The Design Inspiration Behind Brewerytown’s Hot New Beer Hall

They took it from every-other-beer-hall-in-the-city to something sophisticated and novel.

Hops Brewerytown

Hops Brewerytown opened in April. Photograph by Tim Schultz of Bright House

When up-and-coming restaurant group Highland Hospitality bought the 4,500-square-foot space that had housed flash-in-the-pan tenants Flying Fish Crafthouse and Brewerytown Taproom, they wanted to change up the look — but still nod to the neighborhood’s brew-heavy history. They named it Hops and brought in local designers Erica Harmelin and Courtney DiBlasi of APOP Design to transform it from every-other-beer-hall-in-the-city to something sophisticated and novel. The team commissioned a floor-to-ceiling hand-painted mural as the focal point and let it inform their bright color palette of corals, pinks and teals. “We wanted to build a space that represented the marriage between organic and industrial elements,” Harmelin says. “It rings true to beer-making and to Brewerytown itself.”


To create defined “conversation areas,” plush gray Sven couches from Article, patterned area rugs and pastel-hued
pillows from West Elm, and accents like funky side tables from Trent Austin Design were brought in.


The team retained the existing lighting at the bar but hung Archer pendants from CB2 from the ceiling to create a playful, soft aesthetic. Long gray shades diffuse the natural light from the garage-door windows.


To pay homage to Philly’s murals, the designers had local artist Sean Martorana (he also did floors for the Lokal A-Frame in Jersey) paint an original work (of hops) on the formerly red wall. “It was the defining element to change the space,” says DiBlasi. “People walking by on the street can see it.”

Bar Area

Industrial elements like the metal bar contrast with the inviting cream-colored mid-century modern bar stools by Sandler Seating.

Published as “Beer Here” in the June 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.