Where to Democracy Brewing, a worker-owned brewpub in Downtown Crossing that opened on the Fourth of July.
What for Foam and foment. Democracy Brewing believes equally in good beer and good working conditions. After a year of full-time employment, staffers become eligible for an ownership share and a vote on decisions affecting the business. Cofounder and CEO James Razsa has a background in economic justice and organizing.
The scene The room looks like a cross between a church, a train station, and a barroom, filled with woodwork, stained glass, arched ceilings, and nooks for nestling in. (It used to be Windsor Button.) A line of communal tables parades down the center. Over the bar, two barrels protrude from the wall, and on the brick is a painted logo of a handshake framed by hops. A mural of a woman with sword and beer in hand features the motto of the Commonwealth: “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem” (often translated as “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty”). The after-work crew has gathered for beers. One table is occupied by a gang of miscreants in softball jerseys. There’s a secret room in the corner full of guys in scrubs. Brewing takes place in the basement; you can get a view of the setup through the windows.
What you’re eating Chef Ben Waxler (The Haven) serves up beer cheese nachos and pretzels, pizza bagels, burgers, and hand pies. There are also entrees such as chorizo-stuffed chicken and Portuguese fish stew. For dessert, perhaps a stout float or a deep-fried Fluffernutter?
Care for a drink? You’re here for the beer, which might include the Suffragette Pale Ale, Fighting 54th Saison, Consummate Rioter IPA, and 1919 Strike Stout. Cofounder and brewing director Jason Taggart was previously a head brewer at John Harvard’s Brewery and Ale House.
Overheard Talk of scheduling, craft projects, and beer. “The Portuguese stew is so good,” a bartender tells a customer. “I’m Portuguese. I can’t even tell my grandma how good it is.” “I think that’s where the yarn used to be,” one woman says to another as they take a tour of the room. “I’ll never finish that sweater, will I?” “Ontario is a province,” someone informs a dining companion at the bar. A man sips and reflects: “The pale ale is competently made,” he declares.
35 Temple Place, Downtown Crossing, Boston, 857-217-BREW, www.democracybrewing.com.
Devra First can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.