In north San Antonio, the Rim near 1604 and I-10 is growing rapidly. Originally anchored by the vaguely Greek Palladium, the area’s growth has bolstered retail and service industry ventures. As such, dozens of bars and restaurants have cropped up in the area, four of which happen to be within 100 feet of each other. With the intention to survey the nascent mini bar-district myself, I visited Brass Tap, General Public, the Lion and Rose and Mash’d on a Thursday night. Below, from favorite to least favorite, are my impressions.
The Brass Tap
17619 La Cantera Pkwy., Suite 2-208, (210) 670-7090
The first bar I visited ended up being my favorite, partially for its smiling, friendly service, but mostly because of its impressive selection of local beers. Though all four bars were either chains or the property of investment groups, Brass Tap tries hard to connect with its locale. Out of 60 beer offerings on tap, nearly 20 were San Antonio products, including the Branchline Old Three Hundred ($8), one of six sour beer choices and a remarkably astringent, tart drink that really pushes the palate.
In addition to the local beer, Brass Tap also promotes a community feeling through their “Brew Crew” program, a rewards system that individuals pay $15 to join, after which they receive a T-shirt, the opportunity to accrue credit, access to incredible discounts and — though intangible — a sense of belonging. Furthering in their community efforts, general manager Winnie Mak said that she and a representative from Lüke were organizing a fundraiser in support of the victims of the Pulse tragedy in Orlando.
Brass Tap serves food, though unlike its beer selection, the array of burgers, sandwiches, wings and nachos are focus group fare, by no means an effort to highlight local product. Nonetheless, one rarely visits a bar seeking innovative eats, so the issue is of little importance. Because of its amicable service, backing of local beer and community ethos, Brass Tap is more than worth visiting.