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The Publick House


255 Reviews
Place Score:
The Publick HouseThe Publick House

Type: Bar, Eatery

1648 Beacon St
Brookline, Massachusetts, 02445-2101
United States

(617) 277-2880 | map

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Added by doerickson

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Reviews: 255 | Ratings: 346
Photo of Hyptochrons
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

great selection. probably the best bar in boston... as a result it can be pretty crowded but the beer is worth it. food is pretty good too but lets be honest you go to this place for the beer selection.

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Photo of Buck89
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Visited while on business in Boston last month. The place was absolutely mobbed, but the atmosphere was really nice. A great mix of people from all backgrounds. The selection was phenomenal. They have amazing Belgian offerings, local offerings, and great American craft bruise from all over the country. Very friendly staff. I cannot think of a better beer bar anywhere.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.84/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went here during the weekend of EBF for lunch. God, I love this place.

We went right at opening, so it was not crowded, and got placed in a window seat. There are 3 visible rooms here, you walk into a small bar area. To the left is a very small room with small tables. To the right, is a larger dining area that we were sat in. Very sunny and inviting place for sure.

There's about 35 well curated and interesting taps here. At our visit, they had tons of Port/Lost Abbey/Hop Concept leftovers from a previous attempt, so I got to indulge in a Track 10- Bat out of Hell and a Mongo. Poured well, and quite delicious. I can tell that even on a non-event day/week, the list is incredibly nice. There's a substantial bottle list as well.

The food is excellent. The frites were some of the best I've ever had, and the various dipping sauces you can get with them were all well made. My fiancee got a short rib grilled cheese sandwich that was delicious. Everything on the menu looked really tasty.

The prices were Boston-typical, and high for me. They weren't extraordinarily bad though, and no worse than any comparable place in Boston.

The service was excellent. The waiter was very helpful with questions, and being there when we needed him. Not sure how the service is at a busy time, but it was fine in the afternoon.

I was just so happy being here- it's one of the best beer bars in the country, for sure.

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Photo of kellyej
5/5  rDev +12.6%

This is by far the best bar I've ever had the pleasure of frequenting. They always have an awesome selection and the waiters/bartenders are very knowledgeable. On my last visit (July 2014), I had Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam Biere, Cantillon Classic Gueuze, and Lost Abbey Red Poppy. The staff comped our appetizer and a beer because they wanted to help us try some of their rarer (and more expensive) offerings. This place is a must for any beer lover's Boston trip. Nearby bars also worth checking out are The Abbey and The Washington Square Tavern.

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Photo of PaperBackWriter
2.5/5  rDev -43.7%

I visited this bar in Boston because I saw such high reviews on beer advocate. I was fairly excited when I walked up to the front door and saw the Heady Topper sign, but I was let down when I noticed it actually wasn't available on draft; no big deal.
I went to The Publick House with my roommate; we're both from New Hampshire. He recently got a new ID and it was a paper temporary ID. The bartender said they couldn't accept it. However, the manager, standing directly behind him, said it was acceptable. Instead of the bartender saying "Oh great, we can serve you gentlemen," he stood there and argued with his manager about the ID's acceptance. He said "Oh, I have never, ever, been able to accept these before. Why can I know?" It's like he was upset that he was able to serve us. Suffice it to say, his attitude really put us off.
On a separate note, the draft menu was basically 1/2 Allagash. Not that they are bad brewer but I was looking for a bit more variety.
After staying for maybe 30 minutes, we went to Sunset Grill and Tap and Allston. We made the right choice when we left.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.35/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

I stopped in here for the first time this past Saturday, my wife treated me for our anniversary, she rocks! Stoneish facade outside wooden tables with church pews at many locations inside. Bar prominently to the front left as you walk in with a vast open seating area at two levels. Quite busy considering how early we were eating but we were promptly seated and watered. Draft list somewhere around 40 deep with a nice bottle list albeit a bit pricy. 58 dollars for a bottle of Cascade Kriek for example. I settled into a late afternoon of trillium beers and was not disappointed. We had frites to start and they were quite good as were the dipping sauces, although oddly most of the fries were cut really short, were talking 1 to 2 inches long at most. I had mac and cheese and my wife had a chicken sandwich and we were both very pleased with our meals. Service was quite good I never felt thirsty or neglected. Pricing seemed about what I expect in the Boston area which means a bit more than at home. Great experience, If I were in the area there is no doubt I would would stop in here again.

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Photo of kjlcm
4.11/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

We went over after visiting Trillium and realized Trillium was brewing an IPA for them. Went on a mid summer Saturday night and it was pretty mellow. We were expecting a wait but it was half full (a good thing for us!). The beer list was very good with a strong Belgium and Belgium type (I.e. Allagash) contingency going. The waitress we had was very knowledgeable and did not exhibit any of the attitude others commented on. All in all we really liked it and will return the next time we are able.

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Photo of pieface22
3.61/5  rDev -18.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 2.75

Too expensive. Give me a break. $7.5 for a pint. So if it's rare brew or non-domestic stuff, sure I get the pricing. Domestic stuff like Oskar Blues and Dogfish at those prices is ridiculous. The food is nothing special either. $2 for a slice of cheese on your $12 burger???

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Photo of stbroome
2.64/5  rDev -40.5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5

So my friends and I stopped here after a bar-jumping experience last weekend in Boston. Let's set the stage... All three of us are experienced beercationers who travel and pursue beer to the extreme. 2 from Baltimore and me from Mpls, so you know we know good beer and service.

This place did not have good service. I noticed the Heady Topper sign out front, bolted into the wall. So, you can imagine my surprise when I was met with denial when I asked for one. When mentioned the sign, the waitress told me they have a Guinness sign too, but didn't carry that beer. The problem was, she was so condiscending and rude that it put me off. We ordered 2 beers from the beer menu, and the waitress looked at the chalkboard and said they didn't have it. But when I pointed out that it was on the actual menu, she backtracked and attempted to spin it that either the menu or the chalkboard was wrong.

Problem is, I am the customer and how am I to know which one was correct. I have experienced rudeness at Chicago's Map Room, to the point I will never, ever go back to this pretentious and elitiest bar and The Publick House is absolutely no difference.

Boston has enough great beer bars, this one, along with it's shitty service, can easily be forgotten.

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Photo of bruindre
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Probably the worst thing about this place is it's that damn cool.

Great selection of Belgians and others - on tap and bottle. Constantly rotating different beers on tap. Food is AWESOME.

Because of the (well deserved) hype of this place, it tends to get crowded - at times a bit annoyingly so. That being said, there are opportunities to get in at less-than-busy times (weekend days).

Being a nerd, I love when bars post/update their tap lists. Publick House has had issues with its website for a while - updated tap lists can be found via Twitter (although I'm not sure if they're constantly on top of updating it).

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

The Publick House in Brookline MA is an heavenly oasis of great beer, great food, and great folks in a wonderful setting, on Beacon street just west of Washington Circle. It's not necessarily the best pub in the world, but it will do until something better comes along!! One top of the great beer selection, they are on the go-to list of pubs that get kegs of new releases. Today I had a Founders Mango Magnifico, and as I truly love beers like this (high abv, fruity, and Habanero spicy!), I had an ethereal experience at the pub during my bike ride home from work. Throw in an Allagash Fluxus porter and a Westmalle Dubbel and I'm set for the rest of my ride home! I love the Publick House and only wish I could go there more frequently.

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Photo of risa83
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

I'm lucky to have live close to this amazing place. I have been going here for years and love everything about it! The service is amazing and they even offer samples if you're trying to make a choice and they are always willing to give some great choices. If you want to eat and get a table then go early or just wait at the bar. The people are friendly and the Mac & Cheese is yummy. This is my go to place after a long day at work.

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Photo of rjp217
4.89/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Absolutely my favorite bar/eatery in the Boston area. You get an absolutely amazing selection at this place, rare beers you won't typically find in this area. I went the other night and on draft they have several offerings from The Bruery, Three Floyd's Angel Dust, and Founders Doom. You're just not going to find this stuff anywhere else in New England. Their bottle selection is amazing as well. These guys do it right at the Publick House.

It can get jammed on a Friday or Saturday night so you'll have to get their early to land a table but it's a fairly large place. The food is awesome. I had the Steak Frites and for $21 you won't find a better steak in the area.

Although the overall draft, bottle, and food menu is a tad pricey, you get what you pay for and that's great quality. If i were to recommend any BA person to a spot in the Boston area, this would be it, well done!

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Photo of HerdNo1
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Well, you do get what you pay for. If you want world class beers, especially in a major city, you're not going to get it at $4 a pint. Considering that I recently spent about six buck for a bottle of St. Bernardus abt 12, I don't feel terribly bad about spend $10 for a big frothy chalice of the stuff on tap. And oh what taps.

If what you want is a bar with 175 taps, most of it standard stuff, this isn't it. Instead, they have opted for quality brews and fewer taps. That's not to say the selection is insufficient. They have about 20 or so beers on tap and another 20 or so in bottles. The difference is that all of the beers are top of the line. I had The Bruery Mischief, a Celebrator Dopplebock, and an abt 12. Accompanying those was a chicken sandwich with avacado and bacon. I still dropped less than 50 bucks with tip so that wasn't too bad.

Great place to have an excellent beer or three.

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Photo of GiantCogs
3.95/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I feel very fortunate to have this restaurant down the street from my apartment. I feel like a lot of beer pubs try and try, but this is the gold standard. Almost the gold the standard.

The food is delicious. I usually get the meatloaf or the fish and chips because is my usual go to. Cheese platter is worth it.

The beer selection is why the place is famous. I always ask for what's new and different, cause I'm not rolling into this place to drink Duvel. Nah, man. I want your freaky deeky stuff. I exclusively order from the belgian and german menues, but they represent with good selection of american brews too. But that's not why you're coming here.

My warning (instead of criticism), it's on the pricey side. You get what you pay for.

My criticism is the service. I have twice been forgotten, left waiting in plain sight. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, shucks, the beer is too good.

I don't even know why I posted this review. I feel dirty. Nothing is worse then yelp reviewers. Nit picky, whiney, little jerks. I look forward to your reviews of the different quadrants and corners of hell. Have I become one of them? I need to shower.

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Photo of shigg85
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Outstanding, outstanding bar for both food and drinks. The mac & cheese and the frites are beyond delicious -- out of the galaxy good! The drinks are always amazing with a wonderful Belgian selection, always stocked with Allagash on tap, and a few other options including some good ciders for your non-beering friends. Big bottle selection, too, with some rarities on there if you're willing to pay for it. Pretty convenient parking with meters outside although they are always full (and you can occasionally snag some free street parking). One of the best bars i've ever been to (minus the often crazy-crowded and loud conditions -- get there by 5pm for any decent chance at getting a seat!)

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Photo of PatriotsRule
3.23/5  rDev -27.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Pretty nice looking establishment, and I was excited to hear how highly reviewed The Publick House is. With two friends on a Saturday night, we were able to get a table in a dimly lit back section of the dining area relatively quickly. The bars looked beautiful, and a pretty waitress gave us menus and let us know that the nitro taps were out of order early on in the meal. We perused the beer menus and food menus, and there is quite an extensive Belgian beer selection. My only qualm with the beers available are the lacking local craft brews, but Pretty Things was represented and a Berkshire was on the menu. Service was okay. Our waitress seemed to be struggling with juggling tables, and checked sparsely up on us. Another waiter delivered us our beers, decently poured in nice glassware, but he had a sour attitude. My good friend and love of my life found him to be extremely rude. The bar was not too loud, and I do like the lack of television screens in the diner section we sat down in. Food took its time in coming, although my Ommegang Hennepin Saison entertained me in the mean time... I ordered a chicken sandwich, with avocado and bacon and lettuce. It was good. Fish and chips were alright as well. The food was all quite expensive, and I know the beers are rare in many cases here, but they too ran quite a bill. Ended up getting an eight dollar brew. I was not crazy disappointed here, but my beautiful lady friend was appalled with the service. This being said, since it is so convenient in the haht of the brook, I will probably give it anotha try.

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Photo of weonfire
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I lived in Cleveland Circle and made the half mile walk many many times. If you like beer, amazing beer - you have found your haven. Wide selection of Belgians. Servers are very knowledgable. I always appreciate matching beers with exact glasses. They are money. Food is excellent and fair priced- as far as Boston standards I would even say it is underpriced. Beer may be a bit expensive - but if you think you're gonna find standard beers here, no need to stop in...the quality is WELL worth every penny. One of the top places to go in all of Boston. FACT.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

simply put, phenomenal beer bar - easily among the region's royalty when it comes to beer locales - especially if you're into belgians as the selection is heavy into belgian / belgian-styled beers, trappistes through belgian blondes and saisons. and while the belgian angle is up my alley they also have a wide range of american craft - imperial stouts; IPAs/DIPAs; porters; brown, scottish and pale ales, etc., etc.; both on the well-appointed bottle list and from their rotating tap offerings. there are a few from the local scene and a couple obligatory (actually called on their menu) lawnmower beers. a relaxed, chill vibe makes for a nice atmosphere.

last night had a malheur 12, uthel samaranth, and rochefort 10 (bottles), all served in appropriate glassware. a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for; this is, after all, top shelf beer we're talking about. our bartender was friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive. (disclaimer: can't speak much for the food as i've only ever only noshed on fries, which do have a really tastey dipping sauce.) bottom line: publick house is a definite must-try for any craft beer fan; for out-of-towners/tourists, it's worth the short trip from downtown boston (i'd recommend jumping on the green line/C line - washington sq T stop).

original review on: 07-19-2010

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Photo of brureview
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Yes- this is one of the best places to drink craft beer in Boston. It has an extensive beer list with great selection: Belgians, tripels, quads, et al.

The staff is very informative- they know beer, and it's interesting to compare notes about what they think of different beers on the menu.

I only ate an appetizer, which was cut fries with excellent side sauces.

The vibe was good- but the Publick house doesn't have the funk factor of bars in Somerville and Cambridge.

The beer selection rules: this is one of best places in the Boston area for craft beer drinkers.

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Photo of Bonzopookie
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Ahhhh...the Publick House. Along with Sunset Grill & Tap, this place ranks as my favorite "go-to-beer-drinking" destination in Boston. The only negative thing I could possibly say about this place, is that it is not close enough to my Arlington neighborhood (but then again, what beer establishment is?). That is probably a good thing though, as I would be in some serious debt, if I was able to walk to the Publick House!

Their selection of Belgian beers is quite impressive, and they always have a rotating tap line. As a huge fan of Belgian Quads and strong ales, I never am disappointed with my options at the Publick House. I can always opt for my stand-by's too: St Bernardus, Rochefort, Malheur, or d’Achouffe. The staff pays attention to every aspect of detail, including serving in the proper glassware, etc. Yes, the place can get quite crowded at times. But some things are well worth the wait.

Aside from the beer, I must also mention that the Publick House offers rather good pub fare. Honestly though, I always get the same thing. For first timers, I recommend trying the hand-cut fries. The fries are served in a huge paper cone that sits in the center of the table, and you can choose from a variety of home-made dipping sauces. they are awesome! I am also a huge fan of the mac-n-cheese. Comfort food I know, but the andouille sausage/caramelized onion mac-n-cheese always hits the spot for me. The Publick House also offers other traditional New England pub fare (steak tips, fish n' chips, etc), and serves up cheese plates too. I don't think one could go wrong from ordering anything on the menu.

Finally, next door to the bar is the "Monk's Cell". A beer store selling a variety of Belgian styled beers. Honestly, I have never been inside the Monk's Cell, because I can pick up Belgian beers a lot closer to where I live, rather than attempting to transport a bunch of bottles on the T. Especially after eating and drinking in the Publick House.

Whenever coming to Boston, it is certainly a "must do", for any beer fan. you must experience this awesome Belgian Beer bar!

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Photo of bostonbluenose
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Seriously excellent beer selection, one of the best in the Boston area. They are always rotating their selection. Many of the beers I've had on draft have under 4 or 5 reviews (via tap) on this site. In other words, they have things on tap that a lot of places don't.

Food is a bit pricey and pretty average.

I wish there was a bit more seating in the bar area as it can get pretty crowded starting on Thursday.

Bartender we had we actually quite helpful with other customers when describing the beer. A lot of times you'll hear bartenders say very generic things in response to questions about a beer, but he clearly knew his stuff.

Overall, this is a must drink establishment!

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Publick House is the place to go in Boston if you want beer that you're generally unable to find in liquor stores. They have a mouth-watering selection of imported beers as well as domestic micro-brews. Last time I went I had Catherine the Great along with a burger and some pomme frites (the beer mustard is AMAZING). It is pretty expensive especially if you're planning on making a night of it. However, if you have the money it's a great place to go and try new and exciting beers, many of which are on tap.

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Photo of stevecooks
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I love the Publick House. I would like a home bar that resembles the Monk's Cell.

I lived and worke in the neighborhood of this place and find that since I moved to the left coast, I compare every beer bar to them. Though my education in beer goes back decades, I have gained so much beer minutia from the Publick House and its top-notch crew.

Not only do they have a comprehensive beer selection and knowledgeable staff, they have a spectacular food menu. My tip: try the frites, the mussels, mac & cheese. These are staples of the menu and they have been for years. I've still never had a better mac & cheese in the Boston area.

They have a menu that changes seasonally as well as specials. My most recent visit, I had the pork confit fried in panko breadcrumbs.
So. Damn. Good.

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Photo of seanwhite
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have been to The Publick House and American Craft at least a dozen times since moving to Brookline and I absolutely love it (and not only because I love beer and I can walk to it).

The beer list is top notch and includes the best Belgium has to offer, as well as a number of rare and special American craft brews. The restaurant has great decor - it's like the common room in a small European watering hole. Before I even ate anything, I could see why this place is so popular. It's a really relaxed and cool place to hang out, and we hang out for quite each time we go.

The menu is not huge (certainly not as large as the beer menu), but there is a good amount of variety. Lots of traditional pub foods have a slight spin to them, upping their quality. I can't wait to go back and try some more!

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The Publick House in Brookline, MA
98 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.