Courtesy Black Forest Brewing Company
The German-themed brewery's owners hope to open in late March.
Slowly but surely, Black Forest Brewing Company
is approaching its opening date. The brewery’s sign went up on Feb. 23, and the owners are hoping to open the weekend of March 24. It’s a small brewery — they can only brew a barrel and a half, or 46.5 gallons of beer, at a time, so they’ve been stocking up on ready-to-tap kegs for some time. It’s been a slow process with more infrastructural challenges than they would have faced had they built elsewhere in the region.
“Out in Black Forest, there’s no sewer system, so we’ve had to go through the County and the State for our wastewater testing,” says brewer Donovan Routsis, who also co-owns the brewery with wife/manager Tara. It’s Routsis’s first gig as a professional brewer — he retired from the Air Force in September of 2017 — but he’s been homebrewing since 1993, and he and Tara have been training with Paul and Teresa Vieira and Mike Hagan of Peaks N Pines
While the brewery has a German aesthetic, that doesn’t carry over to the beer. Mostly, they’ll be brewing ales, though Routsis does plan to try his hand at a lager down the line.
“My wife, she’s a dark porter/stout person. I’m kind of a hop-head, so we’ll have [hoppy beers],” he says. “The challenge you have, especially with lagers, is the time to produce the product.”
For now, Routsis will use the brewery’s brew pub license to stock craft lagers from locals and German breweries alike. They’ll also support other local boozemongers, offering meads and wines from Black Forest Meadery. While they won’t be a full-on bar, they’ll be offering a few craft cocktails with spirits from Cockpit Craft Distillery. For food, Routsis is eyeing paninis and wraps prepped off-site and heated on-site; he's planning a partnership with Schnitzel Fritz
, to bring in another element of German flair.