“The idea is that this will be our second home, and our last home,” said Heather Brandt, who owns the brewery along with her husband, Greg, and another couple, Paul Edminster and Sheila Evans.
Like their original, out-of-the-way location on East Mallon Avenue (which has been sold), the former Jones Automotive Engines at 1302 W. Second is a brick building that dates back about 100 years. But it’s more than twice as large – 10,000 square feet, compared with 4,000 – allowing for an expanded brewing operation and a bigger, more accessible taproom with food service.
Despite the increased size, Edminster said, “We’re really going to try to keep that intimate feel.” Some of the walls are painted in the rust color familiar from the old taproom, and as always, there won’t be any TVs.
“We want people to talk to each other,” Greg Brandt said. “At the old place, a lot of friendships were born because people talked to each other.”
They’ll be able to talk over more beverages than before, with 26 taps (compared with the previous 10) including a cask handle, and the addition of cider and wine.
The kitchen, expected to open in another week or two, will offer a menu centering around sandwiches, salads and pizza. You’ll order at the bar and pick up your food at a window.
Beth McRae, former general manager of the Flying Goat and more recently a sales representative with Iron Goat’s distributor, Click, will oversee the kitchen operation as well as sales. Taproom hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
There are couches in the corners and long, common tables in the middle atop a restored terrazzo floor. Edminster and Greg Brandt built the tables and the bar, both topped with reclaimed wood; the base of the bar is covered in black metal that they coated with linseed oil and beer and torched, creating random patterns.
There’s space for a music stage inside, and a courtyard on the west side of the building has room for 140 people – perfect for special events like the grand opening party planned for April 29 and 30.
The brewery operation in the back is visible through glass above and on either side of the bar, with tanks lined up along the large windows on Adams Street. Barrels of aging beer occupy the opposite brick wall, with a quarantined space on the other side for wild and sour specialties (to avoid contaminating the regular fare).
Along with room for more fermenters and eventually a new brewhouse, the brewery space includes such amenities as an office, lab and showers.
The increased production capacity will allow for more consistent distribution of both bottled and draft beers in the local market and eventual expansion into Western Washington.
Iron Goat’s arrival, around the corner from River City on Cedar Street, is another step toward a downtown brewery district. Orlison opened a taproom last August a few blocks away on First Avenue, while the upcoming brewery incubator – which will house Young Buck and Little Spokane – sits in between on Madison. There’s also the Steam Plant just to the east on Lincoln, and Black Label farther away at Main and Division.
Downtown brewers have begun meeting to plan joint efforts, including a collaboration cream ale (with variations at each brewery) for Spokane Craft Beer Week, May 16-22.
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Send beer news, comments and questions to senior correspondent Rick Bonino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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