That’s just one of the signs you’ll see in Empire Brewing Co. – an Armory Square gem I visited on a recent Sunday. On my first visit to the brewery/restaurant, I literally thought, “This place is so cool.” Perhaps not my most prophetic moment, but let me explain.
The wrought-iron gate at the top of the stairs decorated with oversized hops gave the first indication that this place is all about the beer. To my right as I entered, I caught a glimpse through some windows of the fermenting vats they use in the brewing process – our table was just feet away from the mysterious world in which malt, hops, yeast, and water magically combine to form alcoholic deliciousness. Cue the choir – I had entered some sort of beer heaven.
The brick walls in the dining area were simply decorated with portraits of pints (seriously, huge pictures of beer), each with a different background (like the ones you choose from in your third grade school portrait). The walls near the bar, on the other hand, were covered in gold, silver, and bronze medals – each awarded to one of Empire’s unique brews over the years at the Great American Beer Festival. (more…)