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The Publick House

Not Rated.
The Publick HouseThe Publick House
BA SCORE
98
world-class

255 Reviews
Reviews: 255
Visits: 335
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: n/a
Taps: 36
Bottles: 100
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1648 Beacon St
Brookline, Massachusetts, 02445-2101
United States
phone: (617) 277-2880

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @thepublickhouse

Notes:
Place added by: doerickson

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 255 | Visits: 335
Photo of risa83
4.41/5  rDev 0%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of rjp217
4.89/5  rDev +10.9%
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! (888 characters)

Photo of HerdNo1
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (902 characters)

Photo of GiantCogs
3.95/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (1,167 characters)

Photo of shigg85
4.71/5  rDev +6.8%
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!) (692 characters)

Photo of PatriotsRule
3.23/5  rDev -26.8%
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. (1,570 characters)

Photo of weonfire
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (558 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
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 (1,310 characters)

Photo of brureview
4.63/5  rDev +5%
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. (573 characters)

Photo of Bonzopookie
4.83/5  rDev +9.5%
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! (2,099 characters)

Photo of bostonbluenose
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
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! (682 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (514 characters)

Photo of stevecooks
5/5  rDev +13.4%
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. (785 characters)

Photo of seanwhite
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
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! (800 characters)

Photo of Neorebel
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A very good friend took me here this past weekend...I was shocked to discover that it had such an amazing atmosphere that was almost on par with the bars in Europe themselves! The lights wee pleasantly dim with candles on the tables, decor similar to that of a castle with stone, wrought iron and stained glass, and plenty of Belgian breweraina. The service was ok, and the music and crowd were cool. Now the beer selection was not huge or competitively priced, but I did have a Founders Breakfast stout on tap and a Rochefort 10 in the proper glass. On the subject of price, with many places like this I consider the atmosphere worth the price hike. I wish I could afford this quality experience every weekend! (711 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Popped in here for a couple beers. It is relatively close to my friend's apartment and an easy trip on the T.

Being a Friday night, the place was (not surprisingly) packed. All the seats were taken, and even most of the standing room, but we found a few spots to stand.

The tap list is extensive and features a nice mix of Belgian beers and American beers, though the Belgian ones are pretty damn expensive. The American ones aren't cheap either, but they're better.

The service wasn't bad, but it was a bit difficult to order at times, even though the bartender saw we were looking to order.

Not a terrible place, but plenty of others are better and less of a headache. (674 characters)

Photo of KDawg
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I came here on a recommendation from a friend while visiting my brother.

First off, the beer selection here is tremendous. It's principle focus is on belgian beer, though they do have a few other styles for those that aren't looking towards belgian styles. The selection was deep and the draft selection was great as well. They even had some hard to find beers on tap as well.

The service was extremely good. Our waitress new her stuff and I was relying on her for some recs as I just didn't know what to drink. So much looked good that I just had her grab something that she'd think was good.

The food was very good as well. The frites were fried in duck fat and they had a variety of mayos to choose from and you can choose from two of them. I also got a pot of mussels and just couldn't finish them no matter how hard I tried (and I tried hard).

If I was in the area, this would be a frequent haunt. The quality of beer on draft is tremendous. It is slightly on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for. The beers aren't cheap, but this isn't for someone that wants bud light or some other beer. You go here because you want some great stuff along with some quality food (1,188 characters)

Photo of FatherHennepin
4.72/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

THE place to drink beer while in greater Boston, but be certain to take a taxi over. In the Publick House have a draft and some food, and get used to the vibe.

Then go to the Monk's Cell and ask for the bottle list. Enjoy. Repeat. Enjoy. Repeat.

While I've had a lot of terrific and even some obscure Belgians, as well as uncommon US beers, I've had just as many well-handled and properly served fine US craft and imports that may not be quite as rare, but are just as pleasureable to drink.

All in all, as good a place to hang out, eat right up there with Monk's Cafe in Phily. (583 characters)

Photo of johnemmert
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Great restaurant. Very good selection of beers. I recently moved from Raleigh, NC where IPAs and Craft Brews are king. So far this is my favorite place to go to find a wider variety of IPAs than just Harpoon IPA (which is awful).

The service was very good. The staff was extremely knowledgeable about the beers (sat at the bar).

The only complaint I could have is that they do not have as much outdoor seating as I would like. The inside gets a bit stuffy but other than that it is a great place.. (500 characters)

Photo of angiesaysgobucks
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been going to this place for several years now and I still love it. There is always a good tap selection and even though they are occasionally out of what I order, the bartenders have always been good about making an alternative suggestion. Be sure to check out the special bottle list in the menu-great way to try some rare or very unique items. Only problem with this though is that those beers tend to be pretty pricey at an already somewhat pricey place (and the prices are getting crazier).

The food menu changes every few months and always has some good go-to items. The mac and cheese is heavenly. I also really like the Frites and Veggie Mezze Plate. Even though it has been years, I would love it if the Pumpkin Ravioli and the Ribs were brought back.

The bartenders are always great at making suggestions or helping you decide. The wait staff can be hit or miss at times, but generally they are pretty friendly. (931 characters)

Photo of mltobin
3.95/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

When I was in Boston, this was on my list of spots that I would like to check out. So, when my friend that I was staying with, said to me on the second night in town : "hey, I was thinking we could grab a couple drinks at this place called the Publick House in Brookline, whaddya say?"; I was happy. Not too surprisingly no outdoor seating was immediately available on a warm summer night, so our party of 3 went inside to a table. The tap selection was quite nice, with Two Gypsies and Sculpin among others on tap. A good bottle selection with many Belgians represented. We had a fairly helpful waitstaff, who did a pretty good job of keeping up with the Saturday rush. Food was pretty good, but should have been better for the prices. But, for the great beer and having a fun time with your crew, this spot does the trick. (824 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.91/5  rDev -34%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

I must say, this place disappointed. After making the trip from Denver (not only for this place, but it was on my list), I wish I never bothered. Got off the Green line and this place was closed until 5pm. Weird. No matter, I went across the street to the Abbey and had a nice meal and beer.

Publick house won't let you sit outside unless you're eating. What a pain! Why? Eff that, man. So, if you go for a beer be prepared to sit inside, which is dark and stinks a bit. And their "specialty" is Belgian beers, and a bit pricey at that.

No shots
No flights
No pitchers
The samples I got came in pint glasses. After two beers I had enough of this place. My server was friendly, but didn't know much about the beers. Oh well. I should've hit Sunset Grill instead of this one. Won't be back even if I lived in Boston area...it's just not worth it (847 characters)

Photo of s1ckboy
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Thought there isn't a huge amount of beers on tap the selection is always high quality. Occasionally you will see a beer they have let age a bit before tapping. The bartenders are very knowledgable of all their beers and everything is served in the appropriate glassware. For bottled beers they always have some hard to get options you don't see at other bars. Also one of my favorite places for food! Great atmosphere, fairly dark(ish) and not overly crowded. Outside seating seating in the summer months is a plus. (516 characters)

Photo of cbeer88
4.78/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I've been to the Publick House more times than I can count - well into double digits. There's not a lot of bad that can be said about it, aside from the crowd. It can get a little ugly at times... with a few too many drunk college kids, and people who occasionally take up tables that make you question what they're doing there (eating salad and drinking diet coke). Kind of sad that a beer bar of this caliber needs a bouncer checking ID's at 7:00 on a Saturday night.

Once you put that aside though, the place is nearly flawless. There's a decent number of tables so the wait is usually not too bad. The decor is awesome - breweriana (mostly Belgian) all over the place.

The beer list is always well thought out - 35 or so good taps, roughly half Belgian style and half non-Belgian. I will say they lean a bit much on the conservative side for my liking when it comes to their Belgian taps - mostly the more popular guys like Delerium, d'Achouffe, Dupont, etc. But there is the occasional Belgian gem, and their domestic tap list always has a couple of interesting rarities. Fairly deep bottle list, particularly with the Belgians, and always a page of "limited" bottles pulled up from the cellar.

Food is consistently good to great. Hearty Belgian food that is reasonably priced and you shouldn't leave hungry. For example, the $9 mussel app is plenty to split amongst two people to get you going, and is a must order every time I go.

Never had a real problem with service, though they do consistently get busy so they aren't always on top of your empty glass.

Definitely one of the Top 5 beer destinations in the Boston area, and a place I'll surely keep going back to over and over. (1,692 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Eatery with a rathskeller feel where college students and young professionals meet to drink great beer and eat decent food.

Stopped by early on a Thursday night with a colleague. Parking was a bit of a challenge. There was already at a 30 minute wait for tables so we sat at the bar. Service was prompt and steady. Never had to ask for another. Selection was very good, maybe 50/50 Belgian style beers to non-Belgian style beers. Atmosphere was comfortable: friendly crowd and staff, dark wood, brass, lots of beer paraphernalia, very European. It was a bit on the loud side with people standing one deep at the bar. Food was good. I had the mussel appetizer. Mussels were excellent, but the broth was a bit bitter and heavy on the anise. Prices seemed in line with the rest of Boston. Worth a return trip. (807 characters)

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