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Sunset Grill & Tap
Taps: 112 / Bottles: 380
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
130 Brighton Ave
phone: (617) 254-1331
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 227 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
This is my must stop when I go to Boston because of their huge beer selection on tap. I mostly like having their flight selection (choice of 4 glasses of 4 oz) to try the most of their beers possible. Everytime I go, I must have their Subatomic Wings. They're so good and a bit spicy.
For beer collectioners, this place is great because it has many beer collectibles all over their walls. What I do reproach is the knowledge of the staff, there seems to be no beer connoisseurs in the restaurant (at least from the last 4 different visits I had). They seem to be confused and often mix up the flight selection you order, especially if you're a party of 4 or more. Also, the restaurant having a huge variety of taps, I am not sure how often their tap lines are cleaned, because some of the beers don't have the same taste or freshness.
I think, the beer selection rotates a lot. A very nice place to try out different beers.
02-12-2013 02:12:36 |
More by Birradonna
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I had been wanting to visit this place for a while. I saw a clip about their nachos on Phantom Gourmet, and I was sold. The parking is a nightmare, but once you get past that it's all good. Plenty of seating throughout the establishment, and the atmosphere was great. We were there on a Saturday afternoon, and the place was probably about 80% full. Plenty of sports on the televisions hung throughout, and a ton of beer paraphernalia throughout covering the walls of the dining areas, hallways, bathrooms, and even the street frontage. Old taps, serving trays, beer signs, coasters, and just about everything else you can imagine. The draught list was at least 40+, and the bottle list took pages to list...easily over 150+. There are cask offerings, they do taster flights, and they put together promotional packages on the beers based on country of origin, style, etc. The food was great, and it comes out fast, so you can make this a quick trip for a meal, or, with all of the beer choices, you can hang out all day. Prices were reasonable, and I am already looking forward to a return trip. A must visit if you are in the greater Boston metro for any length of time.
02-01-2013 02:07:58 |
More by GarthDanielson
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Boston is one of the places I fly to on business at least once a year for a week or more, and have had the real pleasure to be there over 6 weeks one time and this bar is everything I would want in my local bar. So a few times it was obvious that a zillion other people felt the same way and tried to pack themselves in there at the same time I did. How the wait staff manage these nights is beyond me, I am not in the industry, but I have to give my respect to every server I met there on the front of the battle lines.
Since I am from the Southwest, there are an amazing amount of beers on tap that are just not available here and I feel like I am in the Beer-land of my dreams. So many strange names, familiar recipes but exotic breweries and special one-offs to choose from. A wooden barrel firkin set on the countertop from DogfishHead really made my night.
Last time I was there I could no longer make a beer order from the pool table room, it seemed confusing and complicated at the time - probably was the time of day or something, or maybe they lost their arrangement with those guys but that was another perk I enjoyed since I love to play pool with strangers.
As others have said, when someone orders a macro-brew in a 40ouncer, some amusement is evident to the whole bar. One time the server announced a "keg-buster" special, that only pitchers would be served from a particular keg that had been tapped long enough, at a special price with the bonus of free beer to the table that ordered the pitcher that blew the keg. Anyway, that was the way I remember it; our table did not win. And that to me seems like a fun way to create excitement and to deal with the turnover on so many taps.
12-19-2012 23:25:03 |
More by RockAZ
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
I have been a regular customer here for the past 2-3 years, stopping in most recently last week. It was on the later side for a Monday evening, so not very crowded. As others have said, it can get pretty jammed during peak times, but it still offers a decent atmosphere, and the crowd is generally tolerable, which is all I need when coming for good beer.
The food has generally been solid and reasonably priced for the heaping portions. I have had everything from wings to pizza to burgers and have always been pleased with it. Unless you are some gourmand, it will get the job done well.
Mixed feelings on the service. I generally prefer sitting at the bar, having found the bartenders to be friendly and knowledgeable. A few times, one of them has disappeared for 10+ minutes while I'm waiting for a beer, but usually during crowded times, and another bartender will step in if needed. I have had mediocre to very negative experiences with waitresses at tables. On the most recent visit, I got there and waited at least 15-20 minutes for the waitress to come for beer orders. As mentioned above, very sparse crowds at 11PM on a Monday. To boot, she was genuinely unfriendly - no introduction, smile, etc. just annoyed that she had to serve us. Now, she may have been a trainee, as she was being tailed by another waitress with a "beer police" shirt and a cemented sneer on her face as well. If she was, I can forgive the slowness. The impolite and negative attitude, not as much. My worst experience there in terms of service - hope it is not representative of changes in hiring.
Not much new to say on the beer selection - it is very solid, though I would like to see more turnover / new additions to the strong ales on draft. During my visit, I had bourbon barrel Angel's Share and Founders Breakfast Stout. Prices are at the upper end of reasonable, particularly in the strong ales (getting up to 8.99 and 9.99 for many - same with several DFH brews), though you can find some nice deals (e.g. Old Ruffian draft for 5.99). I do wish they would update their beer menu a bit more often - example, 8/28 is still up as of 9/8. Several beers were out when we visited last week, but given the ones I had, there still remain some great options.
Overall, we're all pretty spoiled to have a place like this nearby in terms of selection, but I will likely start visiting only when a new good draft catches my eye. Still recommend it as a place to go for visitors or those who have not been.
09-08-2012 15:41:16 |
More by BobCobb
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
This place has a large bar in both rooms and seating up stairs and down stairs. I sat at the bar and noticed the bottles of beer lining the wall, and the taps that took up the entire back wall of the bar. I was handed a 12 page booklet of beer that I could order (350 bottles, 112 taps). I have never seen such a selection, from local, to world wide an impressive offering of beers. I stuck with the beers on tap, and had some beers that I were only sold locally. The bartender I had knew his beer and breweries, was very helpful and friendly, and recommended some great beers. You can sample anything on tap to try before you buy. They have some TVs to watch sports, a nice atmosphere, good space. I didn't have any food so can't say either way. Overall a very relaxed place with tons of beer, a would go out of my way to stop here just because of the selection. Worth checking out
08-28-2012 23:21:20 |
More by wingman14
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
The Sunset Grill & Tap near Boston University has one of the best beer menus in all of Boston.
The Sunset Grill is one of the original Boston restaurants to offer a large beer selection. There rotating menu makes them a great place to visit time and time again. Be sure to look out for their monthly beer specials.
The food ranges from average to above average.
My biggest complaint with Sunset is I have on a few occasions had what I would consider to be unacceptable service. Long waits for drinks, entrees being served before apps, disappearing waitresses when all you want is the bill.
Despite the service, Sunset is still a place I try to get to a few times a year.
08-16-2012 18:13:43 |
More by Larrydoherty
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1 | $$
This place is terrible. Some of the worst generic "Mexican" food offerings around can be found here. The service is absent-minded at best. Yes, they have 400 different beers on tap or in bottles here, but who can withstand the ridiculous atmosphere here? This sprawling bar is packed with 21 year old college students who are trying to show off about their beer aptitude as if it matters to someone. It's sort of typical place of the climate in Allston, but ironically there is another bar in the area known for great beer that also has great food and service if you'd believe it!
05-25-2012 19:50:42 |
More by freeboson
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75 | $$
IMO, and selection-wise, the holy grail of beer bars for anyone in the boston area (hell, maybe the entire northeast) and one of my staples. somewhere north of 110 taps and 300 bottles, what more can you say? hands down the best selection i've come across (and i'm lucky enough to live 10 mins away). can't understand anyone scoring the 'selection' category anything less than 4.5.
local, regional, and notable national breweries are well represented, along with a solid lineup of belgians. founders, jack's abby, pretty things, allagash, lagunitas, southern tier, dogfish head, brooklyn, green flash, bear republic, oskar blues, lost abbey, stone, the bruery, victory, goose island, great divide, rapscallion, smuttynose, weyerbacher, etc., etc, etc. (and not just the flagship stuff but many one-offs and hard-to-find brews as well)... and that's just on tap. extensive bottle list with a broad range of imports, including the trappistes being well-represented. the atmosphere is fine, nothing to write home about (personally i prefer deep ellum a couple blocks away) but i'm not going for the ambiance. crowd factor can be an issue especially if frequenting on a friday or saturday night, and trends younger, if age demographic is an issue.
i've found the bartenders and servers to be mostly well-educated (beer-speaking), willing to offer both knowledge and gratis samples. the food is good - surprisingly tasty fare assuming it's measured against bar food - but again, not the reason you go to sunset. my only gripe (aside from the college kid on the other end of the bar drinking his bud lite) would be occasionally finding a brew i'm excited to try being tapped (or poor tap lines), which in fairness is bound to happen with that many options. every so often you'll hear a story about a bad bartender, unclean tap lines, and/or poor service (usually having roots in a packed saturday night) but i go often enough to state that this is atypical, and worth putting up with for the equally atypical selection. would recommend a flight: four 4 oz offerings from a particular style.
to anyone visiting boston, sunset is in the allston neighborhood of the city, but well worth the trip... a 5 minute walk from the harvard ave B line (green line) stop, also directly on the 57 bus line, which you can catch from kenmore sq. cheers!
originally reviewed on: 06-13-2010
05-09-2012 15:34:52 |
More by BostonHops
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is my first Beer Advocate review, so I have decided to write about a place that is so near and dear to my heart. I have frequented Sunset Grill & Tap several times during the past six years of living in Boston, and I am never disappointed when I come here.
The place can get rather busy at times, especially on weekend nights. However, any establishment located in the hub, with an exceptional beer and food menu, will tend to experience such crowds. In my opinion, this place offers beer geeks, the best selection in town.
I particularly enjoy the atmosphere at Sunset. The bottle collection and beer trays alone, are worth the visit here. The staff can be hit or miss (even when it isn't busy), but I never experienced any rudeness, rather than some occasional aloofness/wait time when trying to place an order. Overall though, the staff is still usually very helpful, friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to serve samples (more on that later).
The beer menu is obviously impressive. Sunset offers 112 taps, and a huge assortment of bottles, meads, and ciders. Speaking of mead, I tried my first mead ever here (Polish Jadwiga). This mead normally retails for about $50 per 750 ml bottle. On one particular occasion, the bartender let me try a generous sized sample for free. I haven't been that excited, since the day I first tried a Rochefort 10, many moons ago.
The beers are almost always served in the proper glassware. Once in awhile (especially after a busy weekend), Sunset tends to run out of certain beers on the menu. But, hey, it happens. Also of note, some of the beer prices might possibly alarm certain visitors. But overall, I think the value is well worth the cost (especially for Boston).
I have tried numerous food items on the menu. It is typical pub fare in my opinion, although the menu is quite extensive. My favorites have been the mini-burgers, burritos, and melts. And if you ever see the Lobster Quesadilla on the specials menu - do yourself a favor and get it. I had a very generous portion of lobster meat (at least a pound). The portions are always generous.
The beer, the food, and the atmosphere at Sunset Grill make this a destination for anybody coming to Boston. I wish I was there right now!
03-05-2012 19:36:18 |
More by Bonzopookie
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Visited Sunset for the first time on a Saturday night around 8- it was very crowded as was to be expected. There are bottles of beer on shelves all over the walls and a lot of other beer posters, neon lights, etc. I had a Southern Tier 2x Cream Stout from a cask while I was waiting for a table- it was well preserved and tasted delicious. They have an ENORMOUS selection- their 112 taps (yes, 112) rotate pretty frequently. The draft menu is on the back cover of the beer menu and has more than enough beers to keep you interested throughout a given night. I also had Bear Republic Racer 5 on tap and DFH 120 Minute IPA on tap- both were well preserved and served in appropriate glassware. I had a burger with some cajun fries that was great; however my friend got a Cuban Reuben sandwich that she said was disgusting. Their menu is extensive- think carefully before you order something that doesn't seem like pub food.
I will definitely be coming back many more times- very reasonably priced, friendly and knowledgeable staff (my waitress was an expert homebrewer), and a selection that cannot be beaten.
02-19-2012 17:09:10 |
More by Hopdaemon39
Sunset Grill & Tap in Allston, MA
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