Beer Bar Review: The Gallows, South End

After watching the duck boats roll down Boylston Street to celebrate the Red Sox resounding World Series victory, my lovely wife and I met up with a few friends. We eventually ended up at The Gallows in Boston’s trendy South End neighborhood. The Gallows opened in 2010 and has been serving a rotating and seasonal menu including a wide range of appetizers, the French-Canadian staple poutine, creative burgers and cheese boards. The room is split between a large bar area in the front with plenty of seating and a spacious dining room in the back. The bar area features walls of untreated wood, while the dining room has leather booths and exposed brick. Simple décor combined with low mood lighting provides a nice ambiance. It’s a great place to hang out with some friends and have dinner or some drinks. The recent Halloween holiday was still apparent, with plastic spiders and fake cobwebs on the ceiling, enough to set the mood without being kitsch. Though since this place is called The Gallows, the mood might always be set slightly for Halloween. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, service was a touch slow but the combination of Sox fans from the parade and a group grabbing a drink before a nearby wedding resulted in a busy Saturday afternoon, so it was understandable.

So I’ve established that the Gallows is a cool place to hang out, but this is a beer blog, and the most important thing for the readers here is a diverse and well thought out selection of fresh and tasty beer. The Gallows hit the marks here, they have 12 taps which focus on established and popular craft selections. New England brews are represented by Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union, Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin and Allagash White. Other craft selections included beers from Founders, Stone, Great Divide and Abita. The only macro-brew on tap is PBR, the hipster staple that has become a necessity in most trendy area establishments. Most of the beers are year-round selections, with a couple seasonals mixed in as well. There is a good mix of styles, from IPA to stout to the omnipresent choice of fall, pumpkin beer. Overall the beer menu is diverse and thoughtfully selected, and the beers are clearly fresh. We ordered Hoponius Union, which had a strong hop aroma that’s indicative of a recently tapped hop-forward beer. My only quibble would be the relatively small representation of local beer on the draft list. There is so much great beer being brewed in New England it wouldn’t hurt to switch out a couple of their national brands for something more local. Overall though, a friendly, inviting neighborhood locale with a decent beer selection. I encourage you to give The Gallows a try if you are looking to grab some drinks in the South End.

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