Bar profile: Elevator Brewing takes it to the next level with 13th Floor Tap Room

  • Photos by Meghan Ralston
By Abernathy Miller
From the November 21, 2013 edition

Elevator Brewing Company’s newly opened 13th Floor Tap Room isn’t pretty. It’s rough around the edges and lacks the refinement that characterizes the storied brew pub restaurant. And they like it that way.

The sprawling Downtown industrial space where Elevator’s award-winning beers are brewed is now home to a makeshift beer bar, allowing customers to experience craft beer literally from start to finish.

“A lot of people think that all the beer we brew is made in the restaurant. With the Tap Room, they can enjoy it where it’s actually made,” said Elevator Brewing Company Sales and Marketing Manager Jay said in an interview last Friday. “[The space] is rough around the edges, and we like it that way.”

The pride the staff has in their product, as well as the pride they feel for the Elevator legacy, is apparent in the choice of decor, as well as the framed awards. The walls are covered with repurposed barrels, and the barstools are reupholstered kegs complete with the iconic Elevator logo. It’s drafty, as the space is a warehouse with cement floors and sparse furniture. A chalkboard to the side of the bar lists the beer choices, and a wall of kegs creates a barrier between work and play. The bar itself is made from a make-shift conference table the staff once set on kegs to hold meetings. It’s like peeking behind the curtain at Oz, but instead of disappointment, there’s a sense of refreshing honesty.

Beer geeks can check out the brewery while enjoying one of the Beer Tasting Institute award-winning brews, including their seasonal Winter Warmer Spiced Ale (gold medal winner), the Mogabi Hoppy Wheat (gold medal winner) or the Three Frogs IPA (gold medal winner).

Even for non-beer aficionados, the 13th Floor Tap Room is completely accessible. Whereas the restaurant has a hint of speakeasy refinement, the Tap Room and its bare-bones vibe keep the focus on the beer and the company. As owner Dick Stevens said, “It’s just a cool place to sit and enjoy a beer.”