The union of small batch beer and wood-fired pizza just seemed to be a natural fit. Think about it, the artisanal components of each craft go hand-in-hand, pizza — flour, water, salt and yeast; beer — malted barley, water, hops and yeast. Both crafts take a great deal of patience and integrity. Ultimately, it’s about our guests enjoying time honored and very locally produced food and drink… a brewery and pizzeria fit the cause.
I left my day job in finance just over three years ago to pursue this project. It took a great deal of time to get confident enough to pull the trigger. I’ve had two wonderful mentors, Tom and Sandy Hennessey from Colorado Boy Pub and Brewery, in Ridgway, Colorado. They were the push to get this place up and running.
Although our brewery is small (7 Barrel System), it was a significant investment –– well over the cost of the restaurant side of the business. The ability to brew small batches keeps our menu fresh and rotational. We get direct feedback from our customers, letting us know what beers they enjoy. In turn, we can brew crowd favorites in a matter of a few weeks. Our customers definitely play a big role in the direction our beer takes.
I think food pairings are very specific to one’s palate. In general terms, India Pale Ales are well received with spicy foods like our spicy fennel sausage, whereas our more delicate American-style Kolsch beer is delicious with our pesto pizza.
Beer-to-go in growlers is a big thing for us… you can’t get much fresher beer than a fresh-from the- tap poured growler. Most of our customers either grab a pizza with the beer to go, or enjoy a pint at the bar while their growler is being poured.
So far, (marketing efforts have) been mainly social media. It’s amazing the power social media posts can have if (they are) meaningful and relevant…. especially, word-of-mouth from our happy and excited customers. Also, craft beer lovers will take extraordinary steps to track down a local brewery, which in turn is fantastic for our pizza oven!
Short-term plans revolve around brewing many different beers and keeping up with our patrons’ demand at the pub level. Once we have our brewing production schedule dialed in, we’d love to see our beer on tap at specialty beer bars and other local venues focusing on craft beer.
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