A report by Dana Eastland. We’ve got some exciting news in the brewing world, from the founder of BrewTruck and Le Truc, Hugh Schick. It’s called BREW U, and it’s a brewing school-incubator-taproom hybrid. Schick explained it will be a place where homebrewers who are interested in opening brewing businesses can come and learn the full, vertical range of skills they need to start a business. They’ll graduate not only with good beer knowledge, but also a functional business plan, an understanding of how distribution works, and a brand. The details are still being worked out, of course, but ultimately Schick hopes to have as many as 10 aspiring brewers brewing under one roof.
He’s also hoping to provide smaller brewers with an alternative to contract brewing, which is when a smaller brewery contracts with a larger operation for most of their production. Schick also hopes to have a large taproom, highlighting the beers produced on-site as well as other small-batch brewers (and eventually alumni).
The taproom will include a restaurant, where he’ll be slinging bar food. But this won’t be your usual gut-busting fare; instead, he wants to offer fresher, lighter options, with an emphasis on Asian grilling and the beer-friendly cuisine of Belgium. Flavor, he says, will come from technique and spices, not just fats and pork products, and the overall focus will be on playful, well-considered, and casual dishes.
Right now, he’s still in negotiations for his space; all he can say is that it’s in “a highly desirable Mission location,” and that he’s really looking forward to being near the “homebrew district,” which he identifies as the eastern side of the Mission—south of 20th Street, north of 24th Street, east of Mission, and west of Potrero. So, real estate sleuths, start speculating now (and no, it’s not this one).
Right now, he’s hoping to be open within a year, but has a realistic understanding of how long these things can take. Hopefully, they’ll be open by Beer Week 2015, which would be February. He’s still working on pulling his team of collaborators and “professors” together, but as more details emerge, we’ll let you know.