What began as a talk among friends while enjoying a homebrew beer during a house party is now a reality. Our Brew, an independently owned, small batch brewery is coming to town.
On Tuesday, Feb 25, the Redlands Planning Commission approved a small beer manufacturing facility with a tasting room at 2351 W. Lugonia Ave. in the area known as Redlands Research Park.
The 6-0 decision gives Founder and CEO John Hurst a green light to begin overhauling the interior of the existing building to welcome beer lovers and people who want to have fun. Commissioner Robert Botts recused himself because he works near the site.
“Our Brew plans to have something for everyone, specialty soda varieties, pre-packaged snack items and food vendors,” said Hurst, who received a master of business administration from University of Redlands in 2017.
Hurst said that he began brewing beer along with a friend with a small home brewing kit. Two-and-a-half years later, he took a few corny kegs of homebrew to Steven Alexander’s house, now CFO of Our Brew, to enjoy with friends and family. “After a conversation over a few pints with Larry Bittner Jr., (now COO of Our Brew), we quickly realized that we had similar goals of opening a business with an inviting environment that we could be proud of. From this, Our Brew was officially transformed from a homebrew to a business plan,” said Hurst.
The brewery will include an arcade with games such as Cornhole, Ring & Hook, Giant Jenga, various board games and Golden Tee arcade game cabinets, according to a city staff presentation by Ivan Flores. Our Brew will be the fifth of its kind in the city, with two breweries — Bootlegger’s and Ritual Brewing Company — close by. Hurst said he doesn’t see them as rivals but rather as members of a thriving community. The local breweries are Escape Craft Brewery and Hangar 24.
“If we can bring something different to the table in terms of beer and atmosphere, then it gives everyone another option when making plans,” said Hurst. “We feel that when the guests visit, they’ll find something that keeps them comfortable and entertained while they enjoy some of the beer selections.”
Hurst, who has been brewing beer for a decade of which four have been as competitive brewer, said that Our Brew will strive to offer different flavor varieties than those around.
“Currently, we have set on 12 flagship beers, and 10 to 12 seasonal, experimental, and small batch taps,” said Hurst. “We have a few new ideas in mind, so stay tuned. For updates, we recommend following us on Instagram.”
Hurst said he is proud of all the flavors but specially three of them: Chocolate Milk Stout, Hazy IPA and Cream Ale. “Chocolate Milk Stout is the beer that started it all and has won local home brew comps and placed nationally. Hazy IPA has a great blend of three different hops and was Larry’s first solo brew. Cream Ale is built and brewed by our resident female brewer Amanda Hurst,” said Hurst.
According to Our Brew’s website, also under construction, the company started four years ago to create an environment where friends could express themselves creatively through the art of brewing craft beer.
Our Brew will cease operation at 10 p.m. during the weekdays and 11 p.m. on Saturdays, dispersing patrons earlier in the evening than a traditional bar or lounge, said city staff.
The facility does not offer significant discounts on beer, which the Redlands Police Department has identified as a contributing factor to alcohol-related disturbances,m thus there is minimal risk for safety problems, said city staff.