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Reviews on PubCrawler from mr. tattie heid
Other Reviews by this User
December 22, 2014 @ 10:37 AM EDT
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Reviews By
mr. tattie heid

Beer Reviews

Restaurant Reviews


Beer Reviews from mr. tattie heid
Average Rating
Beer Quality
Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Great Great

Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Good Great Awesome!

Establishment: Northampton Brewery / Brewster Court Pub, Northampton, MA

I salivated at the prospect of a brewpub opening in Northampton in the late '80's; the only other brewpub within 100 miles was the late lamented Commonwealth, in Boston. I was there when Mayor Musante took the first official sip (although they'd actually opened a day or so before). I was deeply disappointed. The early offerings were "Golden" and "Amber". The bar decor was California Sterile. The service was spotty, sometimes terrible. The menu was lackluster.

Eighteen years later, everything is different. I'm still not quite sure I get the menu, but the food is generally good and the beers are varied and excellent. The rooftop deck just might be the best terrasse I've ever been in, certainly the best without a view of any kind. The service is excellent (Kirsten is a goddess). I'm still not crazy about the decor and layout of the main bar, but there is a really great local pub vibe going on. This place has matured really nicely. See you there.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Great Awesome!

Establishment: L'Île Noire, Montreal, QC

This is the best true pub in Montreal, oddly enough in the latin quarter near L'Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM). A little French is useful, but not necessary. The place is named after one of the Tintin stories, appropriately enough the one that takes place in Scotland--there is an outstanding selection of Scotches here. Also a very good choice of beers, including the excellent St-Ambroise Pale Ale. If you're in Montreal, are not intimidated by the language thing, and want to get away from the tourists on Crescent Street, this is a great place to start. Nearby is the French center of nightlife, Rue St-Denis, with bars, discos, restaurants, pizza joints, and so on. There are two brewpubs and a great beer bar nearby, noted elsewhwere on this site. You might stop in here before a night of clubbing on rue St-Denis. You might never leave.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Great Awesome! Awesome!

Establishment: Hurley's Irish Pub, Montreal, QC

Please allow me a brief digression before I get started.

Listen up, Montrealers: You have a world-class brewery in MacAuslan. Ste-Ambroise Pale Ale is better by far than all those imports you get--Double Diamond, Tartan, Kilkenny (you bastards!), Boddington's, etc., and it's a lot cheaper. Get a clue. faux Irish pubs go, this is a really good one. It's a rambling place with more brick-lined rooms than I can count, with live music upstairs and down. Downstairs usually features local Irish/folk type acts, and if Solstice are playing, don't miss 'em. My one complaint is that the layout of the place, necessitated by the building it's in, means that it's difficult to see and hear the band if you aren't in the same room they are. But, speaking as someone who's usually complaining that this place or that is too dark and too loud, I find the atmosphere very agreeable. It can be smokey, like any place in Montreal, and can get very crowded; but I rarely fail to meet and converse with someone interesting.

There is a fairly broad selection of beers, as Canadian pubs go, and the staff are on the ball. There is also quite a large, if somewhat pricey, selection of Scotches (print up a new list, Bill!). And if you come in early in the evening and nothing's going on, you can pop on over to Brutopia next door for a great IPA.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Good Good Great Great

Establishment: Lunar Rogue Pub, Fredericton, NB

This is as good a beer bar as you'll find in New Brunswick. That's not saying a whole lot, but there you go. A pretty standard selection of imports and a micro or two--nothing unusual. The best thing by far is the Picaroon Bitter, from a local brewery (and late lamented brewpub). That and the Guinness are far better kept and served than at the James Joyce Pub across the way. Decent pub atmosphere, and the terrasse (that's "patio" to us Yanks) is as nice as you can expect, given that it's set up in a parking lot.

The real star here is the Scotch list, probably the largest I've seen in Atlantic Canada, and very reasonably priced. But bring your own glass, because there isn't a suitable glass for serving the stuff in the house, amazingly enough. I asked for a snifter once and was told "We used to have one, but it broke."

Fredericton is a pleasant enough town with a lovely setting on the Saint John River, worth a few hours if you're going that way. If you're into art, the Beaverbrook Gallery is world class (or so I'm told--I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't made it in yet). There are also some interesting historical sites in and around town.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great N/A Great So So

Establishment: Bukowski's Tavern, Boston, MA

29 taps and a cask, very nice selection, gets points for not being heavily weighted to the pale ales and IPAs, even though that's my preference. A good, very pub-like room. Why the so-so overall rating? The room is much too dark, and the music is way, way too loud--and really, really bad. Please tell me those weren't demos from Berklee students. I guess this forty-something is just too out of it...I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Do I dare to drink a pêche?


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Great Great Great Great

Establishment: Sunday River Brewing Company, Bethel, ME

Mildly rowdy pub atmosphere with one big room. Apparently an expansion is planned to separate the restaurant and bar crowds. As it is, a very busy and loud apres-ski scene--you can barely hear the Classic Rock being piped in, but hey, you know every note. There is a bit of a lull between dinner and the weekend band. A nice, if a bit light, IPA. Get it while you can: an extraordinary barleywine. No beer has ever done so many things for so long on my tongue. I don't guarantee that you will like it, but I promise you've never had anything quite like it. If you're skiing a weekend at Sunday River, try one night here and one at Suds Pub (qv) in town. The ski area and town are connected by a very handy and free shuttle bus. But be warned: the bonehead shuttle drivers usually run 3-5 minutes ahead of schedule.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Great Good Good Great

Establishment: Suds Pub, Bethel, ME

A homey basement pub under the more formal Sudbury Inn on Main Street. Family atmosphere apres-ski, bands later on weekends. 29 taps, a fine variety, from Bud Light to Guinness, with emphasis on Maine micros--Geary's, Shipyard, Kennebec River, even a Sunday River from up the road. Good pub fare; I had a Buffalo burger which was quite good. Other people's dishes looked really good, too. (My food rating would probably be higher if I'd had more of the menu.) If you're skiing a weekend at Sunday River, try one night here and one night at Sunday River Brewing (qv). The ski area and town are connected by a very handy and free shuttle bus. But be warned: the bonehead shuttle drivers usually run 3-5 minutes early.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall

Establishment: Berkshire Brewing Company, South Deerfield, MA

So can anyone explain to me why a brewery smack in the middle of the Connecticut River valley, and in Franklin County, is called "Berkshire Brewing"?


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Good Good N/A So So Good

Establishment: Microbrasserie St-Arnould, St-Jovite, QC

I manage to wander into this place about once a year. They have a more-or-less British style ale called La Vlimeuse which is very good. Also a Belgian-style brown ale which I don't feel qualified to comment on (especially since I haven't had it in a couple years), but which I recall as being pretty tasty. A couple lighter beers of no interest to me. I have not eaten here in several years, so left that unmarked, but I recall the food being good. Pretty big wine list. Alas, only two single malts--Glenfiddich and Macallan 10. A nice rustic Quebec atmosphere, with an impressive collection of beer bottles in glass cases. Not really much of a bar scene--I presume the restaurant trade is the bulk of their business as they tend to close up quite early--I was the last man out at 10:30 on a Saturday night. The waitress seemed only mildly interested in serving the handful of customers. At the edge of town in St-Jovite, walking distance to Club Vacances motel, handy to Mt-Tremblant ski resort, at which lies La Diable brewpub, for an unusual double in the Quebec countryside. Ski area, town, and motels connected by inexpensive shuttle bus. A very charming little corner of the world.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Great Awesome! N/A Great Awesome!

Establishment: Moan and Dove, Amherst, MA

Formerly the Old Amherst Ale House, completely redecorated and with new ownership and a rejuvenated attitude. There are now 20 taps and two casks, with a third on the way. Extensive bottles, especially Belgians (also one on tap). One cask from MacNeill's of Brattleboro, excellent. The other two will be imports--I'm skeptical about these being reasonably fresh, but we'll see. What I really like about the beer selection is that the easy choices people tend to fall back on are missing--no Bass, Sam Adams, or BudMillerCoors. (PBR on tap, and Schlitz and Schaeffer in cans!) Guinness, of course, another import or two, and a broad selection of micros, most rare in these parts. A small but varied choice of Scotches. The TV is always off, and the music is usually kept to a comfortable converstional level. The decor is simple, warm colors, with rotating art on the walls. The only food currently available is burritos, chicken or bean, but a planned expansion will include a proper kitchen. This is now the beer mecca of western Massachusetts. Highly recommended.


Beer Quality Beer Selection Food Service Overall
Awesome! Awesome! N/A Awesome! Awesome!

Establishment: Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

Visited Monk's for the first time Friday. Belgian beers have always been a bit of a mystery to me, so this was an adventure in open-mindedness. Well rewarded! More than a dozen Belgians on tap--the only other draft is a local cask beer, and, being very fond of real ale, I started with that. Fortunately (!) it was disappointing--to be fair, the bartender told me it was not at its best, and that's the nature of the beast--but now my path was open to exploring the Belgians. I had some fine, fine beers, with the help of the extremely knowledgable bartender, Stasia. On a Friday night, the place was a little more crowded and noisy than I like, but the folks were all intelligent, broad-minded, and talkative, so I quite enjoyed myself. Most were considerably younger than I, but not kids. No TV or games, thank you. Music was a little loud, but hey, it was Friday night, and at least it was reasonably tasteful. I have always enjoyed English/Scottish/Irish style pubs and beers, but Monk's has opened my taste buds to the joys of Belgiana. I'm off to Brussels.


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