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%
This a popular destination in the center of downtown Amherst, Ma. Be careful because during the school year, this place, as well as seemingly everywhere in Amherst and Northampton gets over crowded come dinner time and you will be outside, in the cold, waiting for a table. Comfortable, casual, beer spot, U-shaped bar to the right as you enter, friendly service, respectable and reasonably priced home made beer selection. We didnt try the food, but it looked good, seemed to be come in large portions and smelled good, for what its worth. Decent place for a pint, or a hearty meal.
11-17-2007 11:26:50 | More by Billolick
3.53/5 rDev -10.2%
A very nice place to hang out, with an outdoor patio on the little main street in a college down, and the busiest of the several places we visited in the area. Much more blue collar and typical good beer atmosphere relative to the others in the two towns(including Northampton). Mixed reviews on the beer, some were above average, some quite poor. A couple of guest taps. Excellent service, a welcoming as well as the service. Pub fare: My buddy was satisfied with the food he had, though it was not a full meal.
07-12-2007 02:21:13 | More by Sammy
4.3/5 rDev +9.4%
I stopped in here on 04AUG12 with older daughter Caitlin after hitting the airshow at Westover. It was fairly easy to find in a mini-stripmall type of setting just out of the busy area of Amherst. Can tell it used to be a gym; not set up as a typical pub.
Through the sizable foyer and past the hostess stand towards the bar. There's a large, bright dining area to the right, fronting the building. The bar is more to the rear, with more dining and pool tables to the left. Save for the front dining area, the rest has low lighting and dark wood; still feels comfy, though. The bar is extensive, running long from front to back along the back right wall. It has one island-U protruding out near the start, then runs about 50' to the back. A nice dark-wooded bar has a well-placed curved front to lean on. There are a few bier towers, and the barback has lots of liquor, mirrors, and bier plaques. More bier posters and pics adorn the other walls as well. A large blackboard lists the current in-house brews as well as the guest offerings. They had about 9-10 ABC biers and another 10 or so guests. And they ran the gamut of styles, too: maibock, hefeweizen, IPA, imperial stout, rye bier... Sweet!
I had some samples of a few, but quaffed the Maibock in quantity. Caitlin had the hefe- and liked it well. Started with a great, big-ass German pretzel, then some wurst and chili for our main meals. Well made and very flavorful! Service was A-1! We were asked if we'd been in before. When replied no, the 'tender laid out the bier option styles and servings available. Didn't suck that she was hot, too!
Well worth the stop! We both lamented the fact that ABC was a bit of a drive from home... Oh well... Prosit!!
4.3/5 rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
08-09-2012 22:59:16 | More by Bierman9
4.18/5 rDev +6.4%
Review updated 7-14-03 after 2 more recent visits.
This is a nice place right in the center of town. There is on-street parking or a few municipal lots nearby (including one a few doors down behind the CVS). There is seating outside in good weather, and there is a restaurant/bar downstairs and another bar upstairs with billiards, etc.
The quality of the beers is pretty good with a few being very good. The selection was very good, with 8 of their brews on tap during my visits, and at least one guest beer on tap (from Berkshire Brewing Co.) on one visit, and 3 on more recent visits (Guinness Stout, Berkshire Brewing Co. Imperial Stout, and Allagash White).
The decor is nice. One half of the downstairs is a dining area, and the other half is the bar area with a large rectangular bar and tables around the perimeter of the room. The brewing facilities are visible at the front of the pub, and also behind the bar, and in the rear. Nice setup. A very comfortable bar to sit and have a meal, a few pints, and maybe even read the newspaper.
The service was good from the wait staff and the bartenders. The food was very good in the restaurant. The brew a rootbeer, too, which was pretty good.
Overall a very nice brewpub.
Most recent visit January 15, 2006.
01-06-2003 03:44:44 | More by UncleJimbo
4.28/5 rDev +8.9%
This is just the way I like my brewpubs like a pub. As long as you can do it the right way you will be a winner in my book and Amherst meet the criteria and then some. Sadly they were out of a couple of beers but the Steam Lager and the cask Anniversary Ale did me just fine. The Steam Lager paired surprisingly well with the Knockwurst on kraut, real fries and the ale mustard.
A huge improvement from two years ago and it makes me quite envious that a place like this is not in my backyard. Worth the visit if you are in Western MA.
07-14-2003 07:28:02 | More by Jason
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
4.25/5 rDev +8.1%
Located a few blocks from the common, this brewpub is very inviting. Outdoor seating, long bar area, dining seating, warm/dark colours and full view of the brewery from the bar area. Service was exceptional, we were a large group and took over the entire bar section, however our servers were friendly, informative and catered to our needs without question. Mike, the brewer, gave very informative tours of the brewery and was on hand to answer any questions.
Roughly 12-14+ beers, including cask and some guest taps (Guinness and Allagash White, when I was in) and a house root beer (very tasty). Had their Smoked Porter and Steam Lager, both of which were extremely good. They also sell BBQ sauces and whatnot made with their beers, to-go.
Our menu was fixed, but the food was top-notch for a brewpub; Caribbean Jerk Chicken Salad, Black Bean Lasagna, Smoked Shrimp Pizza and Knockwurst Sandwich plates.
This is the kind of brewpub that's solid. Something you could make your local if you lived in the area, or at least I could. If you are traveling and plan to hit the Amherst area, definitely swing by this brewpub for some grub and brews.
07-13-2003 05:36:40 | More by Todd
4/5 rDev +1.8%
Amherst Brewing Company, or ABC, is a pretty basic little brewpub that churns out some pretty great beers from time to time.
The ambience is that of a typical brewpub. Its got a lot of old school beer signs and posters, some of which I wonder how they ended up getting, on the walls. The brewery is encased in glass for you to look at as well.
Service is best at night. During the day when it is quiet it can get pretty slow and the service can be rather minimal. Ask for samples of the beers though, they will certainly let you try as many as you'd like.
Selection for beers is usually pretty good. They tend to have some of their basics on tap all the time along with a few seasonal or special offerings. They had their Anniversary Ale as well as a cascade ipa on as well as guest taps from Troegs (Mad Elf) and SN Bigfoot. I love ABCs Smoked Porter and their Imperial Stout. I'd like to know when they'll have those on tap so I can plan my visits accordingly!
Food is basic pub fare. Its not amazing by any means and its not at the level of Northampton Brewery, but if you want a decent burger, fried pickles and a beer for lunch, than the ABC can surely satisfy.
They just expanded this place so that the basement is in use. Its now 3 floors with lots of room for both students and non-students alike.
03-07-2009 14:35:47 | More by indiapaleale
3.94/5 rDev +0.3%
big ass establishment one and a half miles from umass. its a big sprawling venue, long bar 50 yards long and bending, huge pool hall, this is a college bar on first impression. the quality however, is a step above that, but only one step. almost 20 brews on, very impressive, with as many house as guest brews, and some rarities at that, with sierra Nevada beer camp stuff, and gems from smuttynose and harpoon and all, very cool. great great tap list. bartender too is awesome, local cat back and forth to nyc, good insight, not a beer guy per se, but a dope smoker and a classic. generous as anything with the freebees, and a genuinely fun place to hang for awhile. pretty college undergrads abound, but that's not the point here, as sweet as they look, this is about camaraderie. not brutally expensive for what you get, pulled pork chilli is bangin, and overall a place worth visting.
09-21-2013 03:58:59 | More by StonedTrippin
Amherst Brewing Co. in Amherst, MA
88 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.