If everything goes as planned, central Phoenix will be welcoming a new brewery to the neighborhood by this September. The new beer spot, called Westward Brewing Co., will be located in a three-building complex at 2125 North 24th Street and comes courtesy of a trio of young beer-lovers.
Co-founders Drew Pool and Bill Hammond along with head brewer Preston Thoeny each bring a diverse range of talents to the venture -- including experience brewing with one of the country's best-known craft breweries. Once completed, Westward Brewing will offer about a half dozen taps in the tasting room, as well as a spacious patio, 10-barrel brewhouse, and brewing laboratory.
Over the next few months, Westward will be moving into a three-building complex once occupied by Simply Bread bakery off 24th Street. Once renovations are completed, the space will include an approximately 1,600-square-foot taphouse where you'll be able to pull up to a bar and get a pint of Westward Brewing Co. beer.
"It's not so much going to be a bar so much as a tasting room," says Pool.
What that means is there won't be a full kitchen, though Pool says they do expect to serve some sort of bar snacks to complement the brews.
The tasting room bar should have about six or seven taps, all of which will feature Westward Brewing Co. brews. The space will offer a community table, a cozy double-sided fireplace, and a large back patio that will offer views of the two-story brewhouse and beer lab.
That's where you'll find Thoeny at work. Thoeny, a Phoenix native, got his brewing experience at Big Sky Brewing in Montana, where he worked for several years. The plan is to brew 20 kegs a batch two or three times a week, which should be enough to supply their tasting room in addition to 20 to 30 local restaurants and bars, the team's distribution goal.
The complex also includes a cold storage building where bottled beer and kegs can be stored. It's adjacent to a private parking lot where they hope to host food trucks down the line.
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For the opening, Thoeny says he hopes to have at least four or five brews ready including an IPA, porter, and lager that he's been working on for some time. He's says Westward will be a "pretty experimental" brewery that will focus on using local ingredients in their beers. They're already looking into using local dates and locally-roasted coffee.
"It's kind of more about finding the best ingredients and then figuring out how to use them," Pool says.