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The Publick House

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

320 Ratings
Ratings: 320
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: n/a
Taps: 36
Bottles: 100
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: doerickson

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 320 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wyllder
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Ok,

First time at the Anam Cara for me during the hophead throwdown.

Atmosphere is excellent. Vaulted ceilings, lots of tables, and a nice projection screen for all the Red Sox vs. Yankee gang fights you can wish for!

Quality is top-notch, right up there with my own favorite watering hole in Western MA: The Moan and Dove. You've got an extensive tap-list, topping 20 taps and usually a cask or two to keep them company. Selection includes (almost) everything you could wish for: Stone, Victory, Ommegang, Sierra Nevada, etc..

Maybe it was a side effect of the HopHead throwdown but the service was only average. Our server didn't seem to know terribly much about the hop-bears on tap. This isn't what draws my lower rating here but rather the number of times people at my table were looking to get fresh beer, food, etc and our server was either not visible or busy chatting up someone who was obviously her boyfriend. Top that off with included gratuity and, from my critical self, an average rating is generous.

Food for the day was spicy, spicy and spicy. That said, it was pretty good all around pub-food.

Definitely will be visiting here again if I should find myself out in the Boston area.

Wyll-

Photo of bewley
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Anam Cara (as stated many times before this) has an extensive bottled beer list along with many "hard to find" beers on tap. Quite impressive. That being said, the day we went (a Sunday) they were out of at least two of the bottled beers listed (no big deal) and at least three of the beers on tap listed on the chalkboard (big deal). The big deal is that the staff should update the board after a busy weekend to reflect current offerings. No one wants to ask for three beers on a chalkboard and hear, "Sorry we're out of that one."

Nice place overall. Service was attentive.

Photo of RocketWidget
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

What else is there to say that hasn’t already been said? If you are in the Boston/Brookline/Newton area, you won’t find a beer bar with even remotely the quality of the Anam Cara Publick House.

The bar is quite visible with big Gaelic style lettering on the front, and a few tables outside. Walking in, you will find the medium sized pub covered with beer paraphernalia. And I don’t mean just any beer. There is a policy of no crap beer here, and that applies to the decorations as well. Only Victory, Stone, and Magic Hat will do. A quarter of the pub is bars and the rest tables, with a big projection TV for Red Sox games. When I went on a weeknight, it was fairly crowded, but I was still able to get a table without a delay.

On tap you will find 20-25 brews, and in bottles? Well, you better sit down. There are between 150-200 different bottles of beer served here. That’s right. Separated into imports and local, and then by style, you will find everything from lambics to saisons to IPAs to pilsners, and most things in between, with a description of most beer available if not on the menu, than from the waitstaff. Prices are listed on the menu, and go from $4.50 to $12-$13 for the expensive imports.

The menu offers good food, but not out of this world good from what I’ve had on my first visit. Still, there are beer recommendations for every dish, and even if I don’t always agree with them (I think because they match things from the tap, rather than reaching out to the bottle menu), it’s still refreshing and uplifting to go to a bar that actually does this. Prices for the food are quite reasonable.

In conclusion, go to this bar and don’t delay. Going here supports better beer and beer advocacy.

Photo of mzwolinski
4.86/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This was my one beer stop on a day trip to Boston, and it did not disappoint. Some friends and I showed up at around 10:00 on a Tuesday evening. Cool tunes on the jukebox -- Radiohead, followed by some Modest Mouse and Postal Service -- along with a smart-looking crowd, and intriguing, (partially)candlelit decor. My hopes were high!

The kitchen was closed, alas, so I had to skip that aspect of the experience.

Nevertheless, the beer menu offered quite enough choices to satisfy. Lots of Belgian and Belgian-style ales in bottles, and a fair sampling of microbrews -- though, oddly enough, there seemed to be more West-Coast brews than New England regionals. I ordered a Cantillion Gueze, but was disappointed to find they were fresh out. Likwise with the second beer I ordered. Normally, this would be pretty annoying, but Anam Cara's menu was large enough to keep my interest piqued. I ended up finding another gueze, followed by a strong Belgian dark ale.

Prices were about $7-8 a bottle for the obscure stuff, less for some of the domestics. The bartender was awesome. He apologized profusely for not having the beers I wanted, and was quite knowledgeable regarding the selection. Every beer was served at its proper temperature, and in the proper glassware. Couldn't help feeling sorry for the few representatives of the hoi polloi sipping Coors Light from the bottle. Such famine in the midst of bounty! Ah well, more for me and my mates, I suppose!

This is definitely a spot not-to-be-missed.

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This bar is probably my favorite place to go in boston. The atmosphere is great, as long as their isn't a sox game going on (simply because it gets a lil too crowded depended on who the sox are playing). As for service the bartenders definetly know a hell of a lot more than most of the waitstaff, so I usually make it a point to sit at the bar. I feel free to ask them any questions I may have about a beer style or certain brew and they always have excellent answers. As for selection, I haven't been to a place that had a better one, except for possibly the Wildeman in Amsterdam. Good selections from all different styles and their draft list is amazing and gets turned over quite quickly. As for the food, its pretty solid depending on what you get, and their daily specials are usually excellent.

Photo of sparkydoyle
4.13/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited 5/31/04 for the first time. I was hoping to stop in for lunch, but alas, they open at 5:00 pm. Pub was nicely decorated with small tables and some den-like chairs and low tables in a side room. The sox were playing on the big screen as we ordered or beers and food.

Beer menu is excellent. Bar appeared to have 24 taps and a comprehensive selection of bottles. Tap space seemed to be split evenly between North American beers and imports, with both coasts represented (Stone Ruination IPA, Rogue Brutal Bitter and Bear Republic Racer 5 alongside Smuttynose and Harpoon to name a few).

Beers were fresh and well served in proper glassware. The bar appears to be really good at handling their beer in terms of freshness. Food was good. Our server knew beer, and made excellent recommendations.

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

How long has this place been here? The beat-up furniture makes it look like forever. It's also nice and comfy, inviting you to grab a table and hang out for a while. Maybe you can even score an armchair on the lower level.

A lot of unusual and fine local beers on the taps. If you like belgians and weisses this is your place. Everything's served at the right temperature in the right glass. I can't wait for the hand pump to show up!

Don't bother with pub food. Fish and chips or burgers are okay, but the fries are overdone. Go for the ambitious stuff, like the brie en croute, served with a cranberry pecan relish that's to die for. Or the penne with scallops. Or the duck confit. mmmm.

Photo of Billolick
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is a true Beer hunter's destination. Heard a lot about it, read a few reviews, finally got to make a visit, Friday night. Nice mid sized room, couple of different levels and a nice Gothic leaning small side room. Huge TV projection screen in main room, a few tables out in front on the street. Food looked awesome, but no chance to try it. Place was full, but not crowded. Nice warm, casual athmosphere. Arrogant Bastard and a bunch of other quality choices on tap and in bottle. Appropriate glassware being utilized. Life is good, thank the good lord above for quality, fun spots like this one!

Photo of taez555
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Since my first visit in the summer of 2003 I’ve sort of made Anam Cara my new watering hole. So I thought I should re-review it.

The atmosphere is amazing. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is an Irish Pub. Very homey Old World sort of feel. A small room on two levels with a small L shaped bar on the top with a smaller seating area on the floor below. Old worn wooden tables with wobbly chairs and sometimes stools, sit amongst the fireplaces and gargoyles behind the bar. Brewerania adorns every inch of the walls and at night when they light candles it really perfects the atmosphere. Don’t miss the chill room to the side of the bar with the shrine to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. During the summertime they also have seating outside along the street.

The beer selection is simply outstanding. Two dozen taps and around 100 bottled beers. The selection leans more towards Belgian and American Crafts, but includes all the other flavors of the beer spectrum from simple “lawnmower” beers to German, English and beyond. All the beers are served correctly, in the correct glassware by extremely knowledgeable staff.

What really sets Anam Cara apart though, is how the selection is constantly evolving. They always have beers from local brewpubs like, The Tap, Cambridge brewing company and others on tap, as well as one offs and experimental brews from local brewers like Samuel Adams and Harpoon. They also always seem to have hard to find and rare Belgian beers. It’s as if they have their finger on the pulse of the beer community.

The food selection is also just as top notch. This is not you’re simple pub grub sort of place. Pumpkin Empanadas, Sea Scallops, Mushrooms with Goat cheese, oven baked mac and cheese, homemade meatloaf with red bliss mashed potatoes, etc, etc….. I hate calling it eclectic or even artsy, because it’s not, but it’s something you might expect at a 5 star restaurant not at the local pub. The menu constantly changes with the seasons, and you’ll always find something to please any appetite. I’d eat here even if they didn’t’ have beer.

Also don’t miss the bi-weekly beer and cheese pairings with fromagio kitchen, as well as the special brew dinners they have with brewers from time to time.

Basically Anam Cara is the best place to have a beer in the Boston Area. I always seem to find a beer I’ve never had before and it keeps me coming back for more. You also always seem to run into a fellow BA or two when you’re there. Also, don’t forget to introduce yourself to Dave the owner. He loves having BA’s in his place and is the man responsible for keeping Anam Cara at such an outstanding level. Not to mention he told my fiancée that he got turned on by the fact she can down a double bastard.

Simply put, Anam Cara rules. You’re missing out if you haven’t been here, end of story.

Photo of fdrich29
4.86/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

So I didn't even know Anam Cara existed before BA, I think I had been to the Kokepelli Chili, I think that's what was in that space before the greatest bar in Boston moved in.

I met some fellow BA's there last night for my maiden voyage. Felt warm and comfortable as soon as I walked through the doors. Literally felt like I was in another dimension, maybe another time. I distinctly remember thinking to myself "Oh, so this is what a bar is supposed to look like". Suddenly the thread "If you could create a bar anyway you would like..." had a whole new meaning.

I sat at the bar and ordered an Allagash White, followed by a Hops Infusion and Mad Bitch before we moved over to a table. Over the next few hours we shared bottles of Deus, Kriek De Ranke, Affligen Dubbel and Hanssens Oude Gueuze.

This place is BA heaven if you have not been there. The bartenders were curtious and knowledgable, and even smiled a time or two. Nice comfortable couches and chairs and an overall laid back atmosphere here.

Oddly enough the only mention I saw there about BA (if the atmosphere and quality/selection of beer didn's scream BA) was in the men's room above the urinal. Someone wrote "beeradvocate.com" in pen. Somehow it was fitting.

Definitely a stopping point for all BA's when visiting Boston, although a special trip here to visit AC would be well worth your time.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Well I was in Boston and of course I had to hit up Anam Cara. I was going for dinner and drinks during the Masters Swimming Championships at Harvard. gotta carbo load ;)
So we get to the pub and I am immediately impressed with the decor and setup. A standard sized and laid out bar to the left and a dining area to the right with several small tables and a few booths. Great breweriana everywhere and nice lighting and background music. Plus the UCONN game was on the big screen.
Then I saw the beer list. WOW! what a selection!! Was a little disappointed that the Allagash 4 was gone but still had plenty to choose from. Had a Haverhill Hefe-weizen and a roggenbier from Burgerbrau. Both were tasty and served by our knowledgeable server. Onto the food, not typical pub fare but a good selection of items just a little more unique, like the duck quesadillas I had, very tasty. Was a little bummed that I didnt see more pasta choices (only mac and cheese) hence my 4.5. My companions were very pleased with their fare as well. This establishment has recreated what is a "5" beer bar. I was really diggin the establishment from the time I walked in to even now. I will be sure to visit every time I am in Boston. Definitely the best cna't miss beer location for visitors!

Photo of mschofield
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The only knock is you have to take the Green line to get there.
A sort of old world/Medieval tavern/church atmosphere. Pews for benches, so if you're the religious type go on a Sunday and welcome to the church of beer. Yellow plaster-like walls, lots of dark wood, heavy red drapes separating tables along the window wall. It feels like a sturdy place that has been around for a long time, and a place you'd like to spend a lot of time in.
Around 2 dozen taps and of course more in the bottle. Proper glassware for some, and no problems with quality. It's not the hugest selection, but there is no crap, and the beer is treated and served well. Rogue I2PA, DFH ApriHop, Stone IPA, and Arrogant Bastard made up my night.
The food is great, I think the best way to put it is - the ladies at the table beside us were drinking bottled ciderjack. Obviously they didn't come in for the great beer. I recommend the Creole Meatloaf.
Servers are a bit overworked, and beer service at the tables can get slow, but they know their stuff.

Photo of Truh
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have been an ardent supporter of Anam Cara since its opening, and that stance has not changed with many return visits. And although I would not go so far as to say that this is the best beer bar in New England, or even Massachusetts for that matter, I do not disagree that it ranks right up there.

Without question, beer is the reason I jump on the C Line to get to Washington Square, with Anam Cara as its epicenter. The beer list, both draught and bottle, is exceptional. I had a Corsendonk Brown on draught, while my compatriot Kumar had a Cambridge Trippel Threat. Jim, who would usually accompany us on these sojourns, was not answering his phone. Among some of the other offerings on draught were Arrogant Bastard, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Bigfoot Barleywine, and just far too many more to list. The bottle list, though not as extensive as that you will find at the Sunset Bar and Grill, is quite broad, and in a way, more high-brow than that found at the aforementioned bar. Lots of Belgians and hard-to-find action like the Morimoto Pilsner, of recent Extreme Beer Fest acclaim (connoisseur session). As an aside, there have been whispered rumors of the sensei's liquid gold making secretive appearances at other local (Boston area) establishments. I stuck to the draught lines as many of the bottles I would have gladly consumed were out of my price range. Kumar laid down some bullion for an Aventis Eisbock. Another plus, and one that will always have me come back, is that each beer is served in proper glassware, something that you now see at other places like Bukowski's, but not in enough places.

The food is above reproach as well. I got the pressed green apple and brie sandwich with a side of fries while Kumar devoured a grilled duck quesadilla. The food was excellent, and arrived shortly after we had ordered. I've never gone wrong with the chicken sandwich either. But for me, the food is always secondary to the beer. In the Brookline area, I would choose Anam Cara for its beer, Matt Murphy's for its food. My dollar usually goes to the liquid bread option.

The atmosphere is understated and quiet, at least on a Wednesday evening. The L-shaped bar, with king's chair in the middle, beckons drinkers, while the tables offer groups plenty of space to spread out. I appreciated the fact that they had a stack of the latest Yankee Brew News on hand. There's a television above and to the right of the bar, and a projected screen comes down in the lower dining level for Sox games, not sure of the timing for other events. The service we got this evening was sub-par, maybe average. It took a while for the barkeep to notice we were ready to order food, and then poured floaters from the Eisbock that Kumar quaffed. These are minor gripes, but when stacked up against the rest of the Anam Cara Experience, it was a bit of a let-down.

We recommend, without reservation, the Anam Cara Experience. Have you ever been experienced?

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

THANK YOU Anam Cara Publick House. I had the best experience here. As an out of towner, I jumped off the Green Line 2 blocks too early. I trudged over in February weather and stumbled in the doors - and I immediately knew I was home. First thoughts: cozy, friendly, couches, tables, booths, fireplace. There was an obvious beer agenda going on.

Most importantly is the beer selection - which was outstanding. The beer menu was very well organized and thumbs up to whoever named the domestics "lawnmower beers". More impressive than their bottle list was the tap list. My mouth was agape when I discovered Lindemans, Dogfishhead 90-minute IPA, de Ranks xtra bitter...all on tap. I think I counted 12 beers on tap that I had never had! Of course, I couldn't remedy all that in one night.

My burger was pretty solid as far as burgers go. It was really really large! Fries too were good.

A side note, at least when I was there, this place played entire CDs from start to finish - which is to me the best thing you can do. I was so pleased by this. I sat down to the entire Coldplay 'Parachuttes' album, and then ate through Radiohead 'The Bends'. It helps that these are active play items at my house. But the idea of whole albums was great. If music is worth putting on, play everything that the band/group/artist has to say.

This place made my trip!!!!

Photo of Bierman9
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Ate lunch here yesterday (06MAR04) for the first time, with Alewife. Onion and ham soup was top-shelf, and we both quite enjoyed our citrus-basted chicken Sammiches. Service was quite good, as well. Very enjoyable lunch for the both of us. Prosit!!

First time visit (10AUG03), for an AOBF meeting with the Bros and other distinguished BAs.... Really cool looking place, though a bit on the dark side, with a great bar to the left as you enter with plenty of bottles lining the shelves and what looks like gargoyles standing guard over things from on high (a Stone touch, no?). A big, long wooden table is to the right, along with smaller tables further on to the right in a sub-level. Has a fireplace along with some gothic-like arches and plenty of bier and Irish music-related posters. Seemed to be about 25 or so biers on tap, and all were top-shelf. Prices were in the $4-5 range, and you're talking stuff like 60-Min IPA, Prescription Pils, and Arrogant Bastard. An array of 60+ bottles supplemented your choices, and prices were better than most any local place for the quality received. Mr. Dane Bass himself, from (or, formerly from) B. United, was serving up the suds to us. Great place. A gem on Beacon Street! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.5
atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

63

Photo of Indybeer
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

What can I say that hasn't been said about this place! I've been here twice for BA pre festival parties. Each one packed this place to the rafters. Yet it never seem over crowded. Easy to get to on the T green line, with only a short walk. Doesn't look like much outside but once you get in there, this place just screams pub. 20+ beers on tap, and many more in botles. I tried hard to sample as many as I could. If only I lived closer to this wonderful place. The food here is plentiful and very good. This place has become a must stop place on each and every trip I make to Boston.

Photo of slander
4.66/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I don't know what all the hype is about. I thought this place just blew...


(... away everything else I've seen in Boston). Gotcha, didn't I? Man, you're an easy mark. A long exhausting day of an en route beer store in CT and brewpubs in RI and MA finally lands us at Anam Cara. We got off that strange train/trolley thing (I thought we were underground but then suddenly, not) and had to wander for a bit as our resident Brookliner, Phil, "had changed" (to a New Yorker) and had misplaced his bearings. Um,... probably that whole pack of people hanging out out front that place over there, yes??
Yes.
Looks like your run of the mill Irish pub from out front but inside it's a different deal. Dark wood, stained glass, small bar to the left and tables to the right. As you venture further in you'll find a large, large walk in closet of a room holding (maybe) 4 tables. Good for a small party as you could probably get about a dozen and change people in there. There's also a lower formal dining room with what looked like about a dozen tables or so. It's a nicely comfortable room with a fireplace. Nice brewerania throughout and some mad beer posters I wish I could get my mitts on. Sitting with my BA posse, I looked at Moon0 and then the wall just behind him, then Moon0 again, the wall again, Moon0 again, wall again and then declared surprisingly, "The resemblance is uncanny". Moon0 turns to look and finds the De Dolle Oerbier poster directly behind him (the one with that little yellow marshmallowish guy wearing the "Anno 1980" sash, holding a chalice in one hand and some sort of a stick in the other). I did it to Schoolteacher, also. it is an uncanny resemblance. I think they had the Bos Keun poster also. Good score.
The place was jammin', but I got my Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA with great ease. No, not the 60, no, not the (dirty) 120, but the 90, as it should be. Tap list on the wall along the door had 24 taps, mostly good eastern micros, and mostly good seasonals or choice selections from those breweries. Also a half dozen good imports, mostly Belgians, thrown in for good measure (Cantillion Kriek is a very good measure). A very healthy bottle menu, and you could see some others on display just to taunt you, like the shelf with the Magic Hat Nailbiter, Thumbsucker and Chaotic Chemistry bottles, and others littering the shelves behind the bar.
Here's where it gets good. I'm beating the hat out of the Magic Hat reps in the back room for not distributing the Ravell and Feast of Fools into New York, and literally 2 minutes later, Biruchan grabs me and pulls me back to our table where owner Dave, given instruction to go downtstairs to the cellar and bring back "something something" returns with what? Yes, Magic Hat's Feast of Fools. He goes downstairs again and comes up with a pair of Cantillion's, one from '03 and the other from '96. Fine, okay, okay!!! I'll do a Cantillion vertical tasting if it'll make you happy (made us happy).

Photo of pmowen
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Ok. l've been here a number of times in the last 6 months and this review will be an average of those times. First, the place is located in Washington Sq. in the same strip as restaurants, dry cleaners, running stores etc. It's not as charming a local as, say, beacon hill would be but upon entering things change. The place is beautifully thought out and put together, lots of wood and warmth throughout. The beer is definately the complete focus of the place. Tap lines and the impressive collection of glass wear is kept pristene and the beer is never off. For example, I was there the other night they had Dogfish Head 90min IPA on tap. They had to change the keg and all of a sudden it wasn't on tap anymore. The bar tender had one taste, said it was off and that was that. Service is exceptional. The waitstaff is well trained from what I can tell (usually I sit at the bar) and the bar tenders are very knowledgeable. Somehow, when this place gets very busy (weekend nights) the bartenders keep up with absolutely no trouble. It's unbelievable, I've never had to wait for a beer here and the bar staff is veryknowledgeable as well as willing to chat about beer all night. Selection is also good. It's not an overwhelmingly huge selection but still substantial with about 24 beers on tap and a nice selection of belgians and american micros on the menu. No crap to be found at all exept in a small section of the menu called "lawnmower beer" but still the selection is quite good. Food is also good. Mac and chesse with sausage and Duck Quesidillas are my favorites. Burger is also good.

Overall, this place is a Boston treasure and everyone who can should go. I'm quickly becomming a regular.

Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Last night's trip to Anam Cara was one of the more positive pub experiences I have had. It was nice to see a menu with beer pairings someplace other than at a brew pub. I just wish that they paired their food to some of their more regular tap selections. I haven't gotten to the point where I can justify paying bar prices for a bottle that I can pick up at the store a couple blocks away. For those that can, Anam Cara certainly has plenty to offer - especially under the flag of Belgium.

I enjoyed trying a few beers off of their tap list (20+). The list included micros from both near and fair as well as imports Irish, British, and Belgian imports. There was no crap on tap. Each was served in an appropriate glass by a pleasant wait staff with decent drink memory.

Photo of PopeJonPaul
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Definitely one of the top pubs I have been to in a good long while. Was there with all the BAs before Extreme Beer Fest, it was so busy I went back Saturday for a second opinion (surprise, still busy, still a good number of BAs there.) I love the atmosphere (two fireplaces) and the service was good considering the overcrowded circumstances - I would recommend a wait list for tables though, "first grab, first serve" was crazy. Beer selection was fantasic, they ran out of Triple Karmeleit (on tap) and Quelque Chose on Saturday but hey, I got my share and was quite happy at the end of both nights. While the tap list is great, don't make up your mind until you check out the bottle menu (not "list" - "menu.")
The meatloaf w\ creamed spinach was amazing, and the plate was bigger than my head (and I have a huge head.) I was too late for dinner on Saturday but I will easily make the short trek on the T next time I'm in Boston. Skip this place and you'll be sorry.

Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went with my wife for a night without the children. The food is better than average, but not exceptional. Service wise, there seemed to be too many tables for each server. While ours was very pleasant, she didn't seem to be very available. The food was very good, but not exceptional. My ribs were served blackened, with some sweet BBQ laced on top.

I loved the beer selection. Many of the beers are not regularly available in the liquor stores of Boston. I believe that that makes this place special. I love Anam's exceptional selection on the Belgian side with a lot of lambics and trappist ales. I will definitely return, perhaps trying it on night other than Saturday.

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

Went to AC's for the first time yesterday.
Having heard so many great things here,I was expecting someplace great,but still skeptical.
Well,I am skeptical no more!
It was an early Saturday afternoon and the place was quiet,clean,smokefree and oozing great beer atmosphere.
Lots of great brewerania all around and it reminded me of the beer cafes of Belgium.
We sat at the bar,I believe thats where you get a true idea of what a place is about.Close to the beer=close to good people.
It was working for sure,I introduced myself as a fellow BA and Spiledriver inroduced me to another BA at the end of the bar,LiamStLiam.Both great guys and within minutes I felt right at home.
It is crystle clear that the owners/managers care a great deal about great beer and great food.Much respect is evident in the selection,freshness,and serving of world class brews.
Then came the food,it was very good.
We got the citrus chicken sandwich with hot crispy fries,oh yea...
Also got the 1/2 rack of ribs in some of the tastiest bbq sause I've ever had,(besides mine),and the Avocado ceasar salad.-Very fresh,dressed just right and lots of avo and parmesan.
Oh yea,the slaw is awesome that came with the ribs,light,spicey and not swimming in that white swill.
Beers sampled were in perfect condition and in great clean glassware,this is the area in which AC's really shines.
I had a Dogfish Snowblower,90 min IPA(probably the freshest I've ever had it),and an Allagash White.Deb had a Lindemans Framboise,in proper glass.
I could go on and on about this place,but the fact is,if your serious about great beer,this is really the place.
Great beer,food,atmosphere and people.
We were left wondering though,is it possible to snag those seats by the fireplace?That would have been a pretty awesome way to wind down with a Harpoon Barleywine,ohhh yeaaaa...

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

Yet another EBF weekend attendee. This place is a must-hit if you're in Boston. Easy to get to via the T (green line), as it stops a block and a half away. Parking on street and up & down Beacon Street, but no overnights (thanks Brookline...).

Great atmosphere - very warm & comfortable, with a back room for get togethers and plenty of tables for hanging out. Outstanding draught selection, and I've yet to have anything other than a fresh pint or goblet. The bar staff are attentive, efficient, and accomodating - can't ask for more than that. Even when it's packed (and it was on Friday night!) there's still room to converse and have a beer. Possibly the best jukebox selection I've seen in years - everything from the Smiths to Social D to Beth Orton, at a proper volume level. The beers... everything from Cantillon to Cisco to Bear Republic to Stone, at very fair prices for the quality & selection. I did not try the food, but at the rate people were scarfing it down and smiling it's a safe bet that it's pretty damned good. The owner (BA SpileDriver) is a cool guy and has a great bar here - worth the trip in from Albany.

Now if my BIL would just move back to his old apartment a block and a half away...

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I was finally able to visit Anam Cara during the Extreme Beer Festival weekend in January. Sadly, I was battling a cold of epic proportions and only sampled one beer and no food. However, I was still amazingly impressed by this place. The only places I've been to that I can use as a comparison are Richmond's Capital Ale House and Cleveland's Great Lakes Brewery. When I thought about how these two places ranked with Anam Cara, I was most impressed by the service provided by the AC crew. Despite being pretty busy with all of us alcohol-hungry BA's, service was extremely quick. Beers available are served in the appropriate glass and are fresh. Atmosphere is excellent. The perfect place to share a pint of beer with friends or just sit in front of the fireplace and savor a heavy beer on a cold winter's night. Not a big establishment, but I didn't feel cramped by the other people. Great selection of beers available, all clearly marked on the chalkboard by the bar. A neat feature is the "Here" and "There", differentiating the beers as North American and European. A very large variety of beers from all over, and the bottle selection is impressive as well. Add to the fact that this establishment is NON-SMOKING (at least I didn't see any ciggies when I was there) and I'm ready to slap an Anam Cara bumper sticker on my car. Anam Cara is what I hope Capital Ale House can become. Do yourself a favor and make sure you visit this place if you are in Boston. Insanely easy access from the T means you have no excuse to pass up a chance to visit this mecca of a beer bar.

Photo of beerinator
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Anam Cara is one of those bars that makes you feel like you're somewhere else. It has a dark and warming quality that feels like you should be inhaling a ton of smoke in a Dublin pub (they're a non-smoking establishment).

I loved the selection. They had good, diverse options including excellent imports and regional craft beers, as well as a few micros from our western shores. All of the beers I had were excellent. They also had bottles that appeared to be conditioned well, some of the ones ordered were no longer available in most liquor/beer stores.

The service was as good as could have been expected when you cram at least a hundred crazed BA's into a joint. The bartenders appeared to be very knowledgeable, and at least one of them turned out to be a BA.

I didn't get a chance to try the food. But it's on my list of things to do when I travel back to this area.

Go here. Drink beer.

The Publick House in Brookline, MA
98 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.