Although I didn’t get a chance to make it out to Little Rocktoberfest earlier this month, I’ve heard from many people that Rebel Kettle Brewing served up some outstanding beers. This was typically followed by the question I’m sure the guys behind the brewery may be tired of answering … when are they opening? I got a chance to visit with head brewer, John Lee, at the future home of Rebel Kettle on 822 E. 6th Street, and, of course, I asked him the same question. Plus a few more.
Construction on the new bar space is proceeding well, and the building is really starting to come together. There’s a nice area for floor seating, a long bar lining one side of the room, three huge garage doors that open up to an outside seating space and a glass door and wall perfect for watching what’s going on inside the large brewing area. It’s the first time I’ve been in there when I could really picture how the finished product is going to look, and it’s going to look wonderful.
There have not only been additions to the building, but to the brew crew as well. Head brewer John Lee will be joined by a new assistant brewer, Josh Davis. Davis is pretty well known around the local home brew scene and has brewed at a few different establishments around town (including Vino’s) while winning several home brew competitions. The two are currently going through test batches and trying out a lot of beers like the ones people enjoyed at Little Rocktoberfest.
Lee tells me, “Right now we’ll be working with four core beers, two seasonals and also every quarter we’ll have at least a couple of experimentals. With the 16 taps we’ll have here at the taproom, we want several different eclectic beers along with the regulars. The four core beers we’re looking at right now will be an American blonde ale, an American IPA, a cream stout and a double brown.” The Rebel Kettle crew also plans on introducing variations on their regular lineup, like the Wake n’ Flake Coffee & Coconut Cream Stout, a recipe derived from the brewery’s regular cream stout that has proven quite popular with beer lovers. Lee also says there will lot of variations on their standard line-up as well.
“We’ll be doing a lot of barrel aging and also have plans for a series of IPAs [called] the C Street Series. IPAs evolve and change so much we’ll keep changing things up and hope to have at least a few IPAs on all the time. I have some recipes for some S.M.A.S.H. (Single Malt and Single Hop) IPAs and some single hopped stuff and black IPAs. We want to keep people coming back for the new, the odd, the eclectic.”
As far as the big question? Lee said construction is moving along very well and might be complete by the end of October or early November. That’s going to leave some licensing and permits to be handled, and as soon as that hurdle is cleared, things should be up and running in another month. So if everything keeps going smoothly we should be looking at an opening before the end of 2015. And it sounds (and tastes) like it’s going to be well worth the wait.