Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mdwalsh:
4.18/5 rDev -8.3%
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company - 12-17-10
I stopped in here on a personal beer tour on a Thursday just after they opened around noon. I was the only customer in the place, but the staff of five was having their meeting in the same room, so it wasn't awkwardly quiet which was nice. The tap room looks brand spanking new with a nice wooden bar that would seat maybe 12 people, and then chairs around the rest of the room. There are 6 taps (I think) at the bar and another three behind. A chalk board tells what's currently on tap and the prices while a white board just outside of the brewery (more on this in a moment) lists all the beers they make total, which I really liked because it enticed me to check back to see when some of those beers might come on. There is also a cooler with a pretty solid grouping of guest beers, some of which also make an appearance on tap.
Behind the bar and through a door is the kitchen and brewery, though they have recently purchased a new brewery facility off the property where they have a larger brewing system. I believe the plan in to brew mostly at the larger facility and brew some of the specialty/smaller batches at the tap room.
The service was good, even though they were in the middle of the staff meeting I never waited for a beer for too long. The owner was present, so after the meeting I was able to talk to him at length about the beer, their plans to expand distribution in Iowa and Minnesota and plan to bottle their beer. This guy has an aggressive plan to expand.
I ate, but it was just French fries because most of what was on the menu of appetizers was not available, the delivery truck was late. But the bartender didn't charge me full price for the fries at least.
This is definitely a place I plan to go back to and would highly recommend to others.
12-20-2010 14:28:59 | More by mdwalsh
More User Reviews:
3.34/5 rDev -26.8%
Disclaimer: came into town the weekend of the Great Taste of the Midwest, so my experience was abnormal. But it was nevertheless my experience.
Flew into Minneapolis on a Saturday and made the three hour jaunt south, super excited to try many of the beers listed on the website as being on tap. It's a beautiful drive down through rolling Midwest country hills and Amish farms. Much of it two lane country roads with very slow drivers.
Planned to hit the brewery to grab a pint and some bottles, check into my hotel, and then walk back to the brewery for the real fun! Didn't really have any expectations of what the brewery/tasting room would be like, but certainly felt confused pulling into the parking lot. Was I at the right place? Looked more like a local Mexican restaurant than a tap room--it was just missing a fake palm tree out front. Walking into the tap room helped ease my confusion a bit--but still felt like I should see a tub of coronas in ice on the bar. They did an okay job with the renno but the soul of the place was still lacking. Underwhelmed, to say the least. But hey, the beer is the star here, right?
At least, I assume the beer is the star. On my one experience, it was not. I excitedly grabbed a seat at the bar and glanced up at the tap list. It's a chalkboard list, and there was a lot of eraser marks on it. 40% of the taps listed on-line were removed--most of them the "fun" taps that you won't see around town. The remaining taps were beers I later found were very common around town. I'll get to that in a bit.
I grabbed a sampler tray (four samples of the six total taps) and asked what bottles were available. None. Bummed on that account as I was hoping the brew shop would keep a regular stock. They do not. After finishing the sampler, made the decision to go to the hotel and forgo returning to the tap house. That in itself sucks: TG was the reason I came to Decorah. If not for a non-cancelable hotel room, I probably would have turned around and drove back. This was my one shot to get down here, and I was underwhelmed--especially as the website tap list set unmanageable expectations.
Fortunately, a number of bars in town carry TG kegs. Ironically, I was able to try a larger variety TG beers on a mini bar/restaurant crawl than I could at the tap room--everything in the tap room was seen about town, plus a couple extras. And, FWIW, the town was quaint and charming in its own right and the locals were quite friendly.
Net, I'd not return based on my experience. It wasn't worth the drive or hotel room. I totally understand wanting to bring great beer to a great beer fest--and would do the same thing myself. But IF I already had a reputation like TG for producing world class beers, I don't think I'd make the trade off of upsetting brewery customers for what is ultimately marketing. I'd only do it if I had enough product to go around. At least, I don't think I would--hard to say not being in TG's shoes!
Last (two) comment: maybe this is normal in the Midwest, but I was surprised to see pints being served at the taproom in chilled glasses. I've not met a fridge yet--even industrial--that doesn't have some type of smell (good, or bad). Why add an uncontrollable aroma component to the beer? And why shakers? There is so much aromatic expression in these beers just waiting to be released with the use of better glassware. Glassware does make a difference. Customers may complain--especially the mug club members (who, save for shot glasses, drink from the least expressive glassware on the planet), but once they are educated, they may never go back.
08-10-2014 11:04:03 | More by jwjon1
4.97/5 rDev +9%
Amazing. I was lucky enough to have business in the area and worked a stop at TG into the itinerary. Pint of Pseudo Sue to start. Knocked my socks off. Got a flight of four brews, Dorothy, Zeelander, Golden Nugget, and Light Speed. Every one of them was superb. I especially liked the Zeelander and took a growler home with me. If they have bottles for carry out, you can't beat $6/bomber. The best bargain ever. You'd be paying $12 for anything comparable in a larger city. Decorah Iowa is part of the Driftless Region and has amazing state parks, plenty of hotels. Worth a weekend trip for sure.
08-07-2014 19:19:27 | More by jimmygord
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company in Decorah, IA
100 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.