The Tap Brewing Company
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Active Beers: 25
Beer Ratings: 836
Beer Avg: 3.68
Taps: 8 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 62 | Show All Ratings:
4.16/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4 | $$
I've always felt The Tap is really underrated. Being north-of-Boston in Haverhill, an old mill town that is a bit off the beaten path, has kept them off the radar. The consistently excellent beer and the constantly improving kitchen should get them some attention.
The atmosphere here can vary depending on when you go. The space is dark but open, with high ceilings that point to the building's millyard past. It's quiet and relaxed for the lunch crowd, and you'll see diners of all ages here for dinner. During the summer, they have a large deck out back with views of the Merrimack. A younger bar crowd moves in at night, especially downstairs. They often have rowdy hard rock shows upstairs on weekends.
I think the beer at The Tap has always been top quality, it's really a hidden gem. Their regular brews are fantastic and some of the seasonals they do are among the best in their style. The Intergalactic Acid berliner weisse they do in the summer and the Joshua Norton imperial stout they do in the winter are hard to beat.
Nothing but great things to say about the service. It really feels like a cozy neighborhood pub - it's tough not to feel at home here. The bartenders are friendly and attentive. The servers are the same - we came in one Friday night with my niece and nephew and they were great with the kids.
Being a brewpub, the beers are all brewed on-site - usually 8-10 drafts and one on cask. Their standard beers are solid - you'll see an IPA, a pale ale, a kolsch, a wit, and an altbier on more often than not. There's always a few seasonals and rotating drafts on as well - as I said above, if you can get the Joshua Norton or Intergalactic Acid, do so.
The food has really stepped up over the past couple of years. When I first started going to The Tap, the food was standard pub fare but they've really put some nice twists on that and they update the menu seasonally. My go-to for lunch is the shrimp BLT and they do an amazing brunch on Sundays. The house-made hash is made with their beer.
The prices at The Tap are very reasonable. Most beers range from $4-$6 for a pint, and there's always a Brewer's Choice selection which is a pint for $3. Even at a brewpub it's hard to beat prices like those.
11-26-2013 03:03:21 | More by MThiele360
3.89/5 rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This place has a dark look and feel, both outdoors and inside. Bordering on a hole in the wall feel, but it totally works. Long, straight bar to the right when you walk in, with a window overlooking some bright tanks at the end. Booths along the opposite wall, table seating in a separate room, outdoor seating in front and back patio, and a pool table tucked away downstairs by the bathrooms and fermenters. Dark wood and little to no frills highlight this place perfectly. 9 beers on-tap, with 1 cask rotating. Beers to go, including bombers and growlers. Didn't try the food, but the menu looked damn tasty, with normal pub fare available, with a few highlights sprinkled throughout. The staff was great, very friendly, and there was even a Cicerone certified beer server behind the bar. This is a great spot to find if you are in the Haverhill area.
08-23-2013 03:15:43 | More by GarthDanielson
4.2/5 rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $
Awesome old building with high ceilings, great wooden fixtures, and a nice spiral edged bar. The staff was very friendly and helpful describing the beers. We ended up getting a couple flights so we could try all the beers available (10) without getting wrecked. Didn't have any food because we didn't have much time but what we saw coming out of the kitchen definitely looked and smelled great. A couple pool tables and a skeeball machine in the basement provided a bit of fun. If you roll over a 500 in skeeball you win a hat. I'll be wearing it proudly. Great spot.
06-17-2013 02:42:04 | More by DerekMorgan
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Really nice old building feeling inside the bar, as well as an awesome deck in the back overlooking the merrimack river.
The beers here are really good and fresh, and they always have a new beer on tap when I go.
The service at the bar can be a bit slow and hard to get the bartenders attention, but that is just because the place is busy
They usually have about 10 beers on tap which is nice
Have never eaten there but definitely would since I like the place
Beers are reasonably priced for the area nothing more expensive than a bar serving other regional crafts
01-04-2011 16:00:28 | More by rowingbrewer
4.08/5 rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Friends were nice enough to get me a gift certificate for The Tap for my birthday this year so yesterday I was able to make my second visit to the place. The place is located in an old industrial area of town that is seeing a second life as an area filled with shops and restaurants. The Tap is housed in an old shoe mill and the brick walls help give the place a good atmosphere. The taps at the bar are wooden shoes to pay homage to the building's beginnings.
I was a little disappointed to show up there to find there was a 30 minute wait to sit either inside or outside, especially considering 90% of the inside tables were unused. But I sat myself at the bar ordered a beer, watched TV, and waited patiently. And in the end the wait was worth it. My only other trip to The Tap was during the winter, but summer is a great time to go to enjoy their gigantic deck overlooking the Merrimack River. I thought the food was very good and remembered thinking the same when I visited previously.
The beer was excellent. Haverhill Brewery seems to do a lot of german or belgian type beers and they had a few of these styles that I really enjoyed. Their kolsch was solid but their Ascension Belgian IPA was extremely good. I was also pleased with their black lager which had a rich, smokey taste to it without being too smokey. I was able to pick up a growler of one of the beers I didn't get a chance to try for the way home.
08-29-2010 21:13:08 | More by Rocks
4.4/5 rDev +6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This has become one of my favorite places to go for a beer and a burger as I live about 15minutes away. I've never had a bad experience or a bad beer at the tap. They always have something different on cask and even have a beer of the day for $3.00 a pint an unbelievable price for a fresh craft brew. Most recently their barley wine and three graces triple were awesome. Their leather lips IPA rocks as well as their Imperial Stout. Food isn't as good as the beer, but that's a tall order as the beer is awesome. They also have a huge deck out back that's a couple hundred feet from the merrimack river. If you're nearby, stop in for a brew and a burger.
05-12-2010 02:08:40 | More by gatorhophead
4.3/5 rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
I stopped by the Haverhill Brewery (or is it the Tap? I haven't quite figured out the dual naming structure) with my girlfriend Saturday for a sampler and pint before dinner in nearby Amesbury. This was my first time in Haverhill, except for passing through on Amtrak, and while it was a bit down (and reminded me in many ways of my native Manchester, NH), the buildings at the center of town were beautiful and the streets had a closeness and proportion that was extraordinarily nice compared to other large New England mill cities.
We walked into the Tap around 5pm, and while the dining area was still pretty empty, there wasn't an open seat at the bar. We had taken our cue to visit the place based both on the Leatherlips IPA that I've enjoyed around Boston and the review in Andy Crouch's book. I love the book, but I think it sometimes is a bit too polite in trying to tamper any negativity in a review. I went with this in mind, and while the creaky floors, exposed brick walls, murals and wood paneling weren't as romantic as their descriptions in the book, they were there and gave the place a homey, lived in, rambling feeling. There seemed to be a good number of regulars enjoying pints, samplers and food that looked good to me.
We had the sampler (a steal at $6.50 for five 5 oz. glasses), focusing on the lighter side of the beers, including the IPA, APA, a very tasty Belgian tripel, and two others. All of them were very good examples of their respective styles, and a refreshing treat following a day at Plum Island. Afterward, I had a glass of the APA, which was a particularly hoppy variation on the style, after asking about the dunkel. With my pint, the server brought over a sample of the dunkel for future reference, and both the service and beer were great.
It's a bit out of my way, so I'm not sure when or if I'll make it back here, but we were really glad we went and had a chance to try so many of the beers. The beer and the place were a great midday break, and standing on the riverside deck in the unseasonably warm weather of Haverhill, I got nostalgic for my first summer of beer bars, spent between Boston and along the banks of the Merrimack in Manchester.
03-22-2010 16:22:48 | More by FrankLloydMike
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I was pleased to be able to visit The Tap with friends on a recent trip to Portsmouth Brewery for Kate the Great day. We decided to stop here as our first location on the way up north from PA. the place is easy enough to find and we were seated immediately after entering.
The place is reminiscent of old saloons with long wooden bar and antiques scattered here and there. They have murals on the inside walls to recall the drinking experience of yesteryear. We were seated and a table of about 12 or more sat next to us apparently there for a tour. They have bread and fresh popped popcorn in an old style popcorn machine for sampling. -the Brewhouse is visible at the end of the bar and the place has an open welcoming atmosphere.
The quality of brews was apparent from the get go- Smoked pils and a vary good list of choices ranging from American, Belgian, English and German styles. I found the food to better than average in every way - the Pulled pork sandwich was succulent and I would dare to say it might be the best I have had. The food was served fresh and the order was accurate. The service was pretty standard in my view, we noted the waiter had trouble staying on task at one point, but we got everything we ordered and the bill was right so I won't knock them down too far.
I thought the place was a decent value for what you get. I wish I could have spent a bit longer, but we had other destinations in mind - onward and upward! I really recommend trying this place out as they have a solid selection - Ascension Belgian IPA, Smoked Pils, Homerun Pale, Haver ale cream ale and Leatherlips IPA are all very good not to mention Snowbound and Tappist 8 which I liked as well.
03-04-2010 18:11:05 | More by Slatetank
4.63/5 rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $
Went to The Tap recently for a quick stop. They had a test brew on top that was a hoppy red they co-brewed with Peak Organic. I'm a hop fan and this was a good one. They only had two kegs so I'm not sure how long it's going to last.
The atmosphere was pretty chill for a Friday after work. I was able to get two seats at the bar around 7pm.
I just wanted an appetizer, so I ordered the potato skins and they went well with the beer. The service at the bar was great. The bartender was very attentive and the skins came out quickly.
If you've never been, the building itself is cool to visit. I believe it's from the 1800s. The building backs up to the Merrimack River. The ceilings in the bar are very high and it looks like it might have one of those old tin ceilings. The deck out back is great in nice weather. You can sit out back and you get a nice view of the river.
12-21-2009 23:43:11 | More by scanlon80
4.18/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The Tap is situated right in downtwon Haverhill, alongside the majestic Merrimack River.
Located in an old factory, the main floor has high ceilings, with a long bar room situated along the right side, and an dining area on the left. the basement has a private party room with smaller bar, and is also the residence of many of the brewing apparatus. there is also an outdoor deck I the back with a nice of view of the River.
The decor is historic Massachusetts. The area in the dining area where we sat had an old edition of the General Laws of Massachusetts. Various old pictures representing the history of the area adorn the walls. Also of note, an old phone booth from the early part of the 20th century.
The beer offerings consisted of the usual, Leatherlips IPA, Whittier White, and Haverale. Also offered where a milk stout, the Mother Abbess, and a Saison, with a cask offering that escapes my memory. Very varied and tasty.
The food was standard pub grub with a few gourmet twists. The wait staff was courteous and prompt. A very good way to spend time with a date after apple-picking on one of the many scenic New England farms the dot the Merrimack Valley.
10-07-2009 00:58:28 | More by Freshie
The Tap Brewing Company in Haverhill, MA
92 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.