After years of planning (and months of waiting on permits), Marz Community Brewing will finally open its taproom in Bridgeport on Saturday, February 24. Located at 3630 South Iron Street, the taproom is situated above the Marz brewery and features 24 taps, a shop selling packaged goods, walls covered in art as well as a menu of sandwiches and snacks.
The taproom's decor echoes the vibrant, modern aesthetic of the labels that grace Marz cans and bottles, including a mural by Los Angeles artist Adi Goodrich and art by Luke Pelletier (the guy responsible for the graphics on Jungle Boogie and Splash IPA cans). Marz Brewing cofounder Ed Marszewski told us that he hopes to display new art installations in the space every three months, along with limited-edition prints available for purchase. The room also features a custom sound system—designed in collaboration with Wayward Design and Uncanned Music—that will blast a playlist curated by Lumpen Radio director Logan Bay.
Sitting at the taproom's oval bar or one of the many tables that overlook the tanks where Marz beers are brewed, visitors will enjoy a large selection of stouts, IPAs and pilsners, as well as kombucha, seltzer, coffee and tea. Marszewski says that he plans to use the facility's small brewing system to create exclusive releases that guests won't be able to find anywhere else in the city. Of course, anyone interested in taking some Marz beer (or T-shirts, or socks, or posters) home will be able to make purchases at a small store within the taproom, where a wall display shows off the brewery's distinctive cans, bottles and glassware.
The taproom's menu comes from mind chef Tony Balestreri, who spent time as a sous chef and the head of the meat-smoking program at Polish-Korean fusion restaurant Kimski. The assortment of snacks, salads and sandwiches puts an interesting twist on familiar pub fare, including a Tavern Style salad (made with shaved fennel and parmesan flakes) that channels the flavor profile of a cracker-crust pizza. Other highlights of the menu are a Pizza-Dilla (a quesadilla with Italian sausage, mozzarella and tomato sauce), a fried bologna sandwich, Citra-Hopped Pasta and a fruit cup that's topped with matcha whipped cream and a fried mint leaf.
The Marz Taproom officially opens for business at noon on Saturday, allowing guests to check out the new digs and to score the brewery's first taproom-exclusive release, the Coffee Lumpen IPA (available beginning at 3pm). Launching alongside the latest issue of Lumpen magazine, the bitter, roast-y ale uses Modern Times coffee and features labels designed by three local comic artists.
"The opening of our taproom is our greatest leap forward in working with our neighbors to build the community of the future here in our little enclave on the South Side," Marszewski told us. The taproom will host a range of programming similar to Marszewski's Co-Prosperity Sphere space, including lectures, talks, films screenings and a regular game of Dungeons & Dragons.
Take a look at photos of the Marz taproom as well as some selections from the beer and food menus below.