1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

The Moan and Dove

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

104 Ratings
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Liefman
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

Beer Bar, period.

Been here a few times & The Moan & Dove continues to impress with it's all out assault on the faux beer bar concept.

Bottle list is tight, (proving ownership understands that it's about quality, not quantity), w/ 150 offerings including rare Belgians, hard to find German & English beers & vintage selections from around the world. On my last visit I cherished a Westy 12, Achel Extra, Vuuve White, Synebrychoff Porter '96, & Allagash 4.

20 Draught lines mercilessly rotate a killer mix of domestic craft beers including Dogfish, Stone, Victory, Bear Republic, Berkshire, Allagash, McNeill's & Rogue to name a few. Imports I found include dedicated & rotating De Ranke & Cantillon lines, Mahr's Pils, Young's Double Chocolate Stout &Adnams cask.

Although the room is on the small side it's very welcoming & comfortable w/ miscellaneous breweriana dotting the walls. The back bar displays all of the appropriate glassware that is put to good use here as all of my beers arrived in one. The various paintings, I was told, were from a local artist & that a new artist is featured every month. Cool. No kitchen here but Daniel, the owner, offered various menus of local restaurants that would deliver to the bar. Real cool.

Laid back vibe, beautiful, well thought out beer selection & thousands of peanuts. I just wish it were closer.

Well...

Liefman, May 17, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
5/5  rDev +8.9%

No food available here, so no rating for that, but they'll provide menus for local restaurants that will deliver to you as you sit in the M&D, so it's almost like eating food there.

Have visited many times, and The Moan & Dove is somewhat of a throwback. I remember walking in one afternoon, and having no one being in attendance. Not another custoner, not the bartender, no one. Eventually the bartender, who was restocking the fridge showed, 10 minutes after I sat at the bar and started reading a brew paper, but it was an odd feeling nonetheless.

Continues to feel weird to be sitting at the bar and watch a Shelton brother walk in and order a brew, knowing that he is responsible for a number of the cool brews available.

Variety is incredible, in both tap and bottled arenas. Literally the best beer bar I've been to.

Oh, in case I need to support my position, I noted to the bartender on a recent visit that my glass should probably be replaced when I finished due to a crack, and he immediately replaced it with a full brew, which was certainly not my intention. Shoot, he dumped what I had left in my glass before I could say something, which was vexing. But he was concerned for my physical well-being, which was nice...

ppoitras, May 16, 2004
Photo of SaucyJack
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

The best beer bar in the northeast, bar none. Friendly, mostly knowledgeable staff, the best selection in Massachusetts, and a big bucket of damn fine peanuts.

The Moan has twenty taps -- a few more than I like to see, but they seem to turn the beer over quickly enough. I can't say I've ever had a bad pint there, and I've been in at least two or three times a month since they opened.

The knocks on this pub are the lack of food and fairly high prices, but I'm not buying either one. First off, if you want to eat, you can order in or bring your own, and the money you save on the food will help subsidize those 'inflated' prices. As for the pricing, it's high, but you certainly do get what you pay for. There's no other bar in Amherst, or anywhere nearby, with the atmosphere and selection of beers that this place has. The Moan and Dove may not be on the beaten path, but it's not to be missed on any serious brew tour.

SaucyJack, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of sulldaddy
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%

Well this place was a stop after a hiking trip today. It is a little place on route 116 in South Amherst and you may drive past it. Walked in and grabbed a table. Bottle list on the table is great! 200 choices and some hard to find stuff. Westy 6,8,and 12! , Stone VE 030303, and Victory V-12 to name a few. Prices were a little steep but you get what you pay for. best part of the bottle menu, "lawnmower beers" They dont serve bud, miller,coors but they need to have something cheap on the menu. Some good quality 70s throwback brews, PBR, Golden A, and Schlitz. Good times!
Anyway, small bar area about 12 stools, a standing table in the middle of the room and about 5 booths. 10-15 beers on tap and 2 cask ales. One cask was a 96 JW Lees Harvest and the other was Adnams Broadside. Only tried the Adnams due to the $10 for a 6oz sample for the Harvest ale. Jazzy music is on the stereo loud enough to hear but you dont have to shout to have a conversation, very nice.
Bartender was helpful and knowledgeable. Every beer on tap served in proper glassware which is also displayed behind the bar. Very cool!
Only downer is the food available,
bowls of peanuts are the only food here, but I think they let you bring in outside food to enjoy with their incredible beer selection. I will definitely go back to this place and sample a few more brews. WIsh is was closer to home.

sulldaddy, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of winetrdr
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

This to me is the epitome of what a beer bar should be if only they could add a few more TV's(F you, I'm addicted to sports). It's run by true enthusiasts. Most look to have just graduated from one of the local colleges. Great music has been on everytime I've been here consisting of Jambands and classic rock like the Beatles. They don't actually cook any food here but there is a bucket of peanuts by the door, shells go on the floor.

The beer selection is as good as I've seen besides the two Ginger Mans I've been to in NYC and Dallas. The tap lines always seem to be clean and the slection changes by the hour. There is a bulletin board on one wall written in chalk with all the draft beers available along with the special deal of the day. I've gotten there at 3 pm when it opens and had a few beers. When I came back at 9 that night at least 5 beers have changed. There are 5 colleges in the area but the place fills with a mixture of old and young. I'm 33 and have felt old some nights and only sort of old others.

To sum it up, this is the best beer bar I've been to anywhere when you combine selection, atmosphere and service. One TV...weak, very weak.

winetrdr, Dec 03, 2003
Photo of FishDogHead
5/5  rDev +8.9%

I can't say enough good things about The Moan And Dove. I've fallen in love with this place in a short time. This is what the atmosphere of a beer-lover's bar should be! My cousin is a regular, and now I make it there every chance I get.
The fact that they don't serve food isn't a big deal. They encourage you to support their neighboring restaurants and bring food in if you like. Either that, or enjoy a bowl of peanuts.
I made it to the Big Beer Fest, and also, more recently, a special event where they had about 10 DFH beers on tap, including Pangea (fantastic!) and World Wide Stout! Sadly, Dan (the owner) informed me that they didn't have any kegs of the 120 Minute IPA or Raison D'Extra,a 17%(?) abv version of the Raison D'Etre when he made the trip to the brewery to pick them up. I was reeeaaally looking forward to that 120.
I had the good fortune to be present for a Mug Club indoctrination that night (the 2nd female member). I won't go into the details of what is required for membership, but I'll just say that everybody had a great time, and it was truly what enjoying great beer with good people is all about!
Go there! Now!

FishDogHead, Nov 20, 2003
Photo of mikeys01
4.94/5  rDev +7.6%

Drove up to the Moan and Dove today as part of the day's adventure through the Northampton/Amherst area. The Moan and Dove is a bit out of the way, located a few miles south of Amherst center, out in the country a bit, it's easy to miss and indeed we did the first time by. From the outside, looks like a respectable pub, not flashy, nice trim, looks cozy. Step inside and it's exactly what I want and hope to see in a good drinking establishment. Subltle lighting, simple decor, peanuts by the barrel for snacking, and lots of taps pouring amazing beers. Nice large bar with plenty of barstools, plenty of room to socialize and enjoy your beer.
We happened in for the tail end of the Moan's Big Beer Fest, meaning they had 14 draft beers over 8% - and what an incredible selection. We sampled such wonders as DFH Old School Barley wine, Arrogant Bastard, DFH 90 min IPA, etc. Would have had lots more if we didn't have to drive back to CT! The bartender was friendly and very knowlegeable, and good music was playing the entire time. This is a great place to relax, talk, have a few or many beers, and enjoy the best that beer has to offer. Certainly the best beer bar I've been to in the area, I will be back!

mikeys01, Aug 31, 2003
Photo of ybnorml
3.43/5  rDev -25.3%

Everyone raves about this place? It's small has no air conditioning and has no food (that is if you don't count the big barrel of stale unshelled peanuts. Not a lot of beers on tap (the place is not big enough for more taps). What was good was the ecclectic selection of hard to find beers. I had been looking all over for Stone Brewings Imperial Stout. I had to buy the whole 22 oz bottle but it was very good.
Beer geeks will appreciate the knowledgable staff and the fact that they use the proper glasses when pouring Belgians.
That being said. I will have to try this place again maybe in the early fall or early spring. The selection warrents a second shot.

ybnorml, Jul 18, 2003
Photo of bennybrew
4.5/5  rDev -2%

EDIT went to the stone event at the moan and dove and was crAzy impressed with the service and beer list (the most stone beers on at one place at one time on top of all the bottles).

didn't try the food. there was a barrel of peanuts just inside the door though.

on to atmosphere: many shells on the floor from said peanuts. big chalk board with the draft list. it was a BIG board. nice bar with a cask on it, not for show. tall table in the middle, a few tables on the wall.

manymanymany beers. i've seen a larger list here or there but never had such a good time. many beers on draft and many more in bottles. bottles were served with the correct glasses even! very nice.

but get there before the sun gets low in the sky as it get really hot with the big windows!

bennybrew, Jul 16, 2003
Photo of Todd
4.5/5  rDev -2%

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 ...

Todd, Jul 14, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.66/5  rDev +1.5%

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

UncleJimbo, Jul 14, 2003
Photo of slander
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

slander, Jun 15, 2003
Photo of OatmattStout
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

OatmattStout, Apr 12, 2003
Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev -10.7%

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.

Jason, Mar 26, 2003
The Moan and Dove in Amherst, MA
100 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.