A fury of construction at The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery prepares the antique building for its newest role in Fourth Street’s Renossance
Earlier this year, the old train depot on Fourth Street sat vacant, bare-bones beams and wood inside, crumbled driveway and graffiti outside. But now, construction workers hustle through the interior, fixing, building, replacing, prepping for The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery. Where marred wood and smashed concrete outlined potential in the 104-year-old building, now drywall, tile and stainless steel give form to an upcoming staple on Reno’s historic street.
A fury of construction workers, sometimes up to 35 at a time, distiller-brewer-co-owner Brandon Wright and co-owner Chris Shanks work to ready the building for its grand opening in December 2014 while co-owner Justin Stafford focuses on the website, social media and hiring. On November 21-22 from 3:30 to 5 p.m., they will host a job fair for open positions to fill the bar and restaurant so keep a look out on their Facebook page and website for applications and a schedule.
Once finished, the historic building will feature a first-floor bar, distillery and brewery and a second-floor restaurant. Outside, a gigantic 44-foot long, 18-foot wide cooler will store liquor next to a fermentation room and 20-foot long glycol chilling system. Pipes from the distillery in the main building connect all the pieces together in a complex network of plumbing.
Chris, Brandon and Justin changed the name from The Depot Craft Provisions Co. to The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery to avoid confusion with Mark Estee’s Reno Provisions and because the new name is self-explanatory.
“When we say ‘provisions,’ some people don’t know what the hell we’re takling about, ‘oh what is that?’ “ Justin said, mocking conversations he’s had before the name change. They will also sell house-made cured meats, pickled vegetables and other provisions, but the new name specifies the main focus of the business.
In a few weeks, Brandon, formerly a brewer at Fifty-Fifty Brewing Co. in Truckee, will start making the first four beers in preparation for the grand opening. After that, he will start distilling white whiskey on the same equipment to make Silver Corn Whiskey and barrel-aged Biggest Little Bourbon, aged corn whiskey and single-malt whiskey.
“I think it’ll be a cool thing for people to see the whiskey raining down through the column still,” Brandon said.
Customers can watch the process through a large window between the bar and still room. For added effect, the inside of the column is illuminated by LED lights. No, they don’t pulse to the music. In December, The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery will become the fifth distillery in the state (fourth in Northern Nevada) and tenth brewery (eleventh if High Sierra Brewing Co. beats them) in Reno-Sparks.
The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery
Where: Fourth Street and Evans Ave. 325 E 4th St. Reno, NV 89512
Opening date: December 2014
Hiring date: November 2014
First beers and spirits:
- Ranch Hand — hybrid American golden and Kolsch. Using Kolsch lager yeast with American hops
- The American — mild American pale ale
- The Voyager — west coast India Pale Ale
- The Blacksmith — traditional American stout with lower hop
- Future plans for sours, saison and other beers
- Silver Corn Whiskey — white dog whiskey bottled at 80 proof, made from this year’s Frey Ranch corn
- The Biggest Little Bourbon — small barrel, small batch bourbon out late Spring 2015
- Aged corn whiskey and single-malt whiskey about 4 – 6 months after.
Spirits will be available in 500 ML apothecary bottles. The craft distillery bill allows for two, 750 ML bottles per month, per person, so The Depot will sell three, 500 ML bottles instead..
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