The Half Door
Taps: 19 / Bottles: 110
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4
The Half Door is probably my favorite bar in the Hartford area. The beer is mainly what keeps me coming back, but everything else is pretty solid too. Nice atmosphere. A good amount of seating. Great staff that clears tap lines and gives free samples. They usually have something on cask. Last time it was Adnams Special Bitter.
My only problem, ironically, is the tap selection. I think they could use a few more taps or a slightly altered lineup of regulars. I know it's an Irish pub, but it would be nice to see a few more domestics like Rogue or Victory available. I guess that would go against what they're trying to do though.
02-21-2004 22:46:44 | More by BeefyMee
4.5/5 rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $
I live directly behind the Half Door, and there's not a better place in Hartford in which to have a pint. On tap is a rotating selection of UK and Irish beers, with a few varying, and usually interesting, selections on the west end of the bar. In all seasons except summer there's something available on cask. I've had some really good and rare beers this way, and they seem to do a good job keeping things fresh. I've only once had an "off" beer from the Half Door (Wychwood Hobgoblin), and I go quite often.
Tuesday night is glass night, where you pay more for your first beer but get to keep the glass and subsequently get cheaper refills. Wednesday night all Irish draughts are $2/pint, which usually consists of Guinness, Harp, and Magner's Cider. The place can get pretty busy Wednesdays, so go early to get a table.
Bottle selection is limited to imports, but they have, as PBrian noted, the best Belgian collection in the local area. Pretty decent prices, too. The only domestics available are ones from the big three (which you will always see floating around the bar, even on $2 pint night).
There's a small outdoor seating area for the warmer months, which is nice as the inside can turn into an ashtray at times (Connecticut has passed a smoking ban for such establishments that will go into effect in the spring of 2004). The bands are often too loud for conversation inside, and generally are pretty mediocre cover bands that play the same four or five standard Irish drinking songs, but that's about the only drawback of the place. If they'd cut the volume on the bands to a reasonable level, I'd be hard pressed to find a fault with the bar.
Friendly bouncers, excellent bartenders, and hospitable waitstaff. Really, this is a gem in a town sorely lacking in fine establishments. If you're ever in the area, send me a beermail and we'll have a pint on me.
09-30-2003 06:06:40 | More by rabidawg
4.35/5 rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3
Great place in an area that needs it. Awesome tap list and bottle list. Great Irish and UK selections and they know how to serve them. Old Engine Oil on tap? How cool is that? Atmosphere reminded me of a real Irish pub. In fact, some Irish tourists came in and were standing near us at the bar and said "This place is great, it feels just like home." The food was average to disappointing, but if you come for the beer, you will not be disappointed.
08-31-2003 14:14:58 | More by far333
4.33/5 rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
The Half Door is an upscale "authentic" Irish Pub that manages to stay away from a theme park feel. During the day and early evenings, it has a nice relaxing neighborhood bar atmosphere. There's live music a couple nights a week and it's a pretty small place and a lot of people go there, so it gets loud and crowded during these times. The menu is a combination of apps/salads/sandwiches/entrees that are all done very well and fairly reasonably priced.
The beer: Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but the Half Door is the only place in Hartford where Belgian beer other than Stella or Chimay is available. And some good ones too: Vervifontain, Quintine Amber, Hercule Stout, La Chouffe... There's also a large emphasis on bottled conditioned English Ales. And some good rotating taps as well. Last time I was there I had a Harviestoun Old Engine Oil draft served in the right glass at the right temperature. In Hartford, I swear. Take a look at their beer list. It's good. http://www.thehalfdoor.com/beer.htm
All-in-all, it's the best place in Hartford to enjoy good beer. Go there.
08-21-2003 15:33:08 | More by pbrian
The Half Door in Hartford, CT
91 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.