Local artisan brewery, Studio Brew, headquartered in Sullivan County, TN, is expanding operations into Bristol, VA. After a two-year search throughout the Tri-Cities for the right location, owners Erich and Pamela Allen will tap into the former Bristol Fire Museum located at 221 Moore Street for their second Tri-Cities brewery.
According to Erich Allen, owner and master brewer, the location is a good fit with the vision the couple has for their business.
“Studio Brew will be a destination point, but it will also be a packaging brewery,” Allen said. “From the arts to dining and music, downtown Bristol is exploding with excitement and growth, and we want to be a part of it,” he added.
Studio Brew’s new location will be a 15-barrel Micro Brewery with 15 and 30-barrel fermenters.
“We will be installing a full bottling line so our customers will able to have more craft beers available throughout the region, Allen said.
Studio Brew has over seventeen artisan beers in rotation. Master Brewer Erich Allen works from a palette of more than 100 different recipes, each one created from smelling, tasting and comparing every raw material.
Studio Brew is projected to be open first quarter of 2015. Allen explained the building, long standing in disuse, is in need of major repairs and renovation.
“Due to the amount of construction required, the renovations will be carried out in three phases,” Allen said. “The building requires a lot of work and repair, but we are anxious to have the basement floor renovated so that we can make our craft beer and share beer with those who love beer,” he said.
While Studio Brew will open utilizing the basement level, after opening, subsequent plans call for an additional tasting room on the main floor with a distillery and offices and event space on the top floor. The result will be a 20,000 square foot full production brewery. Known as “The Warehouse Building,” Studio Brew’s new location is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1907, the building originally served as a distillery with the top floor being used as a roller rink.
“We are acutely aware of the history of our building, and we are making every effort to utilize as much of the original material as possible in our renovations, including the wood, original floors and brick,” Pamela Allen added.
According to Erich Allen, one of the unique features of each Studio Brew variety is the transformation that occurs when the beer is paired with various foods.
“Tasting rooms at the new brewery will feature a variety of cheeses and Tapas type of foods that will allow patrons to experience a new level of enjoyment, and change they way they may think of beer,” he said. “Most people don’t really consider pairing beer as they would wine, but once they learn about it, it greatly enhances the experience,” he added.
“Partnering up with neighboring downtown restaurants and businesses for special events, we will all benefit,” said co-owner, Pamela Allen. “Great things happen when a brewery comes to town — especially downtown,” she added.
Elevating brewing to an art form is at the heart of Studio Brew’s operations, and The Allens look forward to intertwining with the arts culture in Bristol.
“Our motto is, ‘Beer is an art, a very tasty art’ and, to that end, everything we produce is with that theme in mind. We can’t wait to dive into the vibrant Bristol arts scene, and plan to prominently feature the work of local artists throughout our brewery,” Erich Allen said.