Artisanal Food and Drink
1700 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02445-2101
As of late February, the owners of the Publick House have reopened the former Roadhouse as American Craft, a Belgian craft beer spot dedicated to beer, wine, and cuisine-all American born and raised. Along with a significant change in concept, the owners have also renovated the space. Careful additions of exposed brick, bright chandeliers, and large chalkboards along the walls add character to the establishment.
After closing the Roadhouse, the owners decided to completely rebrand the location starting from the ground up. That's where craft comes in. American Craft is the only restaurant of its kind in the Boston area where they only carry American labels of beer, wine, and liquor. The 40-draft beer list changes so often that the manager prints out a fresh draft menu each day highlighting those available. Small batch and vintage beers are available by the bottle, and an ever-changing list lives on the black board near the bar.
Because of the large beer and wine selection, manager Chris Sheridan says that lots of time was spent finding the correct labels as well as adjusting the staff to an unfamiliar concept. He says that in addition to knowing the beer and wine selections available, they have to take an interactive approach with customers and appeal to their individual tastes.
"It's all about the relationships, between vendors, breweries, and distillers," said Sheridan. "We have also spent rigorous hours educating the staff on the craft beer movement. The staff can make recommendations while defining the palate."
In addition to American-sourced cocktails, American Craft is also trying its best to turn out all locally sourced produce and meats. Chef Corey French helms the kitchen, with a lean towards comfort foods and bar classics with a twist. The menu is approachable, catering to vegetarians and vegans as well as carnivores. Chef French keeps a variety of dishe, but they all pair well with the selections on the beer list.
"It doesn't have to be complicated to be good," Sheridan said about the cuisine. Sheridan has that right, and the feedback for the new concept has reflected this. According to Sheridan, the clientele was confused at first by the dramatic change but have quickly embraced the new twists.
As the kitchen continues to grow along with the beer and wine list, American Craft has planned a beer pairing dinner, tentatively set for April 13. Rob Todd from Allagash will be talking to attendees about pairing beer and food and encouraging attendees to sample new palate-pleasers. Sheridan says that in the future he would like offer wine and bourbon pairings. Definitely something to be on the lookout for!