Owners of a popular East Valley brewery say they hope to supply growing demand for their suds with a showcase brew pub in downtown Gilbert.
Four Peaks Brewing Company has submitted a proposal to the town for a microbrewery and restaurant on the northwest corner of Gilbert Road and Vaughn Avenue. The company has a microbrewery and restaurant in Tempe and a satellite pub in north Scottsdale.
Four Peaks co-owner Jim Scussel said the 9,600 barrels — almost 300,000 gallons of beer — brewed last year at the Tempe location make Four Peaks the state’s largest brewery, but demand is still outpacing supply.
"We need to brew more beer," Scussel said. "We’re out of space."
The brewing company found space on empty, townowned land in Gilbert, situated in what’s fast-becoming a restaurant corridor downtown. The proposed brewery site is across the street from a future Gilbert Oregano’s Pizza Bistro set to open next spring. The town requested proposals for a microbrewery-restaurant on the site earlier this year, and Four Peaks provided the sole response.
"It kind of fit into our plan with all the growth in the East Valley," Scussel said. "There’s a lot of chains in the East Valley, so we thought it’d be nice to have a locally owned restaurant out there with all the new growth."
The proposed $4.4 million, two-story facility would have large windows facing Gilbert Road to allow pedestrians and drivers a view of the 1,200- to 2,000-gallon tanks used in brewing handcrafted ales such as Kilt Lifter, Hop Knot, Fools Gold and 8th Street. Diners upstairs and downstairs would also have views of the 8,040-square-foot brewery, which would produce about 10,000 barrels annually.
In its proposal for the development, Four Peaks partnered with Oregano’s Inc. to offer a second restaurant nearby. Chilepistols Mexican Kitchen, a new restaurant concept from Oregano’s creator Mark Russell, would occupy a single-story warehouse building north of the Four Peaks Brewery.
The proposal indicates both restaurants would open in April 2007. A later phase of the development could include a multistory retail and office building along Vaughn Avenue near the restaurants. The proposal is currently under review by the town’s Economic Development Department and will later be considered by Gilbert’s Redevelopment Commission and Town Council.
Mayor Steve Berman said he’s never been to a Four Peaks location, but he thinks a microbrewery would fit well in a downtown that still feels small-town.
"We have a microdowntown, so why not?" Berman said.