Introducing Metric Brewing

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You may have seen our spy photos of an unnamed brewery a week or so ago. Well we're happy to help introduce Metric Brewing to the Colorado Springs beer scene.

Introducing Metric Brewing

What started as a side project for Iron Bird co-founders Aaron Celusta and Mike Centanne, Metric Brewing quickly became Centanne's baby and much more. At the time being, Metric is still waiting on permits to come back from Regional Building, so I stopped by and found out a little more about the project and why it's not just a second Iron Bird location. Metric is located in the Safeway shopping center just 100 yards Northeast of Cheers Liquor Mart. If you've ever not gone to a brewery because of parking, Metric has that covered—they've got a shopping center-large lot.

So, tell us a little more about the name Metric and your idea behind the brewery.

Honestly, I wish there was a deeper story about it. Let's see...about five or six years ago back when I was dreaming of having my own brewery I always thought the name sounded great. Also, at that time, the name was not taken, but more importantly, it just looked good on paper— an even 6 letters, something symmetrical. But, when I met Aaron and Iron Bird started taking shape, Metric went on the back burner until a few months ago.

My role at Iron Bird was lessening, so Aaron and I decided to see about starting something new. We talked to our trademark lawyer and made sure she did the right searches to see if the name was still available. Even in all of our personal research we only found two mentions in the beer industry—and one was in Australia. We reached out to the one brewery who has a Metric IPA and they couldn't have cared any less about us using the name.

So, once you get the go-ahead from Regional Building, what's next?

Really, we just need to get that and we're golden. We just put the last payment on the brew system a week or so ago, so it's just waiting for a place to put it. Most of the equipment is coming from Stout—we've only previously had a mash tun from them, but we really like their products and their service is incredible. To finish out the brewhouse, we'll have 4 jacketed fermenters and one unjacketed fermenter. I'd love to have them all jacketed, but after running the numbers on the glycol chiller, we're close to max with the four.

So, the plan is to use the unjacketed fermenter for Belgians, saisons and anything else where temperature control isn't the most important thing. For serving, we'll have 10 brite tanks to start, and I know we'll get more after opening and the beer starts flowing. One thing I'm excited about is the plan for a manual hand canning unit, so we can play around with small batches of cans.

What about barrel aging? Any plans for that?

We definitely want room for barrels, and they'll probably run down the wall adjacent to the bathrooms.

So, let's jump consumer side. What will people see when they walk in the door?

Well, we're planning on having a 30 ft bar with a huge window into the brewhouse behind it, so that's going to be a big feature. There will be plenty of space. I'm still figuring out if we'll do subway tile or something else on the walls, but as we get closer it will come together.

That's the part of these projects that I've really enjoyed doing—creating everything. If you didn't know it, we made those big threaded tables in Iron Bird ourselves, and I'm taking that same approach with Metric. Instead of the threaded rods and bolts, I'm playing around with I-beams for tables and other decoration. We'll have some nice big community tables, as well as some booths and more "private" seating, but since we have such a great view out of the windows, we have to give people somewhere to post up and enjoy the sights. Also, we're hoping to have an onsite food truck pretty much all the time, with possibly a patio going out to the west of the building.

What kind of beer will Metric be making?

We're going to try to create solid great tasting beers. I feel like if we had done an Iron Bird 2.0, we'd be stuck with a lot of preconceptions. With the smaller system, I'll have the ability to do some fun stuff, but in the end, we need to have great drinkable beer. Poor or sub-par quality is something that I feel has plagued a lot of new breweries recently, and not just here in Colorado Springs. As new breweries open up, and drinkers are getting introduced to craft, they need solid options or they're going to think that off flavors are the norm.

As a brewer, it's hard to convince someone that no, that creamed corn beer they had at the last place wasn't supposed to be like that. Quality talk aside, I'm really excited to offer up the space to some of the other brewers in town, maybe guys who work on big production beers and need an outlet for some creative brewing. Chase Perry from Bristol and I have been talking all throughout the process and I look forward to tasting what we come up with.

So, you're not going bigger, but instead going smaller?

I wish that attitude was a little more prevalent in this industry. All these stories of breweries getting bought out and making millions has really changed the landscape for breweries and that's not what I want to do.

In fact, I'm opening Metric and it's smaller than one I currently have, because that's what I love. We're looking at how Melvin, up in Wyoming, has gone from a small brewpub with the Thai Me Up restaurant to a huge production brewery, yet they still brew batches at the restaurant. They've allowed themselves room to play a bit, but also able to make a ton of really great beer. Honestly, if that happened to ever happen to us, I wouldn't mind it.

But, back to the point, with Metric, I just want to keep it local, brewing solid, quality beer and serving it the right way. I have no aspirations of taking over the planet. I like coming in every day, feeling at home in the brewhouse, among my stainless and my equipment—that's where I feel best.

We'll keep tabs on Metric as they continue working towards opening, but you can try their beer at the Café Craft Coffee & Beer Invitational on September 30! Mike's brewing up a beer with Iron Bird-neighbors Loyal Coffee.