Amherst Brewing Co.
Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
4.08/5 rDev +3.8%
Even before we left Brooklyn, Jess says to me, "I'm going to drop in on my son tonight at his school, take him out to dinner. I dropped him off the other day, he's living in a frat house now. I didn't like the look of the place when I dropped him off. I just want to make sure he's okay. You're coming. You can find one of them brewpubs you like and we'll go there".
A few hours later in Kingston, I ask, "Just where is this kid of yours?"
"I told you, up in Massachussetts, North of Springfield".
"Yeah, I know that, but, where North of Springfield? What school's he at?"
"U Mass at Amherst".
...and I'm thinking Amherst Brewing Co, it's a no brainer. Somehow, Phil and I missed it when we were in the area at Northampton Brewing and Moan & Dove on the "Long was 'round to Ambany" tour in July.
The kid's house is about a mile away on a strip riddled with Greek houses, so we got to Amherst in about 3 minutes, although parking was another story.
Located in a stretch of stores and restaurants on the main drag, the first thing you hit when entering is a small room with wood lined kettles. The bar's straight ahead and the dining room's to the left, where we're seated. A dozen and a half tables, faux marble lowers and tan painted uppers with a Beatles poster, other rock art and brewery prints.
The "J" shaped bar seats 2 dozen or so, wood with a copper top and a half dozen bar tables adjacent, running the perimeter. The room runs brick lowers and painted green uppers, it's a nice room. Mug club mugs hang overhead and the walls are decorated with Belgian beer signs, which are most certainly out of place because they don't serve Rodenbach, or any of these beers for that matter.
I ordered the beer sampler paddle which came with 7 beers (Pils, IPA, ESB, Brown, Impy, Porter, and the Heather Ale, which replaced the PA). The Cascade IPA was medium bodied, hoppy & clean, the Massatucky Brown was sweet & nicely malty, the Puffers Smoked Porter was thickish, dry & smokey, and the 2 Sisters Imperial Stout was winey, strong & inky. Having gone through the sampler, I opted for the cask IPA, very smooth and pleasant. Jess had the Pils and liked it a good deal, his underage Sophmore son settling for a coke. There's a fridge in the bar area with growlers for sale. In addition to the house beers, they carry a few others. On this occasion, the BBC Octo and Coffee Porter, Cisco Whales Tail, Corsendonk Brown and Guinness.
Big surprise, I ordered the Jambalaya. Chicken, sausage & shrimp in a tomato base over rice, not bad, not terrific. Jess had a good burger, the kid had a baaad chicken sandwich. Don't know what made it bad, he just wasn't happy with it.
There's a room upstairs with a big screen TV, a bunch of pool tables, ping pong, foosball, darts and a CD jukebox. Out front, they've got a dozen tables along the street amidst potted plants.
Nice place overall, solid beers and probably makes for a good Amherst One-Two with the Moan & Dove in tow.
10-10-2004 16:28:49 | More by slander
4/5 rDev +1.8%
I think this is place is great, but there are some things that might make my view biased, so let's get that out of the way. First of all, the place often has jazz groups playing in the dining area, and as I'm a jazz musician, that appeals to me. Second, I'm a vegetarian and the menu there really accomodates that, though a lot of other people said the food was bad. Hmmmm. Maybe the meat is bad, I don't know. Maybe it's just personal taste. The beer was pretty solid. They have a rotating selection, with a cask-conditioned beer always available. I went here on my 21st birthday, and my "first" beer was the Massatucky Brown Ale. Very tasty. The cask beer was pretty good as well, I think it was an ESB. They have a wide array of beer styles, including a Heather Ale, brewed with out hops. I like this place; definately worth checking out, if you don't like it, don't go back, but I invite you to try.
09-27-2004 06:06:07 | More by twelvsies
3.85/5 rDev -2%
ABC is actually split into two sections. So, I will start with the normal ABC (downstairs)...
I've been here several times for both dinner and just hanging out at the bar. There's usually good enough room to sit and not be hassled by overcrowding. Ambiance is nice for a brewpub, what else do you expect from a brewery? Beer is a little pricey for the area, but is quality. Their selection for both in-house and other microbrews is rather good. Bartenders are friendly, waitstaff could be a little better. Food is a bit under par. I expected better quality of what they were offering. Their fries are kickass, though.
Ok, now onto the second section...
ABC Upstairs is more of a college student hangout, which is good for me. Lots of space, full bar, with pool tables, darts, and ping pong. They only let in enough ppl to be comfortable, so you may be turned away on a busy night. But, if you're in, then it's great coz it never gets terribly crowded, always room to breath. Great place to go hang out.
08-15-2004 04:09:40 | More by aquatonex
4.5/5 rDev +14.5%
Visited to pick up some growlers for trading purposes yesterday, and this review is a composite of that and many other visits over the past few years.
Parking, as always on a Saturday, was a bit of a chore in "downtown" Amherst, but found an available metered spot on side street around the corner. Large copper-topped, horseshoe-shaped bar with footrail, when you walk in on the right, dining room on the left. The usual nice variety for a brewpub, about 7 house taps ranging from a pilsner to an imperial stout, plus Guinness and two guest taps, one of which was Berkshire Brewing, and the other I do not remember.
Food has always been of the excellent pub grub style, which works well for me. The gravy and fries are out of this world, and everyone should try the deep fried Pickleman pickles at least once. Myself and companions have always been happy with the various sandwiches as well.
Now have a cooler in the back of the bar side that has growlers of all their available brews, including the Smoked Porter and Imperial Stout. Yesterday they also 33ozers of their anniversary Olde #6, and Imperial Pale Ale, which promises to be a treat.
Also there is a mug club, but I am not sure of the benefits, other than probably getting pint prices on a ceramic mug like see at other mug club sites. There were quite a few hanging above the bar.
All in all, a nice place for a variety of brews and a filling bite to eat. Even the wife likes it. :-)
03-21-2004 17:23:32 | More by ppoitras
2.55/5 rDev -35.1%
Just visited the pub for dinner and a beer at the end of a western MA excursion. I had been there once before many moons ago and thought I remembered it being a groovy place. Well maybe things change. WE got in and they told us we would wait 40 minutes for a dinner table, fine we will go to the bar area and get drinks. That was fine with the hostess. No sooner had we taken a small bar table but they kicked us out to make it a dinner table. Annoying move. So we actually met some people and shared their table and got menus and a drink order in 5 minutes. Then we didnt see our server for 25 minutes or so. She cam back with drinks and we placed a food order. Didnt see her again for 30-40 minutes. Now it was busy but not ridiculous.
Anyway, the food was decent but not anything great I had a decent ruben with sweet potato fries. A good pub meal, and it was tasty but many of the fries were a little burnt.
Also my girlfriend ordered a baileys and coffee with a shot of vodka. When the bill came the shot was $5!! That seemed a little pricey to me. I had the cask IPA which was decent but not outstanding, and again our server never asked if I wanted another brew or even a water or anything else.
Finally, I had brought a generic growler with me to bring home something. Seemed like a good plan, they sell growlers there. I was told by the bar tender that they dont fill other growlers only their own. That was lame, I asked why and she said something about a license but if they can sell a growler that they fill there why cant they fill mine.
OVerall, a bad experience, the place has a nice look to it and with friendlier staff and better customer relations it could be a nice hangout. I wont be going back anytime soon.
02-15-2004 03:59:42 | More by sulldaddy
3.4/5 rDev -13.5%
We visited Amherst Brewing Company last weekend while we were in the area. Had a mixed experience there. The service was awful at first - we sat there for a half hour and no one even came to take our drink order. I then had to ask the hostess and then after waiting some more the manager if we could get some service since people who got there after us were alrerady eating. They gave us some BS about confusion with changing hostesses when we got there, but unless they had two identical hostesses it was the same girl the whole time. However, they did at least compensate a bit by comping us our beers, which were excellent and definitely the highlight. The food was also very good and once we got a server it was smooth sailing....
11-06-2003 04:55:36 | More by mikeys01
3.28/5 rDev -16.5%
Oh, ABC. Though you are an okay place, you do bring me fond memories of wondrous days gone past. But really, please go here for the beer and not the food. This was the place for dates, cheap get-togethers, (are these last two the same thing?) and maybe a dinner with your parents when I was in school at The Fairest College. The food is not good - tried a few of their things over the years, from finger food to entrees, and they are overpriced and underflavored. You can get phenomenal food for much cheaper across the street from a number of diverse places for food. Also, if you're not a student (not too hard to tell), you will receive much better service here, I swear.
As for beer, the selection of out-house stuff is okay and rotates somewhat, and the in-house stuff is okay, too, with a nod to their darker winter-ish selections (bocks, stouts). Overall, decent for a brewpub. I don't remember much because there's not much to remember.
EDIT: Years after graduation, stopping by once a year or so, somehow the food has gotten a little bit better while the service is stil wildly variant. Beer is solid.
10-14-2003 20:49:30 | More by nomad
4.05/5 rDev +3.1%
The most recent visit brought me in for lunch on a day when the students were rolling back into town. Hopefully all the bare midriffs didn't skew my atmosphere rating.
Beers at the bar in the past have always yielded a satisfactory result. I remember sitting with a friend talking with the bartender as if we were regulars about what other cities we could live in, if we had to move. This time, the service was simply service, but no complaints here.
Did I say "in?" A table for four was laid out on the patio where you can watch the whole of this charming college town walk by. You can also sit in the darkened bar, or the art festooned dining room.
Friends sampled the paddles; I chose the cask conditioned brown which was really, really good to this non-brown-drinker. Then it was on to the steam lager, since the style is so rare. There's also a pilsener and an imperial stout on the menu... I guess the brewery could care less how long it takes, or how difficult it is... bring on any style! Commendable attitude. It wouldn't make a damn bit of difference if the beer wasn't good, and it is.
Food yields a few surprises. Unusual daily soups, and a few nice sandwich choices, like a marinated vegetable roll-up and a bison burger special. prices are fair-to-middlin'.
Recommended, especially as part of a Northampton/Amherst crawl. Hit the used Cd store next door, too.
08-27-2003 16:23:01 | More by ecoboy
4.36/5 rDev +10.9%
A nice gem in the heart of a college town. Just popped in for a cold one on a warm day. Nice copper covered bar with cordial bartender. Several options available. I tried a seasonal offering called graduation ale, which had just the right amount of bite and aftertaste. My son had a porter that was rich and smoky, with nice hints of coffee and chocolate. Extremely relaxed atmosphere in mid-afternoon. I'm sure it picks up a little later in the day. On this day they had about 8-10 offerings, including a heather ale. Outdoor seating was also available which is a nice touch and several people were taking advantage of this option. I didn't look at a food menu, but with the wide variety of brew options, I think I will revisit this in the near future.
07-29-2003 15:47:00 | More by edchicma
3.55/5 rDev -9.7%
I hope to get back here again with my family.There is a large comfortable bar and separate resturant seating, the place is larger inside than it looks outside. Good food and good fresh beer. The brewer was very accomadating and gave a great tour of his facilities and happily answered all questions from a large group. The Cask Conditioned Anniversery Ale was nice. The Heather Ale tasted just like the Scottish Froach Ale, which I sometimes find refreshing on a hot summer day.They also carry guest beers. A nice touch I felt.
07-18-2003 13:25:21 | More by ybnorml
Amherst Brewing Co. in Amherst, MA
88 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.