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The Moan And Dove
Taps: 23 / Bottles: 125
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
460 West Street
phone: (413) 256-1710
Voted the #1 Place to Have a Beer in 2006 - by BeerAdvocate.com reviewers.
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
last stop on the amherst trip this past sunday.
odd suburban location, not at all what i imagined from having checked out their website so many times. place was full of crunchy types- some extreme sports guys from california who were all tanned up and ordering racer 5. some local hippies who were endlessly debating the roots of jazz. bartender was spaced out but helpful.
not all of this is bad, mind you, just not what i expected.
but its all about the beer, isn't it? enormous selection of bottles, and the menu is almost as interesting as the selection. seems they printed it last year and just keep updating things in pen. like the notepad of a mad scientist. the bottles i was interested in were out, so i stuck to drafts. EDIT: after several trips here, i have seen an ungodly selection of draft beer and bottles. second only to the kulminator.
avery, goliath, dogfish, allagash.. and an achel bruin in the bottle to top off my visit. lack of food made this place very dangerous. every couple of minutes, someone would grab the bar phone to order food from one of the many local joints for delivery. all they need say is 'moan and dove' and the restaurant knew where to bring it.
the interior is divey, another thing i didn't expect. wins the prize for absolute worst artwork on a bar wall ever, at least it's rotating... EDIT: future rotations of decor have been much nicer, but overall still a bit too dingy. there is TLC put into this place, its just focused on certain areas and lacking in others.
so conflicted about this place.. what they offer is 5.0 but how they present it is more 2.5. spruce this place up and it will be world class. still had fun though and will be back for a re-review.
EDIT/RE-REVIEW NOTES: since my initial review i have had a variety of great bartenders (never saw that guy again, strangely enough). had the great opportunity to meet new people, try crazy beers, and just hang out. be in a beer-friendly environment. this place has grown on me and i will continue to visit this place as often as my schedule allows. thanks for the great beer.
03-21-2005 16:08:50 |
More by goodbyeohio
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
This is a true Micro-Geek beer bar. Odd location kinda on the outskirts of town in a building that doesn't really look like a beer bar. Inside is a single room with a bar on one side and a few tables on the other. A barrel of peanuts as well. A dozen or so taps and a beer engine as well. Nice comfortable environment for a beer.
All the beers that we had were trouble free, and they seemed to care about having good products available.
Bartender was very concerned about how much we have had to drink. Frendly and attentive service. No complaints.
Had a Stone 7th from a bottle. They had many hard to find brews on tap and in bottles from just about anyone that you could want that is available. A place to frequent just to see what they have.
Only food was peanuts, so be sure to eat beforehand.
02-24-2005 16:58:56 |
More by vladtheimpaler
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5
This place reminds me of those swank little coffee shops in the old days where the young intellectuals would go to talk about society and eclectic topics.
A little dark, but not too dark. It's a rather small place with rather uncomfortable seating, all wood. Right next to the door is a barrel of peanuts where you can just scoop up a bowl full and bring it to your table. They are in shell and must have been brined, but a lot less salty (and much better) than your normal beernuts. Try to avoid the bottom of the barrel. A cliche that is true in this case. No food otherwise, which is a bit of a bummer. I like to eat with my beer.
Staff is very knowledgeable about the beers, but they usually are understaffed and it takes awhile to get served.
Beer selection is awesome! Somewhere around 150 beers in their repetoire. Always new ones to try. The draught range is pretty good (20), though, so it's really a bottle place for the variety. A lot of imports, by far the best selection in beers of anywhere I have seen so far in MA or NY.
A word to the student, this isn't a very cheap place nor are there specials on beers, it's a place to go have one or two interesting offerings while spending a little as well.
01-08-2005 15:22:27 |
More by aquatonex
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
My first visit here, Just south of Jamherst, funky location, Medium sized rectangel of a room, dim lighting, dark walls, beer bar to the left, 2 or 3 large communal tables in the middle and booths along the wall to the left. large blackboard of brew selections by the bar. Yeeha, my kind of place, relaxed, low key, friendly folks, eclectic/extensive/high qual brew selection. Btender,very knowledgable,and friendly. Beer served in appropriate glassware. No food avail. but Fish and Chippy and sandwedge joint real close. Add it up and this becomes a MUST visit location.
12-19-2004 12:06:33 |
More by Billolick
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Have a peak at their website where their menu is kept updated. Superb customer service and where are they located? 3 miles from amherst, basically in the middle of nowhere, by a gas station. Sorry for the prejucide, but how have they brought such a rural area to be into craft beer? We went there on sunday night and while no line-up, but every table was taken until 11:30 pm or so. I feel we were a bit unlucky with the tap list as there was still place on the board and the 6 oktoberfests and IPAs didnt really interest me, but still.. I had an incredible fantôme pissenlit on tap and they have a guldenberg keg in the stock room etc. Dream bottle list and they actually do have the bottles. I cant say I feel at home there, but I feel pretty comfortable. It probably cant hold more than 100 people and doesnt take itself too seriously, no one was wearing classy suits and they have those free peanuts with shells of on the floor. Probably one of the only places to serve cantillon and fantome in the right glass. Bartender (Adam) was very friendly and despite being alone that evening, he exchanged a few words about the beers with us. How many other US places have St-Lamvinus and westvleteren blonde in october 2004? Supposedly the shelton bros live 10 minutes from there and its their local pub. Go and take advantage of it now!
10-12-2004 16:50:26 |
More by Rastacouere
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!
09-28-2004 18:19:46 |
More by twelvsies
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. Selection...you 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.
09-06-2004 18:48:21 |
More by PatandDavid
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.
09-05-2004 17:58:45 |
More by Denali
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 thats 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 Whos 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 BAs 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 BAs. 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.
08-29-2004 04:59:03 |
More by TheLongBeachBum
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!
08-25-2004 00:29:50 |
More by steinlifter
The Moan And Dove in Amherst, MA