A pair of well-worn travelers are trekking into Five Points to open a new brewery.
Jordan Fink and Chad Moore are planning on opening Woods Boss Brewing Co. in Five Points next spring. It will be a 15-barrel brew house just off of Welton Street that Fink thinks is positioned to draw from nearby residents as well as brewery hoppers and destination drinkers.
“There are a ton of breweries around downtown, but there aren’t any in our little six-block bubble,” Fink said. “We see ourselves being able to tap into the brewery tour scene – from a place like Jagged Mountain, to our place, over to Spangalang and into RiNo – without being right in the middle of it.”
Fink and Moore signed a 10-year lease at 2210 California St. this summer, they said, right around the time real estate developer VanWest Partners bought the Five Points warehouse for $3 million.
The Woods Boss team estimated they’ll invest another $550,000 or so to outfit and open the brewery.
Fink and Moore met through mutual friends, and started working on their brewery plan in 2014. At the time both of the partners were kicking around the idea of starting a brewery, but each realized he was missing a key piece of the puzzle.
Fink is a brewer at Odyssey Beerwerks and helped launch a craft brewery in Nepal last year, but admitted he didn’t have the business acumen to strike out alone. Moore is a project engineer at Lockheed Martin who previously ran his own clothing line before starting up and eventually selling a software company, but isn’t a brewer.
But the two do share a taste for beer, and adventure.
They got the Woods Boss name itself from a job title Fink once had as a forest guide leading wilderness treks in Oregon, and they hashed out the business plan over Skype as they both traveled abroad over the last couple of years.
In October 2014, Fink went to Nepal for seven months on a contract to help launch a startup brewery and do some exploring. The trek put him near Everest base camp when a massive earthquake hit the country in April 2015.
Meanwhile, Moore and his wife were charting their own car camping trip through South America where they covered about 17,000 miles in a modified Chevrolet Silverado over the course of about 230 days.
Business meetings, Moore said, happened whenever they could find a stable enough internet connection to get in touch.
The plan they eventually hashed out calls for a 15-barrel brewing system. They have five fermenters, a bright tank and five more serving tanks also on order. Fink, who will be the head brewer, plans to keep about 16 beers on tap.
Some of his favorites include a double IPA, a quadrupel and one Fink described as a Belgian-influenced Baltic Porter. Fink will work at the brewery fulltime and will bring on a second brewer to help out on the production side.
Moore doesn’t have immediate plans to leave his day job yet, and said he’ll decide on making the jump once Woods Boss gets up and running.
Woods Boss will do most of their business on draft at the Five Points bar and may do some canning or bottling for special release beers.
Moore said they’ll also work on getting into a few other bars and restaurants around town. But he sees distribution as more of an advertising venture to hopefully get people to visit the brewery than as a major source of revenue.
“If the demand and the want is there then we’ll be happy to fill it,” he said. “But for now we’re plan on doing almost all of our business over the bar.”
The building Woods Boss will move into is a former car storage warehouse at the corner of 22nd and California streets. Their landlord VanWest Partners has also renovated and leased buildings for both Spangalang Brewery up the street and Banded Oak Brewing Co. on South Broadway in recent years.
Forrest Bassett of Broad Street Realty brokered Woods Boss’s lease at the building. Arrow B Architecture is designing the space and Built Construction will be the brewery’s general contractor. If everything goes according to schedule, Woods Boss hopes to be pouring its first pints in May.