Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Town Hall Tap

The wife and I hit up Town Hall Tap with a couple friends during Minneapolis’s “Snowmageddon II” storm a few weeks back (13″ in 12 hrs., I believe). I actually called my buddy, Josh (who I don’t see often as he’s the drummer from the Jacob Martin Band, currently based out of Nashville) to cancel our plans to hit up the tap on account of the weather, but he assured me his truck would make it through the blizzard. This was pretty awesome because the new, second location for Town Hall opened this past November to much local acclaim and is normally very busy over dinner most nights of the week. Not this night. Once we plowed through the storm to get there, we got a table right away.

It’s interesting to learn that Town Hall decided to build out this second location because they were unable to sell to their 3,500 bbl. / yr. capacity at their single downtown location. They expanded in large part to help move their beer. I’m glad I get to benefit from this and welcome them to my neighborhood.

I had been to the Tap once before this past December and had really enjoyed the experience. Though I ordered completely different beers this time, I had to order the same burger: the Heidelberger. It’s this ½ lb. Angus beef burger stuffed with onions, crusted in chopped bacon and topped with Tillamook smoked cheddar cheese. I had no reason to branch out. One of the best burger’s I’ve ever had. The experience was even better the second time around, as the fries were even crispier than last time. Bonus points.

On to the beers!

The tap list

Town Hall’s Scotch Ale: A bit drier on the palate and considerably less “scotchy” than the Founder’s Dirty Bastard I’d had recently at the Muddy Pig or homebrew example of the style I sampled at my first NBA club meeting. Honestly, it was a decent Scottish ale but if I’m rating it as a Scotch ale, I’m not a fan. More malt and more scotch please.

Town Hall’s Cocoa Nut Brown ale: Wow, rather cloying in a “THIS HAS COCOANUT IN IT” sort of way. Fortunately I only had a few sips of this, as my wife ordered it. She enjoyed it, not I. Maybe I’d have one, just one, on a hot summer day.

Furthermore Oscura (WI): They had this one served on cask so I figured I’d give it a whirl. I actually like this the best of all the beers that night. I’ve never seen a coffee brown ale before (and it was a lighter brown ale, at that). Much as described on their website, it was more like ice coffee when paired with a lighter malt profile.

Town Hall’s Masala Mamma IPA: A lot of locals love this beer, and I think it’s Town Hall’s top seller. I should learn not to save the hoppiest beer of the night for last. Bad idea. It was fine, but I’m just not often in the mood for an IPA as an after-dinner drink.

Pretty easy to get a table when the roads aren't plowed yet.

In conclusion, my last trip to Town Hall was much more enjoyable from a beer standpoint. Regardless, I have faith and will return.

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