After one, long haul year of endless commitment and structure, the Shoe Tree Brewing Company finally flipped its sign open on Friday, at 1496 Old Hot Springs Road.
It hasn’t even been a week since owners Jeff and Paul Young started serving handcrafted beverages; they’re already sold out of the Cold Pressed Coffee, chilled for 15 hours with nitrogen made with beans grown and roasted by Carson City’s San Rafael Coffee.
“We didn’t expect its popularity,” Jeff said. “But that’s great and we’re fine with that. We’re working on a larger batch.”
Throughout 2016, the brothers worked on the 2,000 square foot brewery and had many anticipations to open earlier. They hurdled through permitting issues with the Carson City for a while, but it didn’t discourage them to achieve dreams.
On Friday, they celebrated the completion of the brewery with a soft opening for friends and family, followed by a home-brew competition Saturday morning.
“It’s years in the making,” Paul said. “Many businesses in town, including San Rafael Coffee, Sassafras, and the mayor have been supportive through our journey.”
“I feel nervous to soak it in,” Jeff said. “It’s taking time to absorb it. We did it, it’s real.”
With curious minds walking through the door, customers are greeted by Jeff’s subtle and warming friendliness. There’s also the bartender, Jessica —his wife—ready to pour a fresh tap of beer out of the eight to indulge. One of those taps include a refreshing homemade root-beer stout.
“This is such a relief,” Jessica said. “We’ve wanted this for so long.”
In the back room is where the brewing magic happens; Paul is more than willing to give customers a quick tour.
For the forgetful customers, colored-coded caps are provided at the bar, representing the name of each drink.
“It gives us even more time to interact and spend time with our customers,” Jeff said. “Lots of our old friends come by, too.”
The brewery already has a smooth flow of traffic but the Youngs also thank their next door neighbor, Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint, by delivering food to the bar.
But when ordering a drink, it doesn’t feel like a bar. With a chalkboard wall sketched with shoes dangling by laces and real shoes serving as plant pots placed at every other wooden table, it feels like a familiar place.
“Our customers have told us they feel like they’re at a cozy place to catch up,” Paul said. “That was our goal to design a place for people to drink and have a good hangout.”
Although the Young brothers achieved many of their basic business goals in less than five days, there’s another one to check off the list.
The brothers are working with the owner of Hot Springs area to determine whether they can use mineral hot springs water for the brewing process, as it’s pre-heated for great taste, has low levels of sulfur, and is energy efficient.
But until the results are confirmed, the Youngs are proud to be using Carson City’s water.
“The water is good here but the other idea is on the back burner for now,” Jeff said. “Our main focus is to keep business running.”
Even with about four to five hours to sleep, the brothers are always looking forward to their daily routine with the business—especially with their family.
They thank their mother for helping them keep the bar tidy and adding her personal touch, the shoe plant-pots.
“We’re lucky to have friends and family to rally together,” Jeff said. “The price is right with family labor.”
A grand opening celebration for the city is scheduled for April, with a date to be announced. Until then, the brothers are excited to spend their first national holiday at the brewery, St. Patrick’s Day, and serve a small batch of homemade Irish coffee stout—aged on oak chips and soaked in whiskey.
The Shoe Tree Brewery opens at noon daily.