This may have been my first experience visiting a taproom so secluded that I actually couldn’t see the entry to the parking lot for lack of light. I suppose I need to get out of the city more.
Though Hammerheart is situated in the northern suburbs, the location is not what ultimately lends the taproom the air of a northern getaway. Instead, it is the warm nordic imagery and decor. Deer antlers and mason jars serve as light fixtures; signs are carved in the spirit of nordic runes; and barrels serve as both tables and aging vessels for the beer.
I drank a British Invasion, a hop-forward British-style pale ale (ABV 6.5%). I also sampled a Laurentian Porter, a mesquite-smoked porter with spruce tips, something I never would have expected but thoroughly enjoyed.
When I asked the beertenders for advice, the first told me to never get advice from a bartender. Fair. But, that doesn’t blog very well, so I prodded. A beertender named Tanner offered to me the Taproom Rules. They read:
- Racism, sexism, homophobia, and violence are NOT welcome here. You have been warned!!
- Please tip your server!
- We reserve the right of service refusal to those we deem intoxicated.
- This place is special to us! Please respect it and clean up after yourself.
Tanner told me, “At first people asked why we needed [the rules]. Now, it’s 2016, and we see why we need it. It just comes down to respect. We try to show respect to everyone who comes in here, including people who are new to craft beer.”
It’s heartening to see how respect is applied from concepts as broad as racism, sexism, and homophobia, to interactions as simple as ordering a beer at the bar. Humanity: you’re doing it right.