There’s a new brew on tap at FlyteCo Brewing.
The aviation-themed brewery at 4499 W. 38th Ave. in Berkeley has added a coffee shop called Altimeter Coffee to the front of its 4,900-square-foot space.
Altimeter opened on Monday and serves coffee roasted by Queen City Collective Coffee and baked goods from Black Box Bakery every day from 6 a.m. to noon.
“We have a great local following we’ve established over the last two years, so we thought, ‘Why not add another service to another part of the day?’” said FlyteCo co-owner Morgan O’Sullivan. “We have the audience. We have the location. And we spent a lot of time and effort to make this space unique. We’re paying rent 24 hours of the day, so why shouldn’t we make money more hours of the day?”
Sullivan and his friends Eric Serani and Jason Slingsby, who are both pilots, opened FlyteCo just west of Tennyson Street in February 2019. It serves beer every day from noon to 7 p.m. The three met after Serani moved next door to O’Sullivan, and they started hosting large parties with Slingsby and Serani’s homebrewed beer.
The aviation theme is clear throughout, including the addition of a massive fuselage hanging over the main seating area, similar to one in a small plane, which is complete with jump seats and small airplane windows. The bar is adorned with pieces of Marston Mat, steel material that was used to create temporary runways during World War II.
The co-owners had been considering adding another arm to the business for some time and landed on the idea of a coffee shop with the help of a regular customer. Jessica Taylor, who is now part-owner of Altimeter Coffee and the third pilot to join the crew, flies for United Airlines, but is also a silent partner for coffee shops in Denver and Aspen.
“Once you get to a point in aviation where you have a lot of part-time work, you start looking for other opportunities, and that’s how my passion for coffee grew,” Taylor said. “Our relationship grew organically just from being pilots and living in the neighborhood. I’d always stop by FlyteCo, and it just sort of became a second home.”
Taylor said she considers herself a “coffee fanatic” and wants to create an experience for “the educated palate.”
“There’s not another place on Tennyson that serves articulate craft coffee,” Taylor said. “We take the time to pick and choose origins of coffee that are in season, whether it’s from Colombia or Ethiopia. We measure every shot — from the grams that come out of the grinder into the machine — and the time it takes to press it, so we can be sure that every cup of coffee is perfect.”