The Northtowns needed Moor Pat, and needed it badly. As craft beer meccas have sprouted up throughout Western New York, things up north have been relatively quiet. There are a few go-tos with to-die-for taps, like the great Pizza Plant on Transit Road.
But a need existed, specifically in Williamsville. Enter Moor Pat, a new Western New York beer destination that ranks among the area’s most charming, unique spots. (The name is “taproom” spelled backward. Cleverish.)
Co-owned by Blue Monk visionary Mike Shatzel, the tavern is lodged in a primo location – footsteps away from the Williamsville Water Mill. It is a historic spot, one dating back to the 19th century.
In fact, one of the first thoughts upon entering Moor Pat is that this rustic vibe has been maintained. Wood-heavy, intimate nicely under-lit, it has a feel like no other bar in Williamsville.
With memories of a recent trip to Walt Disney World rattling in my brain, I was most reminded of Country Bear Hall. (I’m willing to bet I was the only Moor Pat-er making that connection.)
My wife and I visited on a snowy Saturday, in the late afternoon, and arrived to a capacity crowd. It was a telling scene, with groomsmen hanging out between a wedding and reception, 20-something couples, some gray-haired folk, and, clearly, craft-beer junkies. Neighbors who lived within walking distance of the bar met for drinks, some college-aged girls took selfies, and we took it all in.
All were boisterous and friendly, but I’m willing to bet the latter were smiling widest. For this is a beer list chosen with care, and great knowledge. Moor Pat’s website has the full, oft-changing list, but noteworthy selections included three Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Carton Brewing Company’s Boat Beer, and an intriguing Stone Smoked Porter “with Chocolate and Orange Peel,” from Stone Brewing Company.
I opted for Allagash Brewing Company’s Four, a current favorite. While I zeroed in on my selection pretty quickly, I noticed a few visitors who seemed a bit overwhelmed by the plethora of choices. But the bartenders asked them the right questions, and found the beers that would be most pleasing.
Those are signs of an establishment that understands not all beer drinkers are alike. What might unite the crowd, however, is the good. Moor Pat does not have a vast food menu – just fries and sausage, really – but it smelled divine. Had we not been heading to dinner elsewhere, it would have been impossible to say no.
And what about those uninterested in craft beer? (To paraphrase Hansel from “Zoolander,” “How do you live?”) The wine list is small but strong, and even stronger is Moor Pat’s collection of Scotch, bourbon and whiskey. My wife opted for a glass of Der Stift Riesling, and noted that it was a “nice, full pour.”
Quite simply, if you love beer and you live in the Northtowns, Moor Pat is your new favorite spot. I expect it will develop a very devoted clientele – it already has – and can confidently say you will walk away impressed, and full of Allagash.
Country Bear Hall with a stunningly vast craft beer lineup? Who could ask for anything Moor? (Sorry.)