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Armsby Abbey

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

148 Ratings
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 6.41%
Taps: 22
Bottles: 85
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: 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:
None, yet.

(Place added by: dougnboston on 08-02-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dida
5/5  rDev +6.8%

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.

Dida, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of krantul
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Hardwood floors... an amazing, locally constructed, custom-built bar... towering shelves of Belgian glassware... adjacent to the bar, a drink rail built from a slab of recovered wood, stretching between a pair of exposed support column... it's a cool place, classy without being stuffy. A great variety in clientele, from beer nerds in t-shirts to attorneys in suits... but all having a common interest in good beer, good spirits, and handmade food.

Everything here is high quality. 22 taps with 6 dedicated Belgian lines: all craft beer, no crap, no faux-craft. Over 150 bottles, with at least 80 Belgians, in case nothing on draft strikes your fancy. A small, but carefully selected wine list, and a dizzying array of artisanal spirits--nothing mass market there, either. $5 is the norm for a standard pint, with imports and higher-gravity beers sometimes a bit higher. Naturally, the Belgians can run a bit higher, but all of the pricing is fair.

The food is freaking amazing. The menu is very focused: cheese boards, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas are the norm. Some entrée-type food shows up as a special from time to time, and the stuff they prepare for the occasional beer dinners ranks with most ambitious gastropubs. Special accolades for the in-house baker/pastry chef--the breads and desserts are the best that money can buy.

This is a world-class beer bar and easily one of the best in New England. A must-visit beer destination for anyone in the northeast

krantul, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of JKV96
5/5  rDev +6.8%

JKV96, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of Kevincredible
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Kevincredible, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of WoostaBia
5/5  rDev +6.8%

WoostaBia, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of Edubs
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Edubs, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of ivyman
5/5  rDev +6.8%

ivyman, Jul 05, 2014
Photo of mcintire78
5/5  rDev +6.8%

mcintire78, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of pisano
5/5  rDev +6.8%

pisano, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of ml67
5/5  rDev +6.8%

I’ve been going to the Armsby Abbey regularly since its opening in 2008, and manage to get there a minimum of 2 times/month. It’s a little out of the way for me as I live in NH, but it is well worth the drive.

The bar itself has a definite Belgian feel to it. One of the first things you notice is the impressive glassware displayed on the wooden shelves surrounding the stainless steel tap manifold. The brick, polished wood, tall stools and high ceilings complete the clean, but welcoming look.

The food selection is eclectic, locally sourced and even better than the menu descriptions. And yes, the jerk chicken really is hot!

There are beer bars that have more variety, but none in my experience that cover a broader spectrum of quality, and often rare, local, domestic and European (Belgian-centric) craft beers. The 22 taps assure regular rotation, so you never have to worry about experiencing a beer past its prime. Alec Lopez rightfully takes a lot of care and pride in selecting which beers are featured. The bottle selection is fantastic, with some genuine rarities featured on the first page of the beer menu.

The beer dinners and events at the Abbey are really well done and a lot of fun. The recently held 2nd annual Founders Breakfast and Stoutfest events were simply sublime. Where else can you enjoy Founders Breakfast Stout, KBS and CBS with stunningly prepared food – all before noon!

I’ve been fortunate to travel around the world in my work, and seek out beer and beer places at every chance I get. For me, the passion and uncompromising strive for quality in everything they do make the Abbey my favorite place to enjoy good beer and food with friends. The Abbey really is a jewel, and with the Dive Bar, elevate Worcester to a desirable beer destination.

ml67, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of thedivebar
5/5  rDev +6.8%

thedivebar, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of ribbit
5/5  rDev +6.8%

ribbit, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of grotonmarketguy
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Armsby Abbey is hands down the best place to "experience" beer in the area, in all of Massachusetts, and possibly beyond. Alec Lopez the owner goes the extra mile to acquire the worlds finest beers on a regular basis. Always a good mix. Always something for everyone. Their bottle list is very extensive and he always keeps a selection of rarities in there to tickle the connoisseur. The staff is very friendly and informative and downright AWESOME. They also now how to navigate you into a pleasant experience if you are new to these kinds of beers or have a preference to certain styles. They allow tastes as well so you will never get poured a beer that you might hate. Food is out of this world. Many a whole pig have been slaughtered for your culinary delight. The produce is all sourced from local farms as is the cheese. The Cheese plates draw me back time and time again. What better to cut the edge of a De Dolle Dulle Teve than a nice hannibelle? My only complaint about the Armsby Abbey is that the tap handles could be made of artisanal hand blown glass that would be cool.

grotonmarketguy, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of wingwalker3
5/5  rDev +6.8%

wingwalker3, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of IPACRAZE
5/5  rDev +6.8%

huge rotating draft line, bottle selection, some one of a kind beers not available just any where ( the special contacts and connections this establishment has is remarkable) I've had some of the best sour, bitters and farmhouse selections this side of the pond here at the armsby( I recently attended opstel, belgium spontaneous fermentation festival ,so its like stepping back to that day), great beer, dinners fantastic food, artisan food, the most knowledgable bar/ wait staff that is in the business ,also extensive selection of small batch spirits and wines, some of the best mixed drinks in the world i.e. martinis ect. great place for friends to meet and enjoy all that is offered.

IPACRAZE, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of clarkm04
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Truly outstanding establishment! I can't recommend a better place than this amazing bar.

I was in Worcester for a conference and went here three times.

The beer menu is top-notch. On all three occasions I was assisted by three different people who truly knew each of the beers on the menu in great detail and depth. Every recommendation was spot-on. At times, you'll visit a beer focused bar where the service is borderline clueless about the line-up. Not here, the wait staff was invaluable since I'm from the Midwest, I was unfamiliar with the Northeast craft scene so it was great to have all my questions answered about the smaller area breweries like Clown Shoes, Pretty Things, or Cisco.

On night one, the server drew me a map to a liquor store in walking distance of my hotel while talking elaborately about the beer. I had their pulled pork and it was literally the best pulled pork I've ever had. This is quite a feat given I've lived in Iowa and Nebraska for 15+ years and I've had numerous killer pork dishes throughout the Midwest. Every dish I ate was absolutely delicious and I loved the cozy decor of the bar.

On night two, sat at the bar. The bartender was really cool and accommodating. Again, received great advice on beer along with eating a fabulous soup.

On night three, had an amazing blueberry pie along with some outstanding advice and conversation with a different server. She was a great server too. My girlfriend and I talked to her for about 30-minutes about beer, beer focused road trips, homebrewing, and any other beer topic.

Few beer focused places can top this place. Outstanding food! Outstanding service! Extensive beer menu!

clarkm04, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of mbonugli
5/5  rDev +6.8%

mbonugli, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of parris
5/5  rDev +6.8%

parris, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of antaydos
5/5  rDev +6.8%

I really don't have anything more to offer than everyone else has said regarding this place, except that I've been twice so far, and each time, I've been blown away. It has an utterly fantastic selection with great prices (considering a "normal" bar will charge $4 for a Bud, these prices are outstanding).

The food is all from local farms which is a huge asset. The cheeseboards and the pizzas are delicious.

I can't say enough about this place; it's a dream come true in my hometown.

antaydos, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of ChrisMyhre
5/5  rDev +6.8%

ChrisMyhre, Friday at 10:49 AM
Photo of TheBeerSipper
5/5  rDev +6.8%

TheBeerSipper, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of erantul
5/5  rDev +6.8%

I have tried just about everything on the menu. Went on the first weekend it opened and have been going back about once a week since.

It DOES get crowded, but that makes me happy, 'cause I like good places to eat and drink in the Woo. The crowds vary from people who look like they'd be at home in a biker bar, to college students and their professors, to hipsters, to your average 30 somethings out for a night... in short, it's a friendly place for everyone.

The service has never been anything but friendly. It is slow at times, but it's a slow food restaurant. That's part of the design: quality food made to order. If you're absolutely starving when you get there, there are a few quicker items, like a hummus or an olives/feta dip, but do expect to wait on anything you order.

For those who don't drink beer, or who are having a night where they don't feel like beer, the cocktails are absolutely fantastic. They are made with fresh seasonal fruit and are on the expensive side, but worth every penny. My mother, after having a vodka-lemonade made with fresh lemons, blueberries and a sprig of thyme, commented how it tasted healthy for an alcoholic beverage. The wine list is very good, as well, and I've bought bottles after having a glass at the Armsby Abbey.

I love that the bartenders and waitstaff take the time to explain all the different beers and menu options. It can be a bit daunting, I'd imagine, for someone who doesn't know what they're looking at to be confronted with all those beers. I'm a fairly experienced beer drinker and I appreciate their knowledge when I am unsure what a beer is. I love that no matter who you are, if you have an honest question about what they serve, the staff takes the time to explain it to you. I have seen some sarcasm back and forth between clientele and staff, but it's usually either based on a friendly relationship or because a patron came in and was a jerk right off the bat. This place is down the street from a venue that is famous for its arrests and drug deals and drunken, badly behaving frat boys and the owners don't really want any of that and will swiftly put down or remove anyone they see as about to cause a problem. That is also something I appreciate.

The physical beauty of the place has been mentioned. I know it seems trendy, but the bar and the tables are mahogany from a sustainable farm in South Africa, and the standing rail is an ancient board out of an ancient bridge that was being taken apart and recycled. Not to mention that the elbow rail there is one of the most comfortable I've ever leaned on! I hate bar rails with uncomfortable edges! It may seem trendy, but I think it's classic and will be beautiful for what I hope turns into years to come! Worcester has always had great restaurants, even when they have less-than-impressive beer selections, but this one is raising the bar (haha) for them, and I hope they all follow suit.

erantul, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of Lambocalrisien
5/5  rDev +6.8%

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.

Lambocalrisien, Sep 11, 2013
Photo of Roadking99
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Roadking99, Jun 19, 2014
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Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA
100 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.