Town Hall

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Opened originally in 1907 as a pool hall the predecessor to Town Hall was considered an institutional bar. Inside today the long mahogany bar features two 12-tap brass towers that pour the house beers. Faded red brick walls under a dark wooden 20-foot ceiling create an early 1900's atmosphere complete with black & white prints showcasing beers scenes from around town. The 14 barrel stainless steel JV Northwest brewhouse stands visible to the rear of the narrow room. Two dozen candle-lit tables populate the lounge while booth seating accommodates diners. Two silent TVs peer down over the bar but it's the blues from the CD sound system that creates the relaxed setting. Outdoor patio furniture offers an unfenced presence among the urban bustle at Washington and 15th. The layout is easily wheelchair accessible.

The Bright Spot Golden Ale is a clear gold with a light body and sweet flavor. The West Bank Bitter is an unmemorable clear amber beer. The seasonal Rye is a hazy gold with a creamy mouthfeel and slightly sweet but evenly-balanced flavor, it does not offer a dry finish characteristic of Rye beers. The Oktoberfest is a clear dark amber with a medium body and malty sweet flavor that leads to a sharp finish. The Masala Mama IPA, Rising Sun Hefeweizen and Black H2O Oatmeal Stout were unavailable for tasting. The Hope & King Scotch Ale is a dark brown color with a smooth mouthfeel, light body, dry malty flavor and dry peaty finish.

Celebrating its one year anniversary on October 24, 1998 Town Hall has plans for adding nitrogen dispensing and cask-conditioned ales. Presently, the roughly even male/female crowds appear to prefer the attractions here as they are. Surprisingly few smokers make their presence known but patrons don't hold back on their beer requests. As a special treat the bar offers Monday night La Trappe nights where the fresh Belgian draught beer joins the line up on tap. Happy hour runs 3 to 7 PM daily while Saturdays yield bargains for beer club members. The $5 sampler includes five four-ounce tastes and offers an excellent way to get aquatinted with the Town Hall beers. For a lasting impression, stop in and sample a few. You can even buy a souvenir T-shirt to commemorate your experience.

Town Hall Brewery
1430 Washington Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - October, 1998

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