One of the newest bars-slash-eateries to grace The Rim is Brass Tap. While it's a chain, its focus on local and craft beers is commendable. Brass Tap's large selection of beer and promises of tasty bar food are what lured me to The Rim on a warm Saturday evening.
As was to be expected on a weekend, parking was a bit of a nightmare. There was valet parking available, but I could save those precious $7 plus tip trying another beer, so I decided to park myself like a commoner. If you don't mind a short walk, there is plenty of parking at the Palladium next door, and a parking garage is being constructed near Brass Tap sooner or later.
If you can make it to Brass Tap for happy hour, it's worth the trek outside Loop 1604. All draught beer, which includes a sizeable selection of great local brews, is $2 off from 3-6 p.m., every day.
I arrived at Brass Tap just after happy hour was over, but no matter. The place must have cleared out, but because of this, my date and I found a table immediately. It's seat-yourself, which means we were able to snag a good seat and avoid that "oh-hell-no-not-the-table-near-the-bathroom" situation. If you're not feeling the indoor portion of the bar, Brass Tap has a nice patio with fans, which would be ideal for those early summer days.
True to its sports bar feel, Brass Tap had many large TVs on display. Some of them broadcasted sports and others showed off their extensive beer list. After perusing the menu/TV (we received hard copy menus as well), I decided on something light: Pedernales' Robert Earl Keen Honey Pils.
Our drinks came out quickly, and a few sips into my sweet honey pilsner I realized how hungry I was. Since nothing goes better with beer than some good old-fashioned meat, I ordered the All-American burger, an Angus beef patty topped with cheddar and bacon. My date also got a burger, the pepper jack-and spicy "cowboy" sauce-topped Cowboy burger, but there were so many tasty bar staples on the menu that it was difficult to decide.
In addition to offering typical bar fare like nachos, fries and wings, Brass Tap kicks it up a notch with their flatbreads, chili and street tacos. Rumor has it that they also serve brunch on the weekends.
All of the servers were attentive; if our server was helping another table or filling pints, other staff members would check in on us. Because our server wasn't overly chatty, I never felt overwhelmed or rushed into making a decision. They didn't hover, but I never had to wait long to be helped, either. It was the perfect amount of interaction, and to top it off, all of the servers were incredibly knowledgeable about beer.
I'd barely made a dent in my pint when our food came out. My burger was solid — a little dry but seasoned well and with the perfect amount of cheese. On the other hand, my date's Cowboy burger was juicy and bursting with flavor — I may have snuck a few more bites than he realized. Our burgers came with fries, which were good but nothing to write home about. Next time I want to try their pretzel pizzas — how could I not be intrigued by two of my favorite foods combined?
I didn't go to Brass Tap expecting a gourmet meal, but I left feeling full and happy. Everything on the menu is exactly the type of grub you crave when enjoying a cold brew or two. And every beer I sampled was delicious.
Those who are into beer tastings and good deals will be happy to hear that Brass Tap's website also lists the cool events the location hosts on a daily basis. From new beer releases to pint nights, Brass Tap has no short supply of fun events for beer lovers.
If you're into a great beer selection and casual dining, check out Brass Tap at The Rim. With a focus on craft beer and a hearty menu to boot, Brass Tap is sure to be a favorite for happy hours, game days and
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