The Moan and Dove

Your Rating: None
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 114 |  Reviews: 91
Photo of OldSock
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Not to repeat what everyone else has said, but this place is great. The atmosphere was perfect, the bartender was fun, and the beer was fantastic. A mother and son combination each finished their beer club sheets and thus each sang a humorous drinking song. As for the beer, I was a bit skeptical that they actually had Westvleteren, but I asked for the 12 anyway, sadly they were out so I had to “settle” for the 8 which was served in the authentic glassware. I was told that normally they have all of them because they are rarely ordered, probably because of the steep price, approx $15 a bottle. They had a wide variety of bottle specials and drafts, from around the country and around the world. I won’t drag on, but if you live near by or are just passing near western MA, stop by for a drink you won’t be disappointed. It is a real shame that its two hours from where I live…

After 37 beerfly reviews for places in 12 states I have yet to give another place a 5/5, this place is just beyond compare.

 1,013 characters

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.

 830 characters

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.

 1,174 characters

Photo of Eriogonum
5/5  rDev +9.2%

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

Photo of cheers55
5/5  rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place rocks. My wife and I finally made it here on a busy Saturday night and it was great. After reading reviews talking about snobby bartenders I was surprised with how personable the bartender was who took our order for first round.
Draft list is small but well chosen (Maudite for instance) and bottle line up is spectacular. Had Fantome La Dalmatienne to start and it was great. Later in the evening announcement was made that as a way of saying thanks everyones next beer was on the house! There were 100 or so very happy beer drinkers. M&D has customer service and great beer down to a science.

 606 characters

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.

 672 characters

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!

 1,779 characters

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.

 1,236 characters

Photo of mcintire78
5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of WhatsonTapp
5/5  rDev +9.2%

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...

 1,244 characters

Photo of josephmullett
5/5  rDev +9.2%

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!

 1,148 characters

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.

 1,114 characters

Photo of magnificent70s
5/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

 1,552 characters

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.

 1,313 characters

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.


 950 characters

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

The Moan and Dove is the best bar in the entire valley, if not the state, if not the country. I will forever hold this hole in the wall dear to my heart.

If you are a fan of real beer, that is all you will find. If you ask for anything else, you should probably just find another place to drink.

If you want beer, you will find oh so much. Whether on tap, in cask or in a bottle, there is an endless supply of some of the most unique beers around. The bar men and women are fantastic sources of knowledge and always have a good recomendation if you cant make up your mind. I also have to compliment their selection of music and it is not uncommon to see beer mug graduates standing up to say a poem or sing a song.

The only complaint is that the prices have risen quite a bit since i first started going here, i suppose not nearly as much as the price of gas at the Hess station next door... cest la vie.

 907 characters

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

I'll bite - I might be a bit biased in reviewing the Dove because I've been going there since five days after I turned 21 (I realize that that makes me sound like Old Lady River; trust me, I'm not; that was three years ago). All that being said, this bar has become my basis of comparison for every beer bar that I've ever visited. The staff is all extremely competent; this note applies both to the bar-back and doorman staff, and to the bartenders themselves, who are veritable beer encyclopedias. They are all friendly, funny, and helpful: the latter being especially helpful when I'm in the mood for something different, or I'm having trouble being decisive (which, of course, never happens). I have learned an incredible amount about beer and how best to appreciate it, over the past few years.

On that note, the Moan & Dove's beer selection and atmosphere create an environment that is conducive to learning about and appreciating beer to its fullest extent. The amount of beers is enough to keep regulars and/or beer snobs from ever being bored, and yet is not overwhelming to newcomers (it's now up to 183). Coupled with this is the beer list, in which participants try to drink every beer that the M&D offers, within a year. Instead of encouraging this to be a trophy, the staff treats the list like a rite of passage, emphasizing that the point is to learn and appreciate all types of beers, rather than rushing through the list simply to say that one has done it.

Even though the Dove doesn't offer food beyond the ever-present barrel of peanuts, there are about 10 places within 5-10 minutes of driving time that deliver. Also, people may complain that the Dove is out of the way, hard to find, and is not overly easily accessible by public transportation. Although it is true that the bar is not on one of the main bus routes in and around Amherst, it has a bus stop right out front. The fact that it is not right in the middle of things is also fantastic to those of us who enjoy not being inundated by undergraduates who drink Narragansett like it's going out of style.

In short... I love the Moan & Dove. There simply is no place (that I've found, anyway) that quite measures up. Although I've been to my fair share of great bars and beer bars, I've never found any bar that could quite replace this one.

 2,323 characters

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

Well worth the 45 minute drive from Hartford on my business trip. Very surprised at how rural the location was. I wish that any town in NC had a bar like this.

I think they have 14-20 beers on draft ranging from Stone VE to DFH 90 to De Ranke XX Bitter to other fantastic craft beers. Huge bottle selection with some rare and aged stuff. Tons of Belgians and craft beers from all over the country.

They were doing a launch party for Mayflower and had a cask of the IPA that was fantastic. Good enough that with the selection they had I ordered two!

The third beer I ordered was a De Ranke XX Bitter b/c I love the beer and I've never had it on draft. Packed place, no empty seat in the house and the Bartender came by after about 5 minutes and said "I was supposed to bring you something and I forgot." He then immediately poured my beer and said it was on him. I was waiting but not long enough during a night that busy that I would expect anything other than a "sorry that took so long". I will be back here next time I'm within an hours drive.

I would have loved to have more beers but it was 9:15 with a 45 minute drive back, early work the next day, and I didn't have a DD so three was enough after dinner.

Fantastic Place!

I rated the value at $$ b/c it's in MA and beer is just expensive there. Or at least that is what I've observed. Plus most of their offerings are low production to rare beers. Now if they charged that in NC I would probably have to rate it at $$$, but it wouldn't stop me from going again and again.

 1,534 characters

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.

 930 characters

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!

 1,325 characters

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

So, after being rated the number one place to have a beer earlier this year, The Moan and Dove's got to be worth checking out, right? Even if it's a 2 1/2 hour drive from my house? You bet your left...well, you know.

The first surprise...the bar is in the middle of total farm country. I passed a cornfield less than a mile before I got to the red and black building...

Once inside, the space is pretty small, and almost a perfect square. Dark red walls are dotted with beer signs, photos and art. The modern wood bar is on the left, L-shaped, and seats 12. 5 tables along the right wall with bench seating. 2 long tables down the middle, inviting another 8 patrons each. 1 TV (the Sox game was on, natch) elevated in the near left corner. No by staff selection. And then there's the blackboard...

Along the back wall, a large blackboard colorfully and even artistically lists the 20 beers on tap...and what a selection! I enjoyed an Anderson Valley Boont Amber and a Smuttynose IPA, but I could have just as easily had beers from Rodenbach, Maredsous, Cantillon, Stone, DFH....and even a PBR for $2 if funds were running low...

As if that weren't enough...check out the bottled list. Only 164 to wade through...Synebrichoff Porter was the call, but I could have chosen almost any style of beer and found something...amazing.

The service could not have been better. Jason was professional, knowledgable, funny, and a perfect host. Since it was a lazy Sunday afternoon, we had plenty of time to talk about the bar, and beer in general...

Prices were very reasonable, ranging from (not counting the PBR) 4 1/2 to 8 dollars for drafts...bottles mostly a good value as well.

No cooked food on site, though you can order in or even bring your own. There's also a big barrel of tasty old-school peanuts by the door...

The high ratings for The Moan and Dove are well-deserved. While the bar has some irreverent touches (the descriptions of some of the beers, for example) the ownership and staff clearly know and love good beer...the humor merely adds to a fantastic experience. Long live The Moan and Dove...

**Stony's Biscuit** - Daniel Lanigan owns both this bar and The Dirty Truth in Northampton, only 10 minutes away, so it's natural to hit both places on the same trip. But if you can or want to only go to one bar, here's why you may prefer the Moan and Dove...if you're travelling alone, if you want a better selection of bottled beer, and/or if you want a warmer and more subdued atmosphere, you're better off here...Cheers.

 2,570 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Moan and Dove in Amherst, MA
Place rating: 4.58 out of 5 with 114 ratings