Tower Taproom Offers 57 Reasons Why Self Pouring is Never Boring
Photos by Stephen Poff
Montgomery taps into the future of brews with Tower Taproom, located at 101 Tallapoosa Street, in the downtown entertainment district. Owned and operated by Montgomery restauranteur Jake Kyser of Central, Dreamland and more, Tower Taproom is Montgomery’s newest and most innovative way to kick back and relax with a specialty beer and a fabulous burger all in the heart of the action.
Built in 1903 as the Steiner Lobman Mercantile Warehouse, Tower Taproom’s historical building features all the charm of its original heyday with exposed brick, heavy sliding barn-style doors, loft-style ceilings and incredible acoustics.
Set to open in early July, Tower Taproom will feature 57 self-serve taps with craft beers, IPAs, domestic favorites and a variety of wines. The first of its kind in the state of Alabama, customers will receive a tap card after opening a tab. Once an activated tap card is inserted into the slot above the designated tap, guests can dispense their brew by the ounce allowing them to pour anything between a one-ounce sample and a full pint. The freedom to choose is yours. Digital touchscreens above each set of taps provide additional information about each beer, wine and cider. Beer and wine choices will rotate throughout the year specializing in local, state and regional beer selections from breweries in Alabama and throughout the Southeast.
According to ABC regulations, customers will have to check in after 32 ounces have been dispensed to ensure they are consuming responsibly. “We are going to be offering check-in stations so our customers won’t have to wait in line to keep the fun going. We want it to be an easy and smooth experience for our customers while closely following regulations and keeping people safe,” Kyser said.
Kyser stated that while the establishment is a restaurant catering to beer lovers, he wants Tower Taproom to be a family-friendly place where customers feel comfortable bringing people of all ages to catch the big game on one of their high-tech televisions while enjoying menu items that will satisfy every taste from the grilled-cheese connoisseur to the strict vegetarian or vegan and everything in between.
As the day turns into night, Kyser said you can expect the atmosphere to turn more into the lively nightlife that The Alley has become known for in the Montgomery area. “I want the vibe to be relaxed, and I want people to be able to come in and get a great meal and good beer without having to break the bank, all while listening to some cool music,” he said. Customers can expect 70s, 80s and 90s classic rock and pop favorites to be playing on the custom high-end sound system designed by Auburn Audio Visual.
Tower Taproom is a verified venue with Untappd, a mobile application that allows its users to see what beers are on the taps at any given time and keep track of the beers they like for later reference. The app is easy to use for seasoned veterans and beginners alike and will keep you in the loop about what’s on the menu with a complete description of the taste profile and alcohol content of each selection before you even set foot in the restaurant.
The food menu is as equally impressive as the extensive drink selection with double-patty burgers with an exceptional grind recipe, specialty salads that are as entertaining as they are delicious and items that will appeal to even the choosiest of diners.
“We wanted simple but different from anything else in Montgomery. We got creative with the names like the Phoebe Buffay, The Royale with Cheese, The Big Mic, and more. We wanted to keep it light and use references from pop culture to appeal to the fun side of our customers, and I think they’ll get a kick out of it,” Kyser said.
The Ric Flair is a vegetarian dish that features broken-up cauliflower florets, deep fried in a house-made tempura, tossed in Frank’s Hot Sauce and finished with bleu cheese crumbles and Duke’s dressing for a vegetarian fried hot-wing alternative. The Al Gore highlights a black bean burger that the former vice president enjoyed on his visit to the Capital City. Created especially for Mr. Gore by Central’s Executive Chef Jason McGarry, the burger was enjoyed so much that the former V.P. requested it multiple times during his visit.
The Ole Hank represents Montgomery’s own Hank Williams with grilled Conecuh sausage, spicy brown mustard, white American cheese and a house-made relish. The MacGyver salad will solve all your hunger problems with ham, turkey, deviled egg, pepper-jack cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, ranch dressing….and a paper clip. Finish it all up with a fried Oreo or hand-spun milk shake.
McGarry handcrafted the menu at Tower Taproom and said of his newest venture, “We want this place, above all, to be fun. We have the upscale place with Central down the street, so we want Tower Taproom to be a little more relaxed and unbuttoned. It’s simple food and a simple concept, but it’s done really well.”
While Tower Taproom will offer a limited liquor bar in addition to the 57 self-serve taps, those looking for a bigger selection with a more late-night ambiance can head downstairs to the Lower Lounge. This extension of Tower Taproom will feature a 60s and 70s vibe with appropriately-themed music, mid-century modern décor and an extensive cocktail menu. Guests can expect comfortable seating areas, moody lighting and a laid-back atmosphere where you can listen to great music and enjoy the company of your friends.
“We hope to make our locations a one-stop shop for customers. So, whether they want upscale dining at Central, a fantastic variety of craft beers and delicious, casual food at Tower Taproom, or a cool, late-night spot to relax with a cocktail at the Lower Lounge, everything is right here just steps away from one another,” Kyser said. “I think this will bring something new that hasn’t been done before to Montgomery, and I’m hoping it adds to what already makes downtown great.”