Town Hall Brewery
1430 Washington Ave S
Visited on June 24, 2008
My lone brewpub experience in the Twin Cities did not impress me. Town Hall was pretty close to my hotel and also pretty close to the University of Minnesota, a seemingly awesome combination for a stop. And while the interior of the place was pretty sweet and the patio was great for people watching, the beer and food just didn’t deliver.
Just on the edge of the University of Minnesota’s campus sits the large, square, unassuming building with the words, “Town Hall Brewery,” painted over its doors. A large mural depicts classical patrons enjoying some brews on a patio, which is exactly what you’re doing as you’re looking at it. The simple exterior belies a stunning interior; couches, coffee tables, fireplaces, pool tables, and soft neon lighting makes this a destination for students and brew connoisseurs alike.
We started with an appetizer of sweet potato fries, which were bland and nowhere near as good as their regular fries that came with the meal. I got a pulled pork sandwich, which was decent, but certainly nothing to write home about. My dining partner ordered a turkey, bacon, avocado wrap that was good, but it tasted just like anything you could get at Applebee’s, or maybe even Quiznos.
Again, the beer was good across the board, but nothing spectacular. They feature and IPA that was very good for the style, and a seasonal version that is fermented over mangos. This provides the subtlest of fruit flavors that enhances the citrus notes of the hop selection. It is a very, very good beer, but not quite excellent. On the plus side, they do offer cask selections, the scotch being my favorite of the day, although not quite as good as the scotch I had earlier in the day in Madison, Wisconsin.
And the service kind of sucked. Sure, it was pretty busy outside, but it was like pulling needles trying to get the server’s attention. To make things worse, he informed us that management is a stickler for not substituting sweet potato fries for regular on a platter, yet several other servers were bringing plates with sandwiches accompanied by the orange variety. I’m sure for an extra dollar or two, it could have been done.