Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Moan and Dove

On Sunday, we took a short trip up to western MA. Mandy wanted to go to Yankee Candle and I wanted to hit a beer store to stock up and hopefully a bar or two. Western MA is rife with good beer stops thanks in large part to Northampton.

Turns out I only had time for one bar, and since it was farther away than I thought, only one beer. If I had to pick just one place, I could have done a lot worse than The Moan and Dove in Amherst.

After a beautiful meandering drive from Yankee Candle through UMass and, shortly after, downtown Amherst, I arrived at a fairly nondescript strip of buildings. The Moan and Dove occupied the space on the right-most corner:

The Outside:

The Sign:

The Door:

Walking in I was faced with a pleasant looking bar room. 3-4 tall tables were set up in the middle of a room that is longer than it is wide. 3-5 wooden booths could be found lining the right wall and the bar itself was to the left. There was room for maybe 15-ish(?) people at the bar. The atmosphere was pleasantly comfortable on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Enough sun was coming in through the windows to keep it from being gloomy, yet it wasn't so bright as to be uncomfortable. It is a bar afterall. A small TV was set up in one corner playing a Red Sox playoff game. There was a stereo playing mellow indie-rock set to a perfect volume. The walls are painted in deep, maybe blood, red and are decorated with area artists' work. I believe the artwork changes periodically with new artists being featured.

The Moan and Dove has far less attitude, especially on a Sunday afternoon, than their website would lead you to believe. Sort of a thinking man's college bar, perfect for grad students. When I walked in, there were 3-4 people at one of the tall tables playing cards, a couple in a booth both reading, and a few people at the bar discussing somebody's grad school plans. The bartender was extremely mellow and more than willing to strike up a conversation if so desired.

Unfortunately, I can't remember much of the tap list and I forgot to take a picture. I do remember they had Spezial Rauchbier (this is what I chose), Stone Imperial Stout, Rogue Imperial Stout, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, DFH's Johnny Rawton, Guinness, Acme IPA, Mojo IPA, Smuttynose IPA, Weihenstaphaner Hefe, and some others. Their bottle list is extensive. They serve some hard alcohol...higher-end tequilas, scotch, etc... but doubt they make many (if any) mixed drinks. Beer is the thing here and that's fine by me.

I'd love to get back here and do it more justice than one beer.

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