dsc008541I’m repeatedly impressed with the beer every time I visit Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery.

The brewpub itself sits in a surprisingly well-cloaked building, perched on the corner of an oddly configured intersection near the West Bank of the U of M campus, referred to by locals as “Seven Corners.” Each time I’ve been there, I’ve been faked out by the front windows of the place thinking I’ll find the entrance, when in reality the smallish metal front door is tucked around the side of the building near the patio. But that’s fine by me, as it probably keeps out some of the non-beer-appreciating riff raff.

The pub opened in 1997, and ever since has been brewing up award-winning beers, including their legendary Masala Mama IPA. After being completely enveloped and sidetracked by Masala Mama on one of my recent visits, I decided to purchase a growler of their Hope & King Scotch Ale for home inspection, winner of the 2002 Bronze Medal in the scotch ale category at the Great American Beer Festival. I haven’t had many scotch ales, so I was a little unsure of what to expect. 

Poured with a small khaki head and deep reddish brown coloring. Just about zero in the way of hop aroma. They clearly want to emphasize the very complex malt profile. And there’s several layers to the malty flavor. Caramel sort of dominates the taste, followed by a small bit of smokiness, maybe from black patent malt. I also wonder if they use just a little bit of flaked oats in this recipe, because I get a faint hint in the aftertaste that lends a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. It’s 6% ABV, so nothing too crazy there. From what I gather, it might be on the weak side stylistically.

Overall, a pretty interesting and enjoyable beer.

Rating: B+

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