Tucked away on an oldtowne style street of Chippewa Falls, Wis., is an unexpected beer escape.
At first glance, the Tomahawk Room, located at 306 N Bridge St, looks like a dive bar. Like many of its small-town Wisconsin counterparts, this pub's décor includes dim lighting, dark wood interior, foosball and pool tables. And don't forget about the locals who belly up to the L-shaped bar to smooze with the bartender and sip their preferred poisons.
What is special about this place? It isn't the comfortable surroundings, or the beer merch decking walls, or the mid-20s to 40s patrons with respectful demeanor and good music taste. What is special, of course, is the beer selection.
There are seven tap handles from craft breweries, with no space given to adjunct macro beers. Most of the craft beers found on tap here are brewed from within 250 miles of the bar.
According to the bartender, an approachable man in his mid-30s who has tended the Tomahawk for over 16 years, the taps change frequently. The chalkboard above the bar garners anticipation by alerting patrons of future tap rotations.
Pints of their house beer (Rush River's Unforgiven) and a “mystery beer” are sold for $3. Regular tap pints run well under $5. This insanely-low price is cut in half during their weekday happy hour. Those adventurous enough to order the mystery beer are rewarded with a Tomahawk Room can coozie.
The Tomahawk Room's location is open to foot traffic in historic downtown Chippewa Falls. There are several local eateries and specialty shops within a few block radius, making this location very accessible to visitors and locals alike.
“Fatty Boombalatty” is a big Belgium-style white ale with a large grain and wheat bill, some enticing bitterness and a hint of hops. Thought it's 7.2 percent ABV, this beer seems light and drinkable. Dangerous indeed.
Other great taps accompanying “Fatty Boombalatty” and “Oberon,” including O'so's “Night Train” (American porter, 6.7 percent ABV) and “Lupulin Maximus,” an imperial IPA at 9 percent ABV.
“Lupulin Maximus” is a big beer with a lot to say, and you better listen slowly or you'll be stumbling out the door. It's big, it's bready, and it's maxed out on hops. This was served on tap, but this beer comes with whole cone hops in bottles.
Other Wisconsin breweries featured on tap include Rush River, New Glarus, Lucette, Milwaukee Brewing Company, Ale Asylum, Three Sheeps, and more.
Though The Tomahawk Room prides its support of local brews, it doesn't ignore the brewing prowess from other states; this bar does its part to represent distant breweries such as Bells, Goose Island and Oskar Blues.
The bar's bottle selection is impressive as well. Jolly Pumpkin, New Glarus, and Clown Shoes to name a few. Patrons can also fill to-go growlers from the taps at this establishment.