When I first moved to Boston about ten years ago (and it makes me feel really old writing that), there were few bars that prided themselves on extensive beer selections. You would usually find a selection of macro-brewed light lagers, typical imports, and a few selections from Sam Adams and Harpoon. The explosion of New England microbreweries and interest in craft beer has led to an ever-growing number of bars that specialize in a diverse selection of craft beer, along with proper glassware for the different varieties.
One very popular new beer bar is Five Horses Tavern, originally in Davis Square in Somerville with a new branch that just opened at 535 Columbus Ave in the South End. The bar features a diverse selection of taps, with a focus on hoppy and Belgian styles, as well as a large number of local brews. There is a single cask selection as well as a number of bottles. The kegs are clearly fresh, all of the hop-forward beers smell (and taste great). The bar itself has inside and outside seating, with a mid-sized bar and some standing room towards the front. It tends to be a little dark, and a touch noisy on a weekend night, but not so loud you can’t have a conversation.
There is a full menu of food, think typical bar classics with an upscale twist. The staff and service can be a little hit-or-miss, some of them are friendly and knowledgeable, while some are clearly still in training, but they are quick to recommend, especially when a keg has been kicked. Overall this is a nice neighborhood spot to grab a bite to eat and a couple of fresh, local and high quality brews.
Their beer menu can be found at:http://fivehorsestavern.com/south-end/on-tap