TOMPKINSVILLE — A group of homebrewers have gone commercial and started making pints for the public in a cramped brewery in the back of a BBQ restaurant already known for its plentiful offerings on tap.
Kills Boro Brewing Company last month began brewing its first 100 gallon batches in a new space connected to Craft House at 60 Van Duzer St. The company has already started serving up smaller kegs of its pilot brews inside the restaurant.
"We're kind of officially open," said Sean Torres, one of the co-founders of the brewery. "We're encouraging people to come out and try the beer."
Manhattan and Brooklyn will get a taste of the batches — an IPA and Coconut Cream Ale — next month as the group begins distributing to more bars and restaurants.
Torres and his co-founders — Phil Gardner and Patrick Wade — brewed their first batch using their 10-barrel brew house July 29, a single-hopped IPA which will take three to four weeks to finish.
The more than five-hour process includes mashing the grains, boiling the wort, adding hops in the boil, chilling, pitching the yeast then letting it sit in a fermenter. The trio also started brewing their next batch, the Coconut Cream Ale, earlier this month.
"It's a lot like how we approached home brewing and how we approached pilot brewing, in many ways it's actually a little bit easier," said Torres about switching to bigger batches. "It's really just learning a new system regardless of its size."
When the kegs are ready, Kills Boro plans to distribute to Adobe Blues in New Brighton and several bars around Manhattan and Brooklyn, Torres said. They'll take over six of Craft House's 14 taps to fill them with a mix of brews from their big system as well as smaller batches on their pilot system.
"There's going to be a lot of stuff you wont be able to have outside of Craft House," said Torres. "It allows us to be a little more adventurous."
The 700-square-foot brewery has the capacity to pump out between 100 and 120 barrels of beer a month — more than 3,000 gallons — but they expect to do much less while starting out, Torres said. The spot also has two large windows that lets diners watch them work while chowing down on some ribs.
Kills Boro Brewing Company officially announced plans for the Tompkinsville spot last year but its origins date back to more than three years ago when Torres and Gardner started brewing beer in their homes. They later helped form the Pour Standards Homebrew Club, where they met fellow homebrewer Wade and eventually joined forces to make suds.
The group met Vincent Lima, owner of Craft House, at their annual Brew for Autism fundraiser who said he was interested in opening up a brewery at his restaurant and the pair got to work.
They got licensed, added a fridge in the backyard and converted former office spaces into their brewery which they finished in early July.