Armsby Abbey

Armsby AbbeyArmsby Abbey
BA SCORE
99.2%
Liked This Place
4.68 w/ 256 ratings
Armsby AbbeyArmsby Abbey
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

144 Main St
Worcester, Massachusetts, 01608-1105
United States

(508) 795-1012 | map
armsbyabbey.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by dougnboston on 08-02-2008

PLACE STATS
Reviews:
141
Ratings:
256
Liked:
254
Avg:
4.68/5
pDev:
5.98%
 
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 |  Reviews: 141
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.58/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Because there was just no way I could scribble notes during ‘The Festival’ pregame; standing room only and an amped up tap list. Was just not happening. Let’s just say it’s considerably less jammin’ now, 3 months out on Monday, just after 5. Parked and meter fed until 6, and an easy jaywalk across Main Street, Worcester…

Ground floor corner of a bricky building on the strip. Past a handful of metal tables sidewalkside, and in. Front vestibule glass door with narrow windows bordering, and a wrapping iron piece over the door for the pull curtain. Corner nooks to both sides below vertical windows holding dangling ornamental stars, and horizontal windows above. Pale olivey walls & big brick, and 3 pillars down the center of the room. Slat wood floorings, and a black ceiling with matching ductwork, drop cheese wheel lamps over the front corners, and sunken & track spots about.

Wood bar with a rounded lip, panel base, & squared bar foot rail to the right; seating for a dozen and a half or so on leather swivel chairs. The barback holds a fat pillared center unit arched with panel mirrored backing over the taps from end to end below on a single row. Glassware shelved below and bottle selections housed in glass front cooler trios to each side. Tiered booze all countered up to both sides with windows above holding Belgian gnomes and mosaic glass pieced candleholders or, um, something. And then shelving units on the ends running to the ceiling; glassware glassware glassware, and display bottles & growlers along the top shelves. Clearly, some of this glassware is way out of reach and is just for show.

A bar counter wood beam with mosaic candleholders, a few stools, & piping foot rail connecting two of the center pillars, and some more bar counter space to the rear. 5 hightops on the far wall, a pair of 2-seaters between the next set of pillars, and a pair of 2-seaters in the front nooks on wraparound bench action with pillowings.

Events board on the far wall up front (movie night, shuckin’ truck raw bar), and a looong horizontal blackboard further down listing tap selections, origin, ABV & pricing. Orval & Dupont tins to both sides of that, and a doorway to the building bathrooms shared. T shirts displayed up front alongside the bar, and a single flatscreen in the rear corner.

22 tap in a row on barback center with nondescript wooden knobby handles; roughly 1/3 of them MA craft offerings (High & Mighty Sono Distrutto, Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union, Cisco Grey Lady, Pretty Things Saint Botolph’s Town, Blatant Session Ale, BBC Coffeehouse Porter), another 1/3 craft offerings regional (Allagash Fluxus 2012, Maine Peeper Ale, Smuttynose Strawberry Short Weisse, Victory Prima Pils, Troegs Dead Reckoning Porter), and not so regional (Port Wipe Out, 21st Amendment Hop Crisis, Greenflash West Coast IPA), and the other 1/3 very good imports (Drie Fonteinen Beersel Blonde, Tilquin Gueuze, Jandrain VI Wheat, Djaevelbryg Schopenhauers Vilje, Mikkeller Hop Bomb Challenge, Trois Dames Fraicheur Du Soir, Ca L’Arenys Guineu Riner, Freigeist Abraxxxas).

Oh, I don’t know, maybe a sampler. You get 4 shorty 4oz glasses of the ‘you pick’, so I did, and then bummed samples of things, and of course, drank Phil’s beer when he went out for a smoke. Had some things I really liked (Trois Dames Fraicheur Du Soir, Drie Fonteinen Beersel Blonde, Mikkeller Hop Bomb Challenge, Blatant Session Ale, Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union).

The bottle list holds some 80 selections, of which roughly ½ of are Belgian. I like that about a 1/3 of the list overall is made up of Gueuze, Lambic, Flanders, & American wild ale entries. Does not suck. Benchmark (lovely) Orval runs $12, just on the edge of pricing sanity.

And a light bite before we get back on the road home, thinking to split a sandwich. The roast beef sandwich was under serious consideration due to its sounding of awesome, but we opted for the apple bacon grilled cheese sandwich (Tougas Farm apples, house smoked bacon, Vermont cheddar, Smith’s Farm smoked gouda, & braised Swiss chard on house made honey oat bread). It was a kickin’ grilled chee, came with greens and everything.

Eriktender behind the bar. He dealt samples when I asked for them, and gave honest answers when questions asked, i.e., ‘is this any good?’, etc. Kickin’ selection, comfortable house, good crowd, fine eats. Worth the detour en route to points anywhere...

 4,455 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of 7irondave
4.88/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Montanabeerz
4.76/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of xtonytx
4.85/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Coorsy
4.66/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of Lgradyma6
5/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Heavy French influences with a high emphasis of Farm to Table dining. The meal was amazing. They had some gorgeous cheeses to choose from as well as a variety of dishes. Their beer selection was a large assortment of IPA, sours and stouts of some craft local breweries. It will be busy when you go. Reservations are recommended.

 333 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.79/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

One of the best bars I've ever been to, with the most knowledgeable staff I've ever come across.

96 characters

Photo of BeTheBall
4.69/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Went on MLK Day, 2/16 for a late lunch, and later for dinner. Drinks with both. The beer selection is fantastic, quite unique to this area. I consider myself well educated on craft beer, and had to look up every beer on the tap list to be sure I knew what I wanted next. Both our dining area server, and later the bartender were very knowledgeable about their beers. I love the bar setup and decor as well. Ordered a flatbread with winter vegetables, etc., and it was kind of bland tasting, but it wasn't bad or anything, just nothing exciting either. Food selection is quite limited, but the fact that everything is locally sourced is also unique.

 648 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.44/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

A delightful spot for dinner when we stopped overnight in Worcester on our way to Portland. Loved the openness and cool vibe. Outstanding taplist including 3 or 4 Hill Farmstead selections (for me, HF is the one endlessly hyped brewery that always makes great beer). Service was very pleasant and capable. Only slight disappointment was some of the food. The cheese and charcuteries plates were really great (wonderful duck rillette) but the other stuff we had was rich but bland, not my favorite combo.

Overall though, well worth the stop. I'd jump off the highway anytime i was in the area.

HV

 597 characters

Photo of Bannazwei
4.98/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

In town on business and found the Abbey. Easy location to find, on street parking right out front and a parking garage right around the corner. If you are familiar with the town of Worcester it isn't what you immediately think of for a higher quality eatery and beer. You walk in and instantly has a feel of a large Old English club. Beautiful bar and woodwork, great atmosphere, a little loud, but it's a big open space and that is to be expected.

Then you look at the beer list... Hill Farmstead on tap, WHAT!?!?! Foundation, Trillium, you name it. The menu is slightly limited, more small dishes than full plates, but the food is fantastic. We got the cheese board, selection was large, recommendations were spot on.

Looking forward to going back

 751 characters

Photo of kalosjakar
4.74/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I went here not fully knowing what to expect other than an AMAZING tap list. The first thing they do is serve you a glass of water, which is great.

The tap list is obviously amazing, with 2-3 beers from Hill Farmstead always on tap. Other great breweries like Medusa, Oxbow, Trillium and Kent Falls are also on tap.

Their tap list is updated frequently on line.

The food was incredible, a bit pricey but its farm to table with the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients so its understandable.

Everything was great except I felt the staff could be a bit more engaging with its customers. The fact that 90% of the people at the bar were glued to their cellphones may have played a part though.

 706 characters

Photo of Sammy
4.23/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

First rate bar, the best I have been to in Boston. The only bar in Mas. that has Hill farmstead. Also Oxbow, Tired Hands, and of course Trillium. Perfect lines, great carbonation. On the way back to Canada from Boston.

 222 characters

Photo of DMcGirr
4.41/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Good beer selection, particularly Belgian beers and stouts. Food is very good. Nice assortment of cheeses. Bonus points for a very enjoyable Bloody Mary bar.

 157 characters

Photo of hit728
4.56/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Have been twice mid afternoon for lunch and drinks while passing through town. Not crowded. Tap list was very diverse from blonde ales to sours. Beer prices were average. Service was solid and knowledgeable. Food was good to very good. Food cost was above average but the food was quality (not overpaying for shit food). I would definitely recommend it for drinks and or a meal. Cheers!

 386 characters

Photo of Buchu70
4.78/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

Awesome little stopover while at a local museum and waiting for an afternoon Tree House run. Beers on top that few can beat and the food, mmmm. The artisan sandwiches and soup rocked my belly.

 194 characters

Photo of grahuba
4.31/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of mig100
4.61/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Photo of dippy
4.9/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Bgevans1
4.55/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Great beer, good food but no parking.

37 characters

Photo of dcisco44
4.48/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of MilaMila
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of jefferson_39
4.7/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Buddance
4.88/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Rizzy17
4.31/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.46/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place is a complete hidden gem in a town that otherwise doesn't have much of a reason to draw me to visit. Staff is knowledgeable and helpful, tap selection is outstanding, consisting of 4-5 HF taps plus other good options. The food is very good, albeit pricey!

 268 characters

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Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA
Place rating: 99.2% out of 100 with 256 ratings
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