Nightlife Notes: Town Hall named one of 'Best brewpubs in America'

MICHAEL RIETMULDER | Updated 10/8/2013

Plus: Ray J's opens in Northeast.

Town Hall Tap is a big hit in south Minneapolis.
Photo by Tom Wallace

Town Hall named one of 'Best brewpubs in America'
Minneapolis’ already esteemed Town Hall Brewery earned some national love last week. The Masala Mama purveyors finished sixth on a list of “the best brewpubs in America” compiled by Complex Magazine. Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing Co. and NoCal’s Russian River Brewing placed first and second, respectively, on the list. (1430 Washington Av., S., Mpls., 612-339-8696,

Last rodeo for Country Bar in Uptown
According to a post on its Facebook page, the Country Bar and Grill in Uptown is up for sale. The asking price on the Lyn-Lake dive bar owned by Michael and Katheryn Wagner is $329,000, per an ad on Coldwell Banker Commercial’s website. The Facebook post states that after 20 years “we are looking to move on to the next phase of the next phase of life.”

Ray J’s opens in Northeast
Woodbury wing joint Ray J’s American Grill just opened in northeast Minneapolis. The new sports bar moved into the old Arone’s Bar and Grill at Hennepin and Central avenues and significantly remodeled the northeast dive. Ray J’s offers 32 taps, beer flights and pulltabs, along with wood-fired pizzas and casual American fare. (500 Central Av. NE., Mpls., 612-836-7505,

Northstar Bartenders Guild begin Iron Bartender contest
The Northstar Bartenders Guild kicked off its annual Iron Bartender competition last weekend. (Full disclosure: I am a judge.) The four-week tourney, which runs every Sunday this month at Icehouse, has 16 teams from local bars and restaurants vying for cocktailing supremacy. Teams go head-to-head, making two drinks each, including one using a secret ingredient revealed at the beginning of each contest. (8 p.m., Sundays through Oct. 27, Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-276-6523,