The Publick House

The Publick HouseThe Publick House
The Publick HouseThe Publick House
Bar, Eatery

1648 Beacon St
Brookline, Massachusetts, 02445-2101
United States

(617) 277-2880 | map

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Ratings by PEBKAC:
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Reviewed by PEBKAC from North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3
I've probably stepped inside at least four times the last couple trips up to Boston. I'll be honest & say that it's not really my favorite place. I come here because it's where everyone seems so eager visit time after time. It's not necessarily my kind of place, but then again, what is? I'm a little out of my element being in Boston in the first place.

The atmosphere is pretty laid back for such a popular spot. People gravitate from one side of the place for a meal, down to the main bar for a nightcap & back again if a booth opens up. The Monk's Cell is just a very comfortable place to be seated. The main side ain't to bad either, still secluded with booths, but the lighting is a little less shy.

Only once so far has there been a touch of hostility/arrogance from someone sitting at the bar. Some chick(who probably looked a wee bit cuter before the her first drink, & her lazy eye caught on) says hi, then quickly demands answers from me, like I know her, like I could actually take apart her mumbling & make coherent sentences with them, like I do it all the time. "Hey, look at me... hey!" Actually, I was kind of into the whole belittling aspect of it until she suggested I pay for her bill. Kind of hot? Na, my neck is just starting to strain.

Since this place is always packed, it's always busy, your food takes a little time, getting someone's attention to order a beer could be one to a few to several minutes. For the size of the place, it's very reasonable. Almost every time, every beer in Monk's comes in its own branded glass. Last time I was there, I ordered a "Avec Les Bons Voeux" from Dupont, & it came in an unbranded glass. It didn't do much for me, & the people around me tended to agree. Just about every time though, they are spot on. Geeky thing with the glassware, it shouldn't matter, serve me a couple extra ounces in wine goblet, or not, whatever.

It has been said before, that they try & outdo themselves with the food. The menus are interesting, & wet your palate just with the thought, but they don't end up tasting as memorable. The private dinners are most likely a different story, but the food off the everyday menu just tastes underwhelming to me.

Prices for the food range from $6 for plentiful frites & sauces, to $14 for fish & chips(wtf?), to $2x.00 for wild boar. Beers start at $5 on the main bar side, & start at $7-8 for 12oz pours at the Monk's Cell. They get taps you don't typically see many places elsewhere, but there are no half pours on this side(somewhat understandable because of the small initial pour size). Both my eyes & my MasterCard swore they never left New York.

Last time I was there, the mood was for something salty. I ordered up the calamari & some of those fried smashed potato balls along side to weigh me down. Real healthy stuff I know. Anyways, the calamari comes without the bell peppers, & they eventually come by with a fresh batch of jalapeños to add to the plate. The calamari was pretty light & not at all rubbery, but lacked seasoning, or a sauce, or something more then the mayo-based dip they provide with everything. The Kinsale(if I ever get around there again to write up a review, make the best calamari salad I've ever had; honorable mention goes to CBC). The potatoes were totally crisp, the texture was completely there, but they were so bland. I ended up passing the rest of my plate over to another BA who didn't seem to have as much trouble as I did.

I had a second uninspiring beer with dinner, but finished off the night nursing a Liefman's Kriek($8 branded goblet) for the better part of an hour. I could of used something else to drink afterwards, but Sixpoint was in the house, & I get enough of them back home. Ordering another Kriek would of satisfied, but I didn't need it.

A moderate-sized florescent sliding door fridge holds bottles at the end of the bar, but I don't really ever pick from the bottle list when there are taps I haven't had yet. Though the rest of the BAs that did order from there tell me they enjoy their selection.

Overall, this place seems to have been built on community. Everyone meets up or ends the night here. The bartenders are nice, the ambiance while sitting in a booth is comforting, & there's no real rush once you find a place to sit. If they could limit capacity a little more, & take a step back with the menu, I could see myself amending my review. A solid place, a local favorite, but not my favorite.

"One monk's sandal has three straps, but two on the other. OMG, How did no one notice that?!" - anonymous BA
Feb 25, 2008
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.14 by Phoodcritic from Michigan

Jul 03, 2021
Rated: 4.75 by egrandfield from Massachusetts

Mar 06, 2019
Rated: 4.59 by thfreedumb from Illinois

Apr 30, 2018
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Reviewed by Sheppard from Massachusetts

4.69/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75
This place is becoming the venerable beer bar in town, but it's still the best, in my humble opinion. I don't know if it's because it's not located in trendy Boston or hipster Cambridge or Somerville, but the place is unassuming. It hardly ever feels overrun by neckbeards, besides rare occasions like the now defunct Hophead Throwdown. The place has a chill neighborhood vibe. The beer list is well curated and has a good mix of Belgian and American options. It's not going to have every style, but there's something for everyone on there. The food is excellent as well, try the specials.
Feb 21, 2018
Rated: 4.54 by DougieAmphetaBeans from Massachusetts

Jan 01, 2018
Rated: 4.7 by MICAMD from Maryland

Dec 31, 2017
Rated: 4.31 by Taybeh from Minnesota

Nov 29, 2017
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Reviewed by fitzy84 from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5
Went here for my birthday lunch. This restaurant is very conveniently located with plenty of street parking, walkable for downtown patrons, and right off a T-line. The restaurant is mostly wood decor with plenty of Belgium brewery and cultural symbols across the space. Our party was not completely there yet, but they still seated us, which was incredibly nice.

Beer selection was incredible. Lots of US and Belgium breweries. Also, there is the treat of Trillium being served at this restaurant. The staff who served us were nice, attentive, and extremely knowledgeable about beer. The food, which was served pretty quickly to us, was decadently good. I had the short rib hash which was so heavy and good.

Overall, this place is a gem in Brookline.
Nov 05, 2017
Rated: 4.89 by ScottP from New Hampshire

Jul 28, 2017
Rated: 4.28 by jtk21351 from California

Jul 05, 2017
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Reviewed by SebastianMandeville from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
This place has everything you could possibly want:
VIBE - Amazing. On any given night you can walk in and hear The Roots station on Pandora. Very chill.
QUALITY - Very clean for a bar/pub. Some of the seats look like miniature thrones. Very clean bathrooms. Hostess will quickly wipe down a recently vacated table for you to sit, even if you're not eating.
SERVICE - Ask for a beer menu and it's in your hands in seconds. Very friendly employees.
SELECTION - Best I've seen in the Boston area. Multiple choices by Trillium (including one that they brewed specifically for Publick House if you're fortunate enough to go when it's on tap) and Night Shift. Lots of Belgian choices as well. Bottles, cans...can't go wrong here.
FOOD - Didn't get a chance to test out the food, but by all accounts it's very good.

Outstanding place to grab a couple beers. The only mark against it would be that the crowd can be a little young. However, that is certainly not the establishment's fault and it's a big enough place that you can shift over to one of their other rooms if things get rambunctious.
May 30, 2017
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Reviewed by EdwardAbbey from Washington

4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75
One of the places I always visit when I go home to Boston. The well-curated mix of first-rate local, domestic, and international beer, and the pleasant vibe and knowledgeable service, make this a must-visit for any beer geek in Beantown.
Apr 03, 2017
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Rated by Kmadnesss from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
One of the best beer bars in the Boston area for a nice selection of Belgiums and Belgium food!
Jan 25, 2017
Rated: 4.38 by ConorGolden from New York

Sep 05, 2016
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Rated by Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.14/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4
major league bar. 40 taps. mostly as good as available in the city. brian is a major league bartender. fresh andgreat variant of styles.
Aug 23, 2016
Rated: 4.26 by Prost76 from New Hampshire

Aug 21, 2016
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Reviewed by DMcGirr from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5
Great selection of beers, especially of the Belgian and Belgian-esque variety. Food is significantly better than normal bar food, with highlights including the frites, short rib grilled cheese (lunch menu) and the Belgian meatball appetizer (dinner menu).
Aug 20, 2016
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Reviewed by socon67 from New York

4.86/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Great place off the Green Line C. Two bars with one dedicated to Belgians, and the other an emphasis on local craft. Trillium, Treehouse, and others here. Great atmosphere to grab a beer. Would certainly come back.
Aug 15, 2016
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Reviewed by Abbbp from Texas

4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
I wish we had time to eat here, but we had time to drink and that's really all that mattered. Enjoyed the selection, got to try something different based on the bartenders suggestion, and of course they got bourbon!
Aug 09, 2016
Rated: 4.89 by INWarner413 from Texas

Jun 18, 2016
Rated: 4 by richj1970 from Alabama

Jun 15, 2016
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Reviewed by kffoster40 from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
My go to spot in the Boston area. The beer selection is always solid with a good mix of American and Belgians... They rotate the tap list pretty regularly so there is always some variety. Typically they have Trillium on tap now since they scaled up production. In addition the food is amazing! It can get lively and crowded on weekends but still have never waited more than 30 min for a table which I think is reasonable and worth it.
Jun 12, 2016
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Reviewed by Sound_Explorer from Washington

4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75
A great Belgian themed beer bar in the suburb area of Boston. They have more than just Belgian beers or Belgian style beers available and on tap. Have a fun, unique bottle list of US stuff and some European options too. Food is more the Belgian themed but some pub grub too. Maybe a touch expensive but, if you like Belgians or just good eats and beers, definitely give this place a visit.
Jun 07, 2016
Rated: 3.21 by SimcoeKid from California

May 24, 2016
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Reviewed by Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.64/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5
great selection. probably the best bar in boston... as a result it can be pretty crowded but the beer is worth it. food is pretty good too but lets be honest you go to this place for the beer selection.
May 12, 2016
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Rated by Macsimus from North Carolina

4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25
Great spot with amazing tap list and very good food.
May 12, 2016
Rated: 4.4 by MilaMila from Massachusetts

May 11, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by NelCet from Massachusetts

May 10, 2016
Rated: 4.39 by wallacic from Massachusetts

Apr 04, 2016
Rated: 4.7 by jheimbigner from Washington

Mar 26, 2016
Rated: 3.11 by Shellynix from Massachusetts

Mar 06, 2016
Rated: 4.86 by costanzo_mike from Massachusetts

Nov 09, 2015
Rated: 4.98 by scxcrunner from Massachusetts

Oct 19, 2015
Rated: 5 by barleywin from Missouri

Oct 10, 2015
Rated: 4.63 by bostonbeans from Massachusetts

Aug 15, 2015
Rated: 4.88 by JayF562 from Massachusetts

Jul 11, 2015
Rated: 4.78 by ntmastromarino from Massachusetts

Jun 29, 2015
Rated: 4.48 by PhillyStyle from Georgia

Jun 22, 2015
Rated: 4.83 by Stagga_Lee from Massachusetts

May 15, 2015
The Publick House in Brookline, MA
Place rating: 4.45 out of 5 with 365 ratings