Large, very large, very very large place. Something like three floors. Thereís even a room with a bunch of pool tables. TVs everywhere, you wonít find a seat without a TV in plain view. Overall this place feels like an extra-large sports bar. Not unpleasant but very impersonal. A good selection of homebrews on tap (about 10 or 12) and they sure try to go beyond the ĎBlondeí, Ďamberí, Ďstoutí, etc. Unfortunately the average quality is quite low. I tried 6 different beers and they were all below 3 (but above 2) in my book. I didnít eat there but I saw plates going around and they looked like standard greasy food pub fare. Itís worth a stop, because anyway what else is there to do in Hartford.
Sure, a decent stop to make on you travels through Hartford, but this place wasnít all that special. Service was standard, the selection high in number (but weak in breadth), and the value typical. Definitely make a stop if you can, but donít expect gormet beer. No idea if the food is decent or not.
Hit this place for a late lunch prior to the CT Brew Festival. Decent food, pretty good beer. Service was very good, server actually knew his brew. 10 of their own on tap. Area is a bit ghetto, but not uncomfortably so.
This place was alright - there are 9 levels! but some of them are realy more like landings or steps - its not like this place is 9 stories high. The food is decent and the beer I had was pretty good. Iíll definetly be stopping by again to check out the other beers.
Interesting decor, with art in odd places and a number of different levels. Service was a let down, and the selection was lacking at the moment, but the beer I received was fantastic. I only had some appetizers, but they were great as well. Worth the trip into Hartford (and from me, thatís saying a lot). Oh, and the hand dryers rule.
For Hartford, which doesnít have a lot going for it anymore, this restaurant/pub stands out. Far from your average sports bar, this area immediately around the taps is very inviting. In the back there are pool tables, but if youíre interested in sampling the liquid, the bar is the only place to go. Iíve been there during lunch and dinner, and found lunch to be the better time, if only because of the attention you receive. There was a selection of about 8 brewed beers to choose from, including a barleywine, IPA and stout.
Interior is a typical brewpub look with the industrial thing going on, pool tables in the back and a terrace dining area. The menuís above average with some nice snacking foods. Not all the typical burger and nacho crap usually associated with brewpubs. When I was there, there was a belgian ale, barleywine, scotch ale and several staple brews of their own on draft each of which was above average to very good. The service was excellent and the waitress who served us knew a great deal about beer and brewing. I can see this place being a headache at night, but during lunch time on a weekend, itís definitely worth a stop.
We started with dinner, on one of the upper floors that overlooked the staircase and some lower floors. Itís a cool setup, nice atmosphere. The food was great, had a peppercorn coated steak with a gargonzola cheese sauce. Superb food, was very pleased.
After that, we headed to the bar for some good brews. They had about 8 or 9 house brews on tap. I didnít notice if they carried any guest beers, nor did I really care. The styles ranged from biere de garde, to dortmunder, to ipa, to bock, to light lager. Interesting range, and everything I tried was excellent, especially the biere de garde.
Service was excellent, and barkeep even threw us a couple free pints after we had sat for a while. Thereís a monster flat screen TV above the bar, which was playing a basketball game while I was there. In a separate room from the dining and bar area, there is a pool table room, with 7 or 8 pool tables. We played one game, but our table was on a monstrous slant, so we gave up pretty quick, and couldnít get another table. Thereís also a comedy club downstairs, which I havenít seen yet.
The night we were there, a band stopped in and played for a couple hours. They played directly in the bar area, and it got pretty crowded, of course this was a Saturday night... so I guess I should have expected that. Regardless, we still managed seats at the bar.
Well, crap I havent rated this place. Anyway, this is a standard brew pub/restaurant in the front with a few pool tables in the back. They typically have about 8-10 of their own beers on tap. Bartenders are pretty clueless and the beer has this weird anise twang to them. The food is ok and they have a few HDTVs which are cool. Parking can be a bitch depending on the time and day. I wouldn;t support this place now that Iíve read the brewmasterís ignorant comments regarding ratebeerians.
Layout allows for many different areas - couches, bar area, dining area, pool room. Everything was clean and shiny. The brass and mahogany motif is perhaps a bit overdone and there were TVs everywhere you looked in the bar area although the only person that seemed to be paying attention to the football games on each of them was the bartender. Service was friendly. Beers were generally uninspired despite the wide array of styles attemted and the imaginative naming. Food was really not very good. Stale and greasy. Overall this seems to be a case of style over substance and I wouldnít go out of my way to return.
MartinT (521) Montreal, Quebec | October 23, 2004| Updated December 19, 2007
Second visit, in 2007: The place is still gorgeous, although Iíd take away a few televisions, but thatís just me. The selection was still made up of numerous house brews, which is enticing for the craft beer lover. We didnít eat this time around, having had a scrumptious meal at The Cambridge House in Granby a few hours earlier. The overall quality of the beers I tried that day were better than when we first visited three years ago, but there were still a few duds in the lineup. I rather enjoyed their Norwegian Wood and Joltin Joe though, both decent dessert offerings. There are some better brewpubs around imho (Willimantic and Cambridge House, for example), but I wouldnít mind coming back here again when Iím in the area. First visit, in 2004: The building is impressive, the layout is interesting as well since it allows a relatively calm noise level while still servicing hundreds of people at the same time. The beers were less than spectacular (in my tastes) and the lagers were particularly watery and uninspired. The main problem I had this particular afternoon was that the food I ordered (a Gorgonzola burger) was simply awful. Stale bread, burned patty with crumbles of Gorgonzola which didnít know what to do with the mediocrity of its uncared-for companions. I hope I visited on a bad day.