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Armsby Abbey

Armsby AbbeyArmsby Abbey

Taps: 22 / Bottles: 85
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
100
world-class

116 Ratings
Ratings: 116
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 6.65%
$$$ - a bit pricey


[ 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: 116 | Reviews: 95 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Dida
Dida

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

04-01-2014 17:58:28 | More by Dida
Photo of GuitarIPA
GuitarIPA

Connecticut

4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

10-31-2013 01:55:59 | More by GuitarIPA
Photo of vonnegut21
vonnegut21

New York

4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

09-18-2013 18:21:50 | More by vonnegut21
Photo of Lambocalrisien
Lambocalrisien

New York

5/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

09-11-2013 01:26:08 | More by Lambocalrisien
Photo of Sarah-Jean
Sarah-Jean

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +7.3%
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!!

09-05-2013 20:26:58 | More by Sarah-Jean
Photo of mgmfallon
mgmfallon

Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75 | $$$

I've been going to the sister establishment of this place, The Dive Bar, for several years. The Abbey is a nice, medium-size place with a large selection of about 20-25 drafts, about a 6-7 belgiums. Seating is mostly high tables and stools (fancy ones), with a couple of tables in the front. A room-length bar- beautiful and a nearly room-length chalk board with the draft list- you can see it from anywhere in the place. Reasonably-priced local, bistro-style food. The beer prices are as high as any in Boston beer bars, but you know it's fresh.

This bar rates with the best I've seen while traveling across the country.

Best bartendar at both locals- Mike! He's a very nice guy and his music selections are my favorites-very eclectic. All of staff are quite good, though.

07-07-2013 02:33:45 | More by mgmfallon
Photo of mclynch
mclynch

Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

Nicely tucked away in Worcester, MA on a nondescript street. Very unassuming exterior, but warm & woody interior.

Great draft selection with nice domestic & imported offerings. A ridiculous bottle list as well (although pricey!)

Their food is phenomenal... home-baked breads, artisan pizzas, cheese slates - so much amazing goodness. I was blown away by how delicious everything was.

Be warned that if you go with friends you will drop some dollars here! I went with my wife and spent $75 for beers and dinner... not outrageous, but not something we do a lot.

When in Worcester, though, catching a game or whatever, absolutely drop in for a pint and more!

06-30-2013 00:57:08 | More by mclynch
Photo of Resuin
Resuin

Massachusetts

4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75 | $$$

Showed up for dinner on a Saturday night and were told about an hour wait for a table so we grabbed some great beers (I had a peche mortel on tap) and because there was no room at the bar, decided to try the table outside which was empty (it was pretty cold). To our delight, about 15 minutes a table had opened up for us.

Service was great, and the food was very interesting and tasty. I had a pulled pork sandwich as a meal which was superb and we had some cheese platters as an appetizers all of which were very interesting and tasty (not huge). Everything was super fresh and local which was great.

Each beer I ordered came in its respective glassware which was cool and there were a lot of great choices on tap. The place was a little loud which was to be expected on a Saturday night and did not detract from the experience. Highly recommended!

05-18-2013 18:15:04 | More by Resuin
Photo of slander
slander

New York

4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Because there was just no way I could scribble notes during ‘The Festival’ pregame; standing room only and an amped up tap list. Was just not happening. Let’s just say it’s considerably less jammin’ now, 3 months out on Monday, just after 5. Parked and meter fed until 6, and an easy jaywalk across Main Street, Worcester…

Ground floor corner of a bricky building on the strip. Past a handful of metal tables sidewalkside, and in. Front vestibule glass door with narrow windows bordering, and a wrapping iron piece over the door for the pull curtain. Corner nooks to both sides below vertical windows holding dangling ornamental stars, and horizontal windows above. Pale olivey walls & big brick, and 3 pillars down the center of the room. Slat wood floorings, and a black ceiling with matching ductwork, drop cheese wheel lamps over the front corners, and sunken & track spots about.

Wood bar with a rounded lip, panel base, & squared bar foot rail to the right; seating for a dozen and a half or so on leather swivel chairs. The barback holds a fat pillared center unit arched with panel mirrored backing over the taps from end to end below on a single row. Glassware shelved below and bottle selections housed in glass front cooler trios to each side. Tiered booze all countered up to both sides with windows above holding Belgian gnomes and mosaic glass pieced candleholders or, um, something. And then shelving units on the ends running to the ceiling; glassware glassware glassware, and display bottles & growlers along the top shelves. Clearly, some of this glassware is way out of reach and is just for show.

A bar counter wood beam with mosaic candleholders, a few stools, & piping foot rail connecting two of the center pillars, and some more bar counter space to the rear. 5 hightops on the far wall, a pair of 2-seaters between the next set of pillars, and a pair of 2-seaters in the front nooks on wraparound bench action with pillowings.

Events board on the far wall up front (movie night, shuckin’ truck raw bar), and a looong horizontal blackboard further down listing tap selections, origin, ABV & pricing. Orval & Dupont tins to both sides of that, and a doorway to the building bathrooms shared. T shirts displayed up front alongside the bar, and a single flatscreen in the rear corner.

22 tap in a row on barback center with nondescript wooden knobby handles; roughly 1/3 of them MA craft offerings (High & Mighty Sono Distrutto, Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union, Cisco Grey Lady, Pretty Things Saint Botolph’s Town, Blatant Session Ale, BBC Coffeehouse Porter), another 1/3 craft offerings regional (Allagash Fluxus 2012, Maine Peeper Ale, Smuttynose Strawberry Short Weisse, Victory Prima Pils, Troegs Dead Reckoning Porter), and not so regional (Port Wipe Out, 21st Amendment Hop Crisis, Greenflash West Coast IPA), and the other 1/3 very good imports (Drie Fonteinen Beersel Blonde, Tilquin Gueuze, Jandrain VI Wheat, Djaevelbryg Schopenhauers Vilje, Mikkeller Hop Bomb Challenge, Trois Dames Fraicheur Du Soir, Ca L’Arenys Guineu Riner, Freigeist Abraxxxas).

Oh, I don’t know, maybe a sampler. You get 4 shorty 4oz glasses of the ‘you pick’, so I did, and then bummed samples of things, and of course, drank Phil’s beer when he went out for a smoke. Had some things I really liked (Trois Dames Fraicheur Du Soir, Drie Fonteinen Beersel Blonde, Mikkeller Hop Bomb Challenge, Blatant Session Ale, Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union).

The bottle list holds some 80 selections, of which roughly ½ of are Belgian. I like that about a 1/3 of the list overall is made up of Gueuze, Lambic, Flanders, & American wild ale entries. Does not suck. Benchmark (lovely) Orval runs $12, just on the edge of pricing sanity.

And a light bite before we get back on the road home, thinking to split a sandwich. The roast beef sandwich was under serious consideration due to its sounding of awesome, but we opted for the apple bacon grilled cheese sandwich (Tougas Farm apples, house smoked bacon, Vermont cheddar, Smith’s Farm smoked gouda, & braised Swiss chard on house made honey oat bread). It was a kickin’ grilled chee, came with greens and everything.

Eriktender behind the bar. He dealt samples when I asked for them, and gave honest answers when questions asked, i.e., ‘is this any good?’, etc. Kickin’ selection, comfortable house, good crowd, fine eats. Worth the detour en route to points anywhere...

12-10-2012 06:40:01 | More by slander
Photo of mtchaput
mtchaput

Massachusetts

4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

When i think of Worcester, Mass - Armsby Abbey just doesn't seem to fit in.

When you walk down the street, it looks like your average small bistro, but when you walk in, its a whole different story. The atmosphere of Armsby reminds me of someplace you'd see in small town America. The Bartenders are friendly, to the point where you wonder if you somehow know them. It's warm, and welcoming.

In regards to Selection, Armsby may not have the 30 page beer menu, or the 30 page food menu that some other bars do - instead, they bring you offerings that are from local farms, and use whole healthy ingredients. Their beer offerings may not be as exotic as you might find in Boston, but everytime i've been there i find a beer on their chalk board menu that i've been dying to try, or haven't had in forever. They seem to specialize in bringing you beers that A) Suit the seasons, B) Compliment the menu and C) are Expertly crafted. The best part is that they know their beers, and they know them well.

Now, one of my favorite things about the menu, is that there isn't a ton of anything. By this i mean that they have a few of each thing on the menu and when it runs out - thats it. To me, that SCREAMS freshness. If you're looking for some real neat food choices, (when available) check out; The Duck Confit, The Smoked Marrow Plate, The Olive Platter, and the show stopper - The Macaroni and Cheese. I have never had a Macaroni and Cheese like that in my life.

Overall, while it's not someplace that i could afford every night, i do make sure to frequent it as often as i can. If not for the amazing beers, If not for the amazing food, If not for the amazing service, than its definitely for the fun folks you can meet sitting next to you at the bar. Good Company all around.

Oh... and they don't balk at you for whipping out your tasting notebook. I like that.

11-26-2012 20:16:00 | More by mtchaput
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Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA
100 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.