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Taps: 22 / Bottles: 120
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
144 N Main Street
phone: (508) 795-1012
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Reviews by Jwale73:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Visited the Armsby Abbey on 10/24/09 while in town for an Aikido Seminar. I was really excited to try this place, but have been a little put off because of the distance (close to an hour away from my house). I was really excited to find out that it was less than a mile away from where I was training (score), so I took a long lunch. I was not disappointed. Believe the hype; this place is great. Although not a large establishment, it maximizes the space it has. A large L-shaped bar, accommodates about 22 patrons. The rest of the space consists primarily of high-top tables and stools - some 2 person intimates and 6-person parties - probably serves about 50 additional patrons when packed to the gills. Lots of wood and brass. The tap list, which is comprised of about 20-22 taps is constantly rotating, so I won't go into too much detail; however, it is seems to be consistently updated and has a great balance ranging from Belgians to locals to offerings from California. Also quite a few harder to come by Germans on-tap, which was a nice bonus. The tap list is posted on a large chalkboard opposite the bar, listing not only the taps, but also the abv and price, so you know what you are getting yourself into. I didn't spend too much time perusing the bottle list, but what I can say is that it is huge. Once again, varietals from everywhere, as well as some harder to find offerings. The Abbey also offers a full range of cocktail options and wine, so it shouldn't be a hard sell to the non-beer geek. Great ambience - not really an eclectic crowd per se, but not your typical beer nerd sword fight either - couples enjoying lunch, larger mixed parties, etc. Food was absurdly good. I had the BLT which was incredible and my friend had a beautiful salad. The menu itself is pretty simple, with hardy fair, although a little pricey for Worcester in my opinion (but not exorbitantly so). What is nice, however, is that it consists of local produce and products, which are indicated on the menu. Tap pricing was reasonable - about $6.00/pint served in appropriate glassware; as previously mentioned, I didn't really look at the bottle list, so can't really comment on price. Service was excellent. Our server was prompt and attentive, without being overly intrusive, and also seemed knowledgeable about the tap list and offerings. All and all, this has to be one of the best beer bars I've visited - I really loved it. Now I just need to find more reasons to visit Worcester. If you are in the area, the Armsby Abbey is a must stop.
10-25-2009 16:03:59 |
More by Jwale73
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75 | $$$
Showed up for dinner on a Saturday night and were told about an hour wait for a table so we grabbed some great beers (I had a peche mortel on tap) and because there was no room at the bar, decided to try the table outside which was empty (it was pretty cold). To our delight, about 15 minutes a table had opened up for us.
Service was great, and the food was very interesting and tasty. I had a pulled pork sandwich as a meal which was superb and we had some cheese platters as an appetizers all of which were very interesting and tasty (not huge). Everything was super fresh and local which was great.
Each beer I ordered came in its respective glassware which was cool and there were a lot of great choices on tap. The place was a little loud which was to be expected on a Saturday night and did not detract from the experience. Highly recommended!
05-18-2013 18:15:04 |
More by Resuin
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Because there was just no way I could scribble notes during ‘The Festival’ pregame; standing room only and an amped up tap list. Was just not happening. Let’s just say it’s considerably less jammin’ now, 3 months out on Monday, just after 5. Parked and meter fed until 6, and an easy jaywalk across Main Street, Worcester…
Ground floor corner of a bricky building on the strip. Past a handful of metal tables sidewalkside, and in. Front vestibule glass door with narrow windows bordering, and a wrapping iron piece over the door for the pull curtain. Corner nooks to both sides below vertical windows holding dangling ornamental stars, and horizontal windows above. Pale olivey walls & big brick, and 3 pillars down the center of the room. Slat wood floorings, and a black ceiling with matching ductwork, drop cheese wheel lamps over the front corners, and sunken & track spots about.
Wood bar with a rounded lip, panel base, & squared bar foot rail to the right; seating for a dozen and a half or so on leather swivel chairs. The barback holds a fat pillared center unit arched with panel mirrored backing over the taps from end to end below on a single row. Glassware shelved below and bottle selections housed in glass front cooler trios to each side. Tiered booze all countered up to both sides with windows above holding Belgian gnomes and mosaic glass pieced candleholders or, um, something. And then shelving units on the ends running to the ceiling; glassware glassware glassware, and display bottles & growlers along the top shelves. Clearly, some of this glassware is way out of reach and is just for show.
A bar counter wood beam with mosaic candleholders, a few stools, & piping foot rail connecting two of the center pillars, and some more bar counter space to the rear. 5 hightops on the far wall, a pair of 2-seaters between the next set of pillars, and a pair of 2-seaters in the front nooks on wraparound bench action with pillowings.
Events board on the far wall up front (movie night, shuckin’ truck raw bar), and a looong horizontal blackboard further down listing tap selections, origin, ABV & pricing. Orval & Dupont tins to both sides of that, and a doorway to the building bathrooms shared. T shirts displayed up front alongside the bar, and a single flatscreen in the rear corner.
22 tap in a row on barback center with nondescript wooden knobby handles; roughly 1/3 of them MA craft offerings (High & Mighty Sono Distrutto, Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union, Cisco Grey Lady, Pretty Things Saint Botolph’s Town, Blatant Session Ale, BBC Coffeehouse Porter), another 1/3 craft offerings regional (Allagash Fluxus 2012, Maine Peeper Ale, Smuttynose Strawberry Short Weisse, Victory Prima Pils, Troegs Dead Reckoning Porter), and not so regional (Port Wipe Out, 21st Amendment Hop Crisis, Greenflash West Coast IPA), and the other 1/3 very good imports (Drie Fonteinen Beersel Blonde, Tilquin Gueuze, Jandrain VI Wheat, Djaevelbryg Schopenhauers Vilje, Mikkeller Hop Bomb Challenge, Trois Dames Fraicheur Du Soir, Ca L’Arenys Guineu Riner, Freigeist Abraxxxas).
Oh, I don’t know, maybe a sampler. You get 4 shorty 4oz glasses of the ‘you pick’, so I did, and then bummed samples of things, and of course, drank Phil’s beer when he went out for a smoke. Had some things I really liked (Trois Dames Fraicheur Du Soir, Drie Fonteinen Beersel Blonde, Mikkeller Hop Bomb Challenge, Blatant Session Ale, Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union).
The bottle list holds some 80 selections, of which roughly ½ of are Belgian. I like that about a 1/3 of the list overall is made up of Gueuze, Lambic, Flanders, & American wild ale entries. Does not suck. Benchmark (lovely) Orval runs $12, just on the edge of pricing sanity.
And a light bite before we get back on the road home, thinking to split a sandwich. The roast beef sandwich was under serious consideration due to its sounding of awesome, but we opted for the apple bacon grilled cheese sandwich (Tougas Farm apples, house smoked bacon, Vermont cheddar, Smith’s Farm smoked gouda, & braised Swiss chard on house made honey oat bread). It was a kickin’ grilled chee, came with greens and everything.
Eriktender behind the bar. He dealt samples when I asked for them, and gave honest answers when questions asked, i.e., ‘is this any good?’, etc. Kickin’ selection, comfortable house, good crowd, fine eats. Worth the detour en route to points anywhere...
12-10-2012 06:40:01 |
More by slander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
When i think of Worcester, Mass - Armsby Abbey just doesn't seem to fit in.
When you walk down the street, it looks like your average small bistro, but when you walk in, its a whole different story. The atmosphere of Armsby reminds me of someplace you'd see in small town America. The Bartenders are friendly, to the point where you wonder if you somehow know them. It's warm, and welcoming.
In regards to Selection, Armsby may not have the 30 page beer menu, or the 30 page food menu that some other bars do - instead, they bring you offerings that are from local farms, and use whole healthy ingredients. Their beer offerings may not be as exotic as you might find in Boston, but everytime i've been there i find a beer on their chalk board menu that i've been dying to try, or haven't had in forever. They seem to specialize in bringing you beers that A) Suit the seasons, B) Compliment the menu and C) are Expertly crafted. The best part is that they know their beers, and they know them well.
Now, one of my favorite things about the menu, is that there isn't a ton of anything. By this i mean that they have a few of each thing on the menu and when it runs out - thats it. To me, that SCREAMS freshness. If you're looking for some real neat food choices, (when available) check out; The Duck Confit, The Smoked Marrow Plate, The Olive Platter, and the show stopper - The Macaroni and Cheese. I have never had a Macaroni and Cheese like that in my life.
Overall, while it's not someplace that i could afford every night, i do make sure to frequent it as often as i can. If not for the amazing beers, If not for the amazing food, If not for the amazing service, than its definitely for the fun folks you can meet sitting next to you at the bar. Good Company all around.
Oh... and they don't balk at you for whipping out your tasting notebook. I like that.
11-26-2012 20:16:00 |
More by mtchaput
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
This is my top place for going out and having a beer. I never look at the extensive set beer list, but always look to the "What's on tap?" board. There are typically at least twenty selections, and a third of them are always Belgian brews.
Prices for a single glass will range from $5 up to $12 or so, depending on what you're getting, but the staff is well-trained and highly knowledgeable on the beers they serve. I would expect nothing less from a place that specializes in imports, craft and microbrews.
The food is top quality, mostly (if not all) from local farms, and all organic. You may have to pay a little more, and wait a little while, but it is definitely worth the time and money. The brunches are always top notch.
The place is usually packed at nights, and especially on weekends, so it's a good idea to get in early, but you can usually find a place to stand and have a drink. There's no loud music, no bands, no fluff -- just a place to relax, drink up, and enjoy yourself.
11-21-2012 20:21:56 |
More by ajohnson2371
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
A little re-reviewing after my second visit to Armsby Abbey. Busy on a Friday night at around 9:30pm but we managed to find a table. Service was excellent. I finally got to try the smoked bone marrow and it was spectacular. But I'm knocking down the "selection" score because, again, I was disappointed by the lack of variety. Lots of weird European beers you never heard of, and a ton of IPA's, but not a good Imperial Stout or big beer in sight. Great bottle selection with vintages and rarities, but pricey.
It is the wife’s birthday weekend and we are headed to Maine, where we spent a beautiful birthday years back. Worcester (say “Woosta”) is on the way, so why not enjoy some art at the museum and have lunch at Armsby Abbey!
Located in Downtown Woosta, this is a high-quality beer joint in a town more likely to drink Bud Light than quality beer. Unfortunately, the interior is bland,generic, lacking personality. Soulless like a McMansion, or imagine Applebee’s doing a beer bar. There is no charm here.
But you’re in for a good time here, with good beers and food. The draft list showcases rare and pricey beers from Europe and elsewhere (Hitachino Nipponia, $12; Oppigards Amarillo, $9; De Molen Op&Top, $10, Spain’s Guineu Riner, 2.5%) plus local/regional drafts from Allagash, Sixpoint, Hill Farmstead, Pretty Things… plus Port and Anderson Valley from Cali. All around good,with some treasures (Hill Abner!!!) but lacking variety. No Imperial Stouts, barleywines or big beers.
Food is mighty nice. We had “rillons”, which is deep-fried pork belly, and tried to have the smoked bone marrow but they were out. The bacon-onion pizza was delicious too, and huge. A ton of cheeses, but pricey. Pizza and apps are a better option.
Prices are all over. Hill Abner only $6, imports $9-$10, no price listed on cocktails and spirits but wine does have it. Great bottle selection with cool stuff like Parabola, but pricey ($35 for Parabola, $55 for Old Stock Reserve).
Very good service at lunch on a Friday and overall a great experience. Will return next time I happen to be in Woosta. Oh, parking before 5pm is street only and not too easy… plan accordingly.
10-27-2012 18:50:26 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Excellent bartenders. Well informed and very helpful as is the wait staff. THe food is interesting and never disappointing. Great, interesting unusual pizzas. excellent macaroni and cheese. If you have non beer drinkers in your party they have good mixed drinks I am told. Breads are excellent and made there. Ambiance is great,. No TV, Music, and other noise. You can actually hear the people you go with.
The beers on tap represent the world and the US. Great choices, nice people, all around a great place to go for a drink and a bite to eat.
10-04-2012 23:10:27 |
More by 00766
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
The Abbey was one of the first places I checked out when I moved to the MetroWest part of MA. I've never ever been disappointed during any of my visits.
It does start with the atmosphere. Initially it does seem to come off as high-end, but once you get settled in, you realize that it's just as welcoming as any comfort/dive bar you've been in. The bartenders are always nice and very cordial, willing to help out with your beer/food choice. When it gets busy, this, as expected, gets toned down, but you must understand that basically everything they do is labor-intensive. They're not just pouring you a cocktail, they're creating it in front of you. Even when pouring beer, if the pour isn't just right, they'll do whatever it takes to make sure it is.
The selection is unbelievable. On-tap, I honestly think they blow any place in Boston completely out of the water. Their bottle selection is extensive and its always worth checking out as they get any possible Cantillon that is sold in the state, although the Cantillon bottle prices are a tad higher than in some places i've gone to in Boston, but at the same time, I've had Fou Foune and '09 LP Kriek on tap for about $8-$9, so that's not something I'd hold against them.
The food has never been a disappointment. The prices are probably a tad more than most would like to pay, but it is also comforting to know where all your food is coming from. Not to mention everything is of top-notch quality. The brunch also may be the best in the state.
I know some will laugh at me suggesting that the value is reasonable here, but for what you are getting, it really can't be beat. Highly recommended.
09-15-2012 18:35:32 |
More by GonzoHomebrewer
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
Armsby Abbey is hands down the best place to "experience" beer in the area, in all of Massachusetts, and possibly beyond. Alec Lopez the owner goes the extra mile to acquire the worlds finest beers on a regular basis. Always a good mix. Always something for everyone. Their bottle list is very extensive and he always keeps a selection of rarities in there to tickle the connoisseur. The staff is very friendly and informative and downright AWESOME. They also now how to navigate you into a pleasant experience if you are new to these kinds of beers or have a preference to certain styles. They allow tastes as well so you will never get poured a beer that you might hate. Food is out of this world. Many a whole pig have been slaughtered for your culinary delight. The produce is all sourced from local farms as is the cheese. The Cheese plates draw me back time and time again. What better to cut the edge of a De Dolle Dulle Teve than a nice hannibelle? My only complaint about the Armsby Abbey is that the tap handles could be made of artisanal hand blown glass that would be cool.
06-11-2012 14:56:45 |
More by grotonmarketguy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Worcester, particularly the downtown area, does not have too many positive connotations associated with it. However, it has gotten better in recent years. One of the businesses that seems to have helped in this is Armsby Abbey.
There is a long bar, as well as a good number of tables. For taps, I believe they have about 20 selections. During a couple visits, I have seen MA brewers including Mayflower, Jack`s Abbery, BBC, others. New England as a whole gets attention, and some Belgians and other US brewers are in the mix as well. For bottles, there is a list with some great options covering different styles, but is not one of those bottles lists that sometimes are larger than necessary.
Food is very good, although a bit expensive. Service is very good, even when they are busy. It is nice to see that have done so well, and with that, it can get crowded at "peak dining/bar hours".
06-09-2012 13:55:19 |
More by mltobin
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Armsby Abbey in Worcester, MA