Monday, December 10, 2012

Scratchtown Brewing Company Ground Breaking

Our Facebook and Twitter followers would have seen last Friday that I was at a ground breaking for a new brewery in Ord, Nebraska but I wanted to get a post up that gave a little bit more details about what will be there, time frame and such.

Scratchtown Brewing Company is a brewery started by the passion of it's members for great beer and community pride.   It will be owned and ran by Caleb Pollard, Jade Stunkel and Mike Klimek, all from Ord.  Mike Klimek will be the head brewer and has many homebrewing awards both in Nebraska and Nationally and he is looking forward to the opportunity to crank it up on a big scale.

I talked with Mike about their system and what they plan to do initially.  I will say this first, I have had Mike's beers and they have all been very good.  Mike will be working on a 3BBL system and will have several fermentors to work with in his temp controlled fermentation room.  They initially will be kegging for distribution and selling over their tasting room bar.  They are working on finalizing what they plan to serve first, but I know they will be a hit.

The majority of the space they are building will be for the brewery but they do plan on having about 800 square feet of indoor retail/tasting room space as well as an outdoor patio space.  They are not planning on a restaurant but they haven't ruled out bringing in catered food on occasion or for events.

They hope to be open mid to late summer this year.  They have really thought this thing out and have a space to grow into and even more space to build onto if the future leads them that way.  For those that want to know where the name came from I will give you my understanding of it and I might have to edit this later for more specific details.  When the town of Ord was being established the task was given to General Ord of, I believe, nearby Fort Hartsuff or another nearby outpost.  He came up with the name Scratchtown because of the ever present bug bites he endured every Summer.  I believe before the town was properly named General Ord died and Ord was adopted as the towns name against his wishes.  This is of course the cliff notes version, but you get the general idea.  I think the name is brilliant personally, well done.

Community breweries, like this, are something I find very encouraging in the expansion of the craft beer movement and can really help with a towns identity and sense of community similar to ways that coffee shops and cafe's have for years.  Our small towns love their identity and love to show ways they are different and growing and this type of thing is great.  I will say that small breweries would be more prevalent in small towns across Nebraska if self distribution was allowed so that they could become more economically feasible.  I think even a cap on barrels sold to make it just for small operations would make sense because honestly, once you get to certain size or you want to transport your beers a certain distance you will get a distributor involved.

The guys at Scratchtown are taking a risk and we applaud them for that, knowing the guys involved, I know they will succeed.  Congrats from the Nebraska Beer Blog!

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