Because of all the yummy options on the menu, we decided on all small plates to maximize the number of dishes. We ordered pretzels with imperial stout cheese sauce, short rib sliders, beer cheese soup, blackened scallops and chorizo / goat cheese empanadas. Everyone loved the pretzels and sliders (including Jonathan). While “gourmet” sliders is a bit of a trend right now, these were definitely a few notches above any we’ve had. The strong ale braising added a sweet richness while the slaw provided a nice tang as a counterpoint. Beer cheese soup is also easily found around town, but it’s unlikely you’ll find another with Belgium white ale. It was very flavorful, and the portion was large enough (for such a rich soup) that it could have been the centerpoint of a light meal.
We all enjoyed he empanadas, which had a good balance of creaminess and a bit of heat from the chorizo. We’ll never know if Jonathan would have liked the scallops. Sarah and I had one each, and they were unbelievably good. The sear was perfect with the red onion jam, walnuts and blue cheese enhancing the flavor even more.
Desserts are not officially on the menu right now (they’re waiting for an ice cream freezer), but they had carrot cake and chocolate cake made by a nearby bakery. Even these were really good. Both were moist, fresh and flavorful, and the portions were generous.
As one might guess, the taphouse has many great beers both on tap and in the bottle. I started out with the Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye Ale, which was bursting with hops counterbalanced by a slight sweetness. It’s basically an imperial IPA with some rye in it. I ordered a blueberry ale (Bar Harbor, I think) with dessert. The blueberry flavor was pronounced, but the sweetness was subtle.
Our server was very friendly, attentive and knowledgeable about both the beer and the food (including what would be kid-friendly). And we didn’t have to wait too long for anything to show up, which is a definite advantage when you’re dining with a 4 1/2 year-old.
We loved our experience at the Taphouse. The prices are reasonable and even better during happy hour with $1.50 off draft beers, $5 burgers and $4 pretzels. The website states that they don’t open until 4pm on Saturday but, according to their in-house signage, they are open 12-4pm on Saturday with happy hour prices. We loved everything we ordered and are eager to make a return visit!
One note if it’s your first visit: we didn’t notice any sign outside the establishment. We worried both that we were at the wrong place and that they were closed. Once we actually made it through the door, though, it was warm and inviting inside.