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The Moan and Dove

Not Rated.
The Moan and DoveThe Moan and Dove

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 

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: 104 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
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 Billolick
4.64/5  rDev +1.1%

My first visit here, Just south of Jamherst, funky location, Medium sized rectangel of a room, dim lighting, dark walls, beer bar to the left, 2 or 3 large communal tables in the middle and booths along the wall to the left. large blackboard of brew selections by the bar. Yeeha, my kind of place, relaxed, low key, friendly folks, eclectic/extensive/high qual brew selection. Btender,very knowledgable,and friendly. Beer served in appropriate glassware. No food avail. but Fish and Chippy and sandwedge joint real close. Add it up and this becomes a MUST visit location.

Billolick, Dec 19, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.71/5  rDev +2.6%

The 3rd and Final Stop on BA 8th Anniversary Bus Tour. The rowdiness at the back of the Bus had reached epic proportions and the party was most certainly in full swing as we headed into the legendary Moan & Dove.

Strange setting, for some reason I expected something different, but it is set in a strip mall and has a rather plain appearance. Still, never judge a book by its cover. Inside it has a darkened dimly lit interior to greet the visiting Imbiber, as in fact does the infamous Moan & Dove peanut Barrel. Small interior, again for some strange reason I expected a bigger place, but it had character and warmth. The bar is to the left, tables to the right and that’s about it.

Simply put you come here for one reason and one reason only, the most excellent beer range. Simply too many to list, you can check the website and wet yourself. I for one enjoyed the Spezial Rauchbier and even tried the Cask beer, which was Cameron Long Legs Fuggles, but it was a tad under carbonated. Other brews read like a Who’s Who of the worlds famous brewers, and you could easily spend a week here working your way through the list. Service was slick.

The warm welcome was genuine and we even had a rousing speech from the owner. The place was full of BA’s and I met my latest BA mate, steinlifter and his Wife, they must have thought we were nuts!!

Travel, too many beers, both on and off the Bus, and many hours had me flagging a bit, but a nice touch here is the availability of water to keep you hydrated; it sure helped me come around after a power nap.

No food, but offerings from a nearby Pizzeria are allowed in here which is neat; many empty boxes were testament to the fact that they certainly nourished a few BA’s. Of course you could settle for the peanuts.

The end to a long great day spent with friends old and new.

Well worth the trek out to here for the excellent beer range. I must get here again but in a more sober condition to better enjoy its character and libations.

Last Visit: Saturday 21st August, 2004.

TheLongBeachBum, Aug 29, 2004
Photo of Sammy
4.14/5  rDev -9.8%

I only found out after that it is so highly rated. It is a relatively small place, well lit by natural light. Moderate bar was all full, but the socializing tables in the middle were fine for us. Instant service, good glasses and good and varied selection. I particular liked the photo of the latest beers up on their website that I could prior check out. Northwest Mass., not an easy trip to come out on a regular basis, which I would do. I enjoyed it,it was a laid-back and diversified crowd.I know this is "corny", but I have a "sweet" spot for all the shelled peanuts you can eat.

Sammy, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of John_M
4.06/5  rDev -11.5%

Ummm.... this place was rated the number one place to get a beer on BA in 2006? Really?

The M&D is yet another fine beer bar located out in the sticks, in the last place you would expect to find it. It's located in a small strip mall, right next to a barbershop, chinese take out restuarant and a gas station. It's also pretty small, consisting of a small bar area to the left when you walk in (probably has 12 or 14 seats), a couple of good size table areas in the middle and then 3 or 4 booths to the right against the wall. I really doubt this place can hold more then 50 or 60 folks at any one time, tops! On the other hand, the place has a very relaxed, low key vibe, with a pretty eclectic selection of music going (loved hearing the ventures while I was there). The beer selection is certainly decent, consisting of around 20 beers on tap, not including a cider and one beer on cask (which this day was the entire butt porter). The selection here is pretty good, but I'd hardly call it mind blowing. They had 5 or 6 Stone beers on tap, and then 4 beers from Bink. They also had the Mongo DIPA from Port, Victory Braumeister pils, smuttynose baltic porter and old brown dog, anchor liberty ale, etc. A nice selection, no doubt, but I can't say it exactly wowed me. Bottle selection was a bit more impressive, with around 160-170 selections. They had some nice stuff, but there was nothing on the list I hadn't seen before or can't get at home. No disrespect, but I was really hoping I might see something at the M&D that I can't get back in Baltimore (they did have the high and mighty twin beast stout, but that's the only thing I saw that I hadn't ever seen or had before).

Service was good. The two young women tending bar were friendly, pleasant and quick. I'm not sure just how much then knew about beer, but it was more then sufficient for my needs.

Prices were high, no two ways about it. 12 ounce pours of anything Belgian were in the $9 or $10 range, and can someone please tell me why arrogant bastard needs to be $6.50 a pint? Generally, most pints were in the $6 range, except for the liberty ale, which for some reason was $4 a pint.

As near as I can tell, they don't serve any food here, but you can order in from any of the surrounding restaurants (accoustics are not good here, so it's not the easiest place to hold a conversation - I think that's what I was told). A number of places do this in the NW, and frankly I thought it a good idea here as well. Otherwise, you can help yourself to free peanuts while sipping on your beer at the bar.

This is definitely a very good place, but it's certainly not the sort of place I'd drive a 100 miles to get to (which I do rather frequently to get to some of the better beer bars in Philly). I don't know. I really had high expectations for this place, and frankly I feel kind of let down. Oh well...

John_M, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%

I stopped here during a drive from Boston to Pittsfield. I really had no choice but to check it out, as it was voted best place to have a beer by BA in 2006. After stopping here I can say that it is an excellent establishment, very comfortable and relaxed with good beer selection, but it's not possible for me to rate this above the Ginger Man or Hop Devil (Manhattan) or the Map Room in Chicago. Regardless it was nice. There were about 15-20 beers on tap, all good (Spezial Rauchbier, Stone RIS, SN Bigfoot, DFH Johnny Rawton, etc), and also 2 beer engines although there were no casks available when I stopped. There were about 5 booths, 2 tables, and maybe 10 seats along the bar, all comfortable.

Worth a stop for sure, but no need to drive too far in case you have access to LA, Chicago, or NYC beer bars.

TurdFurgison, Oct 09, 2007
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 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
Photo of Goldorak
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%

I fell in love with this place the minute we drove down West street and saw it from a distance. It was early and the place was pretty quiet, a few regulars at the bar, we took a booth in the far end corner. I was told you could bring in outside food, so we sort of had a little Beer/Cheeze pairing.

Without wasting any time, we started with a bottle of Cantillon Iris. Having gone through the two big liquor stores in the area I had a fair idea of prices and thought that the markup here was reasonable. It took a while for the waitress to bring the right bottle, but I think it was my french-canadian accent that threw her off. But it was her first day I think, and what she lacked in knowledge she made up in enthusiasm. Besides, I spent more time shooting the shit with Dan, the owner. Especially when I saw that bottle of '96 Cantillon on the bar. I tried to barter with him, but no deal. He's as much of a Cantillon freak as I am. I was more than happy with my consolation prize, the Iris was served with Cantillon glassware and with the wicker basket. Just perfect.

As the evening carried on, the place got nicely packed, but not too much, you could move comfortably from your seat to the bar and/or the bathroom. Entertaiment was provided by two guys who were inducted into the Mug Club, who had to recite poems on barstools in front of the blackboard that showed the tap offerings and favorites of the staff.

Simply put, the best Beer bar experience I've had on this side of the pond. I promise I'll return.

Goldorak, Jul 21, 2005
Photo of ecoboy
4.24/5  rDev -7.6%

Outstanding, well-laid-out menu. I actually appreciate the employee opinions in the descriptions. Selection would be given a 5.5 if I could. Love the proper glass selection. Love the commitment to firkins.

Another establishment where the number system of this site breaks down. Clearly one of the best places for a beerfly to visit in the region. But the service can gravitate toward you-should-be-thankful-I'm-serving-you-this-beer and the small room can feel like cramped quarters; you're not going to find "your space" in there if your mood does not reflect that of the other patrons. And it just doesn't freaking matter: you want a judicious selection of some of the best beers on this site, somewhere between Boston and New York City, and you want to pay reasonably for the privilege? You go to the Moan and Dove. Period.

ecoboy, Aug 29, 2005
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The Moan and Dove in Amherst, MA
100 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.