Like a lot of Eastern European immigrants, Ron and Jason Abbott's great-grandparents brought their love of beer and brewing to the United States when they came here in the late 1800s. Growing up on a farm in Nebraska, the brothers often heard stories about the family's brewing prowess. Now the Abbotts are almost ready to open their own place, Seedstock Brewery, at 3610 West Colfax Avenue, where they plan to focus on styles that "give a real nod to and have a real reverence for that history,” says Ron.
That could include everything from a Bohemian dunkel to an alt bier to the classic German and Czech-style pilsners that so many immigrants (their great-grandparents were Czechoslovakian) brought with them. But the Abbotts also want to brew a variety of other beers as well, including less hoppy IPAs. “The hardest part,” Ron says, “is deciding what not to make.”
The Abbott brothers, who spent their careers doing other things, have been homebrewing for more than two decades; now they'll employ a five-barrel system that they inherited from an expanding San Diego brewery.
“We started homebrewing in 1992, so we have been doing it for a long time, which frankly means we have mad a lot of bad beers over the years,” Ron says. “But hopefully some good ones, too.”
Seedstock is being fashioned out of a former auto shop near the corner of West Colfax Avenue and Tennyson Street. It is part of a two-building renovation that could eventually include a restaurant as well. The 2,400-square-foot brewery will have capacity for sixty people, with room for forty more on the patio.
There aren't many breweries in the area. The closest are Joyride Brewing to the northwest, which is on the other wide of Sloan's Lake, and Strange Craft to the east, which is on the other side of Sports Authority Field.
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“Frankly, we were surprised that nobody is down here,” Ron says, adding that planned development around the former St. Anthony's hospital should help kickstart the neighborhood economically. “It's a great area, close to the park and to the stadium. We were looking for character and for potential, and basically this place hit both of those criteria.”
Seedstock is a farming term, he explains: “It's the grain you keep for next year because that is what you are going to plant. You never eat your seedstock because then you are hosed for the next year.” The brewery will likely have a comfortable, rustic feel that matches its name. “We want to bring our blue-collar pride to this,” he says.
The Abbotts, who have a third partner as well, hope to open Seedstock by July 4.