First National Tap House
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Taps: 28 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 4 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Redrover:
4.05/5 rDev +8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
1st National Tap house - nice space, not overly large but inviting with outdoor seating in front and lots of communal tables inside.
There is a small service bar where I ordered my first beer and then ordered from the waitress for my second. Both servers were friendly and beer versed.
Nice exposed brick, distressed hardwood floors, really heavy furniture, hope it’s never thrown in a bar fight ; ). One TV with a Buster Keaton movie on (he is-was a very funny guy). High ceilings, exposed duct work and the old safe is on display.
27 crafts on tap (including 4 nitros if that is your thing) plus one mead. They have really quality offerings in many different styles. (Alts to sours). Prices vary based on demand. There were several $3 options and the most expensive beer I saw was only $5.75. Guessing over 10 are $4.25 or under which is a great deal.
Didn't try the food this visit.
Primarily 70s and 80s tunes on the sound system which seemed to work for the patrons.
09-03-2013 19:40:26 | More by Redrover
More User Reviews:
3.71/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4 | $$
I guess I just don't "get" this place.
The outside decor, I gather, is supposed to put you mind of an old style bank. Inside they have a couple of old style bank vault doors on the wall (or at least pictures of them), and not much else. The table and chairs consist of roughly 20 picnic tables of varying sizes, and then there's a bar area in the back to the left, which is where you can order your food and beer if you like, or there's table service. The place is fair size, though not huge, but with an outside dining area as well. There are no TV sets inside, so I gather the expectation is that you will either converse with friends and family, or maybe hang out and read for a bit (and enjoy your beer).
Beer selection is pretty good, though I wouldn't call it great. They have some 25 different beers on tap (not sure if they serve bottles; I didn't see any and there's no drink menu, other than the board over the bar), along with a mead and two ciders. I think they also had roughly 8 different wines on tap as well. In terms of quality, the selection at the taphouse now focuses on the NW. They had the LIndeman's frambois on tap, along with the Mad River DIPA, but everything else was from the NW, with most stuff from Oregon. More interesting items on this day were the Hop Valley alpha centuri, the Boneyard RPM and the Agrarian Delilah Belgain style blond. They have a pretty solid selection here, but it's largely stuff that you can find pretty easily elsewhere around town.
Service here is difficult to describe. The folks working here were certainly friendly enough, and I got the impression that the guys at the bar were pretty knowledgeable. They were also willing to let me sample anything I wanted, and encouraged me to get a taste of something. On the other hand....
As noted above, the only beer list in the taphouse consists of the big board over the bar. There's an arrow pointing up or down next to each beer, and at the bottom of the list there's the notation that prices can change at any time. I knew about the Taphouse's pricing "gimmick" before visiting, but for those not in the know, I'm sure they have to be puzzled by that comment. So I guess the expectation is that you'll ask your server to explain how things work here, as it's not written down anywhere, as far as I could see. It was a fairly slow Sunday afternoon the day I was there, so there wasn't a lot of action on the board. The price on the Delilah I purchased ticked up a quarter after I bought a glass, but the pricing on everything else remained the same during my stay. So I finally went ahead and asked how the pricing works. My server noted that when the price changes on one beer, it affects the pricing on everything else on the board (but not necessarily right away). So when the price went up on the Delilah, the price might drop on everything else eventually, though it would depend on what other people were ordering in the bar as well. When I continued to look confused, my server then mentioned that the reasoning behind their pricing scheme was to try to get people to try and order other beers, not just the same old beer over and over again that they might get otherwise. That struck me as utter nonsense of course (why not offer samples sizes then? Or why not offer different glass sizes, instead of just pints? Or why not simply run a special price on certain, featured beers?), and to this day I still have no idea how the price board works or what the reasoning is behind it. Also, while my server was pleasant enough, it started to get on my nerves a bit when he kept on calling me boss ("ready for another beer boss?" "can I get you anything else boss?" "you ready for your check boss?").
As for food, I got the pork sliders and they were quite good. Priced at $10 for three, they were decent size, served on a brioche bun, and were delicious. Prices overall were generally pretty good, at least the day I was there. My pint of delilah was $4.25 I believe, while the boneyard was $4. For some reason the Breakside Helles was $5.75 a pint, but that was really the only thing I saw on the board that I thought was out of line price-wise (well, other than the frambois for $8 an 8 ounce glass). On the other hand, when I did get my bill, the price on the Boneyard RPM showed up as $4.50. When I asked my server about it, he just looked at it for a moment, and then commented "huh... I wonder why it did that?" He changed it, and then noted when he came back that they'd been having some problems with the Boneyard beers, and that the price charged was often off by a dollar or 50 cents. One more thing that made no sense to me, but if true, then it seems like they probably need to always check over the bill whenever someone orders a Boneyard beer.
Nothing wrong with this place, but given all the other options in town, I'll be damned if I can see any reason to come back here.
08-05-2013 15:27:07 | More by John_M
First National Tap House in Eugene, OR
- out of 100 based on 4 ratings.