The People’s Pint (Greenfield, MA)

It’s turning out that 2013 is one of those “revisiting old favorites” sort of years, with my traveling back to well-loved institutions in several states. Often, I’ve been surprised that some of my favorite haunts from before I started blogging seemed to have gotten missed out, often since I’ve assumed when visiting these places that I had already written them up. The People’s Pint in Greenfield, MA, is one of those places; I’ve been going there for years (since 2002), and eaten dozens of great meals there, but never got around to writing them up.

Greenfield is a nice little Western Massachusetts town that we’ve visited quite a few times: they have a nice still-vibrant downtown with a lot of nice shops and restaurants, and are only a few minutes off of I-91 as we are returning home from trips to Massachusetts and Connecticut. Located about half a dozen storefronts North of the main crossroads of Greenfield, Main and Federal, the Peoples Pint is foremost a pub. Walking in, there’s a large wooden bar that takes up about half of the restaurant. But there’s also quite a few tables and booths in the back for dining. One of the decorative themes is “bicycles”, partly because the Pint encourages biking as a means of local transportation. Overall, it’s particularly non-pretentious.

Menu-wise, the Pint’s own micro-brewed beer is the main attraction, and quite frankly, they are quite good at what they do, with their Farmer Brown Ale and Pied Piper IPA being some of my favorite regular brews, with some of their specialty seasonals being pleasant as well (like their Slippery Slope, a ginger-infused braggot that’s quite pleasant). And the basic pub fare is good as well, with some locally made pickles and a several decent ploughman’s platters to offer a nice side to your beer.

But while the focus is on beer, they do a good job in the kitchen as well. The menu is a funky mix of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, Mexican dishes, and Asian noodles. And they’ve got a smoker as well, and usually have at least wings, a daily sausage and a pulled pork sandwich. The cold noodles with a peanut-sesame sauce have always been one of my favorites, and this trip, I noticed they had added pulled pork as a topping option, so I tried that. While in general I think their pulled pork is a little dry and stringy, it actually worked quite well, with the pork nicely complementing the noodles and sauce. I’ll get this again.

Dessert, however, is where they hit a home run this time. We ordered the bacon and chocolate chip cookies with ice cream, and despite my general avoidance of bacon in baked goods (it’s often chewy and stringy), it worked reasonably well here, and the result was a pleasant, well-baked cookie. Even more impressive, however, was the excellent black walnut ice cream which was both a great ice cream itself, and the perfect complement to the cookies.

Overall, there’s a reason that People’s Pint continues to be a pit stop for me when I’m passing through the area. The beer is excellent, the food interesting, and it’s just a pleasant place to kick back and relax for a while. I’ll definitely be coming back.

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