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Monday May 22, 2017
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Instant Success



Brewery on Washington is an instant success, attracting masses but not taking reservations for groups of fewer than thirteen. You should plan on spending some time at the bar if you go for dinner on a weekend.

We were told to anticipate a thirty-to-forty-minute sojourn there; when our seats turned up after just fifteen minutes, we didn't know whether to credit good luck, good psychology on the hostess's part, or good karma left over from the prior tenant, Jewel Heart. Whatever the explanation, we felt fortunate and disposed to like the place.

The general ease of experience is reinforced by a comforting decor whose chief feature is rough, dark paneling recycled from old barns. The lighting is workmanlike, the ductwork exposed, and the on-site brewery on display in three giant stainless steel tanks behind the bar. Well-placed flat screens accommodate game days, but don't expect to hear the score-the noise level approximates that of a raucous family dinner with a blues band in the basement.

The bar itself has a built-in frosty cooling strip to maintain proper temperature on your brew. It's a useful novelty, so long as you don't let your mug sit too long. I was on the phone when the bartender set down my IPA, and by the time I was ready to take a sip, the filled-to-the-rim glass was stuck to the ice. I created a pond of spilled ale trying to pry it loose.

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