Worth the wait

The new Moon Tower Inn is even better: Its craft beer power now competes with the city's best

The new Moon Tower Inn is even better: Its craft beer power now competes with the city's best

Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
Scores of Moon Tower fans braved the chilly January weather for the beloved bar's first night of food service on Wednesday. Photo by Julie Knutson
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
It's true . . . beer goggles are now banned at the new Moon Tower. Photo by Julie Knutson
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
The revamped bar now features more than 60 craft beers on tap. Photo by Julie Knutson
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
The hot dogs are worth the wait. Photo by Julie Knutson
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
The new shipping container building is clad with reclaimed wood on the exterior and throughout the bar area.  Photo by Julie Knutson
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
Moon Tower owners will offer their own beer by the spring thanks to a new brewing setup. Photo by Julie Knutson
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
Be sure to take a peek in the window along Canal Street to see the new brewing room. Photo by Julie Knutson
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013
Moon Tower Inn reopens, January 2013

CultureMap cruised by Moon Tower Inn for an after-work hot dog this week, braving the chilly January air alongside scores of devotees enjoying the return of everybody's favorite East End bar.

After more than a year of renovations, Moon Tower reemerged this week with more than 60 beers on tap and a sparkling new brewing facility which owners Brandon Young and Evan Shannon hope to have up and running by early spring.

After more than a year of renovations, Moon Tower reemerged this wee k with more than 60 beers on tap and a sparkling new brewing facility.

Overall, the layout remains the same, with the covered patio area and expansive beer garden largely untouched aside from some cosmetics. The kitchen and bar, however, are now inside a dark blue shipping container that's been lovingly clad inside and out with reclaimed wood. From an architecture and design standpoint, the revamped look rules.

Moon Tower's notoriously long line was alive and well on Wednesday, which marked the bar's inaugural day of reopened food service. That said, new high-tech cash registers and a Niko Niko-style pager system will alleviate the wait once staffers work out the kinks.

But enough about renovations . . . The kitchen cranked out one very serious apple and sage veggie dog, which — if humanly possible — was even better than it was before the bar closed in 2011. The trademark Moon Tower pretzel roll seemed slightly larger and softer as well, making for a perfect pairing of bread and encased (faux) meat.

And then there are the 66 craft beers, the thoughtful selection of which encroaches on territory long-held by Hay Merchant and the Petrol Station. In true Moon Tower fashion, the brews are listed by number on a poorly-photocopied sheet of paper. Be sure to peek in the window along Canal Street to see the future brewing room.