Top gear: Steam Theory’s 8,000-square-foot space is built for parties, with a little something for everyone. Bret Redman

Bar Review

Steam Theory Brewing Company Is Not a Brewpub

It's way too big for that. A trip inside the new concrete-floored beer haven in Trinity Groves.

We needed to decide on a flight, and though our redheaded waitress was nice, she wasn’t particularly helpful when it came to narrowing down our options.

“I like a lot of the dark beers—but also a lot of the light beers,” she said, rattling off spitfire descriptions of each brew as she ran her finger down the menu. “Oh—and the IPAs.”

My friend and I were at Steam Theory Brewing Company, seated near the bar. Around us, middle-aged men watched football and sipped beer. The space was bright and industrial, with Victorian-inspired accents like damask wallpaper and a stamped-tin ceiling. The large brewing tanks in a nearby windowed room were enough to convince us to sample some of Steam Theory’s house drafts (there were around 15 on the menu).

Our waitress seemed pleased by our eventual choices, which included Singularity, a blonde ale, and La Resistance, a lemony French saison. She returned with the little sample glasses, and we vowed to evaluate the beers methodically. Instead, we were distracted by a guy in a Steam Theory bowling shirt. He asked if we were enjoying ourselves, and after a little small talk, we learned that the “b” word—“brewpub”—has no place at Steam Theory. A brewpub sounds small and confining, he explained. “We’re too big to be a brewpub.”

I couldn’t argue with that. The 8,000-square-foot space feels built for parties, and with a food menu, wine program, cocktail selection, and, of course, plenty of beer, Steam Theory has set out on a mission of inclusivity.

The place opened in August, so it’s hard to say yet whether this something-for-everyone approach will work. For now, though, Steam Theory is a fun, laid-back spot to sip a tasty brew. Or, in my case, a generously poured, meticulously chosen flight.

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