BAR Bru Rm
254 Crown Street
New Haven, Connecticut
Visited on November 5, 2010
I dropped in on BAR Bru Rm right around two years ago during my annual professional conference that I tend to go to. I remember having some pretty damn fine pizza, and also being very impressed by the establishment itself. It was hip, clean, shiny and quite inviting. I made a few more stops after my initial dinner stop throughout the weekend. I don’t remember any of the beer specifically, which speaks ill of its quality, but I do think I was pretty pleased overall at the time.
The Bru Rm is one of the few places that doesn’t have the word brewery in it’s name, making its appearance on a Google search somewhat suspect. Luckily, there are several ways to locate breweries on trips and I was not fooled. And it’s a good thing, because this place rocks, and it’s the only decent brewpub in the area.
Walking into the place I was immediately greeted by a short, stone hallway with glistening brewing equipment off to the left. A short walk later presented three options: left to a bar with long tables and bar games, straight to a small drink station with the brick pizza ovens and kitchen, or right to yet another bar and the more “restaurant styled” area of the place.
Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong. The building is old, the walls are stone, the oven is brick, the mood is dark and chill. It’s as authentically cool as you can get.
I chose left, though, and pulled up to a very busy bar. I ordered a sampler that came with seven house brews in about four-ounce glasses for a very reasonable price. Though nothing made me close my eyes in savory bliss and mouth the word “wow,” every single offering was delicious. I drank the toasted blonde, was impressed by the lightness yet full flavor smoky flavor and thought I’m going to order a pint of this next. Then the amber made me say the same. Pretty soon the pale, stout and harvest ales all had me clamoring their names. Naturally, I couldn’t leave until I had obliged them all.
The menu consists of pizza and pizza alone. Okay, so there might be a salad as well to pacify the low-carb crowd. And though there isn’t much besides pie, it is very good pie with very good toppings. Just about anything you could want. And it comes out piping hot on a giant silver pan, thin, floppy and extremely foldable. It is obviously made completely in-house and I give props for that. However, I am docking points for the lack of choice and the fact that I prefer a crispy thin crust that can stand up to the toppings. No flopping here, please.
The service was also above average. My glass was promptly refilled once drained and the water was refilled without asking. Plus, nobody made a stink when I camped out at the bar for hours on end.
On a final note, this is also one of the biggest places to be in New Haven on a weekend night. After hours, the back room turns into a dance club and it gets hopping.