The Tap Brewing Company
Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
3.58/5 rDev -12.9%
This was stop #4 for my wife and I on a 9-day East Coast pub crawl and a family visit. The brewery is located in an old brick building in the busy downtown retail area. A nice-looking patio on the sidewalk was inviting, but we chose to eat and enjoy the beers inside. The interior has a nice pub vibe to it, especially with an old-time mural on one full wall of the dining area.
A ‘miscommunication’ between the hostess and the serving staff left us having to flag down a server after a 5-minute wait so that we could order beer and food (and the place wasn’t very busy), and then our first two dinner selections were not available (one they were out of, and one that was no longer served although it’s still listed on the menu), but we got over that after our beer selection was served. There were 9 beers available, and we ordered a sampler flight of 5 of them. Each of them was brewed well above the standard characteristics for their respective style, and our scoring system ended up giving them a B grade overall. The Thunder Paws Pale Ale was the one that we liked best, but all of them were enjoyable.
Despite the unavailability issues with our dinner orders, the food earned its way back into our good graces. It was well prepared, so kudos go to the kitchen staff as well as the brewer. If we’re ever back in this area we’d definitely stop here again.
07-07-2014 19:18:27 | More by Mothergoose03
4.16/5 rDev +1.2%
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
The Tap Brewing Company in Haverhill, MA
92 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.