JAKs Brewing Company (7654 McLaughlin Road, Peyton, jaksbrewing.com) and The Occasional Brew (theoccasionalbrew.com) both opened around the turn of 2014 to 2015, initially having no relationship other than that timing as newbie operations. But recently, TOB's Chris Crump became director of brewing operations for JAKs, also buying into the biz as a fifth partner.
Crump will continue to separately operate TOB, which allows clients to design their own beers for special events (see Side Dish, Jan. 14, 2015). He says TOB's at capacity, not for brew space, but for the time outside of his day job as an engineer that he can dedicate to brewing; he's likely to hire an assistant brewer soon.
How the relationship with JAKs came about began with him approaching them with a request to put one of his beers on tap so he could qualify to enter it into the World Beer Cup.
After impressing the partners with a tasting and his "meticulous" nature, he says they proposed bringing him aboard to "put a quality management plan in place."
With a future goal of "going regional while staying in the neighborhood brewery mindset" with a second JAKs location, Crump says "I want to make sure we're going to stand out and be premier."
Particularly, he wants to bring more experimental and high-ABV brews — like an excellent bourbon-barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout I recently sampled — to the JAKs' otherwise more sessionable lineup. He also plans to introduce some lagering down the line, as well as releasing more sour beers.
A double-IPA should hit taps within the next week or so. It shows off a TOB recipe that started as a tributary clone of Russian River's lauded Pliny the Elder, but became an ongoing project for Crump over a four-year-period. With tiny tweaks to the specialty malt bill and minor moves in the hop scheduling, he says he's able to achieve aspects such as better aroma and "that big West Coast backbone."
All of which sounds in line with JAKs' Air Force-inspired motto:
King of the road
As part of Pikes Peak Region Small Business Week, the Small Business Development Center and Better Business Bureau will host a Food Truck Cook-Off, Monday, May 2, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Norris Penrose Event Center (1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, pikespeaksbdc.org). I'll be co-judging with a trio of Broadmoor chefs, and the public may gain entry for $10 ($5 if pre-registered for SBW). That buys a sample from each of 10 trucks, who will offer regular service as well. Attendees will vote for a People's Choice Award, while the judges crown the winner with a Best Food Truck Award.