In May 2012, we reported on a prospective first brewery for Manitou Springs, set to go into the Promenade Building at 725 Manitou Ave. At that time, Promenade owner Kevin LeGrande — whose wife operates LeGrande Accents Boutique inside the six-unit building — said he was aiming to parter with an existing local brewery for a tap house, sans eats. The homebrewer and engineer-by-day aimed to be opened by year's end, which obviously didn't happen.
Now, with co-managing partners Robert Ugianskis and Paul Korney on board, plus brewer Curtis Bain lifted from Portland, Ore.'s Cascade Brewing, LeGrande and company are predicting doors opening by this year's end for Manitou Brewing Co.
Ugianskis says all licenses are in hand, and construction began earlier this week to build out around 2,300 square feet, encompassing all the building's back four units. That space will account for a five-barrel brew house with cold storage and fermentation vessels on site; a dining/drinking space with 50 seats, plus additional patio seating; and all the new HVAC, plumbing, bathrooms and kitchen equipment needed to convert the former retail spaces into a viable brewpub.
As for food, it likely won't come until the first quarter of 2014, and no menu has been designed yet. Ugianskis says interviews remain underway with culinarians, adding that whatever takes shape will have to complement the craft beer experience.
Farmington, Utah-born Bain brings nine years of experience from Cascade, which is regarded as "a pioneer of the sour movement." It also did a lot of barrel aging before it became so trendy. That Great American Beer Festival-award-winning brewery remains relatively small, says Bain, having only brewed around 2,000 barrels last year with most sales online in 750 ml bottles.
"I want to be more than just a sour destination, though," he says. "What I'd like to do more than anything is remain flexible ... it's about balance. If you only brew what you want, you won't be successful, but if you only brew what the crowds tell you, you'll lose your identity."
Expect everything from seasonal IPAs to lagers like a rum-barrel-aged Doppelbock, or tequila-barrel-aged Helles. Plus brews like a sour bock, sour weissbier and sour saison.
A Luck-y downtown
Chef Brother Luck just announced his departure from Craftwood Inn to launch Brother Luck Street Eats (create719.com) inside of the Triple Nickel Tavern (26 S. Wahsatch Ave).
"The menu will be comprised of creative spins on classic pub fare and street foods from around the world," he says, noting lunch and dinner hours as well as the continuation of monthly, themed pop-up dinners and special events such as guest chef cook-offs and cooking classes.
Look for a grand opening in mid October.