Made in Kingman: Brewery adds to downtown offerings
KINGMAN - It's the question all Kingman beer drinkers want an answer to: What's on tap at Black Bridge Brewery?
The best way to find out is to either check the brewery's Facebook page or ask owner Tim Schritter.
Schritter opened the brewery at 421 E. Beale St. in August. He had hoped to open it much sooner, but the state and federal permitting process for the nanobrewery took much longer than he expected.
"I'll have maybe 12 beers on tap that I rotate through on a regular basis to begin with and maybe expand to 20," he said.
He frequently carries some type of porter, wheat beer, a stout and an India Pale Ale on tap. He's also added a few seasonal brews such as a Belgian wheat beer in the fall and his Festivus brewed just for the holidays. He also takes requests and he plans to offer homemade, craft sodas and possibly gourmet coffee for designated drivers.
"It's something I can do because it's a nanobrewery and we brew in such small batches," he said.
Schritter said he started making his own home brew about six years ago in his garage with his father-in-law.
"I'm a metal fabricator and I built my own brewing system. At first, it was just something to share with family and friends," he said. "But then I kept building newer and better brewing systems and more and more people kept coming over. I'm on my fourth system now. People kept saying I needed to open a brewery."
But Schritter didn't want all of the work that's associated with a microbrewery - and then a friend introduced him to the concept of a nanobrewery.
"Nanobreweries are kind of looked down on, but they're growing in popularity," he said.
The advantage of a nanobrewery is that the beer is always fresh and the choice of brews changes more frequently because they brew in smaller batches, Schritter said.
"You're free to do whatever you want," he said.
The difference between a microbrewery and a nanobrewery is the size, Schritter said. Microbreweries usually produce enough products that they can sell it and ship out to local stores. Nanobreweries usually just sell by the glass or the growler. A growler is a half-gallon jug that customers can purchase, fill with the beer of their choice at the nanobrewery and take home.
"I just wanted to build something to bring people together downtown," he said. "I was born and raised in Kingman and I've traveled all over the world, but Kingman has always been home."
Schritter loves some of the changes that have been happening to the historic downtown area. Specifically, the additions of Siren's Deli and Dora's Beale Street Deli, Beale Street Brews coffee shop and art gallery, the Cellar Door wine bar and the regular, summer Cruzn' on Beale Street car shows.
In fact, the name of the brewery comes from a local landmark - the black train bridges in the canyon just past the downtown wastewater treatment plant.
"Local people will get the reference. As high school kids we'd have parties down there, under the bridges," he said.
But things have changed a bit since those high school days. The purpose of opening the brewery isn't to get drunk, Schritter said. It's to enjoy a good glass of beer with friends.
Schritter hopes to add to Beale Street's nightlife by hosting live bands and showcasing local art on the walls of the brewery. He plans to manufacture his own tables, chairs and bar.
He's also got an agreement with the owners of Siren's, the deli next door, to stay open late, so brewery customers can get a bite to eat while they sip their brews. He's also spoken with the owner of Beale Street Brews and hopes to sell some of his beer there as well.
For more information on Black Bridge Brewery, check out its Facebook page at facebook.com/blackbridgebrewery.
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