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The Moan and Dove

Not Rated.
The Moan and DoveThe Moan and Dove
BA SCORE
100
world-class

105 Ratings
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: n/a
Taps: 23
Bottles: 175
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

460 West St
Amherst, Massachusetts, 01002-2988
United States
phone: (413) 256-1710

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Voted the #1 Place to Have a Beer in 2006 - by BeerAdvocate.com reviewers.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Todd
4.5/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Located where The Old Amherst Ale House used to be, I had high expectations for my first visit to the Moan and Dove based on the rave reviews that I've been hearing. Thankfully, my expectations were all met!

Atmosphere is akin to a dive bar (I like dive bars), but without the trashiness. The place is small, and I can imagine that it gets packed real quick. The bar sits about a dozen or so with seating throughout. Our party of nearly 30 pretty much took the place over. No AC on our visit, and it got warm real quick ... I would have loved to see them pushing water on customers.

Beer selection is second to none in the area, and even rivals/exceeds major beer bars in cities like Boston (but can vary from okay to great depending on what's going on). A crazy amount of outstanding selections on-tap (around 20), which I won't even bother trying to list off, plus numerous bottles, some hand pumps and a barrel of J.W. Lees sitting on the bar. Let's just say the selection is kick-ass!! I had Heavyweight's Lunacy, a 0.5l of Mahr's and a bottle of Loterbol. Everything was presented in the proper glassware, and poured to perfection. Prices were very reasonable, to high for some of the beers, but you'd be hard pressed to find some of their offerings elsewhere.

No food, but they do allow you to order food for delivery (like the pizza place next door). They also have a barrel of peanuts which you can dive into with a bowl, which suited me just fine as I was there to drink. Peanut shells get messy and eventually cover every table and the floor, reminding me of the old Ground Rounds.

Service was outstanding. Loads of knowledge. Very friendly. No attitudes. I got the feeling that I could hang and talk with this crew all evening.

Would I go back? Hell yeah! The Moan and Dove is a straight-up beer bar. No frills, just a shitload of incredible beer and without a doubt one of the premier beer bars in New England. I only wish it was closer to me ...

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.66/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This bar is located 2.5 miles south of Amherst center on Rt. 116. Opened in December 2002, this place apparently has already built up quite a following, and once you see the beer selection, you can see why!

Brick storefront. The bar seats about 12, and there are 6 or 7 booths, plus some high table seating. The front has large windows, and there is a barrel of free peanuts near the door (help yourself). The bar top is nice wood. There was one TV, but the sound was down, and music from CDs behind the bar was playing. There are some ceiling fans to keep the place cool when the airconditioning is not on. There is art work on the walls.

Now, as for the beer! I counted 19 beers on tap, and they were all great: Stone, Dogfish Head, BBC, Wachusett, Rogue, several German weiss beers, etc. etc. There were 3 hand pumps in the bar, and I was told they usually have one beer on cask. Finally, they had a barrel of 1996 Lee's Vintage Harvest Ale in a 100 year old wooden port barrel. Wow. $10 for 6 oz, but I couldn't pass up that opportunity. In addition, they offer about 200 beers in bottles. (They have a "mug club" that you have to earn your way into by drinking everything on a list of 165 bottled beers.)

They have a very impressive glassware collection, and many beers are served not only in the correct type of glass but also in that beer's brand glass.

The staff was very friendly and very knowledgeable about beer, and they all seem to work there because of their love for quality beer. The fellow patrons were also very friendly.

No food is offered here, other than the free peanuts, but the bartender can show you take-out menus for places that will deliver, or you can do as I saw several others do, and bring in your own food to eat.

This place is a real jewel of a beer bar, and I know I will be back even if I have to take a trip to Amherst specifically to visit The Moan and Dove!

Last visit 1-14-06

Photo of slander
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Davo was talking about taking this in on the way home from the AOBF and I thought he was kidding because I know the layout of New England and understand that this is at the other damn end of the state of Massachussetts and would put us hours out of the way, but that Davo,... once he gets something into his head, you just can't tell him "boo", so...
Rolled in on a Sunday afternoon during graduation weekend at some of the "finger schools". The place is dank and dark, with an L shaped bar to the left and at least a dozen or so tables throughout otherwise. It was kind of hard to tell what the layout was about as they had a graduation party for 3 primadonna's with their large families group taking up a good portion of the bar, tables thrown together to hold them, others covered with fruit and cheese spreads. Anyway, we scored some space at the end of the bar and held up there. Tap selection? The Cantillion Lou Pepe Kriek headlined a blackboard list of a dozen and a half + great tap selections. Regional micros and great imports, not a clunker in the lot and they've got a bottled list that runs 150 + easy, broken out by style type. The list itself is printed on a heavy cardstock and is like a 13" X 20" or I would've folded one up and lifted it. Some of the higher end bottled stuff was ridiculously pricey but, hey, you've got to pay to play. They had the most extensive bottled Cantillion selection that I have ever seen in either a bar or beer store.
They don't do food here, but they've got a big barrel of peanuts at the door for you to gnaw on. The decor is dark wood with a TV here and there. Crowd is going to be the college kids from the neighboring schools who know better than Bud bars, and beer folks from far and wide who travel for the good stuff.
It did put us hours out of the way but it was well worth it.

Photo of OatmattStout
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

The short of it: This place is fantastic. Drove up from New Haven to visit friend in Mass and stopped here for e few. The bartenders were good friends of the owner and you could tell because they were friendly, enthusiactic and well versed about their beers. The atmosphere was great with most people buzzing about some aspect of beer. The selection if far beyond anything I have ever seen in terms of quality of selection and sheer volume as well, 20 or so taps, 3 cask and 125 or so bottles. I had a Cask bitter that was so fresh and one of the best real beers I have ever had. All I can say is go there if you come anywhere close to Western Mass.

Also I met "Kells" a local kid who has tried everyone of the beers in the place in something like 38 days. $1800 later we calculated he got his mug. Maybe he was the one Jason refered to in his review. He was cool as well.

Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I’ve heard a ton of hype about The Moan And Dove over the past couple of months, more to the effects of you will be impressed with their selection. When someone boasts that much I wonder what other places they have been and how does this place compare. Being located in western MA it threw some doubt in my mind. Don’t get me wrong there are some great watering holes as well as breweries in the western part of the state, but the idea of have a killer beer bar never crossed my mind. After hitting a couple choice beer stores my mind was stuck on beer as usual. At first appearance I would not use the word “dive” or “whole in the wall” … more “raw” and “homey” at the same time, that is just how I like my bars. The chalkboard at the end of the bar immediately intimidated me for a brief moment; three DFH, a Stone, Allagash White, a slew of Belgians, a couple of Rogue, a Mc Neil’s on cask and many more. I want to guess about two dozen on tap, then the bottled beer list found its way to me and it was a big of a jaw-dropper. Right off the bat I noticed 5 of the 6 Trappist breweries, no Westve … some of the other Belgians I had never seen or tasted before like Bink Blonde and Bruin, a bunch of Cantillons as well as Guldenberg (Thank you Shelton Bros.). All of the DFH, Stone, Victory, Heavyweight, Rapscallion. Some Rogue, SN, Sam Smith, Young’s, Fullers, Unibroue, Schneider … the list goes on and on, over 200. So they were right, impressive. Perhaps the most impressive beer bar that I have been to east of the Mississippi and west of the Atlantic. Being that they have only been open for a few months I can see this list growing and they could easily build a vintage list … but then I’d have to move in and become a permanent fixture.

No food, as they are too damn busy to even worry about that, peanuts at the bar but you can bring your own food in. Service was fine, and the crowds was mixed of old-timers to college punks to locals. The music ran the same gamete, this place gets pack on the weekends from what I was told. On the Tuesday night during my visit there were at least 20-25 patrons one that was working on his list of beers to join the mug club. A must and worth the two hour drive from Boston … I will be back.

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The Moan and Dove in Amherst, MA
100 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.