Lorri and I were back in our old stomping grounds at Boston’s Downtown Crossing, checking out Democracy Brewing, a new brewery/beer hall on Temple Street (a block from our previous office).
Democracy took over the venerable Windsor Button store and invested a hefty amount of time and money into a complete overhaul. The space is gorgeous, with a long bar (very glad to see the trend towards larger bars, given our huge preference for sitting at the bar), a 30-60 person private function room and a very cool enclosed 8 person nook with a “takeout window” style opening straight to the back bar. The dining space also opens up straight to the brewery stills (?? ok, I’m a beer n00b – do the beer folks call it a still like the whiskey distilleries do?).
We opted for one of the flights from the super friendly and helpful server. Now, we’ve had our share of quality beers (we’re familiar with Treehouse, Trillium, Bissell Brothers, Mikkeller and the like, The Veil being my personal favorite) but are hardly beer experts like Lorri’s son (who’s pursuing a brewing science degree), so take our opinions in that light.
The Saison was our favorite of the bunch, dry, bracing and lightly floral. The Kolsch was unremarkable to me, and the Pale Ale was decent but a me-too in a time when there are a plethora of superb New England hazy IPAs. I dug the Stout, which was creamy, rich and nutty without being overpoweringly thick or bitter.
The food was odd but ended up being a winner. Who does pizza bagels when you could just do flatbread? We weren’t particularly hungry so the pizza bagels didn’t do much for us at the time, but later that night they made a surprisingly tasty snack, especially the pineapple bagels with gruyere cheese.
Democracy may have an uphill battle breaking through the crowded micro-brew market on their beer alone (especially with Trillium’s new space providing nearby competition) but their lovely, well planned space and their killer location should keep them around for a long time.