A dream of many home brewers

Full time staff at Boone Valley Brewing Company. See story for full identification.

March 31, 2018, Boone Valley Brewing Co. will be celebrating its six-year anniversary. What started as a hobby in a garage has grown into a prosperous business. Rick Srigley, co-owner and head brewer had been home brewing for about 12 years. He credits his late wife Clare with inspiring him to take the next step and says she played an integral part in getting the business and Tap Room off the ground. 

 

A change in the Iowa laws in 2010 helped self brewers such as himself open up small breweries. According to the former Iowa law, any beer over 6% alcohol content had to be sold through the state. The change raised the alcohol limit to 15% ABV.

The Tap Room opened in March of 2012 at 816 7th Street, site of a former hair salon. It’s exposed brick walls and semi-rustic decor not only creates an inviting atmosphere, but is a space for people to gather, sip a beer and enjoy casual conversation. 

That is what makes it a fun business says Srigley, who can easily be drawn into a conversation about beer making. “Beer is pulling people off of their phones.”

Joining Srigley on the management team are co-owners and business managers Larry Lubinus and Danielle Crook, and brewer Scott Selim. 

It is not just the love of beer that brought them together. “We all have Central Iowa Roots and want to be involved with the community,” says Selim. “We work together with all aspects of the business: making, packaging and serving beer, putting boxes together and six packs, to sweeping the floor. I started out serving beer, then cleaning tanks and kegs.” Three years ago he joined the team full-time.

In April of 2015 they purchased the former Home Office across the street from the Tap Room, and after a complete renovation, began brewing beer in the 5,000 square foot space. The facility houses a 20 bbl (each bbl equals 31 gallons) all-stainless steel Brewhouse with three 40 bbl fermenters. 

Each batch of beer fills approximately 13,000 bottles. For testing and special release beers, they utilize a 3bbl pilot system.

Although Boone Valley brewing Co. has used locally grown hops and local honey, most of their raw ingredients come from elsewhere: Hops from the Pacific Northwest and Europe and the barley from Minnesota/Canada or imported.

Combining business with art is how Lubinus describes their jobs at the brewery. Srigley fine-tuned the art over several years: by reading books, reading online forums, and picking the brains of other home brewers and professionals. 

And always looking for an honest opinion, he entered competitions in Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin, winning several awards along the way.

Read more in the March 14 issue of The Ogden Reporter.

 

PHOTO ID: Operating a brewery and tap house is definitely a team effort as the owners/staff at Boone Valley Brewing Company will attest. They all step in to get the job done - from serving customers, to marketing, to bottling, and even sweeping the floors. Pictured behind the bar are from left, Scott Selim (brewer), Danielle Crook and Larry Lubinas (co-owners), and owner/head brewer Rick Srigley.