West Bank Pub Ale
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Style:
English Bitter
Ranked #23
ABV:
4.8%
Score:
86
Ranked #22,473
Avg:
3.85 | pDev: 10.65%
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
62
From:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
 
Minnesota, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  2
Gots
  3
SCORE
86
Very Good
Notes: British style pale ale featuring the the rich character of UK Golden Promise malt with a distinct finish from the use of British Fuggles and Golding hops.
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 62 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by CultureJamMN:
Photo of CultureJamMN
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a deep amber, almost copper. solid head with beautiful lacing.

the smell is pleasant, and is of toffee and caramel largely, with just a hint of hops.

the hops come out first on the taste, slightly bitter, but fades quickly to rich and malty. Toffee notes are pronounced throughout, the finish very pleasant.

smooth in the mouth, i'm now dying to try this on cask...

In all, this is a beer i could see drinking several of in an evening... not quite a session beer, but i could see drinking enough of these to need a cab or bus ride home.

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CultureJamMN from Minnesota, Jan 25, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear golden color...nice white head...fresh nose but soft...nice light maltiness with a fresh floral hoppiness on the taste..mouthfeel is perfect for this style...session beer all the way...easy drinking...nice fresh floral taste...nice easy drinking beer...certainly not a big beer...seems more of a mild to me in substance but has a bit more hops than you'd expect....I guess a basic bitter is about right....certainly not an ESB by any means...good brew for the style..I'd select many of their others over this because I'd prefer something more substantial but that's just me...like I said for the style this is good

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ZAP from Minnesota, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kind of a dull copper appearance. Very slight haze. A good sized ivory white head sits on top and has great retention. The lace left by it is full, intricate and droopy. Aroma is herbal and grassy. Oily and hoppy. And toffee-like. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. (From cask, this beer is like velvet.) Body is pushing medium. Flavor profile seems to be very English, which is no surprise. I'm guessing English hops here, but I could be wrong. They are earthy and grassy. Bitterness is clean and noticeable. Enjoyable. Malt profile seems caramel derived. Toffee tones are quite enjoyable. Really good. This one is quite quaffable.

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Bighuge from Minnesota, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of ADR
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub...

Dark gold, almost amber color, slightly chill-haze on the pint. Nice head, close to 1/2 an inch in height and leaving very attractive lace. Hops mark the aroma more than I anticipated, almost weedy in Springtime fashion, perhaps indicative of some American influence. Smooth and quaffable, better mouthfeel than some in its consistent quality with a well-balanced approach to flavor profile. Lightly diacetyl with buttery tones and an interesting combination of licorice-like hoppiness and chocolate and toffee candy. Lighlty sweet aftertaste marks an overall pleasant experience. More substance than many brewpub Bitters, without a marked alcohol hike.

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ADR from Pennsylvania, May 16, 2004
Photo of cokes
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a growler.
Darkened gold. Low carbonation. Compact, white crown.
The aromatics showcase a forceful hop presence. Big, woody, herbs and slightly greener leaves. Caramel-touched bread lies underneath.
Enters dry, yet plenty malty. Brittle toffee and biscuits. Turns a touch buttery near the middle, just as an authoritative nod to the style. Ends with a blazing flourish of hops. Again, all herbal and floral. Stems and leaves and buds and blossoms.
Kicks in roughly medium bodied. The only barrier to indefinite drinking is an empty vessel.
This is a bloody good Bitter. It's likely to be overshadowed by Town Hall's bolder offerings. Don't make that mistake.

East bank thanks to Bighuge for sharing this one.

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cokes from Wisconsin, Apr 03, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a beer that I didn't wuite figure out the style on it. I assumed it was another pale ale when I tried it, but there was a difference. There was a sudle spiciness that was hard to trace throught the sample. I like the hops finish, this beer is definitely one I'd get again.

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TastyTaste from Minnesota, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of aaronh
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dusty Copper colored body topped by an off-white head. Aromas of malt and a touch of woody hops. The flavor has great malt character backed by a solid bitterness. The earthiness of the malting floor seems to come through with this beer. Not sure if the yeast is unique to this offering, but the yeast character seems to come through. Mouthfeel smooth and solid. The drinkability is better than the sum of the individual parts. Although not impressive in any other individual way, overall this is a really nice beer.

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aaronh from Pennsylvania, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must offer up a confession before proceeding, a disclaimer of sorts. I'm not very fond of "pub ales" or bitters, for they all too often lack in flavor and body for my tastes. Perhaps that's why I never touched this perennial offering until now, just to get it out of the way. I was pleasantly surprised.
Appearance: amber, edging toward bronze, with a perfunctory head.
Aroma: largely fruity, with additional hints of toasted caramel and nuts.
Light hop bitterness at first, quickly departing, with very tasty malt character clearly in charge from here on out.
Well-rounded, with a moderate sweetness, and a long, malt-infused finish. Each time the glass is lifted, satisfaction is ensured. Nutty malt flavor stays on top.
This visit, the WB Pub was also available on cask, and in that form, I'd have to add an extra star: the head was thick and creamy, the flavor was mellow, but made a powerful presence on the palate, and it went down like a dream. Ah, bliss!

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feloniousmonk from Minnesota, Jul 14, 2003
Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Cask: Color is of a clear darkish golden yellow with a inch high head of thick white lumpyness that fades in divets and loosely down to a lump of sponge, lacing in small clumps and sticky spots.
Smell is solid display of balance with a nice fresh bread toned malt thats a bit roasty and the hops lend a nice bouquet of light pine and citrus. Taste is well balanced starting with lightly toasted bread that keeps its share of the taste up til it starts with the hops which is just past midway and goes from there with some pretty favorable amounts of bittering hops, fresh and herbally grassy with sour pineyness and light puckering grapefruit rinds. Great lingering bitterness quality that also gives way to a bit of highly roasted nuts and more bread malts and yeast playing in with the bitterness. Quite a nice attachment. Feel is medium bodied, smooth and mellow the whole way through and the bitterness gives a little extra zip. Quite a nice little bitter brew. Refreshing and drinkable, goes good with any of the appetizers.

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tavernjef from Minnesota, Aug 03, 2003
Photo of Sammy
2.86/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Maybe it was off,at least the bitterness and my drinking buddy agreed. It was presented to us as a mild red - that was the colour. Lace suggested freshness, it had some head too. Served cold, but a tad of mould in there and an off-bitterness. I could drink some of it, but a surprisingly weak one.

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Sammy from Ontario (Canada), Nov 20, 2008
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beatiful golden dark hue topped by a khaki 1/2 " spongy head cap leaving a solid lattice lace.

Aroma is a light gingerbread and hard candy malt.

First swigs: Slightly caramelly and Fest-Brew like. Slightly brewed iced tea and ginger sugary sweet with a mild citrus tone. Lingering smooth dry aftertaste. Floral fruit and Pez candy middle.

Medium bodied with a smooth soft finish.

Last swigs: Mild ale, overall, barely bitter, almond ginger.

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blitheringidiot from Pennsylvania, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of jwilli7122
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I must admit I had relatively low expectations for this beer - but I liked it a lot.
Poured a dark gold with a slight brownish tint. quite clear with an average looking white head.
nice smell- hops, caramel, dirt
taste is medium-hopped with some malt flavors - both sweet caramel and dough - and some earthiness that i really enjoyed.
medium mouthfeel in all aspects.
like all Town Hall beers, goes fast.

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jwilli7122 from Minnesota, Mar 21, 2004
Photo of RedDiamond
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wood-copper brown with radiant clarity. The aroma has character with an earthy hop profile. But I found the taste to be slightly meaty or foul and held in check by a drab aftertaste. This is a decent beer in spite of these few off notes. It would appear to be an actual ordinary pub bitter instead of the more complex and commonplace ESB. But the Masala Mama and Black H2O Stout I had just finished provided some tough acts to follow.

West Bank didn’t rock my world but this was actually my fifth pint of the evening and it’s possible I was at the threshold of palate fatigue.

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Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a clear coppery orange, medium sized white head forms, drops to a thick ring, some looks chunks of lace stick to the glass. Smell is nice, toasty and caramelized, some light fruitiness, oats and honey, earthy, lightly spicy hops, floral, very malty. Taste is similar, very malty, caramel, floral, lightly fruity, earthy, oat toastiness, solid bitterness, very balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, nice fruitiness and nicely balanced. Just a good session beer, I could knock back pints of this all night.

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Viggo from Ontario (Canada), Aug 11, 2009
Photo of edbeered
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub, this pours a pale golden amber color with a quarter-inch whitish head and nice lacing on the glass. There is a minimal smell of malt. The taste is mildly malty and grassy, with a touch of caramel and just a hint of bitterness. This feels pleasingly light on the tongue. A nice undemanding easy drinker.

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edbeered from Minnesota, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of sacrelicio
4/5  rDev +3.9%

sacrelicio from Minnesota, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed on December 12, 2005. On tap at the brewpub. A slightly peculiar halloween orange, clear. A little whitish head. Estery almost belgian aroma. Sweet hoppy flavor, with grass and honey. Brown sugar and some underlying complexity improve the beer. Palate is hop dry, leaving grassy smack and resin impression.

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CharlesDarwin from Rhode Island, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of KarlHungus
4.78/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Town Hall Brewery. This beer arrives a clear orange-amber color. The head is a solid inch of foam that lasts until the beer is gone, and leaves thick rings of lacing along the sides of the glass. The aroma is of lemons, limes, oranges, and herbal hops. The taste has a strong grapefruit character, but there is also an ample amount of passion fruit, lemon, lime and orange. There is also a firm bitterness in the finish. It is a really complex taste, and I seem to find something new with each sip. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and a silky texture. Overall, this is a really good beer that verges on greatness. I am really kicking myself that it took me seven years of patronizing Town Hall before I tried it. I will certainly not be waiting seven more years before I drink it again.

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KarlHungus from Minnesota, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of fisherman34
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber in colour with low carbonation. Definitely a milder type of bitter, in keeping with the English style session bitters. Slightly spicy hop aroma. A light but pleasing malt vs. bitter balance. Good drinkability, but a little thin in the mouth for me. I thought it also lacked a bit of the complexity of some of the other bitters that I've had. Generally solid, but I like their other products better.

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fisherman34 from Manitoba (Canada), Aug 25, 2005
Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this several times, but it tastes a bit off on the pint I'm reviewing. I guess I'll just owe it to the beer to re-review next time. The main thought on the pint was that it reminded me of grains. The taste wasn't grainy out right, but it reminded me of the smell of when I have a 12 pund bag of grains for homebrewing in my living room. Sure there were some pleasant hops in there, but it was just a sweet taste and smell of barley ready to be brewed up. It's almost like it was dry malted is you know what I mean. Either way it was tasty and felt like it deserved to be drank while eating the pub fries (if you try them you'll understand) but was still good nevertheless. It's tasty, give it a try.

UPDATE: 11/24/10 - This is a pale ale now with Simcoe hops. It's an even better session beer with a great citrus fruity and perfumey hops.

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tempest from New York, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of SortaAmbivalent
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, pours a clear amber, nearing copper, with a decent half inch head that shrinks to a thin film, a little bit o lacing. Aroma is weakish, but pleasant for a bitter, good malt profile of caramels and nuts and some herbal hops. Taste is rather the same as aroma, short, pleasant, more herbal hops here, a very Fuggle feel to it (obviously), nutty, tasty even when burped up, and while a little thin, very drinkable, extremely sessionable, a die hard quaffer for a more social occasion perhaps.

As a side note, on cask, or on nitro, this beer is extreeeemly smooth, tops mouthfeel for sure. On grolwer though, much is lost. A shame, oh well.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came a bright honey gold with a foamy white head that left awesome lace. Smells of yeasty malt with a very slight bitterness. Tastes of delicate bitterness and of a buttery brown ale with some decisive grassiness. Mouth feel is medium with a very light carbonation.

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Photo of zeff80
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nitro-tap on 12/31

A - Poured an orange color with a good deal of carbonation. It had a creamy, two-finger head that left some nice trails of lace.

S - It smelled of mild caramel malt. Some earthy aromas, too.

T -It was bittersweet with a mild hop kick.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - Good brew. Certainly could be a great session beer.

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zeff80 from Missouri, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of ccrida
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the brewery West Bank Pale Ale is a dull burnt gold with a darker core, and a light tan / flesh colored head that has a yeasty thickness, with decent last leaving chunks of foamy lace. Looks a little dirty with the two tone head, like dirty ocean foam.

Smell is a bit of caramel, and some citrus hops.

Taste has a firm citrus hop flavor, definitely more west coast pale ale then English bitter in that department, which is fine by me! There's a bit of fusel note that isn't the cleanest, and the malt provides a little sweetness.

Mouthfeel is smooth, light bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, a decent pale ale, but it could stand to be cleaned up on the fermentation side.

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ccrida from Oregon, Nov 04, 2010
West Bank Pub Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 62 ratings