The buzz: Brewerkz have grown up and had themselves a baby, and he’s a cutie. Daddy’s branding is still there, but this ain’t Riverside Point and Taphouse is a more suitable name for this small, chill and cozy spot up at Dempsey. There are two more microbreweries (RedDot and Tawandang) within spitting distance, but craft beer fiends are a friendly bunch so expect to see pub crawls not pub brawls.
The décor: They’re going for a “small town watering hole” vibe, with echoes of “Portland, Boulder and Brooklyn” and that’s a pretty fair description. It’s simple, really: a bar, brick walls, some high tables, a booth or two and a great alfresco space (not quite a beer “garden” but close enough) out front. (It helps that they’re set back away from even the “busy” parts of Dempsey.) There’s a row of TVs up on the wall (not yet turned on when we visited) which you figure will be showing the sport in due course.
The drinks: I-S readers voted Brewerkz their favorite microbrewery in the 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards, and while the homebrew selection here is more limited than their other outlets it’s still a million times more fun than drinking Tiger. Three signatures (golden ale, pilsner and IPA); three seasonals (for now it’s kolsch, blackberry honey ale and the mean ol’ Black Pig—a dark, malty 8% IPA). Pricing is that slightly confusing chart in which the time of day and size of your glass intersect (the golden ale goes for $6 in a 375ml glass from noon-3pm; and for $13 for 500ml from 6pm-close), but after a few you’re not really going to be paying attention anyway. They’ve also got some decent (and exclusive) craft brews in bottles, including Baird from Japan and Nogne O all the way from Finland.
The food: Burgers, fries, the works. In fact, there’s a burger called The Werkz ($29). The Mexicano’s also good ($21) and you can DIY from $21. They’re going to offer some new stuff soon, too—including pizzas unavailable at their other outlets.
The music: Does anyone go to Brewerkz for the music? Do you remember what was playing last time you were there? “Background” is probably the word.
The crowd: Fans of the original. Fans of Dempsey. A lucky few who’ve stumbled on it after furniture shopping next door.
Why you’ll be back: Calling it a neighborhood bar when the nearest residence is a 15 minute walk away might be a stretch, but that’s sort of how it feels. Cute, likeable, easy-going. Or maybe that’s just through the beer goggles.
When the weather is good, eating outside can be a truly enjoyable dining experience. These joints with charming open air areas are just the place to dine on breezy evenings.