Punks Welcome Olde Magoun’s in Somerville to the Beer Locator

In case anyone has missed it, our new site now features a tool called the “TP Beer Locator” in the upper navigation bar, which points our users to all of the best beer bars we’ve discovered on our various travels throughout the world. There’s hidden gems here from all over the northeast where we’ve spent most of our time, but also from the southwest and west coast, and even Europe and Southeast Asia, South America, and Australia.

Now that I’m settling into my new digs in Somerville (which also explains the relative dearth of posts lately), Mike and I went out to explore the neighborhood a bit. We’ve been hearing good things about Redbones in nearby Davis Square, but frankly in the recent heat wave, we were looking to stay a bit more local than that (especially after moving my preposterously oversized wooden desk all the way from Brighton). We settled on Olde Magoun’s Saloonright around the corner from my new house, and we were not disappointed, so we’ve decided to add this small, unassuming pub to the TP Beer Locator, and sing it’s praises here for a bit.

The beer selection doesn’t come close to what we’re used to at the Sunset Grill and Tap in Allston, but it’s nothing to sneeze at either. They’ve got twenty one taps, and everything is well thought out. Generic fizzy yellow lagers don’t seem to be available on tap, only in bottles; after all, why waste tap space? The most generic items on tap included Guinness, Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, and Smithwick’s Irish Red.

The taps are a good mix of excellent imports (Radeburger pilsner and Weihenstephaner hefeweizen, for example) and a great list of American micros. What’s more, they don’t fall into the all too common trap of having two dozen IPAs with no dark beers or quality lagers; the selection is quite varied with a little something for nearly every palate.

But the real draw with this place is the food. I dare say their food selections are actually superior to the Sunset, and at marginally lower prices (though the portions are marginally smaller than the Sunset’s offerings, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you aren’t feeding a crowd). The nachos-the yardstick by which Mike and I tend to judge these places-were quite respectable, falling just short of the Sunset in my opinion. But considering the rest of the menu changes everything; we also had a crispy, delicious pizza that was fantastic and a truly sublime seared Ahi tuna sandwich. And none of these dishes came to more than ten dollars.

The clientelle also appears quite friendly, and the place lacks the intimidating vibe some people might get from a bar like the Sunset with a beer list that reads like the phone book. And talk about amenities…free wifi, free appetizers on arrangement if you have your fantasy football draft at the bar, the full sports package on TV featuring every football game. They even have a Tuesday night trivia competition sponsored by Harpoon, where the winning team gets four cases and a free brewery tour.

While Olde Magoun’s isn’t likely to captivate us the way the Sunset has for the past year, and we’ll surely strike out for more extensive beer lists from time to time, it makes a more than suitable local replacement, and they’ll be seeing much more of us over the coming months. If you are in the area, they should be seeing more of you as well.

Stay tuned, later this week we’ll have another Geek Speak article on gravity and attenuation, and then next week we should be back on track with new articles in our Belgian brewing series, including one on aged hops, and a few other surprises. Thanks for your patience!