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Jacob Wirth

Not Rated.
Jacob WirthJacob Wirth
BA SCORE
87
very good

54 Ratings
Ratings: 54
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: n/a
Taps: 32
Bottles: 27
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

31 Stuart St
Boston, Massachusetts, 02116-4723
United States
phone: (617) 338-8586

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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Place added by: Bierman9

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Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 36
Reviews by John:
Photo of John
4/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Jacob Wirth Co. is an interesting place located in the Theater District/Chinatown and is named for its immigrant founder, Jacob Wirth, who came from Germany (Prussia). He opened the restaurant in 1868. In 1878, he moved across the street, to where the restaurant exists today (a bit of trivia from the JW website). It’s billed as the second oldest restaurant in Boston (the oldest being the Union Oyster House, circa 1820s).

The front of the building looks very much like it may have looked originally. There are a few sidewalk tables outside. Inside, the dark mahogany bar greets you almost immediately on the left. It looks like original equipment, as do many of the fixtures and much of the woodwork. There’s also been a fair amount of building settling over the years, making things a bit uneven, but adding to the charm and authenticity. The walls are decorated with everything from family history photos to photos of local baseball heroes. The pub menu is served at the bar and bar area tables. The dining area is large, open and configured in sort of a (upscale) bierhalle manner. A more extensive menu is served in the dining area. Most menu items are moderate-high priced. Beer selections are draft only with 30 taps. Selections are heavy on imports with an emphasis on German brews. Highlights during my visit last night were; Aventinus, Frankenheim Alt, Tucher and Paulaner Hefe and Bitburger Pils. Other noteworthy choices were; Dogfish Head 60 min IPA, Belhaven Scottish Ale and Spaten. Harpoon, Otter Creek, Bass, Guinness and a few other macros rounded out the balance. They also have two house brews, a light and a dark, made by Harpoon. Service was very good at the bar. The Jake sampler (grilled sausages) was great. Chowder was excellent too. Solid fours across the board...a cool place and definitely “Wirth” a visit.

More User Reviews:
Photo of AdamTebbs
4.59/5  rDev +20.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Great food, great beers. Went to this place after a B's game for a Brat and a couple of beers and ended up staying for five hours. I love this bar. It has become kind of a tradition for a buddy of mine and I to hit it up whenever we are town together.

Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +4.7%

There is a fantastic old and ornate back bar and well-worn floors kind of sets the mood for this friendly beer hall.

The bar is in front as you enter. There are about 8 seats then a service area. Personally I would like to see more bar seating. It has nice windows overlooking Stuart Street that add some light.

There is a mix if high tops and lower tables in the expansive raised dining area. There is also a small outside seating area in front.

I like the banners and beer taps they use for decoration. They have some really nice old wood clad bottle coolers as well.

The large tap menu changes weekly. The bottle menu is also pretty large. Lots of domestic and import choices. Nothing super rare but the selection is solid.

The food was tasty. I thought the chowder was nice and my sausage platter was good.

The service is professional and knew the beer menu.


Seems to be lots of history here. Glad to see there some good beers to go with it!

Photo of smcolw
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

I came one late afternoon on Memorial Day. While the place is quite large, there were very few patrons (maybe six!) here. In fact, the staff out numbered us. I was struck by the streamers across the ceiling with placards advertising a Paulaner Oktoberfest. The bar features lots of dark, elaborately carved wood. It's like stepping back to an era no longer available.

The smells from the kitchen are attractive. First, I experienced Bratwurst, and then grilled marinated steak. Although I didn't try any food, the aroma "therapy" was superb.

The service was fine, but the server at the bar did not really understand the selections. Still, with 44 beers on tap, many of true nuggets, it's hard to go wrong. I did not note too many really hard-to-find beers, but the selection offered many high-quality beers. In most cities, this would be a top-notch beer bar, but not Boston.

Photo of Jodi215
3.24/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

We had lunch here while touring Boston. The atmosphere is German beer bar with lots of flags and beer decor. Quality was below my rating of average. Service was friendly and helpful. Beer selection was very good and that's about the best thing I can say about this place. I had a pastrami sandwich and it was horrible. The meat was dry and while the roll was tasty there wasn't anything on it. One tiny slice of pickle came with. Others in our party had the chicken BLT which was good and a sausage sampler plate which looked really dry and bland but they said it was good. Every table did get a bucket of corn bread which somehow seemed out of place for a German eatery. I can't eat corn bread and no one else ate it at our table so it all went to waste. Maybe a mixed bucket of bread like rye or sour dough would be a better choice. Value was reasonable.

Photo of blkdth1313
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

In town at the Courtyard Tremont for a few days for work after coming back from the great beer desert that is Canada. This joint is right around the corner from it.

Got in late the first night and walked over for a quick bite on a tip from the hotel desk girls.

Fresh Flower Power on tap. Thank you sweet Jesus and God bless the USA!

Live piano and singing, great fresh beer, friendly and prompt service, and reasonable food. Some mates joined me and we shut the place down.

We went back the next evening for a few beers and apps before heading out to dinner. Ended up staying the whole night and again shutting the place down!! Way too much fun and you gottta love waking up with a sore throat from singing too hard!!

Peace!

Photo of Reagan1984
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I was surprised it took me so long to make a visit here. Due to the horrendous service it will be longer until I am back. Sometimes a location's beer selection can overcome some spotty service (see Sunset Grill) but this place can't. Decent beer list with the standard German/Belgium and American craft selection. Nothing overly special.

A German Beer Hall feel that is worn and slightly charming... A menu that was a mix of standard pub fare and German basics.

The Service... OMG the waiter should be fired. Now, important to note.. sometimes you read reviews that reference poor/slow service on the busiest of nights. NOT the case here. The place was 60% full when we had dinner. Knowledge, attitude and attentiveness were all missing. And there was no charm to overcome these deficiencies. My wife commented that he (waiter) must have just finished his Masters and felt this job was beneath him. I say that is a great description. Plenty of other places in Boston to hit before ever considering this location.

Photo of andylipp
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

I went with my wife on a beautiful Saturday afternoon for a late lunch. We had a Groupon for a complete meal, and I was psyched to finally get to take advantage of A Groupon offered by a restaurant that had a reputation for serving good beer.

The beer selection was pretty good with 40 in all. There was apparently a Clown Shoes thing going on so there were 5 of their beers on, plus many of the usual European suspects (Radeberger, Schneider Aventinus, Hofbrau). Several US and local craft selections from the likes of 21st Amendment, Uinta, Boston Beer Company, Mystic, Jack’s Abby, etc. were also on hand. A few Belgian taps, too. Among them were Chimay and Duval, IIRC. Several more made sure that there was something for everyone beer-wise.

But while I have no quibbles with the selection, the pours were all over the place. When I ordered a 9% DIPA it came in a 14 oz. “cheater pint” while my wife’s sub-5% APA came in a standard 16 oz. shaker. The menu did not specify pour sizes, only prices (which were on the high side, as this is Boston after all). When I asked how the sizes of the glasses/pours were determined, I was told that it was based on the ABV and the cost. OK, that makes sense I thought…

I then ordered the same beer my wife previously ordered, but this time it came in the smaller 14 oz. glass. I asked again what the deal was, and the bartender/wait staff honestly didn’t seem to know that there was a difference in the glass size. I reminded them that while 2 ounces was not a big deal to me, the lack of a consistent pour size would not reflect well on their reputation amongst beer geeks in Boston. It is especially irritating considering that “pints” were going from $6 to $7.50 or more. I noticed that Aventinus was listed as $11.50, but I’m unsure of the size of THAT pour. So, beer buyer beware.

The food was flat out great. Appetizers: the sauerkraut and sausage balls and the potato pancake app were both excellent. The pretzel crusted salmon was tasty and served with tasty mashed potatoes and fresh steamed veggies. The mac and cheese was unbelievably rich and tasty-the best pub mac my wife and I have ever tasted! The German chocolate whoopee pie dessert was good, too. Entrees were $11-23, with burgers and such in the $12 range. If not for the Groupon our dinner with 4 beers, 2 apps and 1 dessert would have easily been $75 including tip.

Service was attentive and very friendly. The ambiance was tough to gage since it was not busy, but there are a bunch of TVs tuned to sports. That said, it seemed to have a manageable noise level and a pretty good vibe. The bar only had a few stools but several high top tables and there is a fairly large dining area.

I’ll return to Jacob Wirth, but I will do so with a close eye on the pour size.

Photo of hipcat
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

Came in on a Tuesday. Nice selection of imports and crafts on the draft list Had a duvel to start. Next three beers I requested off draft list were unavailable so a bit of a disappointment. Menu offered good selection of German and American entrees and small plates.

Photo of greenengineer
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Jacob Wirths is a big open, loud, active space. In the Theatre District, so a lot of pre-show diners early.

Nice selection of beers, especially German (goes with the food). Servers generally not very knowledgeable about what they have. (Couldn't tell me what the current cask selection was, just that it was "an ale", and it was good). Slow service too.

German food is good - not too many places in Boston you can get Sauerbraten and Spaetzle.

Mayflower, Notch, Smuttynose, Clown Shoes - lots of local beers on draft.

tips -
1) try the small plates of German specialties - generally enough food for a meal, at a better price.
2) if you have questions about the beers, go directly to the bar.

Photo of Fclfcs
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I disagree with the last review - every time I've been here the selection is substantial. They have the usual non-craft options, but they also carry tons of seasonal and German beers.

Because the place is big and busy, I find the beer to be very fresh, which is how I want my Germans. The food is decent, some dishes are winners and others aren't great, but overall both the food and beer are values.

The location is very convenient to shows, mass transit, downtown offices, etc. You won't find a rare release here but you're very likely to find fresh German or craft beer at great prices.

Photo of IHC
3/5  rDev -21.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

It's a good place to go and grab some food with a date or some friends after a show at one of the theaters. There are several theaters in the area that have comedy and other types of show's such as blue man group. This place is great before or after the show. It's a quick walk from the MBTA china town or Tufts medical center stop on the orange line. The food is inexpensive and there's something for everyone.

Beer selection is Typical pub selection. Blue moon, sam adams, guiness, bass, stella, etc.

Photo of BogleHill
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Located in a historic building at the edge of the theatre district, the walls are adorned with a variety of signed theatre programs, show tickets, etc. The bar is small, but there are a bunch of high tables too. The other side is set up like a large beer hall. The floors are beat and there is a real character to the place. There is always a great selection of taps and bottles. The chowder is not to be missed!

This could be my favorite bar in Boston, if it wasn't so expensive. ($6.50-$7.00 a draft).

Photo of drpimento
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We went there last night and had a real good time. Had some good beers at the bar with friendly, knowledgable, helpful bartenders and a guy sitting next to us. Food was very good and reasonably priced, although we had to get 5 soft pretzels if we wanted any. It's German beer hall atmosphere and nicely done. Beers are not just limited to German though. Bar area was busy and much smaller than the dining area which was vacant. The place is in a convenient location for staying downtown. A real treat & I'd sure go again!

Photo of jgasparine
4.05/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Here at Jacob Wirth right now. Walked in for dinner. The place oozes antiquity out of every pore. Tons of old brewing and sports memorabilia all over the place. Old worn wood everywhere, and an accordian player wandering the floor. Apparently this location was established in 1868!

A nice mix of Germany and Belgians beers, with a fair mix of other craft beers as well. Very respectable beer selection, and all good quality. A bottle of Coastal Extreme James (8% abv) was $3!!! What a deal!

The food was German and American, reasonably priced, and absolutely delicious!

Definitely worth coming back!

Photo of PEBKAC
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This is a regular lunch stop for me whenever I hit Boston. It use to be CBC, but wherever I'm crashing in town, the Chinatown stop on the orange line is real easy to connect(Cambridge is too much to squeeze in sometimes). The Hyatt Regency up a few blocks on Lafayette is a great choice for the tourist in me as well(they always seem available via Priceline on the cheap).

Anyway, walking up... vintage clock, vintage black front, it doesn't quite fit the neighborhood anymore, with a McD's on the corner, & a Penang's around the bend(pretty damn good for a chain, got one by me here in Queens), all the office buildings across the street, the construction on more obstructions, etc.

Locals have the habit of locking the front door if they feel it's too crowded(or too cold to warrant another breeze). So... walk in, see all the old wood, the long bar from back to front along the left(the kitchen in plain view behind the middle), a few worn tables in front, the autographed picture of Conan O'Brian commenting on how they did a good job keeping his brother drunk(among other photos). Two steps split the hallway entrance into the dining room(I always grab a bar stool anyway), where a folding chalkboard reads today's specials.

I always seem to be in here on a Friday before BA fests, so it's been Friday's special: fishcakes with onions & red beer sauce on mac n cheese(about four times running now; $7). Honest cakes, great sauce, but I think the pasta is of the box & flavor packet variety. The sausage I've passed on before, but the sandwiches are pretty well done. Oh & don't forget to order the complimentary bucket of cornbread. Very moist. Be sure to share.

The help behind the bar do a good job keeping you satisfied. The beer menus aren't always up to date, & you'll frequently get a "sorry" when your first couple of choices are out, but they'll let you know what is new, what they like, & what phony new micro impostor AB installed this week that you should stay away from. Taps half along the bar, half along the back wall, so bring your bifocals & ditch the beer menu. The house beer changed on their online menu to 'gansett, but I remember it being Harpoon Dark, or Ale, which both I like. They'll still have a few from them(IPA, UFO, cider, something from 100 Barrel), as a majority of their craft stuff is local. You'll almost always see something from Fisherman's there. I always see a Victory too.

For the German selection(because there has to be some authenticity here), I always find Radeberger(super clean off tap, so under-rated), A couple Spatens, a couple rotating hefs & marzens, Aventinus if you're lucky, Leffe, & Stella. A decent overall list. Price-wise though, most of it comes in just as hard as midtown Manhattan. There are cheaper pints to be had around Boston. Sometimes they could be fresher.

Bottles available are in front in a vintage wooden glass front fridge(Chimay & other obvious Belgians, plus & a few locals), with more certainly down the stairs nearby into the cellar. The flat screen over the start of the bar is really out of place for the scene, & is always tuned to ESPN, & always on mute. Some of the guys coming in for lunch aren't always game for conversation, but luckily to pass the time, they usually have a stack of BA magazines or Alestreet or Dig or Yankee on the mantle behind you. Picking up one of those usually gets the conversation moving.

Overall, I do recommend this place to lay down a good foundation before a beer festival. Dinner, afterparty... ehh, maybe not. Good food, good service, some history to soak in, decent tap list. A great location. Don't forget the cornbread. :)

Photo of Trailmix242
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Just finished an evening at Jacob Wirth. Beer selection was great heavy on the German beers which honestly I am not as familiar with. The bar area is a little small with limited seating but there are plenty of tables and even on a Saturday night at 8:00 PM we were seated right away. Our server was really friendly though probably not that knowledgeable on beer which was fine as i just decided to try two German beers I had not tired before and a Leviathan IPA from Harpoon. Food was average though we did not try any of their German food specialties. One word of caution on draught beer, discovered when I ordered a bottle that the standard pint glass they use is actually 12oz. Thankfully most of the draught beers they carry come in the glassware that was designed for them. I would go back if in the neighborhood again especially if I was looking to try out some more German brews.

Photo of BeTheBall
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Late Saturday afternoon; still sort of quiet, my first visit. Long bar with many taps and glasses with TV's mounted on the wall behind the bar (Olympic Equestrian??).
Service was prompt and friendly, with a staff of 3 or 4 behind the long bar, and not yet crowded. The beer selection was very good. Not the best on the city, but up there in the top few that I've tried. There were maybe 20 taps, and lots of bottles as well.
I started with a Schneider Aventinus on tap, which was fabulous. It was served in a matching logo glass, and was as I said, just amazing. I next went to a bottle of Saison Dupont, equally delicious. I wasn't happy about the to me oversized highball glass the bartender brought me, but on my request, he gave me a Duvel tulip, so all was good.
At $9 for the Aventinus and $12 for the Saison Dupont, the prices here aren't for the faint of heart, but I would definitely come again for the selection. Highly recommended when in the area of the theater district. Light years better than that close by brew pub.

Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A well known old restaurant within walking distance of South Station. Worth stopping by for a serious choice of beer. Includes a Belgian tap of Leffe and many others. I tried the Jake's Dark on-tap ($5.25 for 16oz glass) that had good carbonation, some maltiness but was balanced with a slight burnt coffee aftertaste. Decent dark. Food choice was reasonable but service was off this time due to no communication between our waiter and the cook staff. After waiting a 1/2 hour for fried scallops and everyone else served at our table our waiter informed me that the scallops were off and had to be thrown out. Cook staff did not inform the waiter of this fact at order time. Ultimately an alternate entré was served at no charge to me.

Photo of kmo1030
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

finally made the trip here last week and it was about time. they had many german imports on tap and in bottle, most were fairly common, but a few others were a little harder to find. spaten optimator, a few erdingers, a franziskaner, a ayinger or two, i'm a happy boy. service was nothing to complian about, if i had to come up with something, they might have seemed spread a little thin. i got a big kick out of the atmosphere which seemed like most of it hadnb't been changed since the tunr of the century. it had a great old beer hall sort of vibe with it's high ceilings and many tables. the food was great, i stuck to the german stuff, and while i'm not super well versed in german faire, everything was great, my wife also enjoyed the stew. prices were as good as one can expect in boston, and dind't break the bank. i have to make sure i get over there again.

Photo of albern
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Jacob Wirth's is a classic in that it is one of the original 19th century bars/saloons left in Boston. The wood floors, pictures, and ambiance is a dead ringer for some place in Prague or thereabouts. My favorite here is the Jacob Wirth's house beer. It used to be brewed by Hieleman (I think) but it is now a dark beer brewed by Harpoon. The place is a cool hangout if you are in the theater district and much more authentic and interesting than the Rock Bottom down the street. Who wants a franchised brewpub experience when you can have the real thing at JW.

Photo of Gavage
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Located just a few blocks down the street from Rock Bottom. When walking in you notice the large rustic hall with very high ceilings and the walls are adorned with brewery signs. The bar area is very small as there were only a few stools. There is an open kitchen just off the bar area. The hall area has plenty of large tables.

The bar iteself is quite old looking with dented dark wood but sports a large tap area on the back wall. There are also taps on the bar.

There were over 25 beers on tap here and several taps had no handles. The selection was very good covering a few of New England beers like Whale's Tale, Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Refsvindge Private Stock, and several varieties of Sam Adams and Harpoon. There were numerous German brews and a few other surprises like Hop Wallop. The bottle selection was also varied covering numerous German beers and some Beligians.

Bartenders were friendly and spent some time shooting the breeze with us. We did not try any food.

This place is definitely worth a stop if you are in the area. We hit it during a slow mid-week afternoon period which was nice, but I can see this place getting quite crowded.

Photo of lawrence76
4/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Visited on a friday night...a good night to go, I think

The place is vast, huge ceilings, gorgeous woodwork & cool pub-esque bric-a-brac (first time I've ever said "bric-a-brac") everywhere. It reminded me a lot of the beer halls in Munich, except it had sort of a new england colonial vibe to it as well. great place.

The joint was loud, hopping. It was fun, perfect for a friday night with a bunch of friends. There were some spectacular girls there as well.

The beer list is extensive, but only with a few true highlights. The german beers were decent, as well as the belgians (although be prepared to pay for the latter). Some american micros were to be has as well. Anyway, I didnt get bored during the 3 hours we were there.

The food....ah, the food is great! We all pretty much ordered from the "german" half of the menu rather than having clam chowdAH for the millionth time. All 6 of us were very happy with our meals.

This was my first trip to jake's, and I definitely plan to go back

Photo of harsley
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

This place was pretty neat to go to. It's set up like a huge German Hall (just like places in Germany I was told by someone who has been) with huge ceilings and nice open space. It was very noisey, but on a Friday night that was fine. They have plenty of big tables to accommodate large groups. Lots of dark woods everywhere and very authentic. Wait staff was good, fairly attentative and we rarely had to wait very long for anything we needed. Food was well done, although for being a German restaurant, they only had like a handful of German dishes (besides apps). It's very much "Americanized" and now has a wide variety of foods. I tried a couple different dished at the table and they all seemed nicely done.

Beer menu was very good. They had a nice selection of taps but the bottles had even more. Taps had some macro-swill, some craft and some authentic German beers. Bottles had some good picks (Dupont, Chimay, Lindemans) among others. I'd highly recommend checking it out for a fun night. They have some piano player on weekend nights who sits in the front by the door and people will sing along and things like that....we were sitting in the back luckily. A loud and fun place for night out for good beer and good food.

Photo of morebeergood
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Went there last Saturday night with my wife after a movie for late dinner and drinks. It was somewhat quiet for a Saturday night, which was due to the fact it closes at 11:00 PM, which I thought was a bit early. Our waitress was really nice, she came by a few times to check on our food and take our beer orders. The atmosphere here is the best feature, the old wood and decorations make it truly feel like a beer hall in Germany. The food is pretty good, the sandwiches and apps are a decent price, but the main courses are a bit pricey for what you get. I don't know, but I think that German food shouldn't be $19-$22 a plate. The beer selection here is pretty good for downtown, with a large selection of German, American, and various other beers. The prices on the beers (especially the bottles) were a bit high for my liking, but good beer is worth it. If you are looking for a place to grab a good beer in the Theater District, this place is an oasis. Overall, the place is a nice treat.

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Jacob Wirth in Boston, MA
87 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.