Protagonist Taproom by Brand Bureau

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As mentioned in my recent review of the Deeds Brewing taproom, the taproom space has changed a lot in the past decade, evolving from ad-hoc spaces for forgiving enthusiasts to full-fledged hospitality landmarks.

Protagonist’s taproom in Charlotte, NC illustrates this evolution not only through a high level of execution but also through bucking taproom conventions. Rather than relying on a traditional aesthetic and a dark, wood-laden environment, Brand Bureau’s work is a mix of minimalist and technical references wrapped in an airy atmosphere.

The core identity evokes alchemical symbols reinterpreted through a modernist lens and sets the tone for a brand that is markedly more cerebral than its peers. This hard-edged visual language is softened by an interior that maintains strict grids yet pulls in honey-hued wood, stone, and touches of leather. The palette also eschews category conventions and feels more like a coastal resort than a dank cellar.

The overall effect is a refreshing invitation to a more inclusive and expressive brewery experience.

Protagonist Taproom by Brand Bureau

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