Amherst Brewing

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Amherst BrewingAmherst Brewing
Very Good
354 Ratings
Amherst BrewingAmherst Brewing

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

10 University Dr
Amherst, Massachusetts, 01002
United States

(413) 253-4400 | map

Formerly Amherst Brewing Co.

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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of slander
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Even before we left Brooklyn, Jess says to me, "I'm going to drop in on my son tonight at his school, take him out to dinner. I dropped him off the other day, he's living in a frat house now. I didn't like the look of the place when I dropped him off. I just want to make sure he's okay. You're coming. You can find one of them brewpubs you like and we'll go there".
A few hours later in Kingston, I ask, "Just where is this kid of yours?"
"I told you, up in Massachussetts, North of Springfield".
"Yeah, I know that, but, where North of Springfield? What school's he at?"
"U Mass at Amherst".
...and I'm thinking Amherst Brewing Co, it's a no brainer. Somehow, Phil and I missed it when we were in the area at Northampton Brewing and Moan & Dove on the "Long was 'round to Ambany" tour in July.
The kid's house is about a mile away on a strip riddled with Greek houses, so we got to Amherst in about 3 minutes, although parking was another story.
Located in a stretch of stores and restaurants on the main drag, the first thing you hit when entering is a small room with wood lined kettles. The bar's straight ahead and the dining room's to the left, where we're seated. A dozen and a half tables, faux marble lowers and tan painted uppers with a Beatles poster, other rock art and brewery prints.
The "J" shaped bar seats 2 dozen or so, wood with a copper top and a half dozen bar tables adjacent, running the perimeter. The room runs brick lowers and painted green uppers, it's a nice room. Mug club mugs hang overhead and the walls are decorated with Belgian beer signs, which are most certainly out of place because they don't serve Rodenbach, or any of these beers for that matter.
I ordered the beer sampler paddle which came with 7 beers (Pils, IPA, ESB, Brown, Impy, Porter, and the Heather Ale, which replaced the PA). The Cascade IPA was medium bodied, hoppy & clean, the Massatucky Brown was sweet & nicely malty, the Puffers Smoked Porter was thickish, dry & smokey, and the 2 Sisters Imperial Stout was winey, strong & inky. Having gone through the sampler, I opted for the cask IPA, very smooth and pleasant. Jess had the Pils and liked it a good deal, his underage Sophmore son settling for a coke. There's a fridge in the bar area with growlers for sale. In addition to the house beers, they carry a few others. On this occasion, the BBC Octo and Coffee Porter, Cisco Whales Tail, Corsendonk Brown and Guinness.
Big surprise, I ordered the Jambalaya. Chicken, sausage & shrimp in a tomato base over rice, not bad, not terrific. Jess had a good burger, the kid had a baaad chicken sandwich. Don't know what made it bad, he just wasn't happy with it.
There's a room upstairs with a big screen TV, a bunch of pool tables, ping pong, foosball, darts and a CD jukebox. Out front, they've got a dozen tables along the street amidst potted plants.
Nice place overall, solid beers and probably makes for a good Amherst One-Two with the Moan & Dove in tow.

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Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This a popular destination in the center of downtown Amherst, Ma. Be careful because during the school year, this place, as well as seemingly everywhere in Amherst and Northampton gets over crowded come dinner time and you will be outside, in the cold, waiting for a table. Comfortable, casual, beer spot, U-shaped bar to the right as you enter, friendly service, respectable and reasonably priced home made beer selection. We didnt try the food, but it looked good, seemed to be come in large portions and smelled good, for what its worth. Decent place for a pint, or a hearty meal.

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Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

A very nice place to hang out, with an outdoor patio on the little main street in a college down, and the busiest of the several places we visited in the area. Much more blue collar and typical good beer atmosphere relative to the others in the two towns(including Northampton). Mixed reviews on the beer, some were above average, some quite poor. A couple of guest taps. Excellent service, a welcoming as well as the service. Pub fare: My buddy was satisfied with the food he had, though it was not a full meal.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25

Huge place, not laid-out particularly well, friendly and food just ok.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

big ass establishment one and a half miles from umass. its a big sprawling venue, long bar 50 yards long and bending, huge pool hall, this is a college bar on first impression. the quality however, is a step above that, but only one step. almost 20 brews on, very impressive, with as many house as guest brews, and some rarities at that, with sierra Nevada beer camp stuff, and gems from smuttynose and harpoon and all, very cool. great great tap list. bartender too is awesome, local cat back and forth to nyc, good insight, not a beer guy per se, but a dope smoker and a classic. generous as anything with the freebees, and a genuinely fun place to hang for awhile. pretty college undergrads abound, but that's not the point here, as sweet as they look, this is about camaraderie. not brutally expensive for what you get, pulled pork chilli is bangin, and overall a place worth visting.

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Photo of misternebbie
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Dicers
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Bierman9
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I stopped in here on 04AUG12 with older daughter Caitlin after hitting the airshow at Westover. It was fairly easy to find in a mini-stripmall type of setting just out of the busy area of Amherst. Can tell it used to be a gym; not set up as a typical pub.

Through the sizable foyer and past the hostess stand towards the bar. There's a large, bright dining area to the right, fronting the building. The bar is more to the rear, with more dining and pool tables to the left. Save for the front dining area, the rest has low lighting and dark wood; still feels comfy, though. The bar is extensive, running long from front to back along the back right wall. It has one island-U protruding out near the start, then runs about 50' to the back. A nice dark-wooded bar has a well-placed curved front to lean on. There are a few bier towers, and the barback has lots of liquor, mirrors, and bier plaques. More bier posters and pics adorn the other walls as well. A large blackboard lists the current in-house brews as well as the guest offerings. They had about 9-10 ABC biers and another 10 or so guests. And they ran the gamut of styles, too: maibock, hefeweizen, IPA, imperial stout, rye bier... Sweet!

I had some samples of a few, but quaffed the Maibock in quantity. Caitlin had the hefe- and liked it well. Started with a great, big-ass German pretzel, then some wurst and chili for our main meals. Well made and very flavorful! Service was A-1! We were asked if we'd been in before. When replied no, the 'tender laid out the bier option styles and servings available. Didn't suck that she was hot, too!

Well worth the stop! We both lamented the fact that ABC was a bit of a drive from home... Oh well... Prosit!!

4.3/5 rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$


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Photo of Jason
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is just the way I like my brewpubs … like a pub. As long as you can do it the right way you will be a winner in my book and Amherst meet the criteria and then some. Sadly they were out of a couple of beers but the Steam Lager and the cask Anniversary Ale did me just fine. The Steam Lager paired surprisingly well with the Knockwurst on kraut, real fries and the ale mustard.

A huge improvement from two years ago and it makes me quite envious that a place like this is not in my backyard. Worth the visit if you are in Western MA.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Review updated 7-14-03 after 2 more recent visits.

This is a nice place right in the center of town. There is on-street parking or a few municipal lots nearby (including one a few doors down behind the CVS). There is seating outside in good weather, and there is a restaurant/bar downstairs and another bar upstairs with billiards, etc.

The quality of the beers is pretty good with a few being very good. The selection was very good, with 8 of their brews on tap during my visits, and at least one guest beer on tap (from Berkshire Brewing Co.) on one visit, and 3 on more recent visits (Guinness Stout, Berkshire Brewing Co. Imperial Stout, and Allagash White).

The decor is nice. One half of the downstairs is a dining area, and the other half is the bar area with a large rectangular bar and tables around the perimeter of the room. The brewing facilities are visible at the front of the pub, and also behind the bar, and in the rear. Nice setup. A very comfortable bar to sit and have a meal, a few pints, and maybe even read the newspaper.

The service was good from the wait staff and the bartenders. The food was very good in the restaurant. The brew a rootbeer, too, which was pretty good.

Overall a very nice brewpub.

Most recent visit January 15, 2006.

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Photo of Todd
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located a few blocks from the common, this brewpub is very inviting. Outdoor seating, long bar area, dining seating, warm/dark colours and full view of the brewery from the bar area. Service was exceptional, we were a large group and took over the entire bar section, however our servers were friendly, informative and catered to our needs without question. Mike, the brewer, gave very informative tours of the brewery and was on hand to answer any questions.

Roughly 12-14+ beers, including cask and some guest taps (Guinness and Allagash White, when I was in) and a house root beer (very tasty). Had their Smoked Porter and Steam Lager, both of which were extremely good. They also sell BBQ sauces and whatnot made with their beers, to-go.

Our menu was fixed, but the food was top-notch for a brewpub; Caribbean Jerk Chicken Salad, Black Bean Lasagna, Smoked Shrimp Pizza and Knockwurst Sandwich plates.

This is the kind of brewpub that's solid. Something you could make your local if you lived in the area, or at least I could. If you are traveling and plan to hit the Amherst area, definitely swing by this brewpub for some grub and brews.

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Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I wish I had an opportunity to try some of the food, even though it offers traditional brewpub fare.

The inside is very dark reminding me of the band bars throughout New England. We (my daughter and I) had our libations outside which featured wrought iron tables and chairs--no worry about these being stolen.

The service was pleasant enough, but I'd describe it as being closer to efficient. The server stopped by whenever it was "time". Her only moment of personality was when she asked which beer I liked best (Cascade IPA). She seemed to be adequately knowledgeable on the beer.

There were two regular beers missing from today's menu. There were several (I believe five) beers available from the seasonal menu. I ordered a sampler of six. Overall, I thought the beers were above average. I thought the prices were very good: $4.25 for pints (except the Imperial Stout at $5). The six-glass sampler was $6.

Overall, I will want to return and try some of their other offerings, including the food.

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Photo of ecoboy
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The most recent visit brought me in for lunch on a day when the students were rolling back into town. Hopefully all the bare midriffs didn't skew my atmosphere rating.

Beers at the bar in the past have always yielded a satisfactory result. I remember sitting with a friend talking with the bartender as if we were regulars about what other cities we could live in, if we had to move. This time, the service was simply service, but no complaints here.

Did I say "in?" A table for four was laid out on the patio where you can watch the whole of this charming college town walk by. You can also sit in the darkened bar, or the art festooned dining room.

Friends sampled the paddles; I chose the cask conditioned brown which was really, really good to this non-brown-drinker. Then it was on to the steam lager, since the style is so rare. There's also a pilsener and an imperial stout on the menu... I guess the brewery could care less how long it takes, or how difficult it is... bring on any style! Commendable attitude. It wouldn't make a damn bit of difference if the beer wasn't good, and it is.

Food yields a few surprises. Unusual daily soups, and a few nice sandwich choices, like a marinated vegetable roll-up and a bison burger special. prices are fair-to-middlin'.

Recommended, especially as part of a Northampton/Amherst crawl. Hit the used Cd store next door, too.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Amherst Brewing Company, or ABC, is a pretty basic little brewpub that churns out some pretty great beers from time to time.

The ambience is that of a typical brewpub. Its got a lot of old school beer signs and posters, some of which I wonder how they ended up getting, on the walls. The brewery is encased in glass for you to look at as well.

Service is best at night. During the day when it is quiet it can get pretty slow and the service can be rather minimal. Ask for samples of the beers though, they will certainly let you try as many as you'd like.

Selection for beers is usually pretty good. They tend to have some of their basics on tap all the time along with a few seasonal or special offerings. They had their Anniversary Ale as well as a cascade ipa on as well as guest taps from Troegs (Mad Elf) and SN Bigfoot. I love ABCs Smoked Porter and their Imperial Stout. I'd like to know when they'll have those on tap so I can plan my visits accordingly!

Food is basic pub fare. Its not amazing by any means and its not at the level of Northampton Brewery, but if you want a decent burger, fried pickles and a beer for lunch, than the ABC can surely satisfy.

They just expanded this place so that the basement is in use. Its now 3 floors with lots of room for both students and non-students alike.

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Photo of bcgeiman
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of JKV96
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of sulldaddy
2.55/5  rDev -35.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.5

Just visited the pub for dinner and a beer at the end of a western MA excursion. I had been there once before many moons ago and thought I remembered it being a groovy place. Well maybe things change. WE got in and they told us we would wait 40 minutes for a dinner table, fine we will go to the bar area and get drinks. That was fine with the hostess. No sooner had we taken a small bar table but they kicked us out to make it a dinner table. Annoying move. So we actually met some people and shared their table and got menus and a drink order in 5 minutes. Then we didnt see our server for 25 minutes or so. She cam back with drinks and we placed a food order. Didnt see her again for 30-40 minutes. Now it was busy but not ridiculous.
Anyway, the food was decent but not anything great I had a decent ruben with sweet potato fries. A good pub meal, and it was tasty but many of the fries were a little burnt.
Also my girlfriend ordered a baileys and coffee with a shot of vodka. When the bill came the shot was $5!! That seemed a little pricey to me. I had the cask IPA which was decent but not outstanding, and again our server never asked if I wanted another brew or even a water or anything else.
Finally, I had brought a generic growler with me to bring home something. Seemed like a good plan, they sell growlers there. I was told by the bar tender that they dont fill other growlers only their own. That was lame, I asked why and she said something about a license but if they can sell a growler that they fill there why cant they fill mine.
OVerall, a bad experience, the place has a nice look to it and with friendlier staff and better customer relations it could be a nice hangout. I wont be going back anytime soon.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

this place was stop #2 on my amherst beer sunday.. a voyage i see many people on here have undertaken.

the atmosphere is dark and cozy, plenty of seats at the bar and not too packed sunday for lunch. if you sit at the right spot by the bar, you will be surrounded on all sides by beer tanks, fermenters, hoses, growler fridges, and tap handles.. a beer paradise!

12 beers on tap, 2 guest beers (guinness and smutty ipa). most interesting beerwise were the cascade ipa (flagship), incinerator dopplebock and raspberry brown ale.

friendly bartender and comfortable chairs

the food was another highlight here, maybe the world's best fried pickles (and ive had a few in my day). had the cheese plate as well, with a nice cheddar selection, apple chutney, pilsner boursin and a piping hot fresh loaf of bread. the cascade ipa washed everything down nice, and i sampled a few other brews. growlers here are a good deal.. $6.50 i believe for a gallon. didn't take any home though as i was just wrapping up a big beer shopping purchase.

i'd stop by here again, mostly for the food.

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Photo of Nichols33
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of MuddyFeet
4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Was driving through town around lunchtime and decided to stop by for a sandwich and a couple of pints. I sat at the bar even though it was a gorgeous day outside. I have a feeling that at night when more people are there the bar gets kinda cramped--not a lot of space. Separate dining area too. 12 taps of their brew, plus two guest taps (Guinness and Allagash White). Also one cask pump. Food was really good and the price was more than reasonable. I got the reuben. Service was a bit wierd. Maybe because it was midday, but I had 4 different bartenders. Also, what they had on tap was different than what the beer list said and the board on the wall was different than both the taps and the beer list. I asked for a smoked porter (on the beer list) and was told that the chocolate porter was on tap (wall). I could not read the tap for this one, but I had to second guess the bartender that the porter was not the smoked one (if I was right, they have a really smokey chocolate porter. Yum). He was not sure after all, so he had to get the brewer who had to sample it to make sure. Too funny from my point of view. Great brew though and will definitely go back for more some day.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

There are big differences between the upstairs/downstairs.

The downstairs is the basic eating area. There is an outside where people can sit during the warmer parts of the year. The bar area downstairs is small and since most people eat downstairs the dining areas are pretty filled. The advantage to the downstairs bar area is it is much quieter than the upstairs bar. The food is great: an excellent pub menu with tons of daily specials. The service downstairs is awful though. You usually have to wait a long time for your food. At least you do have some of the best local beers in all Amherst ready and available to be drank. Sample drinks are available, and the downstairs area is also where one can purchase the ABC's growlers.

Upstairs is much more the bar area. Lots of ABC and European imports are available. It is very loud with music and conversations and often wicked crowded. Tons of games though: pool, darts, foosball, and table tennis are across the upstairs. You can still get food upstairs, but most of the time its appetizers and such. It's much more the social, bar part of ABC basically. Overall, it remains one of the most popular bars in Hampshire County.

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Photo of ChrisinRI
4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of asabreed
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I was here a week ago with a friend, who used to live in Amherst, for a book tour we were on together. We decided to grab some dinner before the reading, and I'm glad we did; without his suggestion, because I didn't know the area, we would've obviously gone somewhere else.

Lots of nice outside seating and a very cleanly pub atmosphere, some darkness, but not too dark, lots of tables, clean bathrooms, and a nice and spacious bar. Pretty much everything I'd want in a place like this.

For food I had the Bison burger with sweet potato fries and coleslaw. The burger didn't come with the cheese, which I was initially surprised about, but the Bison, with lettuce and tomato, was so flavorful that it really didn't even need it. The sweet potato fries and coleslaw were very good too.

The Cascade IPA was also very tasty, and that's the only brew I tried. It looks like they also have at least two rotating casks all the time, which I'm a huge fan of also.

If I'm ever in the area, I'll definitely come back. Good food, prices, atmosphere, and a lot of stuff to try overall.

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Photo of nomad
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Oh, ABC. Though you are an okay place, you do bring me fond memories of wondrous days gone past. But really, please go here for the beer and not the food. This was the place for dates, cheap get-togethers, (are these last two the same thing?) and maybe a dinner with your parents when I was in school at The Fairest College. The food is not good - tried a few of their things over the years, from finger food to entrees, and they are overpriced and underflavored. You can get phenomenal food for much cheaper across the street from a number of diverse places for food. Also, if you're not a student (not too hard to tell), you will receive much better service here, I swear.

As for beer, the selection of out-house stuff is okay and rotates somewhat, and the in-house stuff is okay, too, with a nod to their darker winter-ish selections (bocks, stouts). Overall, decent for a brewpub. I don't remember much because there's not much to remember.

EDIT: Years after graduation, stopping by once a year or so, somehow the food has gotten a little bit better while the service is stil wildly variant. Beer is solid.

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Photo of bennybrew
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

EDIT nothing to add at this time. but at least nothging changed. i did get a growler. maybe the tv's were new....

a fine fine place to have a brew. nice interior but not too nice. there are a few tables out by the street, a bar room, and a separate dining area. the brew house was visiable from the bar and the street with some of the fermentors at the end of the bar.

beers were grand. several brewed there and a few from away. try the cask (of course)!

service was good. they were knowlegable and attentive.

food was good. we ate from a limited menu but both things i tried were well above average.

when going to amherst stop here first.

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Amherst Brewing in Amherst, MA
Brewery rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 354 ratings