Every so often, a business will move just a few doors down, but with that resettlement causing an impact that affects every aspect of its existence. So it is for Earthbound Beer, which recently slid a few doors down, from a cozy, shotgun space 2710 Cherokee to an expansive one at 2724 Cherokee.
The process of moving the operation was a massive one, with the brewery’s three owners – Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz and Jeff Siddons – taking on multiple tasks at once. Over the better part of two years, each of them would spend a part of their day in their regular roles and a bigger part of the same day working on the rehabilitation of the new space, a one-time brewery itself.
“The space was originally a brewery, back to the mid-1800s, then was home to a number of different shops since,” says Siddons. “The demolition brought back the original look, bringing it back to what was here originally.”
What’s in-place now, for the public, includes “two levels of seating and a tap room,” with up to 16 handles of homemade beer (as well as their perennial guest tap of Stag).
Just as we were set to publish this, big news cam in the form of Mothership, the operation will be helmed by Chris Bork of nearby VISTA Ramen.
As reported in Feast Magazine: “Don’t expect to see any ramen – dubbed Mothership, the concept will instead focus largely around a smoker. “We’ll have one barbecue plate, which will change often,” Bork says. “You’ll probably see a bit of Asian inflection, obviously, because we are who we are and we want to put a little bit of that in there. We’re not trying to get too heavily into the barbecue game, though, and the idea behind that is not dealing with the unsustainability of it.”
A soft open of the concept will come on Earthbound’s third anniversary party on Nov. 17, with a full menu arriving within a fortnight after Thanksgiving.
That food component is one of multiple, intersecting projects that are still underway at Earthbound. Siddons halfway-jokes that he’s “constantly anchoring something to the walls, every day” and the process of build-out’s continuing daily, even as the doors have been open for business for about a month. As an example, there’s an outdoor biergarten being constructed right now, along the building’s western wall, facing Iowa Street; Siddons figures that will fully-operational by springtime, though “it’s not that far from being done right now.”
Inside, Siddons believes that the walls will start taking on more artistic touches, including, possibly, the inclusion of some artistic canvases, which would help dampen sound in this hard-surface-dominated venue. Some flags, a pair of pinball games and a large series of globes already hint at some of the design elements that may start appearing in greater number, as the business grows into itself.
The next calendar year should also see a big change in the brewery’s ability to ship products to market, with a canning line slated, to be located in the huge network of tunnels and work chambers below the brewery. Almost needless to say, that’ll require a heady outlay of cash and effort and “will be the next big step in production.” In the short-term a sought-after crowler machine will soon allow folks to take some Earthbound home with them.
The tap room, though, is already kicking and features a limited selection of wines and spirits, in addition to, obviously, the craft beer produced onsite.
Siddons hopes to draw on people who “have an open mind to beers that’re slightly out-of-the-ordinary. You might like some, you might not like others, but you should try all of them; you can get a tiny glass for only two-bucks. We have a fun, welcoming environment. People come to play tabletop games. We’ve got pinball. Families can come in together. We’re not an exclusive beer bar, at all. We all hate bars with that image to them and have been to breweries like that, where you don’t feel cool enough to be there.”
The early feedback, Siddons says, has been positive.
“It’s been good,” he says. “I’m not here for every shift, but I always hear people say that they think the space looks amazing. It took a long time to get all this stuff going. We had many a long day or night, with a very small group, to get this running.”