With more than 9,000 breweries in the United States right now the chance to drink local has never been better. The brewery taproom experience has become an important part of the industry and creates a customer experience that reveals an extension of a brewery’s brand.

All About Beer Podcast hosts Don Tse and Em Sauter are huge fans of brewery taproom because they are special places where you can get a sense of the ethos of the brewery. It’s also a place where the beer is most fresh and hopefully treated well. At a brewery taproom you might even meet the brewer or otherwise learn a few things about the beer you’re drinking. 

“I love A GOOD taproom and I think there’s a difference between a GOOD one and one that feels cookie cutter,” says Sauter.

To dive into the taproom experience this episode talks with Chris Lohring of Notch Brewing and Kinsey Bernhard of Austin BeerWorks, two industry pros who are well versed in taproom aesthetics and hospitality.

Notch, for example, has worked to bring back the human connection at its taprooms.

Notch Brewing. Photo by John Holl

Life at Notch

Lorhing says that when the brewery’s Salem, Massachusetts location opened it was quickly noticed that customers “didn’t have their heads in phones because they’re sitting across the table from each other. And it’s kind of rude to pull out your phone if it’s just your significant other, or your friends across the table from you.”

The aesthetic of the taproom, which is without televisions “leads to more communal environments. In our in our taproom room, beer hall, and beer gardens, you definitely see more of that. It’s all shared tables, you don’t own the table, you share it. And it’s very informal, and relaxed in a way that I think people really enjoy.”

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