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Armsby Abbey

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

139 Ratings
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 97
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: 139 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SunDevilBeer
3.15/5  rDev -32.7%

I was looking forward to trying AA after hearing all the glowing reviews. A day trip for biz put me in the Worcester area around dinner time and I was finally able to give the place a shot.

If I can sum up my opinion of this place in 1 word: PRETENTIOUS. Though the draft/bottle list seem to have alot of thought put into it, I kept thinking everything about this place was extreme overkill. The pricing for everything, from the food to the beers is overdone as well...$12 sandwiches and $15 individual pizzas give you an idea of what you can expect....for WORCESTER????

From the moment I sat down at the bar (& summarily ignored by the hipster barkeep as he chatted up a regular) to the time I left, I felt uncomfortable, like I wasn't cool enough to be there. Though the beers I had were tasty (but short-poured) and the sandwich was OK, the whole atmosphere was a turn-off.

I guess if you're a twenty-something, single hipster beer geek with unlimited disposable income, this place could be your nirvana; for me, not so much.

SunDevilBeer, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of sheikyerbouti
3.7/5  rDev -20.9%

Pros: great beer, very good beer selection, good food.
Cons:expensive beer/food. $8-9 for a short pour of belgian beer seems steep to me, as is $12-15 for a sandwich. At least offer beer and food specials.

I really like the atmosphere and the selection, its just pricey. The past 3 or 4 times we've gone, we ended up leaving after waiting over an hour just to get a seat. Expect to see a very yuppie crowd texting their friend sitting next to them as well as an hour plus wait on the weekend to sit down.

sheikyerbouti, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of CHADMC3
3.78/5  rDev -19.2%

The Armsby Abbey has an amazing beer selection that includes 22 taps and over 130 bottles (each listed in an easy to read menu listed by style, price, and abv). They really have something for everyone, all extremely fresh, and served in appropriate glassware. I enjoyed a Founder's Breakfast Stout, and a St. Bernardus abt 12 during my visit, and also enjoyed one heck of a pork bbq sandwich. Food is very unique and creative, and also very impressive. Tons of Belgians in bottles offered here of varying styles, but also plenty of American micros in a variety of styles, and even a very creative drink/martini menu if your company prefers that.

The bar itself is extremely clean, great low lighting and a terrific bar setup with older looking wood and a huge blackboard displaying current taps.

I do have one complaint, and to be fair, no other reviews report anything similar, so hopefully my experience was the exception. I had brought a couple of friends who were very skeptical and are not into stretching their beer palate, but I had re-assured them the friendly staff would help them pick something they would like. More than one staff member was borderline condescending when asking questions about the menu and taps, and in addition, we were kept waiting on both food and drink orders at various points while staff socialized with patrons for extended amounts of time at one section of the bar. It was rather frustrating, and embarassing for me having recommended the place so highly.

All in all, the food was GREAT, the beer selection amazing, but all that said I am not sure I will return. For me, I frequently remember the way I am made feel and that my business is appreciated above all else. That was not the case here.

CHADMC3, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of ncuba
3.95/5  rDev -15.6%

This is a really good place. The few things I found off-putting (e.g. loudish music, variably poor lighting) would be easily fixable, are perhaps not a problem to others, and should certainly be considered in light of what kind of bar this is, that is to say, not a loud and dark bar at all.

I've been 3-4 times, and found the service to be either ok or sub-par. There seems to be some real knowledge at every level, which is great, but perhaps in selecting for that some more fundamental shortcomings (e.g. good waitering, polite conversation) were overlooked. Anyway, no big problems, and with such a small number of visits my impression might have just been luck of the draw.

Simply put, the beer is great. There's opportunity to branch out or seek shelter in old favorites.

There's some really good food here too. Most everything I've tried has been fantastic, only a few items on the cheese plates have fallen flat, and the real knock-outs on the plates kind of make up for them.

All in all a very nice place. You will likely spend a good deal of money here, but the quality of product more often than not justifies it. I will return and would recommend.

ncuba, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of HeavyDandtheGirls
4/5  rDev -14.5%

HeavyDandtheGirls, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4/5  rDev -14.5%

A little re-reviewing after my second visit to Armsby Abbey. Busy on a Friday night at around 9:30pm but we managed to find a table. Service was excellent. I finally got to try the smoked bone marrow and it was spectacular. But I'm knocking down the "selection" score because, again, I was disappointed by the lack of variety. Lots of weird European beers you never heard of, and a ton of IPA's, but not a good Imperial Stout or big beer in sight. Great bottle selection with vintages and rarities, but pricey.

---

It is the wife’s birthday weekend and we are headed to Maine, where we spent a beautiful birthday years back. Worcester (say “Woosta”) is on the way, so why not enjoy some art at the museum and have lunch at Armsby Abbey!

Located in Downtown Woosta, this is a high-quality beer joint in a town more likely to drink Bud Light than quality beer. Unfortunately, the interior is bland,generic, lacking personality. Soulless like a McMansion, or imagine Applebee’s doing a beer bar. There is no charm here.

But you’re in for a good time here, with good beers and food. The draft list showcases rare and pricey beers from Europe and elsewhere (Hitachino Nipponia, $12; Oppigards Amarillo, $9; De Molen Op&Top, $10, Spain’s Guineu Riner, 2.5%) plus local/regional drafts from Allagash, Sixpoint, Hill Farmstead, Pretty Things… plus Port and Anderson Valley from Cali. All around good,with some treasures (Hill Abner!!!) but lacking variety. No Imperial Stouts, barleywines or big beers.

Food is mighty nice. We had “rillons”, which is deep-fried pork belly, and tried to have the smoked bone marrow but they were out. The bacon-onion pizza was delicious too, and huge. A ton of cheeses, but pricey. Pizza and apps are a better option.

Prices are all over. Hill Abner only $6, imports $9-$10, no price listed on cocktails and spirits but wine does have it. Great bottle selection with cool stuff like Parabola, but pricey ($35 for Parabola, $55 for Old Stock Reserve).

Very good service at lunch on a Friday and overall a great experience. Will return next time I happen to be in Woosta. Oh, parking before 5pm is street only and not too easy… plan accordingly.

DoubleSimcoe, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of JShattuck
4.05/5  rDev -13.5%

I have been to the abbey a few times. It is a great bar, but far from an A+.

Beer- Great beer. A wide variety of selection of only quality beer from around the world.

Service- Both times I had a table with a group of friends. The server had a bad attitude and ruined the experience. I will be sitting at the bar next time and I suggest doing the same.

Food- Great local food from local farms. Very pricey, but it the food is worth it.

Overall a great bar, but not an A+. There are a few bars that blow this one away.

JShattuck, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Tomas77
4.13/5  rDev -11.8%

Downtown Worcestor.
Great place not far off the highway. Has a full line of your favorite belgian beers as well as plenty of american styles. Long line of draft lines also of belgian beers. At least 20. Food is great and prices are not bad. Fair enough considering the great beer they serve. Once you find the place you realize its location is pretty convenient for most people. Nice stop to make if your traveling from Boston back to Western Mass. At least it is for me. If you have the chance, please check it out.

Tomas77, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of mltobin
4.15/5  rDev -11.3%

Worcester, particularly the downtown area, does not have too many positive connotations associated with it. However, it has gotten better in recent years. One of the businesses that seems to have helped in this is Armsby Abbey.
There is a long bar, as well as a good number of tables. For taps, I believe they have about 20 selections. During a couple visits, I have seen MA brewers including Mayflower, Jack`s Abbery, BBC, others. New England as a whole gets attention, and some Belgians and other US brewers are in the mix as well. For bottles, there is a list with some great options covering different styles, but is not one of those bottles lists that sometimes are larger than necessary.
Food is very good, although a bit expensive. Service is very good, even when they are busy. It is nice to see that have done so well, and with that, it can get crowded at "peak dining/bar hours".

mltobin, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of rousee
4.2/5  rDev -10.3%

I have stopped at the Armsby Abbey a couple times recently while driving by Worcester. It is a great spot to hit for lunch/brunch and it sure beats the hell out of hitting some rest service area on the highway. It is pretty close to I-290 and really isnt much out of the way if you are on the Mass Pike to begin with. As you approach Worcester --take 290 east and take exit 17 and it is within a few blocks of the exit. Heading back east--you can take 290 west and then Rte 146 (towards Providence) south to Mass pike which doesnt require going back as far west as when you had begun on I-290.

Both times I have been-- it was on a Saturday afternoon and they had their brunch menu going. We had gotten this breakfast slate which is a cheese plate featuring cheeses and other items from some local farmers. In fact, most of the menu here is devoted to locally grown and produced ingredients/items. You could even say that the people that run this restaurant are somewhat of "local"-vores meaning they try to feature as many locally produced items as possible and it really helps in the quality department.

We have also had the corned beef hash calzone which was absoltely fantastic and their mac and cheese --also fabulous. I also had this eggs benedict pizza thing that was good but not as fantastic as some of the other items I mention.

Their beer selection is great and seems to change around with a good degree of regularity. The first time I went which was around Thanksgiving--most of the beers were more Belgian oriented. When I went back after Christmas--the focus was more on American craft beers. I tend to prefer the American crafts a little more as they can easily have a higher freshness level than something from overseas but just the fact that they change them around regularly is a good thing and definitely ensures freshness. The thing that I really liked about the beer selection is that they do these little flights of 4 beers in 4 oz samplers--this is perfect-- since many of them can be high in abv and you wouldnt be able to try as many and its not gonna really affect your ability to drive if you just have one flight-- where a few big glasses of big beer might make it less than safe to drive away from here. So this is an excellent way of doing the beers.

The service each time has been very friendly, prompt, attentive, and professional. She seems to know her beers pretty well too. I don't believe in testing people's knowledge as it is not that important to me but everytime I have discussed my opinioons on this or that-I got the impression, she definitely knew a good amount about the beers they serve here.

The pricing is a little on the expensive side but the emphasis is on quality, not mass produced junk--so overall, I'd say the pricing is fair but it isnt gonna win any "cheap eats" awards.

Overall, a fantastic place and a great addition to the Worcester scene. I have been driving by Worcester for years and never knew anywhere good to stop for food and a drink. Now I do and I wish this place much success. It is a great place for food and beer.

rousee, Jan 05, 2009
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Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA
100 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.