The operators of Roaring Fork Beer Co. are branching into a new project watering hole in downtown Carbondale.
Simultaneously, RFBC is stepping into a much bigger market, moving from a mostly Roaring Fork Valley-only beer to striking a deal for statewide distribution. A crowd of beer lovers flooded into and outside of RFBC's Dolores Way location for a final send-off party Friday.
The new downtown site will be called Batch: A Roaring Fork Beer Co. Project, which is expected to open in late May.
The name is aptly specific, because this isn't technically a Roaring Fork Beer Co. tasting room. Aly Sanguily, who's been running the company's marketing and tasting room on Dolores Way, is launching Batch herself. Her husband, Chase Engel, the owner and brewmaster of Roaring Fork Beer Co., will stay focused on the brewery, and RFBC's tasting room is going to move to the brewery's production facility, which neighbors its current location.
The new location has generated quite a buzz in town. Supporters filled a Carbondale trustee meeting a couple weeks ago when Batch's liquor license was being approved. And the town government has been rooting for the new business, the trustees happy to see one less underutilized building in downtown. Batch will be going into 358 Main St., a 107-year-old historic building that was most recently European Antiques. This location will double the space and seating of RFBC's Dolores Way location.
And the design of Batch is going to be a different concept than what people saw at RFBC's tasting room or anything in downtown, said Sanguily.
This building has "so much character and amazing energy that we felt we wanted to do something different than before but also preserve the beauty of the history in there," she said. "Think living room, library, speakeasy with a little Texas feeling, lots of low and comfy seating areas with built-in booths, a 12-foot locally made farm table for meetings, chandeliers, rich leathers and some farmhouse elements in there, too."
Above the ground floor is also a three-bedroom penthouse, where Sanguily and her husband will be living as part of the deal for the building.
"The owner of the building has been wanting a business like this for a long time, and he really made it possible for us to get this," she said.
The businesses may be technically separate, but Batch's taps are going to be pretty RFBC-centric, with half of its 24 taps dedicated to its beers.
"Our brewers now have a venue to showcase all the exciting beers we've wanted to brew for years without the trouble of having to package them and find wholesale placements for them," said Sanguily.
"Our lineup going through the summer is quite frankly pretty awesome and is the part I'm most excited about," said Engel, the RFBC founder and head brewer.
Sanguily is partnering heavily with local and Colorado-based businesses, like the Denver-based The Infinite Monkey Theorem wines, Idlewylde Brewing Co., Casey Brewing and Blending from Glenwood Springs, Colorado hard ciders, kombuchas and mate from Elevated Elixirs and sake.
"I met with the Infinite Monkey Theorem team and completely fell in love with their whole vibe as a business, who they are, who they want to be and their nonpretentious attitude on wines," said Sanguily.
For wine, Batch will be serving exclusively Infinite Monkey Theorem. "It's very similar to the breweries model and with a similar clientele to RFBC. I really felt a connection with them, so we decided to give them exclusivity at the new location," said Sanguily.
For food, Batch will also be partnering with neighboring Phat Thai and Town Restaurant.
"Our real goal here is to bring the vitality and connection with the community that we have worked so hard to create and maintain the last few years and just elevate that at our new location on Main Street. We had greatly outgrown our old space but still managed to make it work in an off-the-grid and somewhat difficult location of Carbondale for a tasting room to exist. It's a bittersweet goodbye for all of us, but the excitement and energy around Batch keeps us feeling good about the move," said Sanguily.
Batch's hours haven't been finalized just yet, but Sanguily said it will generally be open from 2-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 2-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, unless a special events calls for later hours. Batch will also host Sunday Blues Brunches from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a bloody beer and mimosa bar, live music and a farm-to-table brunch buffet.
But make sure and reserve your spot, because these will be ticketed events.