Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
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Ratings: 239 | Reviews: 183 | Display Reviews Only:
4.58/5 rDev +6.3%
The good ride up to Minnesotapolis now done, we've parked, hoteled, and started out on the out. The mapping's suggestive of some zigzag there, it really does look like the walking the train tracks are the shortest distance between the two points (hint: it's not. Stay to the road, laddie). Saw some sights unimpressive, maybe we'll cab this back, eh? Finally arrived at the town hall well after the municipal offices had closed there...
Cool ancient building on the corner. Discovered its entrance and the loooong "C" shaped lacquer topped wood bar with a lip and a copper foot rail. Seating for 2 dozen, including us this dead Sunday night. A tower of 12 on each end, plus a pair of 2 taps each, and a single solo one, too, along the bar, and then 2 handpumps on one end both live. The barback is a massive triptych mirror paneled unit. A shelf across the center mirror holds booze displayed and another lies above it with steins, house glassware, a totem, an '08 bocce ball tournament trophy, a baby elephant piece and various other pieces. Pillars to both sides of center, and tiered booze counterside below the outer two mirrors. Some wines & glassware below the bar and cupboardy cabinetty space otherwise. And growlers in a cooler further down. Glassware stacked along the bar.
15 candlelit green top 2's & 4's tables run an "L" along the bar below the large front windows & side doors on the other wall off the corner, both with paneled windows on brick above. A shelf above the front windows holds steins ceramic, urns, yard glasses, and various pieces. Alternating spot tile floorings, high high room with an ancient pressed tin ceiling painted over and over and over again and crown moldings and some wall lowers & trim on the inside walls, gray over burgundy in this light. Drop buttercup chandeliers on center with baby ones surrounding, and drop lamps over the barback. Plants here & there, and TV's in the corners. A mounted Town Hall beer board lists their wares and there's another board for the guest beer. Old time pics and then kind of strange paintings of old time pics (horse & carriage, beer, & brewery) displayed about. Brewery schwag & GABF medals in a case to the rear. Through to the side room, a cushy chair & couches around a fireplace & flatscreen, and a single pool table beyond. GABF quilts brewer's mom made over the far brew room view windows. A dozen+ tables run from there forward around an open kitchen on the inside wall. And an outside side pen off the bar holds some seating yes, roughly 2 dozen tables there.
5 house beers on different sampler options, served on a paddle with a paper piece listing what is. I started with the one offering the full time regulars (Dortmunder Local Export Lager, 5.4%, Saaz, clean, very on; West Bank Pub Ale, 4.8%, English style, light & hoppy; Masala Mama IPA, 6.0%, wonderful fucking IPA; Hope & King Scotch Ale, 6.0%, caramel toffee without the smoke, nice; Black H20 Oatmeal Stout, 6.0%, nice oatiness, roasty good), and then got the one with the seasonals (Traditional Pale Ale, 7.1%, German traditional hops, nice hoppiness; Tripel Vision, 8.0%, nice goddamn tripel, malty & sweet; Smoked Porter, 7.1%, roasty, but sadly all bandaided up; Mango Mama, 6.0%, you get the fruit up front, really nice, not yer #9, that's for damn sure; And because the Kolsch, the 5th seasonal, had kicked, it was to be replaced by my choice of cask, either the Masala Mama or the Oatmeal Stout, gee, I don't know, I guess, duh, it was the Mama, very nicely smoothed some, the corners off, really tasty). Dortmunder Local Export Lager, both versions of the Masala Mama IPA, Hope & King Scotch Ale, Black H20 Oatmeal Stout, Tripel Vision & Mango Mama were the best of 'em, but there was really nothing I'd call shite (although the Bandaid Porter, well, maybe).
Returning the next night, we found a few additions (LSD - Lavender, Sunflower honey & Dates, 7.2%, it's a bit way too much. Witz says "Hi, I'm the Cuvee Du Fleur except all Du Fleur and no Cuvee", it's just too much lavender, seriously; and the Warrior Strong Pale Ale, 8.0%, spicy, sprucey, citrusy, sticky, piney, in a good way).
And the aforementioned guest taps (Cidre Bouche Brut DuPont, Duchesse De Bourgogne, Sierra Nevada Brown Saison, Sam Adams Imperial White, Steam Works Conductor Imperial IPA, Blackthorn Cider) and a handful of bottles (Grain Belt Premium, Lakefront New Grist, and a pair of N/A's).
And not having 'et since an early day brunch, I'm so due for food. Started with the blackened braised duck leg app (awesome) and then had a wild rice steak salad (simply the best steak salad ever). Witzel was happy with his fried cheese curds (they were bits and there were many of them).
Andy tending bar, chatty, polite, attentive. The beers; a good range there and of outstanding quality for the most part, and the food was excellent. The place is comfortable and chill, just a great house. It's all that.
12-15-2009 15:10:25 | More by slander
4.14/5 rDev -3.9%
One of the most reviewed brewpubs in the country, we conveniently stayed at the Holiday Inn next door to make a couple of visits. The beers are above average with the occasional great one. A fairly long bar, and additional tables added in the back. It was crowded at lunchtime, after supper was much better. Good service, big beer turnover so all if fresh,and growlers available for take-out. Some of the beers were a bit cold and needed to warm, I don't know whether that's because its so cold everywhere in this city after Fall, or people want it this way. Great variety, experimention, house taps. Only criticism is that it in no way seemed like "one big happy family of regulars" like a staff member told us.
11-19-2008 05:26:37 | More by Sammy
4.2/5 rDev -2.6%
Stopped by for lunch today.
MTHB appears to be a small size pub when viewed from the outside, but it turned out to be pretty good size once we got inside. There is a back dining area and smallish lounge when you first walk in, as well as a nice size bar area and another dining room to the left. There is a lot of wood in the pub, and the place really has the feel of an old English style pub. The place has an informal, very relaxed, easy going vibe, and seems like a great place to hang out with a beer or three.
As for the beer, tried the sampler of the seasonals, and all of them were pretty good I thought. A blueberry tripel was my favorite, but enjoyed the amber IPA and blueberry porter as well. Also sampled Masala Mama on cask, which I thought an enjoyable (if not exactly mindblowing) IPA. In addition to the 10 house beers available, the brewpub also had 5 guest beers available, which this day included SN celebration, Great Divide fresh hop, left hand imperial stout, etc. So all things considered, I thought the beer selection here pretty solid, with the quality level very high.
Service was pretty good. Our server was pleasant and efficient, and could answer most basic questions about the beer here. Food was your basic pub grub, but everything was done pretty well I thought.
All things considered, I enjoyed our visit to MTHB, and would happily come here again. Beer and food were both solid, in a pleasant, relaxed setting.
11-25-2010 03:05:04 | More by John_M
4.3/5 rDev -0.2%
the infamous Town Hall. We stayed the night at the adjacent Holiday Inn - not luxurious but critical BA-friendly location
the inside was packed at about 4:00 on a Saturday - we sat at the large bar and continued to fight off a Duluth hangover. The 2nd visit included 3 (well 2, if you're blackie) latenight pints on the large outdoor patio (stays open until 2 - nice change from the terrible ordinance laws in Chicago).
The atmosphere wasn't anything terribly special but the late-night patio was fun and I enjoyed the people watching.
The beer was very well done though the initial tapist was kind of a letdown compared to some of the beers I had tried at fests over the years. Still - I enjoyed massala mama on tap and cask, a great oatmeal stout on cask, the smoked hefe, and a pretty nice abbey ale (accidentally served in a standard pint to finish the night).
We never ate, but it looked fairly standard.
Service was fine all around - the patio waitress was worth the stop alone.
08-27-2010 20:53:17 | More by dirtylou
4.6/5 rDev +6.7%
Such an injustice - this was my 201st brewpub/brewery visit and I spent my landmark 200th visit at a (respectable) chain two days earlier.
The injustice of missing my connecting flight in Minneapolis and having to stay over a night, head downtown to take in MTHB is what I consider equal justice and long overdue.
Found parking next door by the Holiday Inn multi-level parking garage. Not much in the way of free on street parking in this somewhat busy area on a Saturday evening around 9 pm. I was later told by a very friendly couple at the bar that this area is considered part of the University of Minnesota campus which explained a lot of the younger yet mature crowd.
I settled in at an awkward seat at the corner of the end of the bar where the eye-level taps had me speaking to the waitresses chest.
Began with the excellent and experimental seasonal sampler...
Poblano Hefe and a smoked hefe. Both were delicate and very well done. Smoked hefe could have been a tad more pronounced but I imagine it's easy to overdo. The pumpkin had great mouthfeel and some of the best pumpkin beer flavor I've ever had. Very subjective here and the nutmeg (or seasoning) may be too much for some. Blueberry porter convinced me to take a stab at the concept at a homebrew level. Cask English IPA rounded out the sampler. Dissapointed that they were out of the seasonal fresh hop.
Ate a very well done Greek salad with a Masala Mama and then finished the evening with a half pint of the oatmeal stout.
Enjoyed the company of a young couple who worked at General Mills. Talked a lot of shop and shared some of my beer travel stories with them.
I didn't see the dining area. The bar area was large with high ceilings and provided easy access to the sidewalk seating which was crowded to a ~50 degree evening.
The beers were all exceptional and MTHB has made my list of top eight brewpubs in North America.
10-28-2010 21:58:28 | More by Yetiman420
4.45/5 rDev +3.2%
This place is obviosuly a great, great brewpub in downtown Minneapolis. Nice looking, but smaller than expected from the outside. The same can be said for the inside. Nice wooden interoir decorated with some nice worldwide breweriana. This place is very small, and I always assumed this was in an old town hall building for some reason, bot the case! A small neighberhood, locals pub, brewpub that is not touristy or in a touristy area at all. Although many beer tourists (such as I) obviously make the trek here. Quality of the beers is great, and the service is awesome as well. I tried the new robust porter, and american wheat at $1 a pint on the opening night special. The next day I returned for some mama and the new galena pale ale on cask. All of the brews were of excellent quality and the selection here is nice as well with 2 handpumps and 7 or so brews on tap. Food is good as well, although I only had a chicken ceaser salad. It was big, cheap, and good. What more can you ask for? Go here.
07-07-2005 22:59:21 | More by francisweizen
4.3/5 rDev -0.2%
I was very happy to stop in at the Town Hall during my most recent visit to the Cities.
There was a very nice crowd in the bar after the football game. The atmosphere may have been impacted a bit by the Vikings close loss to the Bears or maybe it was the fact that it was a late Sunday afternoon and most folks had to go back to work the next day, but it was very subdued and mellow.
The TH has a nice beer garden/patio in front. Its a great place to people watch and enjoy some fine beers. The bar its self is very nice. It has a classic long bar, lots of tables and an attached pool/TV room. Extra points for the guys playing chess. I also liked the fact that there were several dogs wandering around with their owners in tow. I like to spend my money at a place that treats our canine friends well.
I only had an appetizer, so I wont rate the food. What I saw looked very appetizing. I will be sure and eat next time I go.
The service was friendly, efficient and seemed to be well versed in beer.
They offer a nice selection of regular offerings and specials. I think they have 5 regulars, three specials and a couple of cask options. I enjoyed every beer I tried.
Im already looking forward to my return visit!
09-26-2006 20:49:18 | More by Redrover
4.2/5 rDev -2.6%
Stopped here the day after the St. Paul Beer Festival. Nice clean brewery with the charm of an older building and thought the service was very good. Everyone knows about the must have beer had which was excellent, but thought most of the line up was nothing spectacular, although very good. Remembered a few beers not on tap but I wanted to try. For that, the atmosphere, and the highly regarded IPA I will be back, and also ponder the bus route from there to see a Twins game and more prominently, their new stadium. To this point, this is the best Minneapolis has for a brewpub.
01-12-2011 23:39:50 | More by MilwaukeeCrusher
4/5 rDev -7.2%
Great brewpub with plenty of solid standbys (Mama) and an ever growing list of experimental, and down right crazy brews (that more often than not...work). Fairly small interior, but designed to maximize occupancy. Huge patio that is perfect for people watching, especially late on a weekend night, as Town Hall is surrounded by a half dozen crappy college kid bars. Stopped in at Town Hall on a Saturday with Jeff Krenner and WankerWeezel a few weeks ago and had no trouble getting in and placing an order even though there were lines at bars near by. Thank God the college kids don't know what they are missing. Beer is top notch. That goes without saying. A few select guest taps are also featured. Service is fine. Highly recommended.
07-15-2008 14:38:39 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.3/5 rDev -0.2%
Town Hall is a big place. First in the door is a large bar area with what appears to be a huge dining room attached. Outdoors there's a large patio and, at least at the time of our visit, bocce ball courts.
Not much to look at from the outside, but the interior is comfortable and the patio a nice place to hang out once the heat subsides. Tiled floors and ceiling, brick walls, and lots of wood - has a well-worn neighborhood vibe for such a large place. During two Saturday visits, once mid-afternoon and another in the late evening, the brewpub was fairly packed and lively.
Selection was large, with everything sampled of top-notch quality, if without much "wow" factor. On draft were 5 "every day" taps, 5 seasonals, 2 casks, and a few guest spots. My selections were cask Masala Mama, Thunderstorm - a honey/lemongrass/orange ale, Smoked Hefe, and an Abbey dubbel.
Service was fine, especially as busy as the place was. Beers were provided quickly and served well.
09-02-2010 14:44:21 | More by blackie
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, MN
96 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.