Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mason's Pub Huntsville, AL

We made it back from AL without any major problems. On the way down we stopped at Captain Lawrence and filled our three growlers and I was even able to buy a bottle of Smoke From the Oak (actually, rum). We killed the growlers in AL, but I've still got the bottle of Smoke and it's sitting in my fridge as we speak.

Other than Captain Lawrence, there really wasn't much beer-related to speak of other than two quality stops in downtown Huntsville, one of which was Mason's Pub.

Mason's Pub is a restaurant/bar located right in historical downtown Huntsville on the corner of Washington and Clinton. It resides on the third floor of a quaint building.

As you walk in, the restaurant sprawls out in front of you. There are tables to the left, booths to the right, pool tables in the back, and a bar on the right. One gets the sense that Mason's has a bit of confusion with regard to its identity. It's part family restaurant, part college bar, part pool hall, part sports bar, and part men's club lounge. It's a comfortable place full of wood and light fixtures with an open floor plan. Still, it hasn't been open very long and you wonder whether it's trying to be too many things to too many people.

The food was standard American pub fare, but very tasty. There weren't any complaints around the table of 8. The ribs were good, but the highlight of the meal seemed to be the chicken tortilla soup, which was a special that day. Prices were reasonable, though maybe slightly higher than the chain restaurants that dominate in Huntsville. Then again, the food was much better than the chain restaurants. The service was fantastic.

As for the beer, they only had 6 taps, or so. There was nothing very interesting to note, though it was above average for AL. I'm willing to give them a break in this area though, as 2-3 of their taps were devoted to Olde Towne, which has since burned down. They replaced these taps with uninspiring choices like Stella, but one can hope these are temporary placeholders. Mason's stands out with their bottle list, however. By far the largest I've seen in the Huntsville area. I didn't take notes so I can't remember all the details, but I was very happy with the choices. I had a Paulaner HefeWeizen and an Anchor Porter. Mandy had a Terrapin Rye. I remember Mackeson XXX Stout, Brooklyn Brown, Brooklyn Weisse, Sam Adams, and many other very nice craft choices.

I'd recommend this place in a heartbeat to any craft beer lover who finds himself in Huntsville.

Tomorrow I'll talk about the second beer-related destination we discovered, a coffee shop/beer bar called House of Brews.


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