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The Half Door

Not Rated.
The Half DoorThe Half Door

Taps: 10 / Bottles: 110
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

22 Ratings
Ratings: 22
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 8.56%
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]

270 Sisson Ave
Hartford, Connecticut, 06105-3136
United States
phone: (860) 232-7827

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: pbrian)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stoutkitten
Stoutkitten

Connecticut

4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$

Picked my husband up at Bradley airport and we stopped in for a bite to eat and a pint. I am on a personal mission to visit as many Irish pubs in CT, NY and MA as possible. So this was on my list. Parking is rough but once inside it made it worth it. I loved the atmosphere to the old bar and the cozy seats. I think they were old church pews at one time. Enjoyed reading the menu and wish I could have tried more. I had the fish and chips which were great. My husband had fried pickles and shrimp which I thought would be really odd but it was so tasty. We came in thinking we might try some different beers. But it was half price Guinness night and well we couldn't pass that up. If your up that way I suggest stopping in. I plan on making a trip there again soon

10-27-2009 22:30:43 | More by Stoutkitten
Photo of FrankLloydMike
FrankLloydMike

Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$

I go to this place just about every time I visit my girlfriend at home and it is absolutely superb. The times we've gone on the weekends they've had very good bands that seem to play a variety of well-done covers, originals and traditional music, and when there was no band, the music was nice as well. The vibe is very nice with a dark wood bar greeting you when you walk in, booths lining posts in the middle, and raised tall-back booths along one the side. It's a dark, very homey place, but the real appeal for me is the beer. I've never been to a bar with this kind of beer selection. There are the typicals for an "Irish pub"--Guinness, Newcastle and so on--but there are always different, rotating taps of exquisite craft beers that I've never seen or heard of anywhere else. The professionally attired (white shirt with narrow black ties) and friendly bartenders are always more than welcome to offer a sample of any of their beers. I haven't had any food as my girlfriend's father is an incredible cook, but it's always smelled very good. The one thing that keeps the wonderful, rotating selection from being a 5.0 is that it seems that there are few beers on tap that aren't pricey. Sure, the regulars are normally priced, but they're something you can get anywhere, and the expensive beers are certainly always worth the price, but I know that there are quality craft brews that financially allow me to indulge in more than one and it would be nice to see them offer a few of these as well... or at least post their prices so I don't feel like a cheap ass asking the price every time. Still, an exceptional place that is unlike any other place I've been. And right in the Rising Star of Hartford!

03-15-2007 16:55:01 | More by FrankLloydMike
Photo of rabidawg
rabidawg

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +10%
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
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

went to the Half Door for the Great Guinness Toast, had a blast. great bottle selection as you can see below. only negative (what affect the atmosphere score) is that it is little. especially during an event like the toast. food is great. i had a 3pack of mini manwiches, also comes in a six pack. great little place, right off the highway, which is good, i hate driving in Hartford. oh, and they have a Guinness Breakfast, can't wait to try that

The Stouts

Guinness
Dorthy B. Goodbody
Samuel Smith Oatmeal
Youngs Double Chocolate
Mackensons Triple
Beamish
A.le Coq Imperial
De Dolle Xtra
Hitachino Milk

The Vintage

Carnegie 1997
Sinebrychoff 2003
Old Engine Oil Reserve 2003
Aventinus 2001
Gales 2003


The Porters

Samuel Smith Taddy
St. Peters
Entire Butt Porter
Old Engine Oil Old Ale
The Ales

Mc Chouffe
Dorthy B. Goodbody (Butty Bach)
John Courage
Bass
Chimay White
Boddingtons Cream
Old Speckled Hen
McEwans IPA
Newcastle
Samuel Smith Nut Brown
Dorthy B. Goodbody (Our Glass)
Corsendonk Pale or Brown
Nostradamus
Chimay Premiere
Youngs Ram Rod
Youngs Dirty Dicks
Youngs Waggledance
Old Peculier
Spaten Optimator
Unibroue La Finn Du Monde & Maudite
Val Dieu Brown
Duvel
Green King IPA
Burton IPA
Abbot Ale
Blacksheep Riggwelter
Blue Bird Bitter
Belhaven Wee Heavy
Delirium Tremens
Delirium Nocturnum
St. Bernurdus Apt 8
Uerige Original
Hitachino Original
Klosterbeur Dunkel
Adnams Bitterl The Lagers

Carlsberg
Harp
Amstel Light
Orval
Killians Red
Heineken

The Weis Beers

Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted
Hoegaarden
Tsmisje
Konigs Haven Quad
LaChouffe Golden
Schneider Edel Weisse
Aventinus
Schneider Hefe Weizen
Fraziskaner
DeDolle (Mad Bitch)
Burgerbrau (Rye)
Aecht Schlendera Rauchhbier

The Others

Strongbow Cider
Lindemans Peach Lambic
Aventinus Iseboc
Pilsner Urquel
Lindemans Rasberry Lambic
Wostyntje (Mustard Seed)
Liefmans Kriek
Hitachino Red Rice
Miller Lite
Coors Light
Bud
Bud Light

03-16-2006 01:56:34 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of opwog
opwog

Minnesota

4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$

Found this place doing a search on Yelp, after landing at Bradley and having to wait for my luggage. Red Sox were on the TV, bartender was friendly, waitresses were cute and the beer selection was great (if maybe a little too cold on the bottles). I didn't get a chance to eat, but made the effort to stop back a second time after getting my luggage. Customers (mid afternoon/early evening) were very friendly, asl well.

Old school Irish bar in one of those borderline safe neighborhoods of Hartford. But when you are inside, it is as cosey as your favorite neighborhood bar. Easy access from route 84.

08-06-2008 07:28:16 | More by opwog
Photo of WhiteOak
WhiteOak

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

We hit the Half Door on weekends around lunch, and are always ready for some beer.

First was the Hofbrau Maibock on-tap, very nice, malty with dark fruitiness and much more nutty complexity than the muted stuff out of a bottle.

Next came the Chimay White on-tap, which was outstanding. I am being drawn back there for another one as I recall how good it was. I would have probably not considered a Chimay, but it was the only tripel on-tap so I went for it, and I'm glad I did.

Then we had some Harviestoun Old Engine Oil ON-TAP, that's right, on-tap. Niiice.

Most recent trip: Brewdog DIPA and a Schwartzbier on tap, and bottles of Weihenstephaner HW.

The Half Door is an oasis in an urban setting, and it is like a time- and place-travel, simultaneously. Great Irish pub atmosphere. But I only like bars when they are not crowded, so we visit accordingly. Parking sucks, as in non-existant other than by chance on the street.

Hungry? try the "Cobblestones"!

Great Euro-brew selection.

04-30-2010 19:45:04 | More by WhiteOak
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
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
Photo of pbrian
pbrian

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
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
Photo of BeefyMee
BeefyMee

Connecticut

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
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
Photo of Loki
Loki

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

At dinner there last night and the Shepard's Pie was great. The salad was so-so, but who goes to a pub for the salad?

Their draft selection is ok. A little to heavy on the larger production UK/Europe stuff. But they have DT on tap, so its ok. Their bottle selection is where they shine. Lots of rare and some aged stuff. Can get a little pricy, but they are expensive beers and again some are aged.

Had a Belgian Imperial Stout I had never had and it was great. Almost ordered one of the rare 750s for myself, but I had to drive and I felt a little weird getting a 750 for myself (especially the 12% Biere De Garde that I was eying)

Service at the bar was great. I might go back tonight.

05-08-2008 22:21:15 | More by Loki
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The Half Door in Hartford, CT
91 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.