The Storybook begins
The latest nano outfit to suddenly appear on the scene, Storybook Brewing (3121A N. El Paso St., storybookbrewing.com), opened Nov. 25. Brewer and owner Pete Kilman still runs operations for a local software company by day, but brings 17 years of homebrewing experience to Storybook.
He brews on an all-electric, three-barrel system that he says is slightly more energy-efficient than common gas kettles, and has also constructed a more eco-friendly walk-in cooler via a gadget called a CoolBot. (The CoolBot got engineering assistance via the NASA-affiliated Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program, if that says anything about its smarts.)
A taproom takes up 740 of 1,740 total square feet and features six house handles, one of those on nitrogen and currently devoted to the Java Dragon Porter. Storybook's flagship lineup also consists of a Kölsch, an American pale ale, and red and brown ales, and Kilman says that by as early as January, he'll add gluten-reduced brews. He's already hosting a hop-infusion night each Wednesday to spotlight a different single hop via a Blichmann HopRocket contraption.
As for the name, Kilman says he'd "like to say it was a little more magical," but really his wife and 23-year-old daughter advocated for it, partly in tribute to an album he wrote in 1990 called Storybook Tripper (he's also a musician). He initially pushed back, for fear "it sounded like a place for children," but eventually embraced the playfulness and potential for his dragon logo.
Another story behind it all highlights the value of family: Kilman's one of 14 children, and counts more than 50 nieces and nephews. He says the crew came in handy to help him build out and get open, and now is populating his bar stools.
For the last seven years, Nina Carley has operated We3 vintage toy shop at 2501 W. Colorado Ave., #107, but the Brooklyn native says she's always wanted her own New York-style eatery — hence the Nov. 1 opening of Nan & Pop's Superhero Sandwich Shop (291-6603), next door in the original Uchenna space.
It's named for her parents, and her daughter Nicole Sonner's helping out. Pre-designed sandwiches are named after either comic heroes or villains, with build-your-own options available. The latter will range from one-meat, 6-inch sandwiches for $5.50 to three-meat footlongs for $9, with all options including soda, chips and a pickle. Order your sandwich with "the works" for lettuce, onion, tomato, oil and vinegar, oregano and salt and pepper.
"We say it's a party in your tummy," says Carley, noting that soups and baked goods are made in-house, while meats are also cut on site.