The long-anticipated Iron John’s Brewing will soon open up shop at the Plaza at Williams Center, 5350 E. Broadway Blvd. #128, on Tuesday, October 17.
The plan for this tasty taproom has been in place since early 2020 when Iron John’s Brewing Company merged with the local burger joint, Monkey Burger. They joined forces to revamp the dining and drinking options in the space, and while delayed by the pandemic, the brilliance of this endeavor never dimmed in the minds of the business owners.
“A lot of the construction here was done by ownership. Stuart and I and the other owners built a lot of these deals on the walls,” Head Brewer at Iron John’s, Elise Lauer said about the new decals and paneling. “It’s been a labor of love for the ownership.”
The interior of the restaurant and taproom was carefully thought out, too — from the handmade light fixtures handmade/welded by co-owners Stuart Lauer and Chris Faitsch to the booths and decorated floor, it was all crafted with intention.
When you first walk in you’ll likely notice the floor, which is covered in large decals of brewing terms. The floor is not only fun to look at but it’s educational and inspired by big white letters that are spraypainted in an alleyway in San Francisco. Plus, if you’re working remotely or simply need to charge your laptop, phone, or any else that has a depleting battery, there are several outlets at the bar.
Also, they have seating on the front patio that’s right on the other side of the garage door. The crew is looking forward to hosting live music out there as well.
Of course, there’s nothing like washing down a good meal with a super fresh craft beer, and Iron John’s is good for it.
The original brewery opened in 2014 and specializes in small-batch brewing of unique and expressive ales. Their beer was always known for its high-quality ingredients, frequently relies on non-conventional yeast strains (like sherry yeast) for fermentation, and is sometimes rested in casks or on oak for a deeper, more nuanced flavor profile. Smaller batches make all of these subtleties easier to accomplish by the brew team, so craft beer lovers always have something new to try.
Iron John’s Brewing will feature six taps of Iron John’s flagship brews, enough options to pick a perfect pairing with your entree. In the last couple of years, they’ve gotten away from a lot of stronger beers and have focused on getting a more “true style” for the brewery.
“We have a small system — it’s five barrels. The selection is intentionally small because we want to be true to style,” said Elise. “So, if we’re going to do an English amber it’s gonna be English-grade, English hops, the whole shebang!”
Plus, a few other taps for wine and guest breweries will be utilized behind the bar. There’s the possibility that one or two of the taps will be for batched cocktails, too, and they’re also planning on having their own cocktail menu that’s vermouth-focused.
Speaking of cocktails, the Iron John’s team recently opened Juniper on Congress less than two months ago. Give them a piece of your time sometime soon next time you’re strolling downtown.
Iron John’s Brewing’s restaurant side of things will feature at least three burgers on the menu — we had the opportunity to check out The Monkey Burger, which is topped with onions, mushrooms, cheese, bacon, and green chile. They’re also planning on having a rotating burger to change it up and add an extra handheld option each month.
“With the ‘Monkey Burger’ part of it, we’ve really dialed it back a bit but part of our original coming together was that we wanted to do some pairings,” said Stuart Lauer, who owned the former Monkey Burger. “We’re going to rotate in one of the new chef’s burgers every month and then maybe even one of our old ones from the Monkey Burger menu.”
The other main focus of the menu is their wood-fired pizza. It’s all still being finalized but there will be somewhere between five to 10 pizzas to sink your teeth into — all of which are being made in a brand-new oven. We had a chance to check out a few of the new menu items before the grand opening like the classic pepperoni pizza and a Buffalo chicken pizza that had just the right amount of heat to it.
“The pizza oven was ordered from Italy,” said Cory Carpenter, co-owner of Iron John’s. “It took about one year to arrive.” Once the oven was set in place, the rest of the construction could continue in the kitchen and bar area due to its size.
They’ll also have smaller dishes like a salad and a pork belly flight.
When the play of perfectly cooked pork belly arrived on the table, Executive Chef Daniel Enrique Rosas was eager to let us know which was which. The flight consists of chimichurri pork belly, another made with jalapeño and a ginger barbecue sauce, one in the style of banh mi, and another cooked with orange peel and piloncillo — a raw form of pure cane sugar often referred to as Mexican brown sugar.
“We are just really excited,” Elise glowed with enthusiasm. “And you know, people have been waiting a long time for this. I’m sure we’ll hear ‘What took you so long?’ But, you know, good things take time.”
The grand opening of the new taproom and restaurant is Tuesday, October 17. The hours of operation will be 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday – Saturday, and closed on Sunday.
Iron John’s Brewing Company is located at 5350 E. Broadway Blvd. #128. For more information about the location and their 18th Street taproom or the new Juniper cocktail bar, visit ironjohnsbrewing.com.
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Jessie Jean Mance was born in Tucson and never met a riparian area she didn’t like. She is a lover of lightning, sunsets, mezcal, music, and other intoxicating experiences. Mance resolutely believes that fresh air is medicine, burritos are the...