Sunday, May 25, 2008

Two Minute Guide to Moe's Tavern

Moe's Taven in Lee, Massachusetts, has been a longtime destination of ours for a couple of reasons. First of all, we are geeks, and any geek worth a damn knows that Moe's Tavern is Homer Simpson's favorite hangout. Secondly, we had read -- and been told by those who know -- that they have a terrific setup and a very good beer selection.

Moe's is tucked away on a side street in this quaint Western New England village, a fact which caused us to miss our turn and have to circle back to find it. From the outside, it's hard to know what to make of it. In the windows are some neon beer signs, as well as some words written backward on the windows. In some ways, it looks like a hip indie record store from the outside.

Walking inside gives a clearer view of the bar's vibe. First, it becomes apparent that the writing on the windows is a list of the beers available on draft, as well as their prices. ("Victory Lager $4," "60 Minute IPA $6," etc.) This list apparently is updated every once in a while, but not always immediately.

A beer menu is also available at the bar, listing all the bottled beers available at Moe's, ranging from $4 (Stone Coast 420 IPA, Brooklyn Lager, et al.) to $399 (Unibroue Fin Du Monde 6 litre). There are also about a dozen specialty beers in the $10 to $25 range (Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA $19, Stone Russian Imperial Stout $12, Dogfish Head Red and White $25). The menu helpfully splits all their bottles into four categories: IPAs and Big Beers; Browns, Porters and Stouts; Pales, Pils, Bitters and Lagers; and Belgian Styles, Whites and Wheats.

There is a large sign painted above one of the windows that states "No Coors Light," which was apparently added as a reaction to being requested so many times. Now the barkeeps need only to point to the sign. Please note, there is no BudMillerCoors fare to be found at Moe's.

The decor is decidedly beergeek friendly. Remember the episode where Moe said in order to open a family restaurant, all you had to do was "throw a bunch of crap on on the walls"? Well, the real life Moe's Tavern took that advice to heart, although with a beer lovers in mind. Paraphernalia for Rogue and Dogfish Head line the walls, and bumper stickers and signs for Smuttynose and Berkshire can be found strewn all about. It's like a townie bar with Bennigan's walls, but with tons of beer and a smaller menu.

On this sunny day, only about 4-5 people were inhabiting the Tavern. Javen and I placed our orders: a Six Point Bengali IPA for Jables, a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA for me. We bellied up to an out of the way section of the bar, near the restroom. Javen and I placed an order for a light lunch (three small slider burgers and a buffalo chicken strip sandwich, neither one bad at all).

Of course, no Beerjanglin' adventure would be complete without an unusual encounter; this day we ran into a wonderful 50s-ish couple named Bronco and Rita. [Note: we forgot their real names.] I lied to them about Javen being a federal officer (he denied it, for the record) and told them my name was Ramon. Bronco rewarded my blatant disingenuousness by giving me the red Gritty McDuff's hat off his own head when Javen pointed it out to me. He was just, in his words, "payin' it forward."

Hopefully our trip to Moe's will not be our one and only. And though I didn't see a Flamin' Moe on the menu, a cozy, friendly atmosphere, a terrific beer selection and lively conversation make this a spot well worth the detour.

3 comments:

Jonathan said...

This place rocks

kvandyke said...

Update: Moe's no longer serves food, except for chips and pretzels (in bags). But they have takeout menus for area eateries that will deliver to the bar, including the thai/chinese restaurant across the street, which you can eat at Moe's.The reviewer omitted mention of the friendly couple who owns Moes; the male half is a self-descirbed umass grad who got c's. Also, it's very clean, even the bathrooms (at least the ladies'). Great find (heading south it's a block behind Main St., on the right, before price chopper)

kvandyke said...

Oh -- also has free wifi