United States > New York > Albany
Sregnar35 (13) Rotterdam, New York | November 3, 2004| Updated August 11, 2005
100 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 10/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 10/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 20/20
This place is my alltime favorite bar. Last time I weas there they had 272 bottle, 28 draughts and 5 casks. They import 75% of all of the cask beers in the US! If you live in the area, and love beer, you have to go to Maharís!
Ross72081 (1) New York | October 19, 2006
96 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 20/20
Working at a nearby college, I have stumbled upon what many think is an Indian restaurant. Donít let the "Maharís" name fool you because this is the greatest house of beer Albany has to offer. Open: 4pm-12a - They have hundreds of different beers listed either by style or country to make your choice quite surprising. So once youíve printed your list of various beers, order and drink your beer to start your beer tour towards becoming your own connoisseur. Youíre only allowed 4 beers per day to be counted off your list, so be selective. This is not a bar for Coors Light fans so avoid getting shunned. Billy, the owner, takes his beer seriously, so ask for some good recommendations. Just be careful of how much money you bring with you because beer prices range from $1.50 to $40 with most at $5. You can also choose the size of your glass, 20oz., 16oz., or 10oz. While chatting with your friends order a block of cheese or some toasted sandwiches a.k.a "toasties" and meat pies if that sparks your taste buds. Many taps are displayed throughout the bar. The bathrooms are not up to par, so be careful. If you donít turn off your cell phone youíll find yourself outside looking for reception. Fridayís @ 5pm is happy 1/2hour because they have free pizza/wings and its 1st come 1st serve so get there early. Overall I recommend this place to any looking to try beers from around the world.
Odyn (4) New York | May 18, 2008
94 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 19/20
This is one of my favorite places. I was there a lot when I lived in Albany, and this is where I really grew my appreciation for beer. Best selection I have seen and a pleasant pub atmosphere makes this a must visit!
xproudfoot (37) Paleolithic, Pennsylvania | February 20, 2006| Updated March 4, 2006
94 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 20/20
This place is the real deal and then some. Itís in Albany for chrissakes! What these people have done is amazing - virtually created a beer culture where none has a right to exist -in a town without even a decent brewpub or any brewery. They created interest in this, and itís the same league of beer excellence as Philly favorites Monks and Eulogy, in terms of selection and quality, and it beats both in cask offerings. What you get all depends on when you come in, because the selection (of well more than 300 bottles) is constantly revolving, so the patrons, like RBeerians, can keep track of what they have had on their íbeer tourí - for which Mahars gives incentives for trying variety, like we do. They have numerous casks on, more than any by me, of delicious beer, a lot of taps, and nice patrons. Weeknights are better for chatting up the knowlegeable staff. Awesome, and a home run for a town like Albany to have this, deserves no knocking or yawning from jaded folks. Food = good cheese. I extremely regret not spending most of the time I lived in Albany here. It may not be a "world destination" but it should certainly count as a regional one, especially given how many people drive through Albany on their way other places.
Chad9976 (7) Albany, New York | February 20, 2011
94 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 19/20
Maharís is not like most bars youíre used to. They have 6 casks, 28 taps, and over 100 bottles. Their selection is constantly rotating, so itís never the same old stuff here.
The average pint is priced in the $6-$8 range which may SEEM expensive, but really isnít. You see, Maharís "pints" are measured in Imperial units, not American units, so a pint is actually 20oz instead of the usual 16oz. You also have the option to order a 10oz which splits the price in half
Bottled beer prices also vary with American beers in the $4-$6 range and imports in the $6-$9 range. Imperials, bombers, and high-end imports are noticeably more expensive in the $12 - $18 range. Overall, Iíd say Maharís prices are reasonable.
Mondays through Wednesdays and Saturday afternoons are traditionally slow and quiet with an older demographic, where the barís atmosphere is exactly as intended. But Thursday through Saturday nights it becomes an elbow-to-elbow crowded scene of young people in their 20s and 30s. Iíve never seen a fight break out, or someone who was obliterated drunk. The bartenders are excellent readers of customers and will refuse service or toss unruly patrons.
I think the best thing about Maharís is its signature "beer tour" with prizes you earn after drinking so many beers. Each time you visit you go to the back of the bar and print out your menu from the computer - which is a list of all the beers that you havenít had yet. When you buy a beer, it is crossed off your list so you canít count it again on your tour. You are limited to 4 beers a day for your first 200 beers. The best strategy to rack up beers fast without breaking the bank is to only order 10oz beers on tap and cask since they are only half the price. Plus you can have 4 beers during a night out and not end up completely hammered.
drseamus (1) Troy, New York | December 11, 2007
90 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 18/20
Maharís is kind of like that bar in the Sam Adams commercial where the bartender says they have hundred-fifty kinds of beer except they have more beers than that and if you order Sam Adams you will get a weird look. When you enter the bar, you go directly to the back and print out your tour list. This keeps track of every beer you have had at Maharís. The list is generally separated by draft or bottle, and then by country although you can have the list separated by style as well. The selection is amazing they generally have 20ish rotating beers on draft and another 200 in the bottle.
The prices initially seem expensive, but when you consider what beers you are getting, they are reasonable. They usually have some vintage english beers, belgians, and a bunch of beers from countries that you didnít expect to make beer. The part owner and main bartender Bill is usually very helpful in helping you choose a beer and the other bartenders are as well.
Although this is primarily a beer bar, they do offer some food as well. They offer homemade meat pies, sandwiches that they will grill for you, some pasta dishes, and cheeses and crackers. All things considered, this is my favorite bar in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area.
MattyX (1) Pennsylvania | April 2, 2010
88 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 18/20
I went here because I heard about the cask ale served via beer engines. I was not disappointed as they had 6 hand pumps and the ale was served at the proper temperature. Pretty crowded on a Thursday night. I come to Albany on business frequently and I am mad at myself for not discovering this place sooner. Sign up for the beer tour and definitely enjoy some English style cask ales.
Boliv (35) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | April 26, 2007
88 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 2/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 19/20
This place is beer Mecca as far as the Capital Region is concerned. Here, youíll find those people who really love their beer, not just some yuppies hanging out getting wasted (usually). The place is small, the bartenders can be short sometimes (hey, it gets busy there), but the selection is unrivaled. Amazing how they have a database to keep track of all of their patrons and which beers each of them have sampled. Awesome bar.
justabeergeek (12) Albany, New York | February 25, 2012
86 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 14/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 18/20
I love Maharís!
Are they occasionally gruff? Yes.
Is there food? TVs? No.
Is that a problem? Not for me.
Iíve heard the complaints that Bill (the main bartender--larger gentleman with a ponytail) can be rude at times, but Iíve never had a bad experience with him. He knows a great deal about beer and is more than willing to make a recommendation or to discuss good beers with you if youíre polite.
Maharís operates under a simple set of rules that make the place perfect for some people and entirely wrong for others. If youíre looking to get wasted and rowdy, go down the street to Juniorís. If youíre looking to have a relaxed pint with some friends and chat, head to Maharís on the quick.
Itís true that some of their beers are preposterously overpriced, but it is equally true that they have one of the best, if not the best, selection of beers in the capital region. Combine that with the fact that theyíre constantly rotating and you have a premiere beer bar.
While itís true it "wouldnít be top 10 in NYC," Albany isnít NYC, so I think itís wholly unfair to compare the two locales. Stop in, have a pint, and enjoy.
popkow (5) Hoboken, New Jersey | November 11, 2007
86 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 14/15 FOOD 5/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 18/20
Holy taps, great selection.
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