In this interview, Chris Martell gives details on what inspired him to go “all in” on his latest business venture, giving his new brewing company a name that reflects his dedication. Construction is underway, and Martell expects the new Druthers Brewing Co to open this July on Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
From the sounds of it, many good things are in store for us when Druthers Brewing Company opens this summer. Read our interview with Martell Below.
What inspired you to want to open a brewpub in Saratoga?
My brothers and I have been brewing craft beer out of my garage and visiting brew pubs throughout the US for a number of years, so the dream of owning a brew pub has been something that we have shared for quite some time. A few years ago, when the economy began to sink and my brother lost his job as a pension analyst, we began talking about acting on our dream and launching our own brand of beer. My brothers and I have lived in Saratoga for over 30 years and couldn’t think of a better place to introduce our brand.
How did you decide on the location?
We were looking for a spot on Broadway that would be large enough to house a brewing facility, but also allow us to create a large outdoor beer garden. We didn’t think that such a location existed until we saw the “For Sale” sign at 375-379 Broadway. In December, 2010, we purchased the Perry Building and the nearly quarter acre vacant lot adjoining the Perry Building. We began constructing the brewing facility in February 2012 and expect construction to be complete sometime in June. When the facility is complete, we will have a 5,100 square foot brew pub, with a 4,000 square foot garden patio.
Who else is involved in this venture with you?
My brother and I began discussing the idea over two years ago and since then have managed to raise investment through family, friends and colleagues. George de Piro will be the brewmaster and is also an investor.
Druthers Brewing Company – What’s the story behind the name?
It comes from the expression “If I had my druthers…” meaning choice or preference. We wanted a name that reflects what it took for us to undertake this venture and what this venture means to us. Very early in the planning process, it became clear that, in addition to the capital investment and sweat equity that we were contributing, we would also have to pledge our homes, our retirement accounts and emergency savings as collateral for the financing that we needed to make this project a reality. So, each of us was left with a pretty difficult decision to make. Thankfully, each of us made the choice to go “all in” and the project moved forward. From our choice to go “all in,” the name Druthers was born. Essentially, given our Druthers, we made a choice to brew beer worth drinking, for people worth drinking it with.
When do you expect Druthers Brewing Co to open?
We are expecting an early July opening.
What will your venue offer?
Freshly brewed, handcrafted beers, a diverse menu that includes classic comfort foods and vegetarian offerings, and a large beer garden to relax and enjoy some excellent acoustic acts.
What makes your venue unique?
We’ll have one of the largest, most comfortable outdoor patios on Broadway. We will also be making our own beer on-site, so will be offering the freshest product available in Saratoga.
What will the atmosphere be like?
We will offer a laid back atmosphere with great food, great beer and great acoustic music.
What can you tell us about the beer making process?
You will have to come by to see our brewer, George de Piro, in action.
What is the current status of the project, and how long has it taken to get this far?
Construction is underway – we have been working at this for well over 2 years.
Have you run into any snags along the way?
We’ve run into plenty of snags along the way. We made a commitment early on to be good neighbors, and, as a result, have changed our building design and layout a number of times to accommodate the requests of neighbors and local residents. Every change that we made was expensive and slowed the process down. On the bright side, I think we demonstrated to our neighbors that we keep our promises and sincerely care about being a good citizen to the community.
What else can you tell us?
It’s taken a lot of time and effort to get to this point and we are now in the final stretch. We think that we have some something very special with this project and are very excited to share it with the folks who visit Druthers Brewing Company.
Special thanks to Chris Martell for filling us in on the plans, current status and expected opening of the new Druthers Brewing Co coming to Saratoga Springs this summer. It should be a great new venue run by some really great people. Too bad it’s not open in time for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this weekend! I’m sure it will be a very popular summer hot spot.
Do you plan on checking out Druthers Brewing Company this summer?