And promises a beer drinking experience like no other
Resurgence Brewing Company president and founder, Jeff Ware
Photos by kc kratt
Kegs (from the brewery): Yes
Kegs (from distributors): Yes
On Tap at Restaurants/Bars: Yes
On a spring Thursday afternoon, I sat down to chat with Resurgence Brewing Company president and founder, Jeff Ware. The brewery was empty but buzzing with staff getting ready for the day: cleaning tanks, polishing glassware, and accepting deliveries. Jeff asked what I wanted to drink, and I asked him to recommend a couple choices to build a flight. I am familiar with its core brands, Resurgence IPA, Blood Orange Saison, Sponge Candy Stout, and Loganberry Wit, so I was looking for some new and exciting brews. I was not disappointed.
Resurgence is taking risks, successfully. It has been able to build an environment that fosters learning and creativity. Experimental brews like the Cucumber Saison (a funky saison with tart dill pickle taste), Coconut Porter (on the palate, coconut and chocolate are reinforced with hints of brown sugar), Citmo IPA (modeled after the “Maine/Vermont” style of IPA, with huge aromatics of pineapple and citrus), Black Currant Kettle Sour (a light-bodied mix of berry and currant with moderate acidity), and the R&D IPA series demonstrate maturity and growth in their brewing recipes and techniques. With a broad clientele and a hyper local focus, this team has been able to bridge the gap between large production and small, experimental brews.
Large production is what’s behind Resurgence’s decision to expand into a new location. Production of its core brands is being moved to a 25,000-square-foot brew house at 55 Chicago Street in the Old First Ward. In addition, the historic building will house a distillery, rock climbing gym, and a small number of rental apartments. The brewery will also be able to host private parties in a second-floor event space that holds upward of 300 people. The same second story space will have its own prep kitchen for caterers and a wraparound patio area. Guests will also be able to overlook the first floor indoor beer garden.
With the prospect of larger production capabilities, the brewery intends to expand its distribution area, hoping to reach all the way to Manhattan. Resurgence is no stranger to testing the waters, with more than 400 distinct beers brewed to date. It is very evident that sales, marketing, and healthy business growth is driving this team’s strategy. Ware has a clear understanding of where his brand needs to go and how to take it there. He understands the need for recruiting fresh talent while allowing them room to grow and to create. His plans go as far as a third location in Batavia where Resurgence will develop finicky and more volatile styles, such as sours, aged, and wild-fermented beers, which have massively grown in popularity in the recent couple of years but can jeopardize an entire operation if you don’t know how to brew them correctly.
“The new facility should allow us to streamline our production process and put more packaged beer in the market,” Ware says. “That should free us up at our current location to really focus on experimentation and R&D. It will make for new, exciting beers coming out of the brewery much faster!”
We sure hope so.
You can expect the new location to open sometime in the fall of 2018.