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The Publick House

Not Rated.
The Publick HouseThe Publick House

318 Ratings
Ratings: 318
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 

Place added by: doerickson

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Ratings: 318 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheAnk
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of Aisha
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of jwps214
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of mmurphy
5/5  rDev +12.6%

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.

Photo of etmur007
5/5  rDev +12.6%

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.

Photo of slainte35
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of cshafer7
5/5  rDev +12.6%

The best craft beer bar in Boston. Convienently in my neighborhood.

Might sound bias, but I'm glad I live in Brookline.

Photo of BakeTheCake
5/5  rDev +12.6%

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

My wife and I had a little trouble finding Anam Cara. We tried our best to keep our eyes peeled as we fought traffic but realized we overshot it as we noticed the building numbers decrease. So, we turned around and parked in a spot we thought was close by. As we walked up the sidewalk looking at the building numbers in all the windows I looked up at just the right moment and there it was. A Chimay sign affixed to the side of the facade. I knew that had to be it.

As we entered the building, I noticed heavily worn wood floors, stone features, and an overall gothic church like feel. We sat at a table by the window and I immediately grabbed the beer menu. I had to ask the waiter to give me some time with a selection like that. He smiled and walked away. Upon his return, I ordered a Stone Old Guardian on tap. The beer was served very quickly in a clean, 10 oz. wine glass. As I enjoyed the beer I looked around at the surroundings and the people gathered and realized that I was surrounded by beer advocates. I have yet to get that feeling anywhere before, even at my local "beer" establishments in PA. What a wonderful feeling of unspoken cameraderie. I kept glancing at the young guy sitting in the bar area at a table with who appeared to be his Dad and could see that he was thoroughly enjoying every sip of his beer. Every other table was adorned with glasses of beer with thick heads and lacing down the sides. Heaven on earth as far as I'm concerned.

The food was outstanding. I had wings and a cheessteak while my wife had chile and battered shrimp. The wings tasted a bit more barbecue like than I am used to but very good indeed. The cheesteak was about as upscale as I think a cheesesteak could be. Real cheddar cheese, quality meat, and bell peppers on a toasted roll. My wife's chile was gourmet and the shrimp was the best she had ever eaten. That's saying a lot since my wife has certainly had her fair share of battered shrimp.

Upon departure, I asked the waiter if I could take the tap menu with me. He said, "Go ahead, it's only a piece of paper." What he doesn't realize, is that piece of paper will be framed and hung on the wall in my brew room to bring back great memories of a wonderful evening.

Anam Cara, you have a friend in PA. Keep spreading the gospel of great beer.

Photo of bpfrush
5/5  rDev +12.6%

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

This place has it all. Great food, service and a wonderful selection of high quality brews. Love the T-shirt ... "Don't drink crap beer" ... which I now own. While at the bar getting the shirt I got to meet Dave the owner. He is a terrific guy with a vast knowledge of beers and a love for what he does.

I've been here four or five times (and will continue to go). Every visit was a great experience. When there at slower times, it's relaxed. When packed you gotta work to get what you want, but hey, popularity has it's price and it is totally manageable.

My #1 bar in Massachusetts and maybe the US ... would have to try Brick Store Pub a couple more times in Atlanta as they may be a close #2.

Photo of CATVDK
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of jjnee3
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of lwbyrne
5/5  rDev +12.6%

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


Still the perfect beer bar. Every time that I go I have a great time, have incredible beer, have incredible food, and leave happy and full.

While there are some other locations in Boston that are all-of-a-sudden becoming hip with BAs, I just do not think any of them touch this. Sure they might be a buck cheaper than TPH, but they do not have the quality you will find here. The bottom line for me is that when I try a new beer at this place, I know what it is supposed to taste like. When I try it at one of the other places in Boston, I am left wondering (didn't taste too fresh...tasted soapy...I taste the previous beer in the line...crappy glassware...etc.) This place gives beer the ultimate respect.

Review: 7.2004
This is the best place to eat and/or drink in the Boston area as far as I am concerned.

Atmosphere is great, nice wood interior is very relaxing, flowers line the exterior. Decent music played at just the right volume, live music sometimes. Red Sox on the beautiful projection screen every game. My only complaint is that the clientele is a little more pretentious than I like, but hey it is Brookline, so what do you expect?

The treatment of beer is perfect - right glass, always in tip-top shape. Beer memorbilia fills the walls and suggested beer pairings on the fancy menus gives beer the ultimate appreciation.

Service has always been great, very friendly and not overbearing.

Selection of beer is at about 24 taps and maybe 200 bottles. Changes just enough so that there are always a few I haven't tried.

The food is very nice (R.I.P. the pickle and the beans), and at a pretty reasonable price. The chef there invents some crazy plates that always are great. The food/beer at a beer dinner that I went to here ranks as my favorite meal ever.

I just cannot imagine a more perfect place.

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

Today was my first (hopfully not even close to my last) visit here. I have mucho praise of this establishment. All which it justly deserves. I was one of a large group on a pub crawl that started here. The bartender made sure that every one was served their beer in the proper glass and any beer poured from a bottle was done so with great care and respect for the beer. I did not hear a single grumble from anyone that ordered food. From soup to burgers etc all I heard was sounds of pleasure. I had a onion&ham soup that was fantastic. I am glad that this is not close to my home as I would soon be in divorce court for spending all my free time here.
My wife is a non drinker and does not fully understand my new hobby.
was in the area stopped in for a meal. Monks Meatloaf wow. Had some Pomme Frites with Gogonzola mayo and Chipotle mayo .. A superior place all the way around!
edited 4-3-08

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

Anyone who has been to The Publick House knows that it can be crazy busy, loud and hard to get a table or a seat at the bar for that matter. However, with about 40 more seats and a host, a night at The Publick House or Monk's Cell should be more than enjoyable.

The Monk's Cell what can I say...I feel like I'm actually in Belgium. This addition to The Publick House is gorgeous, not pretentious or stuffy; even though it's all new it has a feel of a rustic Belgian Cafe.

The Monk's Cell has dimly lit sconces, which makes the candle lined bar and chair rail (in small Chimay glasses) around the tables stand out, making everything feel intimate. The vibe is a bit more mellow than that of The Publick House. The Cell's walls are donning Trappist hand painted art works and signs only. The seating around the one large table (seats maybe 6 to eight people) is a wooden booth with Gouden Carolus end crates inlaid into the bench (very cool idea).

The bar area is amazing, the bar itself is made of antique brick with what I believe is a mahogany top. The brick is lit by a light from under the bar that allows you to see the brick's rustic surface along its whole length.

In the bars middle are the towers. Six individual, Italian handmade, green marble, works of art! The towers have European faucets that allows for perfect pouring of Belgian brews. One tower is a dedicated CO2 line and one tower that can alternate as needed. Making some impossible to pour beers (on most draft systems), pour-able. The beers on tap rotate but they are always Belgian.

Above the bar is a hanging wooden box; on the front are chalkboards with current and up and coming offerings with abv. and pricing. Under said box is hanging glassware that spans the length of the bar. For those of you familiar with The Publick House... that's right, more/new proper glassware.

The bar back is filled with bottles and yes even more glassware, and two coolers that are filled with Belgian offering only. But don't fret those of you who would wish to have a beer not being from Belgium, you can have anything that is offered at The Publick House in the Monk's Cell, and vies-a-versa.

The one draw back The Monk's Cell has is that they are closed on Mondays.

The Monk's Cell is a must for all BA's. The dedication to beer and its proper enjoyment has been personified in this addition to The Publick House. Cheers to all that made it happen.

The Publick House atmosphere; tin takers, rare framed posters, and lighted signs fill the walls. Music is the proper volume. Beer selections are posted on chalkboards, here (domestic) there (import) along with abv., pricing, upcoming beers and events.

The knowledgeable staff makes choosing from twenty-seven (thirty-three with The Monk's Cell) draft selections (check out the Allagash tower for the occasional rare offerings), and a hundred plus bottles easier. Even with draft beer changes on a regular basis, staff is kept well informed on the new beers.

Food menu (about 70% is prepared with beer) has a variety of options from cheese boards, to burgers, seafood (try the mussels) and traditional Belgian offerings. Simply put, the food here is top notch. The servers will have no problem helping you to pair a beer with whatever you order, if you ask.

So if you can't find a beer you like, great food, an amazing atmosphere? Check out The Publick House / Monk's Cell I'm sure you'll find all the above.

This place rocks!

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

Visited on four or five occasions over the past three years.

Large sign beckons from outside, once you step across a rather standard, old-school, stripmall-type, threshold you'll be transported. The atmosphere that's been created inside is way beyond expectations. I would bring anyone here (Mom, Dad, boss, etc.). Monk's cell is a great addition. More bar/table space and an extra restroom is good. The connection between the two was well thought out as well. Eliminating the corner where the crowd tended to eddy was a good idea.

Beer selection is one of the best I've seen. Belgian styles obviously predominate. On each visit (except for HHTD) I've had to ask for advice on beer selection (there were so many choices I was not familiar with). All suggestions and descriptions provided by the staff were on point. No fruit behind the bar = no slicing = more pouring and a little more time for discussion.

Food is absolutely top notch. Chef Jim's menu complements the beer and vice versa. For HHTD, he certainly brings the heat, but in creative, unexpected packages. For less hop-laden occasions, the choices are versatile and incredibly fresh. Obviously, at least as much attention is paid to menu design and procurement of the associated ingredients as is paid to the beer selection. Best Frites I've had in a long time, very cool presentation.

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

i like anam cara. sort of a big moan and dove with food. and no peanut shells on the floor.

crazy beer list. i mean a 4 page beer menu with the 4th page being the draft list of about 20 beers. i was disapointed when i found out storm king had kicked but then this bruttal bitter was on that was so fresh i thought i was in newport! cantillion iris was some bleepin tasty and whatever that baby poo stuff sakaroo says a good deal about the bottle list.

spile driver dave took great care of us with helpful, skilful yet laid back service and great food. the food wasn't cheap but was real good and portions were fair, at the least.

you gotta go.

update: moved a few scores up after the hophead throwdown. can't get over the effort anam cara puts into a complete beer drinking and dining experience. i like anam cara.

EDIT: 4/25/5 it has come to benny's attention, due to the ignorance of the general public that anam cara is not an irish bar (in the traditional sense), has done gone and changed their name to "the publick house." benny is generally opposed to this change, in spite of the rational sense that is seems to make.

that being said, i hope it serves them well.

EDIT 7/22/05 benny still prefer's the old name but the place hasn't changed. if anything the place is better. i have upped the selection score as i have seen the lengths dave, the former spiledriver come liefman (another name change i am opposed to be at least i understand why) goes to get the finest beers available. also, the service seemed more attentive even with the number of people they had. dig me some anam... publick house.

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 Stoneman78
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is a bit delayed from my visit in March, but WOW!

The Publick House was an amazing beer and food experience, definitely the highlight of my Boston trip. The atmosphere was a hipster, popular beerpub that was a fair cab ride from Downtown. The quality of the beer and food was unbelievable. Our party of four sampled numerous belgian and special release beers, and passed around our delicious appetizers and entrees (mac & cheese was a huge hit). Our waiter was unbelievable with suggestions and hospitality throughout the night. They had one of the best beer selections I have seen, with almost every genre well represented. I absolutely cannot wait until a return visit, well worth the time and money!!!

Photo of EPICAC
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I've been to The Publick House three times now. The long trip out is what keeps me from going more often.

Atmosphere: Granted, I haven't been on the weekends. It's typically pretty relaxed. It's a little crowded sometimes, but not overly so.

Quality: All of the beer is served in proper glassware, and in top condition. They really pay a lot of attention to quality and it shows.

Selection: The selection is a double-edged sword. There's a nice rotating draft selection, and a huge list of bottles. I could spend an hour just decidng on which beer to get. I also like the focus on Belgian beer.

Food: The food is great. There are several cheese boards to choose from as well as a nice variety of beer based entress.

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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The Publick House in Brookline, MA
98 out of 100 based on 318 ratings.