Port Orleans Brewing Company’s (4124 Tchoupitoulas St) spacious taproom is dominated by wood, brick, red leather banquettes, and a copper bar top. The stunner is the windows overlooking the the brewery itself.
Prominently showcasing the brewery itself, essentially the heart of the operation, was an important part of the aesthetic for the Port Orleans design. Large windows behind the bar on the wall separate the tasting room from the brewery, and a glass garage door was added to the front so that the brewery is visible even from the enormous covered patio outside, in the front of the building facing Tchoupitoulas.
Guests get to see the brewery, which houses the 30-barrel brewhouse system to brew the beer, the fermentation and lager tanks to hold the beer, and the numerous hoses and pumps everywhere because, you know, that’s most of what brewing is, romantic ideals aside.
“We wanted our tasting room to be reminiscent of old world New Orleans hangouts, drawing inspiration from our namesake, the port,” said Richard Thomas, one of the owners of Port Orleans.
To that end, the large U-shaped bar is topped with copper, the rich color of the dark red banquettes reflects the sand blasted brick walls, and the dark wood that clads the lower walls and the bar comes from reclaimed barge wood from the Port of New Orleans, bringing the inspiration inside the space.
The tables, chairs, hightops, and stools are also dark wood. The long tables and benches on the outside patio evoke a communal vibe. The taps are connected to a large piece of iron pipe found during construction.
Tucked into the corner of the tasting room is the kitchen of Stokehold, the beer and food pairing concept created by Jeremy Wolgamott (formerly of High Hat), Phillip Mariano (Josephine Estelle), and vegetable wizard Tim Bordes (Chappapeela Farms).
The beers available for the soft opening will include the flagship beers Riverfront Lager and Slackwater Brown Ale, and there will be other taproom-only beers like a pilsner and a zwickelbier.
The soft opening date is Tuesday May 9 and the grand opening celebration is on Saturday, May 13. For the first month of operation, hours will be 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (closed Tuesdays).
Port Orleans Brewing Company, 4124 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans (504) 266-2332, portorleansbrewingco.com.