Brew Review

Lunch and Beer Review – Misconduct Tavern, Center City Philadelphia + Bell’s Hopslam

“I was just told that the meeting that is scheduled at 1PM today is being postponed until further notice. Please remove it from your calendar.”

– Actual text from a work email received at 10:44AM on 3/3/2011

I’ve been to Misconduct Tavern on two occasions. Once during a post-Christmas bar crawl on a frigid Tuesday night in 2009, and one other time last summer for a quick beer before dinner at Devil’s Den. Thanks to the above email, my afternoon was freed up and I could head on over to Misconduct Tavern for some lunch, and possibly score a pint of Bell’s Hopslam which has been all the rage on Twitter and the blogs for the past couple weeks (second only to Russian River’s Pliny the Younger). Since dining and drinking alone is rarely fun, I gave Limpd a call to see if he could join me. He also had a meeting free afternoon, so we decided to meet up at 12:30.

I was a few minutes late, but luckily the bar wasn’t very busy, so we were seated immediately. Our server quickly informed us of the specials, and she also told us that their keg of Bell’s Hopslam was almost gone. Since we rarely pass up the opportunity to try a new beer, we immediately ordered two of them. As far as food goes, Limpd went with a bowl of Seafood Bisque and the French Dip, while I ordered the Salmon Burger. Our beers came out immediately, and the Bisque came out a few minutes later. While Limpd worked on his soup, I took a few sips of beer, trying really hard to not polish it off too quickly. By the time he was done with his soup, I was half way through my beer and already starting to feel its effects (yogurt, OJ, and black coffee are not enough of a base when 10% ABV beers are involved).

Thankfully, the sandwiches arrived just moments after they took away the empty bowl. Both the French Dip and Salmon Burger looked very appetizing. The Salmon Burger was served on a brioche with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and I ordered it with a side of coleslaw. The French Dip was served on a sesame seed roll with a side of french fries and a cup of rosemary fennel au jus. I can’t speak for Limpd, but based upon what was left on his plate, i.e. one or two french fries and not much else, I would say that he enjoyed his sandwich. My Salmon Burger was moist and tender, and the coleslaw was of the mayonaise based variety. Although they went very well together, I probably should have ordered something a bit more substantial to go with the high-test beer.

Overall, we really enjoyed our lunch at Misconduct Tavern. Good food, good service, and an exceptional beer selection. There’s only one problem… since they are located at 1511 Locust, they have to compete with Good Dog, Fado, and Monk’s Cafe, which are within two city blocks of each other.  That is some serious competition, but based upon this visit, there’s a good chance that we’ll be having lunch there once again. At the very least, we’ll stop in for a beer or two!

And now for a quick beer review…

Bell’s Hopslam is a double IPA which they only release during the winter months, and it’s made with six different varieties of hops, a good amount of malt, and even some honey. This beer pours a slightly cloudy reddish-orange with minimal head retention, and very little lacing left on the glass as you drink it down. Although it has a very strong hop aroma, there is also quite a bit of sweetness in the nose as well (think honey and sweet orange marmalade). The initial flavors are all honey and malt sweetness, but then the alcohol starts to become apparent (did I mention that it has an ABV of 10%?), and the hop bitterness starts to kick in. You would think that a beer made with six kinds of hops would be overly bitter, but in this case it isn’t. There’s just enough sweetness to keep things in check, which makes this a very dangerous and highly drinkable beer. I really enjoyed the Bell’s Hopslam, but next time, I’ll pair it with a more substantial lunch!

6 replies »

  1. An unexpected lunch is always enjoyable especially with the opportunity to try a new beverage. While I make no claim to being a hop head, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and the smooth finish of the Hopslam. Also, whether it was the end of the keg or the pour, the carbonation was barely there. So, this beer went down fast. As G-Lo has mentioned, it was a good thing the food came out as fast as it did or this could have turned rather quick from a quick lunch to a long session.


  2. What is this? It says “lunch” up there in the title. I was all giddy about settling in for another review of Dublin Square in Cherry Hill. As a co-instigator and participant of the frigid December 2009 CCCC (Center City Craftbeer Crawl) I am reasonably certain that Misconduct Tavern is not Dublin Square. You need to stay on message over there or your BoozeDancing will go the way of ChickenDancing.

    That said, I’m a huge fan of Misconduct Tavern and very disappointed that I haven’t had, and probably won’t have) a Hopslam over there this time around.

    Oh and you shouldn’t type letters in a string that resembles the word mayonaise. Some people out here have appetites to protect.


    • If you want we could write a Dublin Square review for your blog. I had an awesome cheeseburger with extra cheese and mayo there the other day that I am sure you would love.


    • Fish and chips and a Troegs Hop Back at Dub Sq for Ash Wednesday …. I love a religion that demands you eat seafood!!!


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