OGDEN — The new Roosters Brewing Co. location in west Ogden, recently opened after about a year of construction, offers food and beer, like the other two Roosters locales.
But at his new venture — Roosters B Street Brewery, a taproom open only to those 21 and older — operator Pete Buttschardt is putting the biggest focus on the beer. More specifically, he’s pinning his hopes on the big vats and fermenters behind the main bar and eating area, which will allow Roosters to dramatically increase production and more aggressively enter the retail beer market.
“It’s a big brewery, little taproom,” he said.
The new location, at 2325 B Ave., adjacent to the planned Ogden Business Exchange business park, opened to the public on Dec. 6 without much fanfare, a soft opening meant to let Buttschardt and others in his crew fine-tune the operation. Things are moving ahead, though, and, with a mix of excitement and apprehension — 23 years after opening the first Roosters location back in 1995 — he’s aiming in a new direction.
As the craft beer industry grows, production for retail sale is “kind of the next place to go, the next thing to do,” he said. “It’s big for us.”
The two other Roosters locations, on Historic 25th Street in Ogden and in Layton, are restaurants first that offer up Roosters beer, with some limited outside distribution. The B Street Brewery, by contrast, aims to be a pub-type locale that also has food. Beyond that, the facility is built to produce 5,000 barrels of beer a year, five times the capacity of the other locales, allowing for increased distribution to convenience stores, grocery stores and elsewhere, both inside Utah and beyond. There’s enough space, Buttschardt notes, to bring in more equipment and double that output to 10,000 barrels a year, his eventual hope.
“This is a different concept for Ogden,” said Dan McEntee, a key investor in the new Roosters venture, noting, for comparison, two of the largest beer makers in the state, Salt Lake City-based Uinta Brewing and Wasatch Brewery of Park City. “A very big, large-scale brewery — there’s nothing like this in northern Utah.”
Cans with Roosters labels are stacked near the brewing equipment, awaiting beer and distribution, possibly by next January, Buttschardt hopes. There’ll be the Session Style Blood Orange IPA, the B Street Blackberry Cream Ale, the Rude Ram Red Ale, and more.
“You have to have standbys,” said Buttschardt, addressing the planned variety to be distributed. “Then you have to make new ones.”
He plans to offer stronger beer at Utah state liquor stores and low-point brew elsewhere in the state and talks of expanding regionally to Idaho, Wyoming and Nebraska.
‘WE BELIEVE IN OGDEN’
Although augmenting beer production and increasing off-premises sales is a big focus, Buttschardt and McEntee made sure to make the Roosters B Street Brewery an inviting place that would draw customers. The walls are made of reclaimed wood and the main bar is crafted from wood and I-beams from a scrapped bridge that spanned a nearby canal.
McEntee made a “significant investment,” he said, and the decor and atmosphere reflect a rustic, industrial vibe. “We wanted it to look industrial but cool.”
Likewise, the Roosters B Street Brewery Facebook page zeroes in on the pub ambiance at the locale. Large garage-style doors can be opened when the weather warms, giving customers an outdoor patio area where they can imbibe. “Yes, you can get a beer WITHOUT ordering food. That whole ‘you have to eat to drink’ doesn’t apply at this new location. We have a bar license,” reads a Roosters Facebook post.
That said, the location has plenty to eat, offering some of the same items served at the other Roosters locations, though the menu isn’t quite as extensive. There are Beehive Cheese Curds and other appetizers, calamari tacos, fish and chips, the Double Bypass Bacon Burger, and more.
“I feel we’ll develop the menu as we go to make it more unique,” Buttschardt said.
The bar, kitchen and brewery take up about 14,500 square feet inside the new structure, at the intersection of B Avenue and Exchange Road. McEntee plans to rent out another 6,000 square feet on the second-level of the building for manufacturing or office space, and he suspects to fill it in short order.
Again, though, becoming a bigger player among Utah beer producers is the main thing, McEntee said. That, he continued, and showcasing what the city has to offer.
“We believe in Ogden. I believe in Pete,” said McEntee.