There are a wide variety of taproom types that you will encounter as you wander from one craft brewery to the next. Some will have a themed decor, while others may be more like an open warehouse room that just happens to double as a taproom. One thing is certain, though, they will either have an open view of the actual brewery or they won’t. This difference can occur due to a range of reasons, but here we’re going to discuss just a few of the reasons brewmasters might choose open view taprooms.
Although this reason may sound selfish, it is true. Breweries that rely, in part, on tour fees, often do not have open view taprooms. Why? Because clearly this would provide a “tour” on its own and there would be no need to take a tour. Even if the “view” is simply of the tank room or aging room, there is little mystery left for most people when they’ve already been able to look inside.
While this is not always the case (people are individuals and every person has a different desire), it is one of the strongest reasons that a brewery may not offer an open view window in their taproom.
This is another reason for breweries to keep their operations behind the wall. Sometimes patrons simply do not want to see where their beer is coming from and would rather have a “bar room” style atmosphere instead. Enough voiced opinions of this type can drive brewery owners to leave their rooms behind the walls rather than allowing the public to look inside from the taproom itself. In most of these cases, a tour is still available for those who want to learn more about where and how the craft beer is made.
This reasoning exists in many breweries where their tasting area is subject to a variety of events throughout the week. As the open view style does not necessarily complement the events themselves, this option is simply left out of the decor, allowing the brewmasters privacy and the bartenders the chance to focus on the theme needed for each event instead.
While these are all valid reasons to keep the actual brewery behind closed doors, there are also valid reasons for allowing everyone to see the magic, as explained below.
Some brewmasters just love to talk about their craft and the beers they produce. They delight in explaining the process and how each tasty brew was put together and it helps if they have a way to point out different areas to their audience. An open view style suits this need perfectly and the patrons of these taprooms love the style and are not hesitant to say so.
For those who want to decorate based on the brewery operations, having open view taprooms is absolutely necessary. The decor will often lean towards old barrels that are no longer used or even more modern metal casks used as end tables. It is not unusual to see pipeworks along the top of the walls, or even running down them, though these are generally non-functioning.
For some people, it is reassuring to see “how it works” and actually improves their view of the product and the brewmaster. Have you ever wondered what went into your beer? How did you feel finding out that your favorite chicken brand had been called out on their practices? By being able to directly see what is going into the beer and how it is processed, patrons form a trust in their brewmaster much faster. Sometimes an open view taproom is all that is needed to make a brewery great, depending on the opinion of the patrons. As stated earlier, some patrons honestly don’t want to know.
While these are not the only reasons for each viewing style, they are certainly compelling arguments for each side. Personally, we love either type, as we’re there for the beer and are more interested in the flight! That should be pretty clear, considering we love to write about the different brews we have tried.
We hope to see our readers later this year when we finally open the doors at West Palm Beach Brewery & Wine Vault in the absolutely gorgeous south Florida. Until then, we’ll continue to provide you with great industry news, reviews of different craft beers, and information about new craft breweries and old ones that you may not have known about before!