The Lobby Of What, Now?

     Don’t be fooled by the name, The Lobby is neither attached to a hotel nor in the lobby of a building. I’m not sure what the story is behind that. What I do know is that it is a slick little bar down in the financial district on Broad St.

     The clientèle is late-twenties to late-thirties professional guys and gals looking for a place that’s a little different and isn’t packed after work to standing room only like The Times, J.A. Stats, or Mr. Dooley’s all within a stones throw of The Lobby. Prices for food and drinks aren’t cheap, but they aren’t bank-breaking either. Given the neighborhood the prices are about what you would expect; across the board from apps to booze the prices are maybe a buck or two above their competition.

     How could a bar in that area not be a sardine can on a weeknight, you ask? A smart interior layout is the answer.

     Across the front are floor to ceiling windows that open onto the street with three or four two-seat tables situated in front of them. Along the right wall is a long cushioned bench seat that stretches back to the bar with a few more tables and chairs in front of it. On the left side is a sitting area with a few low chairs, ottomans, and low tables situated so that it could be a large open social arena or broken into two smaller areas. Across the back wall was the bar which had six, maybe eight, high stools.

     The space between the bar and the fireplace sitting area really only allowed enough standing room behind the bar stools to be one person deep. I suppose you could get two deep, but you better be well acquainted with the person you’re squeezed in with to do it. Beyond that small space at the bar there is no standing room. The rest of the open space is simply the path from the bar past the tables to the door. The waitresses and waiters had no problem making it known that people were not to be standing in that path. So even though the night my friends and I were there The Lobby was at capacity it was still an enjoyable experience with plenty of breathing room.

My god, man! What about the beer?

     Bottles only and the selection of 10 or so brews wasn’t great, but did have a few gems. (The website beer list is thankfully wrong.) I started with a Julius Echter Hefe-Weissbier Hell which at $9 was the most expensive beer on the menu (it’s also the biggest at 16-oz.). All the others were $6 for 12-oz. I’ve noticed the Julius Echter popping up at more and more places around town and am glad to see it. Don‘t be scared, “hell” is just German for light in reference to the beer’s color because they make a “dunkel” or dark hefe as well. Julius Echter may not be the best hefe out there, but it’s up there and I’m glad to get my hands on it when I can.

     Next up was Big Daddy IPA from Speak Easy Ales & Lagers in San Francisco; a brewery I wasn’t familiar with. I’m not a big fan of IPAs, however, I never know when I’ll find the one that will bring me over to the hop side and am always game for something new. Big Daddy had lots of grapefruit hoppiness, but it was still balanced and very drinkable. It didn’t exactly make me a convert, still I recommend it if you like IPAs and want something with more depth than Harpoon.

     I can’t clearly recall what other beers they had as I didn‘t take notes, though I’m pretty sure I saw Corona, Stella Artois, and Sam Adams in the fridges behind the bar. I do remember the barkeep saying they had run out of Cisco Brewers’ Sankaty Light which was a drag since I had been wanting to try it.

     The Lobby is a pretty cool place. It’s a bit on the spendy side so I couldn’t imagine going here all the time unless I get that promotion at work, but it’s definitely now in my rotation of post work watering holes that aren‘t packed wall-to-wall with Kate Spades and their Blue Shirt Boys. Their beer list didn’t exactly knock my socks off, but I have to give them props for having the few surprises they did. Yes, $6 (or worse $9) bottles suck; unfortunately this is the financial district so get used to it. Foodwise the appetizers my group had were tasty, though I can’t speak to the entrees. I say give The Lobby a shot with a very small group or maybe even an after work date if you are looking for something a little nicer than the norm.

Cheers! -John



BeerAdvocate’s American Craft Beer Fest- June 20 & 21- Boston

If you haven’t heard yet, get ready to get your beer on with BeerAdvocate right here in Boston.

     June 20 & 21 the BeerAdvocate crew are throwing down with the massive American Craft Beer Fest, the biggest BA fest yet. Their fests are always a good time with great beer, but now they are going big. You’ll find local favorites along with some amazing breweries that don’t get distribution here in New England and ACBF might be your only chance to sample their fantastic brews.

You’ll make new friends and drink new beers. Definite Win-Win situation right there.

But don’t take my word for it…

Don’t miss the American Craft Beer Fest (ACBF) this June 20 & 21 at
Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center featuring 75 American brewers and
over 300 craft beers!

Plus guest speaker panels and educational talks by Dave Lieberman
(Food Network / Here’s To Beer), Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewery),
Rich Doyle (Harpoon Brewery), and Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head Craft

Tickets can be purchased from Ticket Alternative for only $40 per
session and includes beer tastings. Tickets are also a great Father’s
Day gift or an excuse (not that you need one) to gather your friends
and celebrate some amazing craft beers!

ACBF is brought to you by BeerAdvocate & Harpoon Brewery, and proudly
supported by Boston’s Weekly Dig, Here’s To Beer, Michelob Brewing
Company, and

For more info:

Cheers and hope to see you at ACBF!

Respect Beer.

Jason & Todd (Alström Bros)

There it is. You have been warned.
Buy a ticket. Enjoy.
Respect beer.

Cheers! –John


Norwegian Take On English Brown Ale [Bombers Away! #3]

Nøgne Ø Brown Ale (4.5% ABV bottle)- English Brown Ale- Nøgne Ø-det kompromissløse bryggeri, NOR

     Poured from a bomber into Siamsa Pub pint glass. [Truth be told this is more like a mini-bomber given it’s 50cl/16.9 oz size, but who’s counting.]

     Way darker brown than your average brown ale; almost black really. A half inch tan head from initial pour thins to barely a covering. Add to that fairly large bubbles from the carbonation and at first glance you could mistake this for a glass of Coke. There’s a nice earthy aroma with a hint of cocoa to it. It’s so enticing it makes up for the general cola appearance which may dissuade some folk. The overall body is a bit on the thin side and the carbonation is somewhat sharp, but neither of these factors are enough to really diminish the experience. The taste is full of gorgeous malt offering up bittersweet chocolate and some nice roasty, nutty notes. There is only a hint of hop bitterness at the end that cuts the sweet malt from getting to be too much.

     Nøgne Ø has kept things interesting yet simple with their English Brown Ale. There are a lot more flavors going on in here than what you tend to expect from a brown ale, but at the same time they are very controlled and never come over the top. This beer helps to dispel the idea that to be flavorful or complex a beer needs to be a double this, imperial that, or an alcohol bomb. At 4.5% ABV it’s ridiculously tasty and drinkable for the long haul; exactly what a session beer should be. A great little beer that is not trying to be in your face in any respect, but it should be in your fridge and preferably in your belly. Highly recommended as it is my current favorite go-to beer.

     If you are looking for it in Boston I’ve been getting my supply from Federal Wine & Spirits down on State Street, caddy-corner to the T stop. I love this tiny little place. It’s best known for its wine cellar and ridiculous array of scotch, but it also has a small yet fantastic selection of beers. Even though their website doesn’t mention beer they’ve got special/seasonal releases, big bottles, craft sixers, and some harder to get imports. Best of all their prices tend to be just a bit cheaper than most other downtown liquor stores.

Cheers! –John