The Publick House

BA SCORE
98
world-class

355 Ratings
The Publick HouseThe Publick House
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(617) 277-2880 | map
thepublickhousebeerbar.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by doerickson

PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Ratings:
355
Reviews:
260
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
7.67%
 
 
Taps:
36
Bottles/Cans:
100
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
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Ratings: 355 |  Reviews: 260
Photo of slander
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I don't know what all the hype is about. I thought this place just blew...


(... away everything else I've seen in Boston). Gotcha, didn't I? Man, you're an easy mark. A long exhausting day of an en route beer store in CT and brewpubs in RI and MA finally lands us at Anam Cara. We got off that strange train/trolley thing (I thought we were underground but then suddenly, not) and had to wander for a bit as our resident Brookliner, Phil, "had changed" (to a New Yorker) and had misplaced his bearings. Um,... probably that whole pack of people hanging out out front that place over there, yes??
Yes.
Looks like your run of the mill Irish pub from out front but inside it's a different deal. Dark wood, stained glass, small bar to the left and tables to the right. As you venture further in you'll find a large, large walk in closet of a room holding (maybe) 4 tables. Good for a small party as you could probably get about a dozen and change people in there. There's also a lower formal dining room with what looked like about a dozen tables or so. It's a nicely comfortable room with a fireplace. Nice brewerania throughout and some mad beer posters I wish I could get my mitts on. Sitting with my BA posse, I looked at Moon0 and then the wall just behind him, then Moon0 again, the wall again, Moon0 again, wall again and then declared surprisingly, "The resemblance is uncanny". Moon0 turns to look and finds the De Dolle Oerbier poster directly behind him (the one with that little yellow marshmallowish guy wearing the "Anno 1980" sash, holding a chalice in one hand and some sort of a stick in the other). I did it to Schoolteacher, also. it is an uncanny resemblance. I think they had the Bos Keun poster also. Good score.
The place was jammin', but I got my Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA with great ease. No, not the 60, no, not the (dirty) 120, but the 90, as it should be. Tap list on the wall along the door had 24 taps, mostly good eastern micros, and mostly good seasonals or choice selections from those breweries. Also a half dozen good imports, mostly Belgians, thrown in for good measure (Cantillion Kriek is a very good measure). A very healthy bottle menu, and you could see some others on display just to taunt you, like the shelf with the Magic Hat Nailbiter, Thumbsucker and Chaotic Chemistry bottles, and others littering the shelves behind the bar.
Here's where it gets good. I'm beating the hat out of the Magic Hat reps in the back room for not distributing the Ravell and Feast of Fools into New York, and literally 2 minutes later, Biruchan grabs me and pulls me back to our table where owner Dave, given instruction to go downtstairs to the cellar and bring back "something something" returns with what? Yes, Magic Hat's Feast of Fools. He goes downstairs again and comes up with a pair of Cantillion's, one from '03 and the other from '96. Fine, okay, okay!!! I'll do a Cantillion vertical tasting if it'll make you happy (made us happy).

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Photo of Billolick
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This place is a true Beer hunter's destination. Heard a lot about it, read a few reviews, finally got to make a visit, Friday night. Nice mid sized room, couple of different levels and a nice Gothic leaning small side room. Huge TV projection screen in main room, a few tables out in front on the street. Food looked awesome, but no chance to try it. Place was full, but not crowded. Nice warm, casual athmosphere. Arrogant Bastard and a bunch of other quality choices on tap and in bottle. Appropriate glassware being utilized. Life is good, thank the good lord above for quality, fun spots like this one!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I realized I screwed up my Allston tour when I skipped Deep Ellum. By then, I was back at my hostel and planned to go to just one more beer bar for the night. I wanted to visit anotehr part of the area, so I chose The Publick House.

As I got off the street car, I was shocked to the place packed like sardines. Okay, it was Friday night, but I didn't expect it to be THAT crowded, I could barely get to the bar. The place was alive, filled with lots of Belgian memorabilia, but the "La Chouffe" dolls standing behind the bar stood out the most to me. Nice draft and bottle selection, much of it being Belgian styled beer. They even have the proper glassware to pour the beers into. I love the attltude of the place as well. One of the stickers they have says "eat good food, drink better beer", and another preaches "don't drink crap beer". The latter is surely the case, you won't find any major brand beer here. Everyone seemed to be drinking tripels from goblets, including me.

Two words: highly recommended! Though I wonder what it could have been if I chose to go back to Allston and visited Deep Ellum that night. On second thought, I'm just glad I got to visit this gem.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

For those of us who rely on public transportation, it is important to note that it is located just past the Washington Square stop on the Green "C" Line.

This place has an extensive front with Duvel and Chouffe signs flanking their name. Lots of neon on display, too, including Sam. Adams, Rogue, and Corsendonk.

The bar is just inside the door and is surrounded by high chairs. They feature twenty-four (24) taps, plus a Belgian three-tap system, primarily for Allagash products. It was the back bar, however, that really caught my eye. Not only is it beautifully constructed of wood, but the top has Chouffe gnome and Stone gargoyle statuary. My mouth watered at the sight of the Chouffe gnome hats with a bell on the end and the Orval apron. ORVAL MAKES AN APRON!?! No self-respecting Beer Pest would ever be seen in public sans apron.

Headed aft, there is a small alcove with four high tables and stools, surrounded with Mighty Mighty Bosstones posters.

The restaurant area starts to the right of the entryway and continues down a short flight of steps, where a plethora of tables and chairs exist. The lighting is very low-key and a lot of the hanging fixtures are straight out of a Catholic church in Belgium. All of the way back, on the far right wall, is a great oval painting of a monk involved in supplication, hoisting a chaliceful of beer, surrounded by wooden casks, one of which is stacked with cheese.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the lavatories: to the right of the bar, through an archway, past the ATM. A monk and a sister identify the heads and King Gambrinus stands in front of a private office. Perfect!

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Photo of Sammy
4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Well, it’s quite something to visit a great BeerBar for the first time & revel in its splendor. It is a pleasure to do it with a traveling beer drinking friend, my good buddy ‘xlperro’. BUT! - It is really quite the treat, when it’s done as part of the pre-Stammtisch AoBF2 Bash, in the presence of so many legendary BeerAdvocate buddies, with whom I had so longed to meet. I was NOT disappointed by the Bar, or the BA’s, in fact, it was quite overwhelming.

The Bar itself is towards the end of the Green ‘C’ Line, Washington Square if I remember rightly. I just knew the Anam Cara would be great as soon as I walked in. For me it felt like it had all the attributes of a great Belgium Bar; slightly dark, brownbar walls, some stain-glass Church-like windows, Breweriana, Domestic & Foreign Beer Posters, Adverts, about 25 Taps, a range of varied Glassware & Bottled Beers. It immediately gives the place a “quality beer establishment feel”. The bar is to your left as you enter, with a wooden floor & a few Tables in front - where the BA Clan were all sat. Beer range is, as everyone else has said, extremely good. I really enjoyed the Rapscallion - Mmm. The lower level to the right, is nearly all Tables & a bit Dining orientated.

Talking of which, the Fish n’ Chips were outstanding (Thanks JohnnyP!), the Fish was especially well cooked, white, chunky, fleshy & fresh - the Chips were proper as well, none of that French or Frozen crap - they're home made. They even gave me some Malt Vinegar to accompany the Salt - without me even asking.

The thing that *really* impressed me was the Service; it was quite simply, First Class. It was crowded & busy on our visit, & later on with JohnnyP & xlperro’s gymnastics, a little rowdy, but in a very friendly reunion kind of way. Nevertheless, service at the crowded bar, sometimes two or three deep, was always cool, courteous & you were never served out of order – something that is very customer friendly because it always makes you relaxed & less pushy, knowing that if you wait your turn, you will be duly served. That’s rare these days, but welcomed. Very professional, & even at demanding times, accommodating Staff. They more than earned their Tips on our visit.

I entered with One Great Friend – & Left with an Army of them.
A night I will long remember...
...& this was even before the Stammtisch!!

Sheer Bloody Brilliance, I am DEFINITELY coming back here.
Just try and keep me away.

Last (? Latest!!) Visit: 12th September 2003

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Photo of GJ40
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I stopped in before a Sox game after finding this place on BA. Once again, BA really paid off.

The atmosphere is very comfortable. They have the feel of a true neighborhood pub with wood floors, lots of wood trim and beer signs and bottles displayed throughout.

The beer lineup is good but not exceptional. They had around 30 on tap and the quality was good. It was a mix of Belgian, New England and other US beers. We had Green Flash West Coast IPA, Chimay and La Chouffe. The prices were reasonable (especially when you consider that it's in a big city).

The menu looked interesting but we had to get to the game so we didn't try the food.

I really liked this place but the A+ rating is a bit high. They'd need some more taps to be in that range but this is still a very good place. Check it out.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

This place was very conveniently located, right next to the Washington Square stop of the green line C train. The atmosphere was inviting, dark corners and most of the light provided by candles in Chimay glasses. There were 2 bars with seating for about 15, a couple dozen tables indoors and 3-4 tables outdoors on the sidewalk. Lots of unique beer posters (most looked homemade but cool) on the walls.

The beer selection was very good, especially the Belgian beers. I won't describe in too much detail as you can see it on their website. But I will state that ABT 12 on tap is not near as good as it is poured from the bottle, I guess refermentation is important for the flavor and body.

I think this place lives up to the hype, and completely recommend a stop here if you're in Boston.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.83/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I haven't been to the Publick House in over a year, for every time I went there was no place to stand or to sit. So now that the Monk's Cell is open, I thought I would re-visit. Went there for dinner on Saturday 4/14 around 7:15 pm. Even though the Monk's Cell has added more space to this restaurant, it really just means that more people will be crammed inside. When we arrived, we found a line that snaked through the entire length of the bar just to try to grab a table from the host. After over 30 minutes in line, we gave up on a table and managed to luckily grab two seats that opened up in the new Monk's Cell area. Seats at the bar on that side are first come/first serve. That side of the bar is much nicer to sit and eat, as opposed to trying to eat on the other side with all those people breathing down your neck. Once we got a seat, we had a very nice meal with very good beers. I had the Stompe Saucisse with an O'Hara's Irish Stout followed by a Scaldis. My wife had the Citrus Chicken sandwich with a Avery White Rascal followed by a North Coast Pranqster. Service was good and prompt even on a busy night. Most of the Belgian beers (great quality and selection) are $7 and over, so your bill can add up quickly. There is so much to like about the Publick House: the beer, food, ambiance, etc. But the place just seems to be a bit too small to be able to handle its own well deserved popularity.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.26/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

We hit The Publick House as part of a two day Boston beer bar tour (Sunset and Deep Ellum being the others). The Publick House was our first stop and I didn't think it could get any better. Sunset has more great beers to choose from. The Publick House has a fine atmosphere and while we were there their tap list focused on "hophead" beers - IPA's - which is fine by me.

The Green Line T C line runs right in front of the door of this place so you can easily access it from downtown for $4 round trip.

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Photo of Dicers
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of Bierman9
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Ate lunch here yesterday (06MAR04) for the first time, with Alewife. Onion and ham soup was top-shelf, and we both quite enjoyed our citrus-basted chicken Sammiches. Service was quite good, as well. Very enjoyable lunch for the both of us. Prosit!!

First time visit (10AUG03), for an AOBF meeting with the Bros and other distinguished BAs.... Really cool looking place, though a bit on the dark side, with a great bar to the left as you enter with plenty of bottles lining the shelves and what looks like gargoyles standing guard over things from on high (a Stone touch, no?). A big, long wooden table is to the right, along with smaller tables further on to the right in a sub-level. Has a fireplace along with some gothic-like arches and plenty of bier and Irish music-related posters. Seemed to be about 25 or so biers on tap, and all were top-shelf. Prices were in the $4-5 range, and you're talking stuff like 60-Min IPA, Prescription Pils, and Arrogant Bastard. An array of 60+ bottles supplemented your choices, and prices were better than most any local place for the quality received. Mr. Dane Bass himself, from (or, formerly from) B. United, was serving up the suds to us. Great place. A gem on Beacon Street! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.5
atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

63

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.86/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.91/5  rDev -34.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

I must say, this place disappointed. After making the trip from Denver (not only for this place, but it was on my list), I wish I never bothered. Got off the Green line and this place was closed until 5pm. Weird. No matter, I went across the street to the Abbey and had a nice meal and beer.

Publick house won't let you sit outside unless you're eating. What a pain! Why? Eff that, man. So, if you go for a beer be prepared to sit inside, which is dark and stinks a bit. And their "specialty" is Belgian beers, and a bit pricey at that.

No shots
No flights
No pitchers
The samples I got came in pint glasses. After two beers I had enough of this place. My server was friendly, but didn't know much about the beers. Oh well. I should've hit Sunset Grill instead of this one. Won't be back even if I lived in Boston area...it's just not worth it

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Photo of Jason
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I've been going to this establishment since it was called Anam Cara, seen the break of out the Monk's Cell and have seen them evolve into of the best beer bars / Belgian eateries in the US.

Staff is knowledgeable of nearly every beer that is on and if they don't know they'll find out. They are great on giving recommendations if you don't know what you are looking for. The food is amazing, mussels kick some major ass. Frites, can't go there without ordering them.

Heavy Belgian focus for the beer list, you can order any beer on the list no matter where you are. The rest of the selection keeps up with a smattering of seasonals, new releases and solid stand-bys. Proper glassware really makes this place shine with a proper pour to boot.

If you are in the Boston area it is a must visit, if you live in the area and never have been you have been missing out.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Erica and I found ourselves here for the pre-BBF gathering at the Stone 6/6/6, this past Friday. The atmosphere of this pub is quite cool. Dark wood, cool lighting, and little alcoves evoke a nice Belgian cafe feel. The quality of the brews were very good, and the prices were reasonable as well. I dug into a Rogue RIS, an Stone OG 2005, and a Allagash Odyssey whilst here chatting it up with some BA buds. Service was fast and efficient, especially considering how packed this place was. Selection as noted was very very good with many specialties on draught and a good bottle list as well. Cantillons abound as well. Nice. A great bar easily accesible via public transportation. Just hop on the T 'green line' get off at Washington square, walk two blocks up and you are there! I'd love to come back here on a laid back afternoon...

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Slatetank
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I stopped in at the Publick House in the evening with some friends after Kate The Great day. We were the first ones to arrive (doors weren't opened yet) and they let us in 5 min early. The place has a great atmosphere with wood and breweriana everywhere a very comfortable surroundings and makes you feel at home with a sort of pub vibe that is becoming lost.

The Services is great we were seated quickly served our drinks and the food came to us minutes after we ordered the accuracy was spot on and the service was friendly.

The food was very tasty - charcuterie and hummus was excellent and was surprised by how fresh everything was and wish I had an appetite to try more. The quality of beer and food were both exceeding expectations -well done

The selection was pretty impressive with beers I had not tried and some that I have heard of but not seen on tap. They had Otter Creek Quercus Humulus Vitus and Port Mongo as well as Lagunitas Czech Pils when we were there. I didn't really get to check out the bottle list, but was pleased with the overall variety and the Belgians were good choices to have.

The cheese from Rogue and Chimay was another item I almost left off- very tasty. The only area I could really offer criticism would be perhaps more attentive service, but overall it was better than average. I would recommend Publick House to anyone stopping in Boston for some craft beer.

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Photo of zeff80
4.65/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I stopped by twice, once on a Satuday and on a Wednesday. It was packed both times. The atmosphere inside was great. I loved the paraphenalia and the overall feel of the place. The food was pretty good. Great dipping sauces for the fries. Most importantly the beer selection was outstanding and they tasted great. I had a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and a Founders Dirty Bastard. Both were in bottles and both very excellent. There were so many choices it was nearly impossible to decide. Truly is deserving of the hype. It is by far the best beer bar I've ever been to.

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Photo of SimcoeKid
3.21/5  rDev -27.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Photo of rjp217
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Absolutely my favorite bar/eatery in the Boston area. You get an absolutely amazing selection at this place, rare beers you won't typically find in this area. I went the other night and on draft they have several offerings from The Bruery, Three Floyd's Angel Dust, and Founders Doom. You're just not going to find this stuff anywhere else in New England. Their bottle selection is amazing as well. These guys do it right at the Publick House.

It can get jammed on a Friday or Saturday night so you'll have to get their early to land a table but it's a fairly large place. The food is awesome. I had the Steak Frites and for $21 you won't find a better steak in the area.

Although the overall draft, bottle, and food menu is a tad pricey, you get what you pay for and that's great quality. If i were to recommend any BA person to a spot in the Boston area, this would be it, well done!

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Photo of Resuin
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Anam Cara is located on Beacon St. at Washington, right on the Green Line. The Beacon St. front is glass windows. There was one TV showing sports. The bar itself is relatively small, and most of the establishment has table seating (more geared towards being a restaurant than a desination bar, perhaps). The bar is brown wood, and the decor is reminscent of the inside of a church or monastery, complete with some stained glass, carved wood moldings, and some gargoyles above the bar.

I counted 22 taps including Guinness, Tetley's, Murphy's, Belhaven, Boddingtons, Paulaner Hefeweizen, Harp, Harpoon, Sam Adams, Magic Hat, Sierra Nevada, Rapscallion, and Coors Light. They also offered 22 bottles including Newcastle, Samuel Smith, Lindeman, Chimay Red, Allagash, Anchor, etc. For the most part, beers were served in the appropriate glass. The bar also seemed well stocked with Irish Whisky.

It is a comfortable place, and other patrons praised the food, which I did not try. At least one of the bartenders was from Ireland and said they like suggestions regarding beers.

8/31/03
I have been back serveral times since my initial review. The place has just gotten better and better with an even larger beer list and a bit more atmosphere. Their use of the proper glasware (glasses and coasters often matching the exact beer) is a great touch. I also got a chance to try the food, which is quite good. Great place! (Scores modified to reflect these recent visits.)

9/15/03
Have had food there a couple of times now. Very, very good. Had some Venison Stew on special the other night - delicious!

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The Publick House in Brookline, MA
4.43 out of 5 based on 355 ratings.
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