BEST BEER SELECTION IN A BAR - 2005
Town Hall Brewery
1430 Washington Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
In recent years this category has been dominated, not surprisingly, by bars featuring massive selections of beer: the Muddy Pig, William's Uptown Pub and Peanut Bar, Old Chicago. Town Hall Brewery, the eight-year-old brewpub in Minneapolis's Seven Corners area, certainly can't compete with those venerable establishments in quantitative terms. Town Hall generally offers up fewer than a dozen taps (and a couple of bottles) at any one time. But the key to appreciating this brewpub's genius is regular visits. There are five top-notch permanent selections, from the fairly mild Bright Spot Golden Ale to the bold Blackwater Oatmeal Stout. The real standout of this bunch, though, is the Masala Mama Indian Pale Ale, with its knee-buckling infusion of hops countered by a hint of citrus. But if you can't find something to your liking among the regular brews, Town Hall also offers a constantly rotating menu of seasonal beers. In the winter you might find a potato stout or a coffee porter, while the summer months offer a full range of refreshing weiss beers. At other times you might try a Baltic porter, a Belgian ale, or a Czech pilsner. Unlike many of its competitors, Town Hall offers eminently reasonable prices. Most pints are just $3.75, with taps dropping by a buck during daily happy hours. Even better, thanks to a 2003 change in state law, it's now possible to take home a half-gallon (or six) of your favorite brew. The initial "growler" will set you back $13, but if you return with the empty glass container, Town Hall will refill it for a mere $8.