Less than a year after opening Arboretum Trail Brewing Co., a fully licensed, production-only, home-based brewery, founders Ben Steffen and Dan Schultz are expanding. A lot.
The pair is moving their operation from Steffen’s 306-square-foot garage in Pleasant Hills to a 5,700-square-foot building in Larimer that was vacated by Couch Brewery in December. The bigger space and equipment will allow Arboretum Trail to increase production by 350 percent.
Located at 1351 Washington Blvd., the revamped taproom will open by late spring or early summer.
Opening a taproom was always in the cards, but the pandemic forced Steffen and Schultz to modify their business plan to a more economical model. They didn’t expect for things to come together so fast, but the popularity of their beers — they’ve released 19 so far — and the timing of Couch’s closure made the jump from a single-car garage to Larimer a no-brainer.
Arboretum Trail launched a Honeycomb Credit campaign to help get the doors open.
The brewery is named in honor of the Pleasant Hills Arboretum, a 16-acre, old-growth forest near Steffen’s house, so the taproom décor will include a lot of earthy tones and plant life. Dak Singletary, a local artist who creates the company’s labels, will paint some of the characters that appear on the beer cans on the brewery’s walls.
The nature-loving team has already signed on to do the Botany & Booze event at Inner Groove Brewing in May along with Tortured Souls Brewing Co., the suds maker that was originally slated to take over the Larimer site.
Angela and Scott Wyman, who own Tortured Souls Brewing, decided to find a different location that would suit their gothic theme better. They plan to make an announcement via social media by the end of the month that outlines their future.
“Things work out for a reason,” Scott Wyman says. “We’re happy for those guys but also excited for the opportunity that we have in front of us. We are still looking to open by summer, but we want to make sure we can offer a unique venue that not only serves great beer but also a place folks will remember.”