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IMBĪB Custom Brews begins the long process of renovation


By Michael Higdon

A can of Modelo Especial lies on the floor of the gutted building Matt Johnson just leased for IMBĪB Custom Brews. He and Bart Blank stood outside the garage door homebrewing, waiting for Indiegogo contributors to stop by. Most of the roof support beams are exposed and the floors covered in concrete dust and some litter. The space is primed for a new brewery. Photo by Mike Higdon.

A much-anticipated brewery moves into Reno’s older neighborhoods on Second Street and Wells Avenue

IMBĪB Custom Brews found a home and signed the lease Labor Day morning. Now the hard work begins. For the next six months, the gutted building on Second Street will need extensive work to convert it into a new Reno brewery with a twist. Members will support this brewery.

Owner Matt Johnson said they experienced some difficulties finding a suitable site for their brewery. They originally wanted to open on Fourth Street but none of the landlords would rent to them. They looked at the old RESCO building on Fifth Street but that landlord asked them to bring in all the utilities, an expensive and time-consuming venture. Some buildings include basements, which works great for barrel aging but often means the main floor can’t support the weight of a brewhouse and fermenters.

The place they selected is near Under the Rose Brewing Co. and Pigeon Head Brewery so Matt said they can easily collaborate on events. The building is perfect for a brewery with its concrete slab floors, rolling garage door, tall ceilings, built-in utilities and ample space, he said. The work of adding cold storage, trench drains and a tap room would come with any location, so at least this place already includes the basics needed to build these new pieces. The only downside is the yellow stucco, Matt prefers the exposed brick found inside.

He’ll focus on a membership model, Community Supported Ale, as a big part of the brewery. Matt hopes the CSA will help fund the startup as business grows into a full-scale brewery. At IMBĪB, CSA members will take part in creating exclusive beers. Members will vote on a monthly recipe and automatically receive a pre-determined portion of each brew. At first IMBĪB might consider contract brewing to build reputation, buzz and membership. Then when all the funds come together, they’ll start the process of buying their own brewery equipment and opening the tasting room.

“If all goes well, we’ll probably open between January and February and start brewing for a summer release,” Matt said.

Fore more about this story, check out DrinkableReno.com

IMBĪB Custom Brews

Online: Facebook, website
Address: 785 E Second Street

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