The Taphouse Grill

very good

23 Reviews
The Taphouse GrillThe Taphouse Grill

Type: Bar, Eatery

931 W 21st St
Norfolk, Virginia, 23517-1535
United States

(757) 627-9172 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 33
Photo of Hanzo
3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3

Stopped in for lunch on a Thursday. Honestly I was looking to go to 80/20 Burger Bar but they don't apparently open until 5pm weekdays.

Their tap selection is very good, plenty to choose from with a good bit of variety. The food was ok, I ordered a tuna steak sandwich, the very friendly bar tender asked how I'd like it cooked and I selected medium-rare. What came out was grey....I don't know whether it was a marinade or what but it didn't look right. Tasted ok but the side of pasta salad was my favorite part, it seemed very freshly made. But really for $13 I wanted a nice looking piece of Tuna steak.

Atmosphere was hard to judge since we were literally the only customers there Thursday at Noon. I'm assuming this is a nights/weekend place. I can imagine it being a great place to hangout though if you lived nearby. Prices were high on the food side but very decent on the beer side so that's a win for beer geeks.

I can say next time I'd stick with beer and some sort of fried appetizer. I see the last review done for here was a couple years ago, I can see why, with all the new places that have opened there is really no draw here, they don't have anything I can't get elsewhere.

 1,194 characters

Photo of Geuzedad
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

This used to be my first choice watering hole until The Birch opened up. I like their selection and they do have a good list of beers to meet about any taste. The food is OK but I usually do not go there to eat. Summer is the best time to go as the patio is open and the college crowd is gone. The wait staff are OK but they do seem distracted and at times almost annoyed when you ask a question about a menu item or need a refill. Service at the bar is much better and the bar tenders very attentive and friendly. If craft beers are your thing give them a try. Just avoid weekends unless you are into loud live bands, rowdy patrons, and a cover charge.

 653 characters

Photo of adam42381
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The wife and I went to the Outer Banks this past weekend and flew into Norfolk before driving down. We visited Taphouse Grill at Ghent last night as we were in town for the evening only to get a hotel room before flying out this morning. We read reviews here on Beer Advocate prior to our visit so we knew what we were up for.

I must say, we were not disappointed. The food was much better than your traditional bar fare, especially for a place that is such a "hole in the wall". The service was very good at the bar. It looked like the service was a bit slow at the tables so I would recommend sitting at the bar.

The beer selection was very solid with some stuff that's usually not available in bars. Between the two of us we drank the following on draft: Hop Rod Rye, Duchesse, Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Jack and Ken's Ale, St. Bernardus Pater 6, New Belgium Trippel and Trois Pistoles. Not too shabby. Most definitely not a selection you'd find here in Southwest Florida. They probably have about 20 beers on tap as well as an extensive selection of bottles. I had read elsewhere online that they used to carry Westvleteren 12 from time to time but no luck last night. My wallet will probably thank me for that anyway.

I would highly recommend checking out the Taphouse Grill at Ghent if you are ever in the Norfolk area. We will definitely return if we ever happen to visit the area again.

 1,404 characters

Photo of jporf911
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Taphouse is definitely one of the best beer bars in Hampton Roads. Located just down the street from Total Wine (where you can also pick up a ton of hard-to-find beers), it combines good food and good beer. Taphouse has a fairly sizable draft list and a huge list of bottles on the other side of the menu as well. All the local hipsters rave about the Aventinus, but they offer a lot of other good beers in addition to that. My only qualm is that they don't offer Gulden Draak. The Bier Garden in Portsmouth has a slightly better selection, but if you can't get out there, then Taphouse in Ghent is a great place to go for good beer, good food, and good friends. The atmosphere is nice-- music plays all night; there are outdoor tables, indoor tables, and the bar itself, plus a separate room with some pool tables.

*Tip- The service can be a little slow at times if you're at the tables instead of the bar, so if you want to order a drink, it's best to go to the bar and order it yourself instead of relying on your waiter, who usually has about 4 other orders to fill ahead of yours.

 1,090 characters

Photo of BgThang
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This place was descent. They just tapped southern tier iniquity which was amazing. they had two hearted and several bottles that I was looking for. Baltic thunder from victory, old horizontal, and several others. When I went back a few days later they were out of alot of things including the st iniquity. The remaining selection was lacking. They did offer samples of the brews they had. The food is pretty good. the burgers are great. They do a house mustard with newcastle and horshradish.
Definitely recommend this place.

 525 characters

Photo of BringusKilkenney
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Went on a Friday night which was probably the first mistake. The selection was great had a lot of good and varied beers that you wouldnt think you could find in the area. They were out of quite a few beers that i asked for and would like to have seen that marked out on the menu or something. The service was good considering there was only one waitress in the place.

The food was decent too just got a tuna wrap not to many ways to mess that up.

I would recommend anyone go and try this place out if you are looking for an easy laid back place to just enjoy your favorite beer or try a few new ones. Dont miss the great bottle selection on the other side of the menu too

 673 characters

Photo of Onibubba
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This is a bit out of the way for me, so I have to ask the question, is it worth a cab ride? While they do surely have a nice variety of beers on tap and bottled, they did not have the number of Belgians that I would prefer. On the other hand, they did have Saison Dupont on tap, and for that I give them much thanks.

I had some problems with the size of the place - too small. You could maybe seat 8 people at the bar. Bar staff was very attentive, and I have no complaints at all regarding the service. I'm a bit of a glassware ggek, and would have liked to see more in that department, but not a big problem.

If you like a good mix of beers, and are not tied too much to a particular Region or style, you will find the selection great. Price is hit and miss, but there is a happy hour until 7.

All in all a nice place, but not a return trip for me unless I happen to be in the area.

 888 characters

Photo of catwoman
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

The beer selection is outstanding, as many reviewers have stated. The draft list is great, and check the board for specials. However, a lot of people never turn the draft beer menu over to see the extensive bottled selection. Some real goodies here too.

The best beer selection in Norfolk, nice staff, and decent bar food with some interesting twists. Veg and vegan-friendly. Definitely your urban hipster vibe. The outdoor patio is a wonderful place in nice weather. A popular place with locals from all walks of life. The food is very reasonably priced. These are some of the things I love about the Taphouse.

However, there are a few things to be aware of, although they may not bother everyone. The bathrooms are quite old and have seen some abuse over the years. While they are cleaned daily, it is not sufficient to handle the mess that builds up. The bathrooms are not a pleasant part of the experience. The main dining room is nonsmoking, which is great, but the smoking bar and pool room odors sometimes, not always, permeate the place. Occasionally bar patrons and even employees walk through the main dining room with their lit cigarettes. Once or twice I've seen (and smelled!) an employee hanging out in a corner of the nonsmoking dining room, by the kitchen, smoking a cigarette. Really, a staff member should jump on that immediately. On the other hand, if it isn't crowded and the bar area isn't filled with smokers then it's usually fine in the main dining room. And you get to drink some great, hard-to-find beers!

FYI when they have bands at night it becomes all-smoking and there is a cover charge. Most nights, though, there is no band.

So I've tried to present a balanced review. If you are a beer lover, this is the place to go.

 1,756 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This was the first place I went to when I moved to Virginia Beach. This is a beer lover's haven. First off, it is somewhat off the beaten path so you're not surrounded by average beer drinkers; the people here are here to drink. And what a selection! I asked the server for a suggestion and she had no idea, but the bartender had a few. The food is pretty damn good too. Now, on some nights they do live music which is not the greatest idea since this place has this nice, quant ambiance and then a band plugs in over in a corner and there is no place for the sound to go at all. It get really loud. Worse, they charge a cover for these bands around 9, so get there before then and you're in the clear. Other than that little complaint I would go here immediately if you haven't been here yet.

 793 characters

Photo of theformula
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The fine woman's review below is nearly dead-on.

A great "hole in the wall" establishment to just sit down and enjoy a cider, macro, micro, German, Belgian or whatever you're into as the selection is pretty impressive with a whole lotta rotating taps and great bottled selection.
Food is good for the style, great flavor and variety.

Atmosphere is nice, but get there early in the evening if you don't want lung cancer or a very loud band hammering your ear drums.

Service can be lacking at times, but it's decent. Just go up to the bar to order a beer and sit down, you'll be waited on soon enough.

The main bartender is knowledgeable and knows his stuff (his name eludes me...he has blond hair). I usually start off w/ a German or micro on tap (Hacker Pschorr Edel Helle, BR Racer 5 IPA) and like last night ended up drinking the St. Berny 12 ON TAP as well. Oh, and during my meal a Weihenstephaner Weissbier Dunkel.

Good enough service, a big and varied beer list and eclectic mix of locals and non-locals, young and old. A favorite regular haunt of mine.

Recommended, yes.

 1,088 characters

Photo of IDateTheFormula
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I went here with my boyfriend on a whim, he's the beer geek not me. I was intrigued to find that I found 2 beers that I liked. Granted they were "girly" beers, but the waiter smiled when I said that and told me he drank them as well. I had 2 of the Woodchuck ciders and a raspberry framboise that I can't recall the name of. My boyfriend almost wept at the beer list, and the ambiance is amazing. A lot of beers on tap, including a new favorite Strongbow, and a ton of taps hanging from the ceiling. Very cool place to sit down and have a beer.

The food is also excellent, but stay away from the Mussel's...bad experience

Only downside is that there is LOTS of smoke and the servers are scarce. Go up to the bar a order and the go outside in order to really enjoy

 765 characters

Photo of CharlieMopps
3.84/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in whilst in town over the weekend to visit family and friends. A buddy of mine I hadn't seen in a long time has started working there, so I hung out with him before his shift started, then went inside to see what all the fuss was about.

Overall, an eclectic mix of young and old, the tragically hip and the nonchalantly un-hip. This is perfect, because it seems like you can never really feel out of place, whether you order a Bud Light or a Westmalle. I opted for some of the more premium selections, of course.

The place had that hole-in-the-wall kind of feel to it, but I didn't mind that too much when I saw the beer menu. Good selections on tap, supposedly the largest tap selection in Southeastern Virginia, according to the header. Had some good German lagers on draft, so I ended up starting with a Hacker-Pschorr Edel Hell. After being informed that a few selections were unavailable, I ordered a Czech pilsener that wasn't poured. Seemed like one bartender knew what he was doing, while the other didn't. Still, friendly and respectable service.

 1,067 characters

Photo of ottobon100
3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

I have been here couple times and stopped by tonight just in case they had something new on tap. I am an IPA fan and tried the Racer and a "Clipper City Loose Cannon IPA" that I really liked. As for the food it is very average. We sent back a pizza "Margharite" which had hummus on it (?) on a very thick doughy crust! Taste was horrible. Sorry, but for someone who has lived in Italy and was hoping for the real thing it was terrible. Rename it. As for the beer selection it was pretty good for this part of the country with a number of beers on tap, both foreign and domestic but there are better beer pubs in the Tidewater area; e.g., Portsmouth. The food is better there too!

 679 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Was visiting my sister (who recently turned 21) and we wanted to visit a quality beer bar, which we found less than two miles from her house. It has a cozy atmosphere, with the non-smoking bar staring at you when you walk in and breweriana hanging from the walls. Turn the corner to enter the smoking section, and you will find 30+ taps and a bottle menu comprised of more than 50. It also lives up to its namesake, with over 100 tap handles hanging over the bar, giving you an idea of what they have offered in the past. The present selection is quite nice, with an impressive collection of craft and imports, including about 10 Trappists in-bottle and Chimay White on-tap. I sampled several beers I had been wanting to try, including Victory Hop Harvest, La Chouffe, and Rodenbach Grand Cru, along with many more I could not have tried without getting totally wasted (St. Bernardus Abt. 12, Midas Touch, [both on-tap] Oskar Blues Gordon, and Westy 8 just to name a few). The only thing we ate was chips and fresh salsa, so not much of a judge for the food category, although it was good enough. The service could have been better and I feel the bartenders would benefit from a refresher-course in serving craft beer. However, despite my few complaints, I would gladly trade three Harrisonburg bars for one with this type of focus on craft beer.

 1,346 characters

Photo of Coasters
4.72/5  rDev +19.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I've been to the Tap House many times, and have been nothing but satisfied after every visit, even if I'm left with an empty wallet by the end of the night. A great place to go for an early evening, as they have some of the best happy hour specials you can hope to find with beer of this quality ($2 off Belgians until the end of happy hour).

The atmosphere is kind of dark, hip, gothic, urban, all at the same time. A really good place relax and enjoy a great variety of beers. There are other bars in the area with a nice selection, but the variety at Tap House is unparalleled. With 30+ beers on tap being rotated on a consistent basis and well over 50 bottles (primarily imports, crafts, and micros), it's a good place to go if you don't want the same thing week in and week out. After all, 80 beers are nice and all, but eventually anything can get a bit stale. Nice to keep it fresh.

The staff is knowledgeable, and more importantly, passionate about beer. Even the waitstaff has an opinion on each beer in stock. That can be rare. Never had to wait an exceptionally long time for anything. Normal bar wait really.

The food is actually a hidden gem of sorts. Some of the food is surprisingly good. The mozzarella stack and the hummus are great with the beer. Kind of cleanses the palate in between beverages. They also have half off pizzas during happy hour, yet another reason to go in the early evening.

Seriously, this is the best bar in Norfolk if you are looking for an alternative to some of the meat markets in the area. Laid back. Great beer. Good food. Good times.

 1,594 characters

Photo of Bleedingshrimp
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped in here after a great beer festival in Waterside in Norfolk, to unwind , eat some grub, and of course drink some more beer. The atmosphere is breezy and casual...the service was quick and polite. The selection was really good lots of taps both local and domestic. I had a racer 5 on tap and it was served in the appropriate glassware...non-chilled. The servers were knowledgeable enough. Very nice bottle selection as well. I was quite surprised to see a rare Belgian beer that cost me a pretty penny to try. Didn't know if I'd ever get the chance again so I did and was not dissapointed. The food was very tasty and reasonable. Pretty typical burger and fries type menu. I would not hesitate to visit again especially since a Peninsula location is now in the works in Hampton.

 785 characters

Photo of Px2GrafX
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

stopped in here for my birthday for some beers and a good time. overall, i was very impressed with the beers, selection, and the overall knowledge of the bartenders and servers. however, i think we came on a wierd night causing my reviews of the service and food to be low. we were obviously there during a bad time because they seemed to be understaffed as there was only one server in our section of the bar. as more people came in, he got overwhelmed. he did his best, but it's frustrating when you sit with an empty glass for long periods of time. also, the fryer was down. so a large portion of the menu was off limits. a lot of us weren't able to get what we wanted to eat, but everything everyone had got good reviews. we'll go back and i'll rereview the service and food at a later date. back to the beers- excellent selection with tons of taps and bottles from all over the world. lots of things i hadn't tried before and the menu changes often. everything was poured in proper glasses and the prices were reasonable except for some price gouging on one very special belgian abbey quad. again, we'll be back, and i'm sure things will be better. just based on the beers, i can highly recommend this spot.

 1,212 characters

Photo of Havinapretzel
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I visited the Tap House with friends yesterday after the Va. Beer Festival. We sat outside on a very nice day, and were quite impressed with the beer list, which included several good belgians and Oskar Blues' Gordon, which I've been looking for for a while. They had a great tap selection, including Chimay Tripel, Loose Cannon, Racer 5, and a whole lot more. After our waitress confirmed that it was in stock, I ordered an excellent quad that I didn't think I'd find in this country ;-) The rest of our group started with Racer 5 and Loose Cannon; both were fresh but the Racer 5 was served warmer than the people drinking it would have liked. The food was very good and pretty reasonably priced, and our waitress was friendly, did a good job, and even took $1 off each of our drinks! I'll be going back here the next chance I get.

 833 characters

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Aside from the bier garden in Portsmouth, this is easily my favorite place in Hamton Roads to grab a beer.

First off, the selection is excellent. Everything from Virginia brews like St George's porter, Ledgend brown, and Tupper's hop pocket to Belgian lambics (two of them, a peach and a raspberry) are on tap. PBR is the only swill tap I saw, but you have to pay the bills somehow, right? They also have an extensive amount of bottled beer on the premises as well. And they have updated their beer menu some. While the tap list appears to have no order to it (the flags are a nice touch though) the bottled beers are now grouped in styles, which makes figuring out if they do or do not have something a little easier.

Now, while I havent' sampled every item on the menu, what I have tried is good stuff. in Particular their wings are probably the best I've had in the area, and they're pretty big, although six of them for $5.95 (or 12 for $9.95) is a little pricey.

The only knocks I have against the place is the parking lot is very small, and poorly marked. I already mentioned the tap list. And the service at the bar can be spotty, but the regular waitress does a pretty good job. And everyone that has served me was knowledgeable on the different beer styles and what they had available.

Overall, this place is an oasis for a beer lover such as myself stuck in Hampton Roads. Around here it seems most places consider Guinness and Harp to be exotic stuff.

 1,475 characters

Photo of meathookjones
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Finally stopped here before going to Cogan’s for some pizza. From the outside you wouldn’t guess that there is a magnificent beer bar waiting for you within. When I first walked in there were several pool tables that I walked around before seeing the small dining area that was decorated with hanging bookshelves full of books. There is also an outside dining area that is relatively small. They looked like they were setting up on end of the dining room for live music at the time we were there. Pretty much a laidback-relaxing atmosphere that I enjoyed drinking in. Their beer menus is definitely one of the better ones I have seen with a good selection of bottled beers a little over 30 taps. PBR was the only crap I saw on the menu with there being several Virginia Beers, Belgians, Lambics and a variety of other brews. The ones that caught my eye were the Hop Rod Rye, which was excellent on tap, and Robert the Bruce from three Floyds. I won’t comment on the food since I only had a bite of the 2 appetizers friends ordered but they were good. Service was good, as I didn’t have to wait for refills. I will be returning here next time I am in the area for sure.

 1,172 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Tap House Grill is pretty easy to find, but if you did not know it was there in the Y of the road you would pass right by. There is nothing about the place that makes you want to stop in or that would make you think it is anything more than a dive in a bad neighborhood.

You go inside and it is a pretty quiet bar. I walked into the bar area and saw the Belgians on tap and knew I was home. I opted for a Smuttynose IPA on cask and it was just becoming sour, but that made it interesting. Tomorrow I would not suggest ordering the brew. They had 6 or 7 Belgian taps out of 35, one handpull, and only one crap beer, a PBR. Several VA breweries, but several from out of state as well.

The food was actually pretty darn tasty. They were out of the first item I wanted, but assured me that the rest of the menu was being served. My waitress was working my area and all the outside, but did a decent job although I had to wait a bit long for my first order to be taken. The barmaid was quite alluring, so at least it was dinner and a show.

I'd certainly go back for the selection and the food. The service could have been a bit more stellar, but go in with a relaxed attitude and come out with one as well.

Oh, the menu listed my brews at $4.50 ea, but the waitress had them on the tab at $2 each. Semi-decent service with a cost cutter attitude...see you tomorrow....

 1,379 characters

Photo of TinusTime
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Had a meeting there so I decided to show up early and have a few pints. As has been stated earlier it looks a lot like a coffee shop. The building is divided up in 3 parts. A restaurant area that is non smoking. A back room with pool tables , and a bar that has a few tables and where smoking is allowed. I sat at the bar which is a cool looking burnished stainless steel. The bartender gave me a beer list which had about 30-35 taps plus on cask hand pump. On cask was Brooklyn IPA. The rest of the taps were a mix of local, national and international. There were 3 or 4 Rogues, a few Belgians including Lindemans and Corensdonk. Germany was represented by Spaten Lager and Paulaner Hefe. The choices rotate and unfortunately I was there on a night where nothing too exciting except for the Dominion Oak Barrel Stout. This is not a slag, as much as I was just looking for something extremely hoppy and the only thing to be found was Hop Pocket (geez am I jaded or what) The atmosphere is nice and as a smoker I dont worry too much about the smokiness. Food was pretty good with LOTS of vegetarian choices and some up scale food as well as burgers and sandwiches and such. Overall a very nice place to go have a pint or two. I would give it second place in the local rankings right behind the Bier Garden

 1,304 characters

Photo of avylover
4.53/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is a great place to go get a beer. The atmosphere is laid back. It's nice & dark, just how I like it, and there are decent bands playing here & there. Selection is great, with tons of taps of all types of brews, many hard to find gems. Had an Old Crusty here the other night, which I have NEVER seen in the area. All beer is served in appropriate glassware. There is also a good selection of high tier liqours such as aged scotch - not really my thing but it grabbed my curiosity. To be honest I can't remember eating here so I won't rate the food. Good service with a knowledgeable bartender on duty nearly all the time. One of the best in the area. If you visit hampton roads, this place and the Bier Garden are as good as it gets for beer.

 747 characters

The Taphouse Grill in Norfolk, VA
3.96 out of 5 based on 33 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.