Décor Changes at Metazoa Taproom – But The Dogs Definitely Stay

Décor Changes at Metazoa Taproom – But The Dogs Definitely Stay

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

There was a slight rift in the Indianapolis beer universe a couple of weeks ago, as Metaoza Brewing’s taproom was closed for five days. It was all hands on deck to redesign and redecorate the taproom and parts of the brewhouse, with staff, brewers, and corporate hands all pitching in.

Seeing Metazoa’s Sammi Ayres wield a sledgehammer and a sawzall is proof that she wasn’t just assigned some of the design elements for the new taproom, and there are videos showing that she did bring down one of the walls of the old cold room. Much of what was worked on was decorative, but there were also substantial improvements to things that the patrons don’t see.

New art on the walls, same old dogs on the floor. image credit: Walter

A completely new draft system was installed – courtesy of the hard work put in by Proper Pour. There are the same number of beers on tap, but the tap handles on the east side of the bar are gone. And the new cold room is better suited to this brewery/taproom, leaving much of the cold room storage to be done at the new production facility in Stringtown.

The more visible work involved new paint all around (except for the orange beams, much to Sammi’s consternation), including refurbishing the bathrooms. More neutral colors were involved, and the art on the walls is now more Metazoa logo-centric. There’s a huge Kitten Slumber Party mural at one end, and the Metazoa logo is at least six ft. tall down the north center wall. There could be more art on the west wall, but Saturday it was covered for Easter Bunny/pet portraits.

The tables are one of the big changes. When Metazoa opened, Dave and the crew upcycled much of the décor and furniture for the taproom, including using pallets and other reclaimed wood for the chairs and old bowling alley lane wood for the table tops. They were unique and sparked discussion when new, but over time they were mostly thought of as extremely heavy, with sharp edges. Some of the chairs – they were basically rickety.

The new tables and chairs are light, comfortable, and better sized. The taproom actually looks like it has more room now; even though the seating capacity is the same or greater, it really feels like there’s more room. And that’s important.

It’s important because the one constant of the Metazoa taproom hasn’t changed one bit. The dogs still own the place. Walter is known to describe Metazoa as the brewery where the dogs outnumber the people, and this is still very much the case. We visited early on the Saturday that was the first day the taproom re-opened, and we played with two Burmese Mountain Dogs, a Great Dane, Fred the basset hound (ALL basset hounds should be named Fred, so I just assume this one was named such), and various poodles, beagles, dauschunds, and tons of mutts. We don’t technically own a dog (we have cats), but we feel like grandparents when we go to Metazoa. It’s like how being grandparents is the best thing ever, you play with the dogs and then send them away with someone else to deal with all the crap of everyday life.

If you like great beer (Metazoa is a medal winning machine), if you like a downtown location with a view and very comfortable taproom, if you like good food from an excellent BBQ joint (Old Gold Barbeque), and if you like to observe or play with dogs, then Metazoa is the place for you. And no, they didn’t mess with the dog park, it’s still as great as ever.

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