Shoetree Brewing Company: ‘We want to be a brewery Carson City is proud of’
The last seven months have been long for brew brothers Jeff and Paul Young.
But with a masterpiece in the making, the obstacles have been worth it.
“We’re back on track and everything is happening at once,” said Jeff, 38. “We want it to be right.”
Initially, the Shoe Tree Brewery was set to open between September and October. But due to permits and other rearrangements, the grand opening is set for January instead.
Not only do the Young brothers plan bring a “chill, stylish bar” to Carson City but they also want to connect the community with quality beer, as they plan to use local ingredients and get involved with charities.
“We’re not greedy,” Jeff said. “We want to make a living by giving back to the community while pursuing our passion.”
The 2,000 square foot property is located on Old Hot Springs Road. The brothers are partnered with Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint next door on Old Hot Springs Road, as they developed a bond with the owners over the years. Their landlord Mark Begich, former mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, has also been their rock of support.
As the brewery is under construction, Sassafras is offering handcrafted sodas created by the Young brothers to help get the word out and participated in the Harvest Train Festival.
The brothers also plan to share the Sassafras menu at their bar.
“It all worked out,” said Paul, 29. “We’ve all been great friends and we want to be close to them. We want to stay in Carson City.”
Originally, the brothers planned to use hot springs water for brewing, as it comes pre-heated for great taste, has low levels of sulfur, and is energy efficient. But after hurdling permits, it delayed the possibility.
For now, they will brew with city water and connect with local farmers to purchase hops.
“We want to use local ingredients as much as possible,” Jeff said. “There’s not much opportunity for that in our area but the use of hops are exploding.”
Along with that, the brothers also plan to use local coffee roasters in stouts, source local honey, and use fruits and natural sodas from Carson’s Farmers Market when in season.
The passion to create and buy local began during Paul’s 21st birthday when he received his first home brew kit as a gift.
As both brothers dreamed of running a brewery, this kit opened the door for them.
“We always enjoyed making labels and marketing for fun,” he said. “Then, we got into making beer.”
From there, Paul obtained a business management degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and worked with High Sierra Brewing Company. When Jeff was laid off from his job drilling water wells in 2010, he began his volunteering with the company.
A year before the company ceased operations in 2014; the Young brothers were awarded a Gold Medal for their Buzzed Bee Honey Ale at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival.
“That is our Olympic medal to us,” Jeff said. “That gives credibility to the community because it’s a prestigious award.”
To connect with the local community even more, the Young brothers also defeated the challenge of picking out a name for their business. Although the Shoe Tree’s grave is located in Middlegate of Churchill County, it’s a state landmark that isn’t appreciated enough, they said.
“It wasn’t a big part of our lives but we were brewing heavily around the time it was cut down,” Jeff said. “Picking a name was one of the hardest things to do but we wanted to dedicate to it. No one else has the name.”
But Paul said shoe trees can be found anywhere.
“There’s a few in Virginia City and Spanish Springs,” he said. “It’s a weird local trend that goes beyond the state line.”
While their patio, tasting bar and high ceiling brew room is coming together, the Young brothers are experimenting batches at home, creating a tasteful menu for Carson City.
“We plan to win a lot of awards with different styles of beer,” Jeff said. “We want to be a brewery Carson City is proud of.”