Beer Research Institute to celebrate brewery expansion with all-day party Saturday

BY Jess Harter Thursday, January 11, 2018

BRIBrewhouse011118The Beer Research Institute in Mesa finally unveils its much-delayed brewery expansion with an all-day celebration from 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, Jan. 13.

There will be brewery tours on the hour and happy hour pricing on BRI beers all day. The brewery will tap a new beer for the occasion – That New Ish, a hoppy Belgian blonde ale (7% ABV).

BRI announced plans to take over the 2,300-square-foot space next door in 2016 with construction expected to be finished by March 2017. However, the shopping center was sold during that time, stalling the start of construction for more than six months.

The expansion, which increases BRI to a total of 5,300 square feet, is highlighted by a new 7-barrel brewing system (pictured above), which takes up a little more than half of the new space. BRI expects to brew 1,800 barrels of beer this year, compared to just 600 in 2017.

The increased capacity will allow BRI to self-distribute its beers – such as its best-selling 480G IPA and runner-up Lolli blonde ale – to more than the handful of East Valley bars that now get them.

The move also lets owners Matt Trethewey and Greg Sorrel turn the former brewhouse area in the original space into a barrel aging room.

BRIPatio011118Besides the new brewing system, the new addition also will accommodate four large booths and three more community tables, providing seating for another 35 patrons. It expands the front patio (pictured) by another 10 seats. A rear patio still is in the works.

BRI, which received glowing reviews on last week’s episode of ‘‘Check, Please! Arizona,’’ also will introduce a revamped food menu on Saturday. Popular items like its pub burger, bread pudding, and, of course, its signature ‘‘meat candy,’’ will be joined by several new dishes.

Due to the expansion, BRI is hiring nearly a dozen new staffers, including an assistant brewer (to lead brewer Colby Hansen) and a salesperson for its self-distribution.

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