For Mark and Courtney Haney, there’s nothing better than sharing stories over a good meal, board games and a crisp beer or cider.
The couple, who own Bardic Brewing, want to replicate that environment with their plans for a new taproom at the Sullivan Square Shopping Center in Spokane Valley.
The Haneys signed a lease last week for a more than 1,000-square-foot space at 15412 E. Sprague Ave. and are diligently working to convert it into the Bardic Taproom, which is expected to be open in October.
The family-friendly taproom will offer a “50-50” split of Bardic Brewing’s beer and cider, with a small rotating menu that includes craft soda, charcuterie boards, tacos, pasta and pizza.
Plenty of games like Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons also will be in the taproom, along with scavenger hunts, and trivia and paint nights.
“Breweries are a dime a dozen and cider houses are coming up pretty quick, but there’s all of nobody that does both,” Mark Haney said. “I love the beer and my wife loves the cider, so we decided to shoot for the moon, and said, ‘Let’s be different.’ ”
Mark Haney, who is a software engineer, began brewing beer about 15 years ago as a hobby with an old bucket and a “just add water kit” from Courtney’s grandfather. The first batch of beer didn’t turn out well, he said, but it sparked his interest in the brewing process.
Haney has since refined his brewing skills, and after talking with a friend who owns a brewery, he realized it could be a sustainable business.
“It just seemed like so much fun, so we thought we would look into it and see what the viability of it is, see what the market is like, and it turned out to be an incredible market in this area,” he said.
While Courtney uses her background in baking to create flavorful, well-balanced ciders such as the Health Potion, an apple cider infused with hibiscus flowers and a homemade strawberry syrup, Mark brews beers in the English, Scottish and Irish styles, like the Ravenmaster, an Extra Special Bitter that blends pale and caramelized malts with East Kent Golding hops, or the Relics, a malty Scotch ale with notes of toasted caramel and toffee.
Bardic Brewing currently distributes beers and ciders at One Tree Cider House, Steady Flow Growler House and Bellwether Brewing Co.
The Haneys are looking forward to expanding the brewery and cider house scene in Spokane Valley.
“We are one of very few out in the Valley … ” Mark Haney said. “We have on Sullivan Road – English Setter (Brewing Co.) and Steady Flow (Growler House) – and that’s fantastic. As you start to go west, you get more and more. But in the proper Valley, there’s not much.”
The Haneys plan to pay for most of the Bardic Taproom’s renovations with cash but have also launched a Kickstarter campaign to offset costs with repairing floors, installing taps and purchasing a walk-in cooler. So far, they’ve raised $409 of their $5,000 goal.
“If we get beyond our goal, it will go to the bar, décor and signage,” Courtney Haney said. “We figured this is a good way to involve people in our process as we are building our business.”
In addition to the Kickstarter campaign, the Haneys are expanding their Thursday night bottle and growler fill nights from their Spokane Valley residence to include online ordering, so customers can schedule pickups for beer and cider throughout the week. Sale proceeds also will go toward the taproom renovation.
“It’s been really fun to actually get people in and see them face to face to see what their reactions are to our drinks,” Courtney Haney said. “It’s one thing to know that people are drinking our stuff at One Tree (Cider House), but to actually get to talk to them and get their feedback has been really fun.”
The Haneys aim to make the Bardic Taproom a community gathering spot for people to relax and share stories.
“I think, for me, my big goal is to create a community at the taproom that is encouraging, supportive and fun,” Courtney Haney said.
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