The Bier Abbey

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The Bier AbbeyThe Bier Abbey

Type: Bar, Eatery

613 Union St
Schenectady, New York, 12305-1529
United States

(518) 388-8597

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Added by shueyy on 07-03-2012

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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 30
Photo of slander
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Many times I’ve been so Albany close but never got out this way, but then there was nothing really to see in those days except a questionable brewpub. And I’ve toyed with coming out here after BCTC the last 2 years, but I’m always up and out too early. But now, I’m taking a few days off from work so I don’t hurt anyone and running through, well, not so much the long way around to Vermont but the slow way, anyway. A whole lot of brick and old upstate New York, Schenectady…

Parked and assessed the dodgyness factor, but I am directly across the street and there are people set up outside at tables, so I think we’re good. It looks to be one of many old houses in a strip of old houses, converted to a bar and restaurant. Look left, right, and left again, cross and enter past the 4 tables umbrella’d out front, and in. Look in on a smallish front room; a dozen 2 seat hightops around a fireplace, the room done beige painted over olive with crown moldings. Some Belgian prints, and the windows curtained up front.

And through to the bar, straight laminate wood topped, with a wood panel base and foot box; seating for 10 on hightop chairs. I set up there. Barback holds a pieced unit of wood with a framed squared blackboard on center listing 30 taps in alt colored chalk; brewery, beer, serving size, & price. Glassware of all sizes and shapes shelved to both sides over mirrored backing. I’m looking back at myself; goddamn, I’m handsome. 19 taps including a nitro handle on a copper panel below the board alternating, a copper roundy on the corner of the barback next to a handpump not up today (yet), and a handful more on the bar far corner. Bottles & cans coolered below the bar. I spy Westbrook Gose (love). A flatscreen in one corner, a Chouffe gnome & Delirium pink elephant in the other. The walls here are done in eggshell and some brick below yellow ochre plaster peeling. Others in olive wall uppers with brewery tins of Belgian play 4 sides around. Wood plank floors and off white ceilings with spots on track rows holding drop Belgian 750 bottle lighting, their bottoms cut away. 3 booths past the bar for the sitting at. You know, they have some cool DuPont posters that should be mine; hmmm, never seen that Avril poster before.

Past there, a step down room to the rear rear; with a sunken center and a dozen and a half 2 seat tables high & low, horseshoeing atop 3 sides around. Faux candle lighting mounted, a big screen to the backside, and some really cool steel framed beer logo pieces. The Unibroue Maudite demon, Chouffe gnome, Delirium elephant, Cantillon tipper, fuck, who made these things? They’re most awwwwesome. Want!

30 taps; nearly ¾ of them American craft, the regional majority (Allagash White & Fluxus, Jacks Abby Berliner Style Lager, Evil Twin Femme Fatale Kabosu & Ron and the Beast Ryan, Stillwater Of Love and Regret, Troegs Trogenator, DogFish Head Palo Santo, and a 1/2 dozen offerings from Rushing Duck on the heels of an event; Baby Elephant, Beanhead Coffe Porter, Dog’s Bollocks, BA Nimptopsical, Remarkable Liquids 2nd Anniversary IPA, Kroovy), and the craft afar (Westbrook One Claw Rye Pale Ale, Against the Grain Cutty Can’t Hang, Bruery BA Smoking Wood, Alesmith Horny Devil, Dark Horse Ollopa Dekoorc Eert, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Off Color Troublesome, Local Option Die Konigin). The other ¼ is a mix of imports (Reissdorf Kolsch, Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Weisse with Buckwheat, Unibroue Blanche De Chambly, Hof Ten Dormaal Dark Grappa Barrel, Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Framboise, Schneider Weisse) and a single mead (B Nektar Zombie Killer). + bottles and cans. There’s no list but they’ve got some ciders & N/A’s, and random randomness (Westbrook Gose & Evil Twin Nomader Weisse, as if the 2 Berliners on tap weren’t enough). Me? I’m all about the Berliners today. I drank the Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Weisse with Buckwheat & the Jacks Abby Berliner Style Lager. The Bahnhof was win! And now a can of Westbrook Gose because Gose goes wonderfully with daylight.

Beers are kept in 3 coolers basemented at 38, 43, & 48 degree serving temperatures; that’s pretty badass. They’re outlined on the beer menu; brewery, origin, style, ABV, & temperature. Appropriate glassware, much of it brewery specific logo’d and they’ve got 4oz tasters available for all beers if you want to run through a few shortys. Joeltender knows his Berliners. Nice, upscale place; good, mature crowd. Diggin’ the tunes, too. Best grown up bar in the Cap region; this, beyond the pines.

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Photo of Himself
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The Bier Abbey, boy I wish I lived next door. They have an AMAZING tap list, ever changing, and their food is made with the same care they have for their beer. The BLT is memorable, my wife and I can't stop talking about it. Greta people running the establishment as well. The Bier Abbey is the perfect spot show spot for Proctor's. Can't wait to visit again!!

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Photo of mynie
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Schenectady appears to be one big, bricky, old-timey downtown district. Which makes it a nice place to drunkenly while away a rainy Saturday afternoon.

The Bier Abbey is in an old and very large building. There's patio seating (for those foolishly inclined to drink in the sunlight, as opposed to wallowing in the shadows as god intended), a restaurant area, a dimly lit bar, and then a large banquet hall where sports are projected onto the wall. I choose the dim area, so as to be close to the bar.

The beer selection is amazingly well-crafted and cared for. This is the only beer bar I've ever visited where not only is each beer served at a different temperature, but the temps are noted prominently in the beer menu (along with beer and brewery name, location, style, and description).

Belgians are prominently represented in the tap lineup, but there's also plenty of New York State and New England-area selections for you people who refuse to drink beer that doesn't smell like grapefruit.

Very nice, very friendly place. The crowd was older, but it was pretty early in the day so I can't say what it's like early on. Bad music played constantly, but softly, and the bartender was a little surly but he warmed up after a bit. Nice place. Well worth visiting.

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Photo of vonnegut21
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Located in an up and coming block of Schenectady, the Bier Abbey is a great addition to the local craft beer scene. The interior has been renovated to have a vaguely Belgian, vaguely religious feel. Some of the tables are equipped with "pew" benches to further the "abbey" feel, while other areas have more of a European bistro feel. The bar itself is nicely sized, but in the middle of the place, right near the kitchen, so at times you can feel very in the way if you don't have a seat at the bar. Service is always excellent, with pour sizes and prices labeled and proper glassware used at all times. The selection is the best in the Capital District by far. Honestly, I don't think it could be any better given our terrible distribution. It's really the drawing point of this place. Without this loaded taplist, I probably wouldn't make the drive out to Schenectady, but they really put together a nice lineup. Food has always been pretty solid. Not spectacular, but good. The generous portions do a good job of soaking up the beer. Food is pretty fairly priced, but the beer is expensive. There's no two ways about it. The same beer here will cost $2 more than at certain other local establishments. At times, the taplist is worth the price. Other times, it's not. That said, I'd recommend you give this place a look.

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Photo of scotv
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Let me preface everything by saying I don't write reviews but I had to write one for the Bier Abbey as this place has almost turned into a second home for me on Friday nights.

From the moment you walk in the door of the Bier Abbey you can feel the difference from the routine bar or experience. I can't really pin point what it is about the atmosphere or ambiance but you instantly know the place is serious about their beer. Slide up to the bar and get mesmerized by the ever changing chalkboard of 30 beer selections littered with some old favorites and new delights. Choices ranging from local/regional breweries to brews that made their ways over borders and seas; there truly is something for everyone. Don't fret about the overwhelming list as you will be greeted by genuinely knowledgeable and overly friendly staff who literally make it their mission to find something your palate will desire. Hungry? The attention and commitment to the beer carries into the kitchen as they have unique and freshly prepared grub. Trust me when I say get the chicken tenders. The recipe was meticulously molded and crafted from customer feedback and the owner's commitment to perfection. Other options center around classic Belgian food with your traditional pub fair mixed in. Enjoy the beer, dive into the food and soak up the experience that is the Bier Abbey.

I know this all sounds biased, and maybe it is, but after visiting countless bars, brew pubs and eateries in the Albany Capital Region the Bier Abbey is my first and last stop. The owner George and manager Mike have crafted the Bier Abbey into a truly unique destination that will leave you craving more and coming back for weeks, months, and hopefully years on end!

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Photo of Altrurian
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A solid, beer-centric entry on the bistro row that is the 600 block of Union Street. Laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere nicely complements a sophisticated and caring approach to beer. Extensive selection of domestic and foreign products on tap, including some rarities, served in a variety of sizes (4 oz. - ca. 20 oz.), with careful attention to appropriate temperatures and glassware. Menu offers a sufficient range of appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees at reasonable prices. Knowledgeable staff. If you're in Schenectady, and serious about beer, a visit to Bier Abbey is strongly advised. Walkable distance from Proctor's Theatre.

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Photo of shueyy
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Bier Abbey has been open for almost a month now and I stopped by for lunch. There's a patio out front and then you walk into a small dinning room in the front that has a nice fireplace and then the next room has the bar with 30 taps which is incredible. Then there are some booth that have church pews and then a big back room with a large TV and more pews.
The lunch menu is some what small right now but high quality I got 2 pounds of mussels in a Thai coconut sauce that was to die for. There's a nice cheese platter, wings, burgers etc.
The most important part is the tap list which I thought was outstanding for the Capital District. They have 30 taps that the temp is individual controlled base on the style of beer. They have a nitro and cask as well. The tap list ranges from Duchesse de Bourgogne to Goulden carols hopsinjoor and some rare Blanche biers from Unibroue. The nice part is they have 4 oz.pour in the appropriate glassware so you can taste a few different beers. They obviously have all the right glassware which I think is important don't serve everything in a pint glass.
The bartender Jeremy and the owner George were very knowledgeable about the beers which made for a nice experience. It's a great addition to the Capital District and worth the drive from the Albany area I would highly recommend this place.

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The Bier Abbey in Schenectady, NY
4.49 out of 5 based on 30 ratings.
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