After we finished out interview with Steve McFate from Fate Brewing Company, we headed over to Peoria Artisan Brewery. I had been hearing a lot of good things about their beers, and honestly didn’t expect to see them at the Strong Beer Festival. We got the chance to meet and chat with Neal Farrell. He is the owner and brewer at Peoria Artisan Brewery, and was ready to pour beer during the festival. I just had to learn more about this new brewery.
Tell me more about Peoria Brewing Company.
We originally intended in opening in Peoria, but things just didn’t work out. We decided on a spot in Litchfield Park. It is very small. We brew three times a week on a one barrel brewing system, and we still can’t keep up! We have eight beers on tap, but we are out of three! Things have been going really well. We opened on New Year’s Eve, and we had a rocking night that night. We’ve been steady through the week, and the weekends are really busy.
What beers are you out of?
The pale ale, the IPA and the amber.
What other beers do you have?
We have a black IPA, a red ale, and a few collaboration beers. We have one with Mother Bunch Brewing. They are going to open later this year. We have another one with 8-Bit Brewing. We did a Belgian Double with Mother Bunch and an IPA with 8-Bit. We have those on, and a chocolate oatmeal stout on tap, too.
How many people work for the brewery?
It is myself and my partner. We are the brewers, as well. I’ve got three bartenders working for us right now.
You are a new brewery. How do you stay competitive? There are breweries opening up all over the place. How do you compete?
Our situation is a little bit different. We don’t have to work that hard to sell the beer we make because we are so small. It’s a good thing and a bad thing. We’re the only brewery in the west Valley right now. People are coming to us because we are the only one. As we grow, I hope to expand to a bigger space, a bigger menu and bring in other beers. We want to grow a little bit at a time.
So, are you working with Ian? You can’t be in the west Valley and NOT know Ian!
I know Ian very well. He keeps begging me to give him a beer, but it is really tough to keep up with production the way it is!
Is this your first time at the Strong Beer Festival?
I have been here as a patron four times. I have always wanted to be here as a brewer. Here we are?
What is next for Peoria Brewing Company?
We are tapping a smoked red ale soon. We have a peanut butter porter we are going to be brewing and a barleywine. It will be a sweet one.