Town Hall Brewery

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Some of my brewery visits aren’t what I would hope.  Town Hall Brewing, in Minneapolis, is one of those.  Part of the issue is from the perspective of living in Georgia, where breweries are severely restricted by what they can serve or sell.  So, they conduct “tours” or “tastings” to bring people in, but without food.  Still, you meet, usually, with the owners or brewers who can tell their unique story and add some character to the brand.

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Maybe it’s the naming.  Town Hall is a brewpub, not a brewery, at least from what I can discover.  You can buy draft beers and get a growler filled, but they don’t appear to distribute their product.  That’s fine.  They’re located in a once-hip-now-hip-again area supported by University of Minnesota students, and their business model seems to be working, as evidenced by a recent investment in their bar area resulting in a very fine interior space.

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They have the usual assortment of souvenirs, with good graphic tastes.

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The food was also very good (Walleye tacos).  And, now, finally, the beer.  There’s a lot to like about the way they do their business.  They have a standard set of beers and add seasonal varieties fairly regularly.  They also provide beers from other breweries on a rotating basis.  If you live in the area, this results in a good variety of choices and a great place to dine out.

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If you’re an out-of-towner… well, you have to appreciate the good, but the brewery (I know, boring stainless steel vats) is all but hidden from view, and there’s really no effort made outside of special events to educate or inform guests about what they do.  The beer may as well come from anywhere (anywhere being defined as by any other craft brewery).

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So, I tried the Masala Mama IPA, my favorite style.  Good.  Very drinkable.  Not great (despite a local following that rates it at 96 on BeerAdvocate).  Not bad by any means, either.  It’s another in a long line of faceless IPAs that can be had anywhere by most local breweries for people that want to drink local beer. They  had other beers of interest, but… 

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… the guest beers steered me away.  The Surly Bender, aged in an oak barrel, was a good ale, but disappointing overall.  However, Hopulent, by Epic Brewing, was the clear winner of the day, a fine IPA.  I would have taken a picture but… my phone died.  If I lived in the area or if I was a nearby student, I’d be all over this place.  It was worth the visit, but trips there are infrequent, and there are too many other brews to sample.

Also, kudos to a clever website, but, please, silence is better than crowd noise.

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