St Elmo Taproom Notes
Take a quick drive up Congress Ave from downtown and you’ll find a rapidly transforming St Elmo Rd area. Of particular note is The Yard, a boho industrial plaza populated by a mosaic of hip businesses, with easy access to I-35 and Hwy 290. The development boasts tenants like the coffee purveyors at Spokesman, the paddleboard craftsmen at SUP ATX, and arguably most impressively (for our purposes, at least) St Elmo Brewing Co. Located in the northwest corner of The Yard, St Elmo is an ideal spot for remote workers, with an accommodating taproom, a spacious outdoor seating area with a food truck, and of course killer beer.
I opted to close my week out at St Elmo, arriving at 4:00PM on a Friday for some last-minute admin work before a couple weeks of PTO. The taproom fills up quickly and stays lively, so depending on your workload you may be best served arriving earlier in the day.
The beerhall is really solid for working…plentiful bench seating on rows of tables, counter-height tables with stools if you prefer an elevated/standing work surface, and the aforementioned back yard full of picnic tables. Outlets are scarce, but if you claim a spot next to a wall you can get some juice. I consider food a value-add to my work space, not a necessity, but you can’t do much better than the mouthwatering Thai soul food at Soursop, whose trailer/food truck is conveniently located in the backyard.
Noise level varies greatly, depending on the day and time you’re here. Generally speaking, the music is loud enough to be heard but not obnoxious, and is usually of the more chill variety (90’s Pop ftw). Conversation volume never gets out of hand, but consider checking their online calendar to make sure you don’t accidentally show up expecting to concentrate during a broadcast soccer match.
And hey, the Wi-Fi is solid! 35Mbps down, 12Mbps up, with 2ms ping. Expect to access your connected work apps and files without limitations.
Look for SSID StElmoPublic Guest … password is carlisking …accurate, and easy to remember.
Beers cover the full range of tastes – possibly the best lagers in town (Carl Kolsch, Vaughn pilsner are standouts), excellent IPAs (including more experimental styles like coffee and Brut IPAs) and other well-executed options like kettle sours and saisons. I’ll reinforce the point: they’re all awesome, but you’d expect nothing less from founders with roots at Austin Beerworks.
What better way to celebrate the first Reply Ale taproom review than with Bublé, a champagne-inspired Brut IPA. Like all St Elmo brews, this one is crisp, with perfect carbonation, and excellent flavor. Bublé stands out from the IPA crowd with an initially hop forward profile that gives way to a tart, dry finish with a smooth mouthfeel.
I’ve been imposing on St Elmo’s hospitality a few times a month since they opened in 2016. I know I can grab a beer for whatever my palette is craving, find plenty of room to bust out the laptop, and open as many browser tabs as I need to without hassle. With some Soursop sambal wings on the side. Mission Accomplished.