The Moan and Dove

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The Moan and DoveThe Moan and Dove
114 Ratings
The Moan and DoveThe Moan and Dove

Type: Bar, Eatery

460 West St
Amherst, Massachusetts, 01002-2988
United States

(413) 256-1710 | map

Voted the #1 Place to Have a Beer in 2006 - by reviewers.

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Ratings: 114 |  Reviews: 91
Photo of rockrob
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of JGLittle
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of harsley
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of markdrinksbeer
4.4/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Dark atmosphere, but welcoming and comfortable, especially if you go in the Fall or Winter.
Eclectic choice of music is most often playing, but rarely ever too loud to hear each other talking at your table.

No food, but peanuts are free.

The beer selection is impressive, and the beer tenders have always been very helpful and knowledgeable.

Not a place to sit down and drink a Beer Light to "watch the game". It is a place to sit with friends, and enjoy some amazing beer.

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Photo of Eriogonum
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of mcintire78
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of JShattuck
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The moan and dove is by far my favorite bar. I have yet to find a bar that compares to the moan and dove. (Dirty Truth and Lord Hobo are not quite as good).

Beer- Great selection on tap that rotates between standard styles Pale Ales, IPA, Stouts, Porters, , Pilsners, different Belgian styles, along with some rare styles of beer. Some standard beers are always on tap like Guinness, at least three IPAs, etc. Every Wednesday they have a different beer on Cask. They also have a lot of bottles to choose from ranging from $2 to $60.
Mug club if you drink the entire bottle list over a year.

Food- No food. Peanuts for free at the door. You are welcome to bring in pizza or subs from Sibies (best pizza and subs in Amherst), chinese next door, and Latinos around the corner for South American food. There is also a Hess next door for snacks.

Great vibe and great music played by the bar tenders. There is always a dog or two hanging out or sleeping on the floor. All of the bar tenders will take the time to talk to you and help you find the right beer. Tastings and half sizes for half price are available.

The majority of the crowd is friendly and regulars. I have been searching, but no bar beats or compares to The Moan and Dove.

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Photo of alee42
4.33/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I have visited the Moan and Dove a few times now with my friends. I like it so much I think this place will become a regular hangout spot whenever I'm in town. It's in a nice location and not too far from the neighboring universities. It's a little dark inside, about 12-13 bar stools and tall tables in the middle. Bench tables are on the side for sitting. You might just catch the big barrel of peanuts on the right side when you walk in. You can pile 'em into a bowl and snack on with your beer.

The they feature their beers on-tap on a blackboard above the bar. Only about 20 beers, they do have a rather large bottle menu - I haven't tried anything of it yet. The staff is friendly, and they do ask for IDs if guy at the door isn't there to do so. Arguably the best bar for the beer and the fun in the Amherst area.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.7/5  rDev -19.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

So I stopped by here after going to Amherst Brewing and People's Pint. After driving through some farms (I knew this was in a rural area), I pulled up behind the gas station next door. Interesting location for sure...

I was served a Founder's Breakfast Stout, my only beer, in a half pint glass. It was served at proper temperature, and apparently I got the last one of the keg, so it was free. Can't argue with that.

The bartenders were polite, but not particularly helpful. I guess it is a local's place, so I won't dock them here. They did get me a free Breakfast Stout...

The selection of beers is where I was disappointed. Sure, the selection wasn't bad. I struggled to find something I haven't had and sounded interesting in an area I don't even live, though. I decided on a beer that I have at home. Maybe I'm spoiled with Brick Store Pub in Atlanta, but I was expecting more - maybe some of the Cisco sours, a Lost Abbey beer or two, something local and interesting (BBC sours I've heard about?). They did have a decent lambic selection in bottles, but I was by myself so didn't go that way. I had tried them all anyways. Oh yeah, and no cask.

I really don't understand everyone's obsession with this place. It's rather expensive, the beer selection is mediocre by a beer bar's standards, and mostly everyone was drinking beer out of a huge stein (I realize it's because of some sort of club). This place could be great - I'm sure they have the means to get some great beer, but they just don't.

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Photo of heavydrexler
4.9/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

What a fantastic bar! I'm sorry, but I've never been to another bar with a ridiculous beer bottle list, an amazing rotating tap selection and different cask beers every week that also is next to a Hess and has dogs sleeping on its floor. Not to mention that it's in a college town and I will never have to rub elbows with frat boys or deal with huge crowds here. The place is fantastic, the people (both the patrons and the bartenders) are fantastic, and the beer is overwhelmingly fantastic! People may think it a little pricey, but, to be honest, it's really not that bad when you factor in how much it would cost to buy these beers at a liquor store.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The sister bar to The Dirty Truth. Whatever the Truth does wrong, this place gets right. The atmosphere is great. It is a small bar, and has that cozy pub feel to it. There is always some jazz or alternative music playing, but it never feels chaotic because of it. The patrons are mostly older and mostly all regulars, and some are of the hippie and yuppie variety. Unlike The Dirty Truth, however, the crowd here is extremely friendly and talkative, as is the staff.

The bartenders are very knowledgeable and extremely attentive. They will even offer you a glass of water before you head out if you have been drinking a few high abv beers. This is very responsible of them, and the first time I have ever seen this done.

The selection is superb. There are about 20-25 taps here (one cask tap sometimes) as opposed to 40 at The Dirty Truth, but what it lacks in taps, The Moan and Dove makes up for it with its bottles list. The bottle menu is impressive, and there are helpful descriptions of most of the beer styles right on the menu to help the novice beer drinker. Prices are a bit high, but these beers don't come cheaply anywhere else either.

These folks do everything right. This is hands down my favorite beer bar to date. I wish I lived a little closer so that I could patronize it more frequently.

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Photo of theetheethee
4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I'm new to Amherst, and after trying out a few of the other spots (dirty truth, Amherst Brewing Co, Northampton Brewery) this is by far my favorite. Huge bottle selection, with the requisite 'mug club' challenge to go along with it, as well as 24 taps with a very healthy rotation. It's also off the beaten path, so you don't have to deal with the frat crowds and obnoxious behavior you're more likely to find in the downtown spots. The place is cozy, maybe 15 bar seats, 6-7 booths, and two tables in the center big enough to accommodate larger groups. Bathrooms are small, but clean. The peanuts are fine and all, but the lack of food can be a downer; luckily they're very okay with you bringing some dinner in with you. The service thus far (6 visits in) has been excellent, with knowledgeable staff who are inviting and never condescending to noobs like myself who are looking to step up their beer knowledge. Prices seem a little high, with most pints around 6 and up, but not unreasonable. One caveat- not much to offer to people who aren't beer drinkers, other than some scotch and a few wines. As the only (aspiring) beer nerd in my house, it's a tough sell to people who prefer mixed drinks or ::shudder:: malternatives. All in all, however, I love this place and plan to be here very often now that I'm in the area!

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Photo of John_M
4.06/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Ummm.... this place was rated the number one place to get a beer on BA in 2006? Really?

The M&D is yet another fine beer bar located out in the sticks, in the last place you would expect to find it. It's located in a small strip mall, right next to a barbershop, chinese take out restuarant and a gas station. It's also pretty small, consisting of a small bar area to the left when you walk in (probably has 12 or 14 seats), a couple of good size table areas in the middle and then 3 or 4 booths to the right against the wall. I really doubt this place can hold more then 50 or 60 folks at any one time, tops! On the other hand, the place has a very relaxed, low key vibe, with a pretty eclectic selection of music going (loved hearing the ventures while I was there). The beer selection is certainly decent, consisting of around 20 beers on tap, not including a cider and one beer on cask (which this day was the entire butt porter). The selection here is pretty good, but I'd hardly call it mind blowing. They had 5 or 6 Stone beers on tap, and then 4 beers from Bink. They also had the Mongo DIPA from Port, Victory Braumeister pils, smuttynose baltic porter and old brown dog, anchor liberty ale, etc. A nice selection, no doubt, but I can't say it exactly wowed me. Bottle selection was a bit more impressive, with around 160-170 selections. They had some nice stuff, but there was nothing on the list I hadn't seen before or can't get at home. No disrespect, but I was really hoping I might see something at the M&D that I can't get back in Baltimore (they did have the high and mighty twin beast stout, but that's the only thing I saw that I hadn't ever seen or had before).

Service was good. The two young women tending bar were friendly, pleasant and quick. I'm not sure just how much then knew about beer, but it was more then sufficient for my needs.

Prices were high, no two ways about it. 12 ounce pours of anything Belgian were in the $9 or $10 range, and can someone please tell me why arrogant bastard needs to be $6.50 a pint? Generally, most pints were in the $6 range, except for the liberty ale, which for some reason was $4 a pint.

As near as I can tell, they don't serve any food here, but you can order in from any of the surrounding restaurants (accoustics are not good here, so it's not the easiest place to hold a conversation - I think that's what I was told). A number of places do this in the NW, and frankly I thought it a good idea here as well. Otherwise, you can help yourself to free peanuts while sipping on your beer at the bar.

This is definitely a very good place, but it's certainly not the sort of place I'd drive a 100 miles to get to (which I do rather frequently to get to some of the better beer bars in Philly). I don't know. I really had high expectations for this place, and frankly I feel kind of let down. Oh well...

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Photo of jneiswender
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Beervana. Plain and simple. This is everything a beer bar should be. 24 taps and a very robust selection of bottles at very fair prices. The service was impeccable. I walked in and asked for a recommendation. Instead of giving me what he drinks, the bartender asked me several questions as to what I typically drink. He recommended the perfect beer that I stuck with for the afternoon. The beer was served at the correct temperature and in the brewery's own glass. The atmosphere has zero pretense. I am quite shy but found myself engaging with locals easily. A absolute "bucket list" place. Go with food in your stomach or have food plans because they only serve peanuts.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

A: Warm, dark colors and a small space make for a very comfy, inviting ambiance. Huge selection of glassware behind the bar. It just got more comfortable as the night went on.

Q: Everything I tried was fresh, tasty, and high-quality.

Service: Liza was an extremely friendly and highly knowledgeable bartender who paid amazing attention to me and my friend, especially considering how busy the bar was. Simply top-notch.

Selection: Good (not quite great) mix of styles - a bit too much emphasis on seasonals for my taste, especially with a fairly limited 20 taps - with some very interesting and obscure beers. Extensive (but never surprising) bottle list.

Food: Not offered by the bar itself, but they have menus for a number of different local delivery establishments, so you can get just about anything you want. It's pretty cool to order panini to be delivered "at the end of the bar." Oh, and free peanuts. Awesome.

Value: Beer between 5 and 9, just as I'd expect at this kind of place.

Notes: If I ever live near Amherst, you can bet that I'll be a member of this place's mug club. It's a great establishment in just about every way, and worth a visit if you're anywhere in the area.


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Photo of yukkamaster
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is by far the best bar in the area. The selection is great, and the bartenders are very knowledgeable and take the time to answer all questions, give their recommendations, and provide tastes before you order. My favorite aspect of the bar (aside from the great beer of course) is the atmosphere. No matter what time of day or night I'm there, there is always an interesting conversations occurring, be it about beer, politics, the economy, etc. It is one of the few public spaces where people seem willing and able to get together and talk about what is going on, and do so over some amazing beers. At the same time, if you want to come in and enjoy a beer by yourself there is space for that - and free internet also. Anyone in the area should definitely stop by, and its worth a trip for those that are a bit further away.

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Photo of bernardus
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

It doesn't get much better than this place when you factor in the atmosphere, selection, and prices of this bar. Very inconspicuous from the outside and inside, the place is not too big at all. A row of booths to your right, the bar to the left, and some tables in the middle. Very dark inside too, but it suits the place perfectly. Hanging above the bar is the impressive tap list and their bottle list shines as well with several offerings from the big brewing countries. All beer is served in its appropriate glassware if applicable as well.

On my visit around 8 months ago, I started off with an Orval, first I've ever had and it quickly has become one of my favorites. I had a hard time deciding on a second, but the bartender recommended a Schlenkerla Marzen to my father-in-law and I, and needless to say it was an outstanding choice, I've been hooked on Rauchbiers ever since.

We went when school was not in session so we kind of had the place mostly to ourselves for a while and then it gradually became more croweded. Very relaxed atmosphere and clientel. No food to be found but if you like peanuts, you're in luck. Overall, a fantastic bar. Well worth a stop.

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Photo of cbutova
4.56/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Atmosphere here is my kind of place, non-hipster, non-trendy, down and dirty bar where you go to get BEER, not to text or WiFi and show off your new clothes. No problems with quality, all the beer was fresh and the vintage stuff (bottles) was labeled that way on the menu. Service was above average, the bartender was not the most talkative to us but he gave us a free sample of Alpha Dog, served our beer promptly with proper pouring and glassware. He answered any questions we had and treated us like craft beer drinkers like a bartender should at a place like this. Selection here is above average also, the tap list is somewhat small but there is a well-rounded selection on the taps. The bottle list however blows Dirty Truth and Sierra Grille out of the water, it is HUGE and has something of almost any style you would want when going out to a beer bar. Prices were neither too high or overly cheap, right in the middle, $4-8 drafts, Cantillon stuff was aobut half as expensive as TDT and most bottles were reasonably marked up on local liquor store prices.

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Photo of Tomas77
4.64/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This place is pretty much where it all started for me and the appreciation of craft beer.
A small establishment with a big following. A vast selection of bottled beer from all over the world. Each beer poured in it's proper glassware of that particular brew. Numerous taps and a couple of cask selections as well. No food but plenty of peanuts for everyone. You are allowed to bring food into the bar. Sevice is top notch. Staff is always tentative and very personable with the patrons. From time to time they hold beer tastings that are very educational and fun.
Worth stopping into anytime you are in the area.

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Photo of trbergman
4.14/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

The Moan and Dove was the final stop on my beer tour of Western Mass. The first thing I was struck by was the seemingly odd location - I nearly missed it, even with a GPS - just on the side of the road, next to a gas station. While the place is pretty much inaccessible on foot, everything else about it more than makes up for that. The twenty taps offer a pretty wide selection, although it is dominated by American craft brews. Not to worry, though, as they have an extensive bottle selection with plenty of Belgian, British, and German beer. Prices are reasonable and they're upfront with the sizes of their pours. I didn't notice a food menu, but there's a large barrel of free peanuts by the door. I also noticed that one group had a couple pizza boxes on their table, so perhaps you're allowed to bring in outside food.

No complaints about the service. No great praise either, but then I knew what I wanted and I wasn't sitting at the bar. Music was pretty good, and not too loud. I'd definitely return.

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Photo of sentomaster
4.86/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer bar. A great place to go with friends and enjoy some really good beer. This is not a place to go with frat buddies and pound bud light (you might be out of luck if that's your goal because I don't think they have it even in cans).

The place is small, dimly lit and usually plays some nice moody background music (I never remember what's playing, but it's always appropriate and not too overwhelming). A great atmosphere and a very friendly place with a clientele and employees that love beer.

They have 20 taps and they always rotate great beer. You'll find an awesome selection of beer here. They will almost always have several IPA's and stout's, one or two wheat's and pilsner's, and then mix in some seasonally appropriate beers. They also have a great selection of bottled beers, including a lot of hard to find, of the beaten path stuff.

If you're looking for food there's a deli place and a chinese place right next door, both of which are very good thankfully, because they don't serve anything but peanuts.

Not your typical bar in the least, more of a connoisseurs bar. Very laid back and just a great place

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Photo of markcl
3.18/5  rDev -30.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Atmosphere was great, I thought -- lots of wood paneling, dimly lit, small, intimate place where it be great to bring a couple friends for some good conversation. Exactly the type of place I'd want to be in when it's cold and windy outside...

...Especially with the quality and selection of beers. Totally outsanding, both drafts and bottles. Good balance of local stuff and non-Mass beers, especially west coast stuff. Beer menu is well-curated with brief descriptions of styles for the uninitiated or for whoever needs a refresher. This is a serious place for beer.

All this makes for a great little tavern that would be a regular spot -- however, I had such an absolutely horrible experience with the service and that has unfortunately tainted my impression of the place and has definitely damaged my desire to go back.

Bartender, a pretty young guy, very aggressively asked me for an ID. I still haven't gotten a MA ID since moving up here, so I produced my Ohio driver's license. He then asked for anything else with my name on it, and I produced my debit card.

At this point I was thinking, fair enough, this is a college town and a small place like this can't take any chances. I'm not baby-faced by any means, but I'm 25 and I understand the need to check ID. Happens all the time.

I thought that'd be enough, though. The guy, again very aggressively, starts quizzing me on my social security #, date of birth, ASTROLOGICAL SIGN, even. I produced this information with no problems. He then asks me to sign my name three times on a piece of paper so he can verify that my signature matches the one on my ID and debit card. I don't want to play a psychiatrist, but there was a level of contempt that he seemed to have that seemed to stem from his feeling that I *must* be underage and therefore a liar.

At this point, I was ready to go, it almost didn't seem worth it. I've been an avid craft beer enthusiast since becoming of age and I've never encountered any security routine like this. I had some great beer in my fridge at home and that seemed like the best place to be, at that point.

As it turned out, my fiancee, who is older than me (and doesn't drink beer) forgot to bring her ID, and understandably no one without one is allowed in the place. So after the whole ordeal, the bartender told us that she couldn't be there anyways.

I'm sad the guy had to be such a hard-ass about it. There's a civility and courtesy that should be practiced, and it's too bad that was lacking.

That said, the place is pretty awesome for beer/atmosphere and I'm sure I just had a bad apple. Next time I'll bring my birth certificate and college transcripts just to be sure though.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.66/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The Moan and Dove is a great little beer bar (well, maybe that is not giving it enough credit). This place is all about great beer.

Tap list always has some exceptional offerings. West Coast stuff as well as locals and they have two beer engines as well. I had some DFH 90 Minute (in a pint glass for $6) when I was there.

For a rather small bar, they pack a lot of taps and bottles into the place. Bottles are from all over the US and tons of imports as well.

Bartender was very nice and she was more than happy to answer any questions we had.

Moan and Dove doesn't have any food (except peanuts) so don't come hungry.

Excellent beer bar.

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Photo of tjbartjr
4.56/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I've been 21 for over 6 years, I lived in western Mass until I was 26, I even went to UMass for college, but I did not go to the Moan & Dove until a recent business trip! Granted, it wasn't always the Moan & Dove; I think it used to be the Old Amherst Ale House. Anyway, stopped in there to met up with some buddies before we made our way to McMurphys uptown. What a travesty I had never been there before! It's a great little place, the kind of bar you could picture a modern Hemingway or Kerouac relaxing at on a Saturday night. Nice mix of locals and more "alternative" college kids; a decidely different kind of college student than the ones at McMurphys, the Pub, or the late Barsies, for example. Easy to drive past, if you're not totally sure where it is, but a worthwhile stop. Warm, inviting interior, friendly staff. Had a real nice selection of brews, and they have a mug club for those interested in joining. If you're in the area, or passing through, it should be a definite stop on your list.

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Photo of Caesar024
4.64/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

First off, I was driving into town just after dark and this place was virtually impossible to find since it is outside Amherst proper and their sign is completely unlit.

I'm still really glad I made it.

Inside the atmosphere is great: no television screens to suck your attention away from your conversation with friends (or anyone else you happen to meet there), fairly eclectic music doesn't overpower either; dimly lit which is comfortable unless you actually want to read the printed beer menu, then you should make sure to bring reading glasses.

Beer selection was great, with most styles represented in draft and a fine bottle selection. Somewhat disappointed to see two beer engines plus a firkin sitting on the bar, but only one cask beer available (Allagash Curieux, which looks phenomenal, but a little too much when I had to drive back to Springfield afterward). A pretty sold list of "lawnmower beers" there for when friends who aren't as adventurous, but want to hang out.

Service was quick, friendly, and knowledgeable. Also, excellent at giving accurate directions when I had to call to find the place...

I really expected to find food (to pair with my beers), but ended up with a complementary bowl of salted peanuts in the shell. At least they have menus from ares restaurants that will deliver to the bar so you can have something to soak up that 10% imperial IPA (although I think we could have done better than pizzas).

Prices were not out of line, drafts were a little more than what I'm used to paying in Rochester, bottles were generally a little less. Hey I wasn't coming here to find the dollar PBR specials anyway.

All in all a great beer bar. So long as you can find it.

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The Moan and Dove in Amherst, MA
Place rating: 4.58 out of 5 with 114 ratings