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 twelvsies
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Hell of a place. The Moan and Dove is the most unique bar I've ever been to. The place seems to never be too crowded or rowdy, mostly just people who love beer coming in to try something new on draught and shoot the shit. I just get a good feeling when I walk into this place, it feels like mutual respect between the beer-loving patrons and the obviously beer-loving staff/owners. I've heard some stories about this place being a bit pretentious or snobby, but I really didn't experience that personally, and if I had, I would definately record it here because I think regardless of ones taste everyone should be respected and not scoffed at, even if they order a freekin vodka shot. Who cares. Let's get over ourselves beer snobs, and enjoy fine brewage for the right reasons.
The quality is superb. Every thing I've had there is fresh and clean. They have an amazing collection of glassware that they serve their delectable beers in. The bartenders all seem to be very knowledgable and willing to chat about beer if it's not too busy, and even offer some suggestions. Which is helpful because their selection is absolutely huge.
About 20 or so great beers on draught, always a couple Stone or Dogfish Head. Upwards of 200 selections on the bottle menu, lots of variety and very rare items. Another quite interesting thing about this bar is thier legendary "Mug List." To gain this prestige you must drink through a list of 144 beers in one year's time. Once this task is completed you are rewarded with a 26 oz. mug on the wall with your name on it. In addition to bar-fame, when you order a draught, instead of a pint it comes in, you guessed it, yor 26 ounce mug. Money, baby.
This is honestly a fun, great all around place. Go. Seriosluy. Now! Get out of here!! GO!

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.36/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

My second visit was on the latest bus tour (first was the first bus tour). Sad to say I haven't been here unless I was on the BA bus, but to be honest, this is a very serious beer bar, and it would be hard to come here and not have a designated driver. Ok, here goes why I gave the tally I did: Atmosphere: the place is rather small, but really that makes it all the more cozy. Get some good beer in you, and it really gets a certain beer loving vibe going on. When it gets dark out, it gets dark in, and that lends itself to the atmosphere...for serious beer drinkers only. Quality: I have to commend them on their beer menu, many choices, including great bottles (I had Cantillon Vigneroune sp?), and I saw Mahrs Ungespundet on tap. These are only two of the many fine beers and beer styles they had to offer. The beers I had were tasty, fresh, and in appropriate glasswear. Plus they had cask beer, nuff said. Service was good, I never had to wait at the bar. Everything I ordered was available, and they have a table set up so that folks can get themselves water to keep themselves hydrated. already know I thought it was very very good. Food: no food, but I did have some peanuts, thanks. Would go again, just need a DD.

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Photo of Denali
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

When I first stepped into the Moan and Dove I was very taken back by how laid back this place was. An incredibly down to earth setting, and one that is totally dedicated to the appreciation of beer. Beer glasses of every variety line the walls, along with plenty of large bottles of beer. Right away I knew this place was serious.

The bar seats about 15 people, and the rest of the place has tables where patrons just seat themselves. There is no food served, which was very refreshing because it allows the place to focus entirely on their beer. And that extra amount of focus has truly paid off. They do have free peanuts available and customers can bring in their own food - most often having pizza delivered from a local place.

A chalkboard has the list of taps. There were about 20 of them, but a very nice list none the less. On this evening I had Rogue I2PA, BR Hop Rod Rye, EKU Pilsner, and Kapuziner Weissbier. All were served perfectly and in matching glassware (including matching logo). They also have an outrageous bottle selection (about 200 beers).

Turnover of the taps is incredibly high. While I was there, all of the beers on tap were being ordered, most especially by people filling in the beers on their list for the Mug Club (144 beers on the list that must be completed within 1 year).

The bartender was a true fan of high quality beer and you could just tell that he loved his job (wouldn't we all).

But the best part about the place is the people and the vibe. The bar is located at the crossroads of 5 local area colleges, so it does attract many students. But, because it is such a great place, it also attracts older locals as well, creating a very lively and interesting mix of people. Erveyone just combines into one great groove.

The only down side is that the area does not provide any reliable public transportation whatsoever (ridiculous for an area with so many colleges) - I was told there are literally only two taxis (as in cars themselves - not companies) that service the entire area. Unfortunately, because of this incredible and dangerous inconvenience, I can't give the Moan and Dove all 5's.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.71/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The 3rd and Final Stop on BA 8th Anniversary Bus Tour. The rowdiness at the back of the Bus had reached epic proportions and the party was most certainly in full swing as we headed into the legendary Moan & Dove.

Strange setting, for some reason I expected something different, but it is set in a strip mall and has a rather plain appearance. Still, never judge a book by its cover. Inside it has a darkened dimly lit interior to greet the visiting Imbiber, as in fact does the infamous Moan & Dove peanut Barrel. Small interior, again for some strange reason I expected a bigger place, but it had character and warmth. The bar is to the left, tables to the right and that’s about it.

Simply put you come here for one reason and one reason only, the most excellent beer range. Simply too many to list, you can check the website and wet yourself. I for one enjoyed the Spezial Rauchbier and even tried the Cask beer, which was Cameron Long Legs Fuggles, but it was a tad under carbonated. Other brews read like a Who’s Who of the worlds famous brewers, and you could easily spend a week here working your way through the list. Service was slick.

The warm welcome was genuine and we even had a rousing speech from the owner. The place was full of BA’s and I met my latest BA mate, steinlifter and his Wife, they must have thought we were nuts!!

Travel, too many beers, both on and off the Bus, and many hours had me flagging a bit, but a nice touch here is the availability of water to keep you hydrated; it sure helped me come around after a power nap.

No food, but offerings from a nearby Pizzeria are allowed in here which is neat; many empty boxes were testament to the fact that they certainly nourished a few BA’s. Of course you could settle for the peanuts.

The end to a long great day spent with friends old and new.

Well worth the trek out to here for the excellent beer range. I must get here again but in a more sober condition to better enjoy its character and libations.

Last Visit: Saturday 21st August, 2004.

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Photo of steinlifter
4.65/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I haven't been to any other Beer Bars, so I don't have anything to compare to, but from the other BA's that I met while I was there, this was one of the best, at least as far as selection goes. located in Amherst Ma. it wasn't hard to find, but I had to take a couple of roads that went right through farmland, I walked in and was surprised at how small it was, a long bar to your left, a couple large tables in the middle, and a few booths to your right along the wall, the 1st thing that impressed me was their draught list,awesome! they had cask ale, Mahrs lager, spezial Rauchbier, Arrogant Bastard, Rogue Dead guy, Stone Imperial Stout, Allagash, De Rankexx bitter,and Guldenberg, Dogfishead IPA, and a bunch more, 20 taps in all! and you won't find any! Bud, Coors or Miller, No Sammy either, there are a few lawnmower beers on the menu, like PBR, Labatts, Golden Anniversary, and a couple others, but other than that, it's Beer Connoisuer heaven! I had the cask ale 1st,(camerons long leg fuggles hop ale) great stuff, everything served in the right glass too! The bartender was extremely knowledgeable and cordial (thanks Adam!) the atmoshere was friendly and casual, very nice place to have a beer or few! I wish it were down the street from me, I also had the Mahr's lager on tap, and an Arrogant Bastard on tap, both of which were great, I also tried the spezial Rauchbier, fantastic!, then before I left, I told Adam, that I would leave the last one up to him, he took a minute, and said I think you'll like this, and poured me one from the tap, I only wish I could remember what it was now,but it was excellent as well, next time I'm bringing a pen and paper! they don't serve food here, but no problem, there's plenty of peanuts, and a pizza place next door, and you can bring your own food in and eat it there, we ordered pizza from next door. all in all, a great drinking experience, great place! can't wait to go there again!

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

From the outside, the dull, dark grey concrete brick walls are just begging for a row of Harleys to brighten them up. Inside is nothing less than a temple of beerdom.

This is what a bar should be like. The tap list is easily visible on the chalkboard. The small space flows, the booths and bars guiding people to stand around and sit and get up and drink and talk and generally mingle. I can't begin to describe the selection, except to say it's incredibly well-informed and downright educational. It's not fair to say this after only one visit, but I fear the lone cask is so totally overshadowed by the tap selection it doesn't get the attention it needs.

The ladies' room certainly has some *ahem* interesting artwork, though I didn't hear any men admit to anything "interesting" in the gents'. I think they're shy.

Everyone loves the peanuts, but I like even better the jugs of water on offer when you're ready for a breather.


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

Finally visited this great establishment after heading on the 8/21 8th BeerAdvocate Anniversary Bus. All I can say is that this joint is top notch. Bartenders were super friendly and were clearly enjoying what they do. They also have a great deal of knowledge on the topic of beer. The beer list is extensive, having plenty of outstanding Belgians (including about every Cantillon), great American microbrews, and basically every other hard to find imported beer. As for draft beer, there isn't enough I can say about the selection and quality of them. From Stone Ruination, Cantillon Lou Pepe, Spezial Rauchbier, two Barleywines (DFH Old School and Brooklyn Millenium), and just everything else under the son. There is no food directly available at the Moan except for some quality salty peanuts, but when they allow delivery to the bar who can complain. Truly this place is an outstanding bar and now one of my favorites by far. It's only a shame I live in Boston because I'd have a permanent seat at the Dove if I lived closer

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

What can I say! I finally made it to this famous local spot on 8/21 and lo and behold, the 8th Anniversary BA Bus Tour was still there. The place was packed, but that only helped the atmosphere. I can imagine this is probably what a pub in England must be like. Bar staff were friendly, helpful and genuinely interested in serving fine brews. The bowls of salted peanuts were an excellent addition, and you can bring your own food if you wish. Several pizza boxes were evident. The BA Tour obviously was savoring pizza with the fine brews. The selection of beers in simply outstanding! This includes an extensive bottle list ranging from Belgians to Double IPAs. A nice touch to the evening included the owner giving out his favorite brew a Cantillon 1996 to a BA who answered a trivia question: "What was Jason's first review as the founder of BA? (answer: Berkshire Brewing's Steel Rail Pale Ale).

The brews on draft that evening were extensive and included Arrogant Bastard, Young's Double Chocolate, Rogue I2PA, Ruination, etc.

An excellent establishment which I will absolutely put on my must stop list.

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

My uncle told me about his Local right around the corner that had recently changed hands. He said if I liked beer I'd love this place. A few weeks before arriving to Amherst for Christmas with the family, my wife asked my favorite beer. I listed three that I hold in very high standings but told her we'd have to go to Belgium to get them and even there they'd be hard to find. Westvleteren 12, DeKonnick Cuvee, and Rochfort 10. On Christmas night we walked over to the Dove, stepped in, took a look at the draught board and smiled. Then I looked at the bottle list and literally laughed out loud with joy. A kid in a candy store. My wife read throught the list and pointed out one, two, and finally all three beers I had mentioned. What a treat.

The place was rocking, the music was great, the owner was pumping out brews, but still took a minute to talk nerdy beer talk with me. The ambiance was perfect; low, cozy lighting, nicely painted walls, none of the typical beer parafanalia crap, but enough well placed, nice items to give credit to certain beers.

Every beer I had was served in the proper glass-ware. DeKonnick, DeKonnick glass. Rochefort, you got it. I even had a Dogfish Head out of a Dogfish Head pint glass. The way beer should be served. Every single beer my wife and I had was excellent, and the rest of my family loved it too as their eyes and palates were opened to new things.

What a treat to have all this in Western Mass. Now I've got to find a new reason to take my wife to Belgium... naw, we'll still go for the beer.

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

And the beer gods cried.

I'd heard about this place from several of my friends who associated my crazy ordering of far off brews with a bar they had been to or heard about once.

All it took was one visit, and one look at their beautiful tap list: Stone, Victory, DogFish Head, Alagash, Mahr's Brau, Anderson Valley, Beer Republic, Rogue.

Check out the menu here:

I was hooked.

With 150 top-flight bottled beers, 18 lovely taps, and usually one cask beer on hand, this is beer drinker's paradise.

I've seen some comments about it's being pricey and I just have to disagree. The bulk of the tap list is $4 for a pint. And here's an idea of some of the beers that have been on that list:

Victory HopDevil
Stone IPA
Stone Arrogant Bastard
Anderson Valley IPA
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Stone Smoked Porter

These aren't $4 pints of Budwieser or even Sam Adams. If there was some other place I could find this stuff on tap, I might have reason to complain. As it stands, logic tells me that if I'm paying $2-3 more for a six pack in a huge package store, it's going to cost more on the tap: and $4 isn't bad.

You won't find Sam Adams, Harpoon, or any other mass produced "micro" brews, and if you like beer at all, you won't care.

I make it a habit these days to get there at least once a week, and it's an hour drive for me!


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

Beer Bar, period.

Been here a few times & The Moan & Dove continues to impress with it's all out assault on the faux beer bar concept.

Bottle list is tight, (proving ownership understands that it's about quality, not quantity), w/ 150 offerings including rare Belgians, hard to find German & English beers & vintage selections from around the world. On my last visit I cherished a Westy 12, Achel Extra, Vuuve White, Synebrychoff Porter '96, & Allagash 4.

20 Draught lines mercilessly rotate a killer mix of domestic craft beers including Dogfish, Stone, Victory, Bear Republic, Berkshire, Allagash, McNeill's & Rogue to name a few. Imports I found include dedicated & rotating De Ranke & Cantillon lines, Mahr's Pils, Young's Double Chocolate Stout &Adnams cask.

Although the room is on the small side it's very welcoming & comfortable w/ miscellaneous breweriana dotting the walls. The back bar displays all of the appropriate glassware that is put to good use here as all of my beers arrived in one. The various paintings, I was told, were from a local artist & that a new artist is featured every month. Cool. No kitchen here but Daniel, the owner, offered various menus of local restaurants that would deliver to the bar. Real cool.

Laid back vibe, beautiful, well thought out beer selection & thousands of peanuts. I just wish it were closer.


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

No food available here, so no rating for that, but they'll provide menus for local restaurants that will deliver to you as you sit in the M&D, so it's almost like eating food there.

Have visited many times, and The Moan & Dove is somewhat of a throwback. I remember walking in one afternoon, and having no one being in attendance. Not another custoner, not the bartender, no one. Eventually the bartender, who was restocking the fridge showed, 10 minutes after I sat at the bar and started reading a brew paper, but it was an odd feeling nonetheless.

Continues to feel weird to be sitting at the bar and watch a Shelton brother walk in and order a brew, knowing that he is responsible for a number of the cool brews available.

Variety is incredible, in both tap and bottled arenas. Literally the best beer bar I've been to.

Oh, in case I need to support my position, I noted to the bartender on a recent visit that my glass should probably be replaced when I finished due to a crack, and he immediately replaced it with a full brew, which was certainly not my intention. Shoot, he dumped what I had left in my glass before I could say something, which was vexing. But he was concerned for my physical well-being, which was nice...

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

The best beer bar in the northeast, bar none. Friendly, mostly knowledgeable staff, the best selection in Massachusetts, and a big bucket of damn fine peanuts.

The Moan has twenty taps -- a few more than I like to see, but they seem to turn the beer over quickly enough. I can't say I've ever had a bad pint there, and I've been in at least two or three times a month since they opened.

The knocks on this pub are the lack of food and fairly high prices, but I'm not buying either one. First off, if you want to eat, you can order in or bring your own, and the money you save on the food will help subsidize those 'inflated' prices. As for the pricing, it's high, but you certainly do get what you pay for. There's no other bar in Amherst, or anywhere nearby, with the atmosphere and selection of beers that this place has. The Moan and Dove may not be on the beaten path, but it's not to be missed on any serious brew tour.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.58/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Well this place was a stop after a hiking trip today. It is a little place on route 116 in South Amherst and you may drive past it. Walked in and grabbed a table. Bottle list on the table is great! 200 choices and some hard to find stuff. Westy 6,8,and 12! , Stone VE 030303, and Victory V-12 to name a few. Prices were a little steep but you get what you pay for. best part of the bottle menu, "lawnmower beers" They dont serve bud, miller,coors but they need to have something cheap on the menu. Some good quality 70s throwback brews, PBR, Golden A, and Schlitz. Good times!
Anyway, small bar area about 12 stools, a standing table in the middle of the room and about 5 booths. 10-15 beers on tap and 2 cask ales. One cask was a 96 JW Lees Harvest and the other was Adnams Broadside. Only tried the Adnams due to the $10 for a 6oz sample for the Harvest ale. Jazzy music is on the stereo loud enough to hear but you dont have to shout to have a conversation, very nice.
Bartender was helpful and knowledgeable. Every beer on tap served in proper glassware which is also displayed behind the bar. Very cool!
Only downer is the food available,
bowls of peanuts are the only food here, but I think they let you bring in outside food to enjoy with their incredible beer selection. I will definitely go back to this place and sample a few more brews. WIsh is was closer to home.

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

This to me is the epitome of what a beer bar should be if only they could add a few more TV's(F you, I'm addicted to sports). It's run by true enthusiasts. Most look to have just graduated from one of the local colleges. Great music has been on everytime I've been here consisting of Jambands and classic rock like the Beatles. They don't actually cook any food here but there is a bucket of peanuts by the door, shells go on the floor.

The beer selection is as good as I've seen besides the two Ginger Mans I've been to in NYC and Dallas. The tap lines always seem to be clean and the slection changes by the hour. There is a bulletin board on one wall written in chalk with all the draft beers available along with the special deal of the day. I've gotten there at 3 pm when it opens and had a few beers. When I came back at 9 that night at least 5 beers have changed. There are 5 colleges in the area but the place fills with a mixture of old and young. I'm 33 and have felt old some nights and only sort of old others.

To sum it up, this is the best beer bar I've been to anywhere when you combine selection, atmosphere and service. One TV...weak, very weak.

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

I can't say enough good things about The Moan And Dove. I've fallen in love with this place in a short time. This is what the atmosphere of a beer-lover's bar should be! My cousin is a regular, and now I make it there every chance I get.
The fact that they don't serve food isn't a big deal. They encourage you to support their neighboring restaurants and bring food in if you like. Either that, or enjoy a bowl of peanuts.
I made it to the Big Beer Fest, and also, more recently, a special event where they had about 10 DFH beers on tap, including Pangea (fantastic!) and World Wide Stout! Sadly, Dan (the owner) informed me that they didn't have any kegs of the 120 Minute IPA or Raison D'Extra,a 17%(?) abv version of the Raison D'Etre when he made the trip to the brewery to pick them up. I was reeeaaally looking forward to that 120.
I had the good fortune to be present for a Mug Club indoctrination that night (the 2nd female member). I won't go into the details of what is required for membership, but I'll just say that everybody had a great time, and it was truly what enjoying great beer with good people is all about!
Go there! Now!

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Photo of mikeys01
4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Drove up to the Moan and Dove today as part of the day's adventure through the Northampton/Amherst area. The Moan and Dove is a bit out of the way, located a few miles south of Amherst center, out in the country a bit, it's easy to miss and indeed we did the first time by. From the outside, looks like a respectable pub, not flashy, nice trim, looks cozy. Step inside and it's exactly what I want and hope to see in a good drinking establishment. Subltle lighting, simple decor, peanuts by the barrel for snacking, and lots of taps pouring amazing beers. Nice large bar with plenty of barstools, plenty of room to socialize and enjoy your beer.
We happened in for the tail end of the Moan's Big Beer Fest, meaning they had 14 draft beers over 8% - and what an incredible selection. We sampled such wonders as DFH Old School Barley wine, Arrogant Bastard, DFH 90 min IPA, etc. Would have had lots more if we didn't have to drive back to CT! The bartender was friendly and very knowlegeable, and good music was playing the entire time. This is a great place to relax, talk, have a few or many beers, and enjoy the best that beer has to offer. Certainly the best beer bar I've been to in the area, I will be back!

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Photo of ybnorml
3.43/5  rDev -25.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Everyone raves about this place? It's small has no air conditioning and has no food (that is if you don't count the big barrel of stale unshelled peanuts. Not a lot of beers on tap (the place is not big enough for more taps). What was good was the ecclectic selection of hard to find beers. I had been looking all over for Stone Brewings Imperial Stout. I had to buy the whole 22 oz bottle but it was very good.
Beer geeks will appreciate the knowledgable staff and the fact that they use the proper glasses when pouring Belgians.
That being said. I will have to try this place again maybe in the early fall or early spring. The selection warrents a second shot.

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

EDIT went to the stone event at the moan and dove and was crAzy impressed with the service and beer list (the most stone beers on at one place at one time on top of all the bottles).

didn't try the food. there was a barrel of peanuts just inside the door though.

on to atmosphere: many shells on the floor from said peanuts. big chalk board with the draft list. it was a BIG board. nice bar with a cask on it, not for show. tall table in the middle, a few tables on the wall.

manymanymany beers. i've seen a larger list here or there but never had such a good time. many beers on draft and many more in bottles. bottles were served with the correct glasses even! very nice.

but get there before the sun gets low in the sky as it get really hot with the big windows!

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

Located where The Old Amherst Ale House used to be, I had high expectations for my first visit to the Moan and Dove based on the rave reviews that I've been hearing. Thankfully, my expectations were all met!

Atmosphere is akin to a dive bar (I like dive bars), but without the trashiness. The place is small, and I can imagine that it gets packed real quick. The bar sits about a dozen or so with seating throughout. Our party of nearly 30 pretty much took the place over. No AC on our visit, and it got warm real quick ... I would have loved to see them pushing water on customers.

Beer selection is second to none in the area, and even rivals/exceeds major beer bars in cities like Boston (but can vary from okay to great depending on what's going on). A crazy amount of outstanding selections on-tap (around 20), which I won't even bother trying to list off, plus numerous bottles, some hand pumps and a barrel of J.W. Lees sitting on the bar. Let's just say the selection is kick-ass!! I had Heavyweight's Lunacy, a 0.5l of Mahr's and a bottle of Loterbol. Everything was presented in the proper glassware, and poured to perfection. Prices were very reasonable, to high for some of the beers, but you'd be hard pressed to find some of their offerings elsewhere.

No food, but they do allow you to order food for delivery (like the pizza place next door). They also have a barrel of peanuts which you can dive into with a bowl, which suited me just fine as I was there to drink. Peanut shells get messy and eventually cover every table and the floor, reminding me of the old Ground Rounds.

Service was outstanding. Loads of knowledge. Very friendly. No attitudes. I got the feeling that I could hang and talk with this crew all evening.

Would I go back? Hell yeah! The Moan and Dove is a straight-up beer bar. No frills, just a shitload of incredible beer and without a doubt one of the premier beer bars in New England. I only wish it was closer to me ...

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.66/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This bar is located 2.5 miles south of Amherst center on Rt. 116. Opened in December 2002, this place apparently has already built up quite a following, and once you see the beer selection, you can see why!

Brick storefront. The bar seats about 12, and there are 6 or 7 booths, plus some high table seating. The front has large windows, and there is a barrel of free peanuts near the door (help yourself). The bar top is nice wood. There was one TV, but the sound was down, and music from CDs behind the bar was playing. There are some ceiling fans to keep the place cool when the airconditioning is not on. There is art work on the walls.

Now, as for the beer! I counted 19 beers on tap, and they were all great: Stone, Dogfish Head, BBC, Wachusett, Rogue, several German weiss beers, etc. etc. There were 3 hand pumps in the bar, and I was told they usually have one beer on cask. Finally, they had a barrel of 1996 Lee's Vintage Harvest Ale in a 100 year old wooden port barrel. Wow. $10 for 6 oz, but I couldn't pass up that opportunity. In addition, they offer about 200 beers in bottles. (They have a "mug club" that you have to earn your way into by drinking everything on a list of 165 bottled beers.)

They have a very impressive glassware collection, and many beers are served not only in the correct type of glass but also in that beer's brand glass.

The staff was very friendly and very knowledgeable about beer, and they all seem to work there because of their love for quality beer. The fellow patrons were also very friendly.

No food is offered here, other than the free peanuts, but the bartender can show you take-out menus for places that will deliver, or you can do as I saw several others do, and bring in your own food to eat.

This place is a real jewel of a beer bar, and I know I will be back even if I have to take a trip to Amherst specifically to visit The Moan and Dove!

Last visit 1-14-06

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Photo of slander
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Davo was talking about taking this in on the way home from the AOBF and I thought he was kidding because I know the layout of New England and understand that this is at the other damn end of the state of Massachussetts and would put us hours out of the way, but that Davo,... once he gets something into his head, you just can't tell him "boo", so...
Rolled in on a Sunday afternoon during graduation weekend at some of the "finger schools". The place is dank and dark, with an L shaped bar to the left and at least a dozen or so tables throughout otherwise. It was kind of hard to tell what the layout was about as they had a graduation party for 3 primadonna's with their large families group taking up a good portion of the bar, tables thrown together to hold them, others covered with fruit and cheese spreads. Anyway, we scored some space at the end of the bar and held up there. Tap selection? The Cantillion Lou Pepe Kriek headlined a blackboard list of a dozen and a half + great tap selections. Regional micros and great imports, not a clunker in the lot and they've got a bottled list that runs 150 + easy, broken out by style type. The list itself is printed on a heavy cardstock and is like a 13" X 20" or I would've folded one up and lifted it. Some of the higher end bottled stuff was ridiculously pricey but, hey, you've got to pay to play. They had the most extensive bottled Cantillion selection that I have ever seen in either a bar or beer store.
They don't do food here, but they've got a big barrel of peanuts at the door for you to gnaw on. The decor is dark wood with a TV here and there. Crowd is going to be the college kids from the neighboring schools who know better than Bud bars, and beer folks from far and wide who travel for the good stuff.
It did put us hours out of the way but it was well worth it.

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Photo of OatmattStout
4.8/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

The short of it: This place is fantastic. Drove up from New Haven to visit friend in Mass and stopped here for e few. The bartenders were good friends of the owner and you could tell because they were friendly, enthusiactic and well versed about their beers. The atmosphere was great with most people buzzing about some aspect of beer. The selection if far beyond anything I have ever seen in terms of quality of selection and sheer volume as well, 20 or so taps, 3 cask and 125 or so bottles. I had a Cask bitter that was so fresh and one of the best real beers I have ever had. All I can say is go there if you come anywhere close to Western Mass.

Also I met "Kells" a local kid who has tried everyone of the beers in the place in something like 38 days. $1800 later we calculated he got his mug. Maybe he was the one Jason refered to in his review. He was cool as well.

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Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I’ve heard a ton of hype about The Moan And Dove over the past couple of months, more to the effects of you will be impressed with their selection. When someone boasts that much I wonder what other places they have been and how does this place compare. Being located in western MA it threw some doubt in my mind. Don’t get me wrong there are some great watering holes as well as breweries in the western part of the state, but the idea of have a killer beer bar never crossed my mind. After hitting a couple choice beer stores my mind was stuck on beer as usual. At first appearance I would not use the word “dive” or “whole in the wall” … more “raw” and “homey” at the same time, that is just how I like my bars. The chalkboard at the end of the bar immediately intimidated me for a brief moment; three DFH, a Stone, Allagash White, a slew of Belgians, a couple of Rogue, a Mc Neil’s on cask and many more. I want to guess about two dozen on tap, then the bottled beer list found its way to me and it was a big of a jaw-dropper. Right off the bat I noticed 5 of the 6 Trappist breweries, no Westve … some of the other Belgians I had never seen or tasted before like Bink Blonde and Bruin, a bunch of Cantillons as well as Guldenberg (Thank you Shelton Bros.). All of the DFH, Stone, Victory, Heavyweight, Rapscallion. Some Rogue, SN, Sam Smith, Young’s, Fullers, Unibroue, Schneider … the list goes on and on, over 200. So they were right, impressive. Perhaps the most impressive beer bar that I have been to east of the Mississippi and west of the Atlantic. Being that they have only been open for a few months I can see this list growing and they could easily build a vintage list … but then I’d have to move in and become a permanent fixture.

No food, as they are too damn busy to even worry about that, peanuts at the bar but you can bring your own food in. Service was fine, and the crowds was mixed of old-timers to college punks to locals. The music ran the same gamete, this place gets pack on the weekends from what I was told. On the Tuesday night during my visit there were at least 20-25 patrons one that was working on his list of beers to join the mug club. A must and worth the two hour drive from Boston … I will be back.

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