miss. Some are extremely friendly. And some are dicks. Wish there were a few less of the later. (908 characters)

Photo of Robo123
4.58/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I have lived in Worcester for over 12 years now and while Armsby Abbey has been open for 6 years, I had not set foot in their establishment until about 2 years ago. Every time I walk in now, I ask myself, "what took you so long?!?"

A-brick interior, inviting bar, low lighting at night, music not too intrusive, and thank heavens for no TV's!
Q-Incredibly fresh food. Period. Mussels steamed in beer finished with pork fat mayo...creative flatbreads...charcuterie slates...oxtail poutine...stout belgian waffles, sweet potato pancakes (mouth waters as I'm writing this!) and of course one of the most diverse offerings OT and in bottles I've ever come across. So, so clean too-you can tell they really pay attention to their taps and lines. Never an off pour here. I always enjoy looking at their lineup on their website and then "planning my strategy" as to which new beer I will be trying when I head in there next.
S-very knowledgeable and seasoned staff; know just when to come over and check in on you and also make great suggestions on pairing.
S- not a huge lineup for food, but everything I've tried I've been pleased with. The OT lineup occasionally has too many selections of a similar type (I'm just getting my toes wet in the pool of stouts and porters, so not as excited to go when several are OT) but bottle lineup is top notch
F-see Q.
V-some of the entrees for dinner are on the high side ($20-$25) but sometimes I go and just grab a few apps and it's affordable. Brunch is very reasonable and most OT selections are between $5-$8 for US and $7-$11 for imports. (1,581 characters)

Photo of SABERG
4.66/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

A- A lively space that can be a touch loud, woodwork and brick are splendid. Lighting is subdued but this is no cave.
Q - The quality is a paramount priority. The food is diverse and well crafted. Attention to detail, like the silverware being perfectly balanced in your hand can be missed by the customers. Local sourcing is listed, the baked goods are from a sister operation and beautiful.
S - The service is tight with a sharp attention that's personal, not overbearing. We have been to fests, when insanity ruled, and a quiet lunch, each treated with a personal touch.
S - There are few places with the diversity of food and drink. All is curated well.
F - From the best cheese plate to specials that challenge a diner this is one of the best food offerings in the state.
V - With all that quality, the prices are market. That can be percieved as expensive. I price value for value, not quantuty. That said Armsby is a great value.

Simply one of the best.

Cheers all (973 characters)

Photo of Dida
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Great folks here. Price is right for the quality of food that you get. It's nice to have a place to eat fresh local food in the woo, AND it has an amazing beer and drink menu! This place is on point in every way. it's our go to place for sure for dinner and for brunch. (269 characters)

Photo of GuitarIPA
4.73/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

I made the trip up from CT to Armsby Abbey for the beer and I was excited about their "farm to table menu." The beer selection was excellent; that night I had the Hoponious Union, Another One, and Trillium Deciduous. The food was also terrific - I would highly recommend the pork sandwich. It might be one of the more ordinary items on the menu (beef heart meatballs, bone marrow, etc.), but it was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. The wait staff was great - friendly, knowledgeable, and readily available. Enjoy. (522 characters)

Photo of vonnegut21
4.7/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

This place is awesome. I wish it were closer to home. Not much to look at from the outside, but once inside it's small, it's cozy and it's comfortable. About 10-12 tables and a 20 person bar or so. Classy vibe, but not overstated.

The service is routinely excellent when I come. Staff are generally very knowledgeable about beer and food, which seems to be a rarity among even the best beer bars. My pour is always correct and my glass is never left empty for long. I can't ask for more.

Beer selection is generally superb. I've been on some "off" nights where there are only 4 or 5 beers on tap that I find myself choosing from, but generally there are 10 options or more that look enticing. Rarities from Tree House, Trillium, Hill Farmstead, Firestone Walker and countless European options. The bottle list is also extremely deep, if a bit pricey.

The food is excellent as well. The menu is a bit limited, but the options that do exist are all worth trying. The rillons and the mac and cheese are my go to order. I had a pork belly breakfast bahn mi there the other day that was mind-blowingly good. You really can't go wrong. And all the ingredients used are local, fresh and of the highest provenance. Gotta love that.

Overall, I really enjoy this place. Reminds me of the Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier... which is a good thing. Check this place out. (1,364 characters)

Photo of Lambocalrisien
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is awesome! Without question the best place to grab some delicious food and great beer in all of central Massachusetts and maybe the entire state. They always have a great selection on tap and update their online tap list daily. Have had Hill Farmstead and Tree House Brewing on draft there to name a few. A must visit if you're in the area, will not let you down. (375 characters)

Photo of Sarah-Jean
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I can't say enough about The Abbey. I have been a customer since the doors opened. They have the best beer selections and food pairings. Bloody Mary's are the bomb!!! If I could go there every weekend for Sat/Sun brunch I would be there. The staff is also wonderful!!! Love it here!!!

The actual bar and woodworking throughout are so amazing too!! (349 characters)

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Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA
100 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.