Yin and Yang. Rogers and Astaire. Salt and pepper. There are some combinations that seem to naturally go together.
The next duo hoping to gain local celebrity is the newly opened Grass Valley Brewing Company and adjoining grub pub Roost.
Situated together on East Main Street in Grass Valley, the first post-prohibition brewery in Grass Valley and the local-centric eatery are officially open for business after a lengthy construction process.
The brewery celebrated a soft-opening in July and has already proven to be a popular spot. The opening of the new taproom has added about 50 to 60 seats to the space, in addition to the warehouse which opened this summer.
One of the brewery’s four co-owners, Matt Kinney, said he and his partners are happy to finally be open and see their vision come into fruition.
“It’s been a big relief,” said Kinney. “It took a lot longer and a lot harder work to get here. It was a huge undertaking and bigger than we expected.”
The idea for Grass Valley Brewing was born out of co-owner Tom Rogers’ ability to create an exceptional home brew. His friends and family were astounded that not only was he making beer, but he was making good beer.
“I kept telling him, ‘this beer is better than anything I am getting around town,’” Kinney said. “With Tom, and bringing Mike (Sutherland, brewmaster) on board, I wanted to go into this with a wide range of different types of beer. I was not expecting that the whole range would be excellent beers.”
With taps pouring everything from hazy IPAs to lighter blondes, Grass Valley Brewing is proud of its wide selection of original brews. It announced its newest product, Lost Mine Lager, on Wednesday, describing it as a “light golden lager made with Pale and Munich malts in the traditional ‘Helles’ style.”
Kinney said that the response to the brewery has been a bit overwhelming. He and his partners, he said, are amazed that beer fans have so quickly taken to their product.
“We are lucky that we are still struggling to make beer fast enough, which is a good problem to have,” Kinney said.
“The best compliment that I get from the customers who come here is that this place has a great vibe. And that’s something we can’t create. It’s created among everybody in the community, us and our wonderful employees. The excitement level is still there and I don’t think it’s going to fade away any time soon.”
Rule the Roost
Complimenting the suds, the last few weeks have seen the opening of Roost, a joint serving pub-style fare to accompany the taproom’s ales.
Roost’s co-owner Sean Cox has become well-known within the community for his burger and sandwich-heavy menu at his existing restaurant, Jernigan’s Tap House Grill in Nevada City.
When approached by Grass Valley Brewing to create the menu for its taproom, Cox said it seemed like the natural thing to do.
“My first idea was to bring some things from Jernigan’s and build the menu around that,” Cox said. “But that changed as time went on. There might be some alterations and a few additions, but what we have right now will maintain the core of our menu rolling forward.”
“(The brewery) gave us free reign to go through our creative process,” said Roost co-owner Nathan Keys. “We’re really stoked on the quality of everything we use and are trying to create an accessible menu.”
All their meats and vegetables are locally sourced, said Keys, and they work closely with Nevada City’s The Ham Stand to procure sausages and other specialty meats.
Roost’s menu features a selection of burgers and sandwiches, including a Bahn Mi Sammy and the Filthy Burger, topped with andouille sausage.
So far, Cox and Keys said that their fried chicken seems to be the star of the show.
“People tell me, this is the best fried chicken I’ve ever had and then you watch their face light up when you tell them it’s gluten free,” Keys said.
Like their counterparts at Grass Valley Brewing, Cox and Keys agree it is a relief to finally be open and able to share their vision with the people of the community.
“All the pressures of opening are gone but now it’s just setting up protocols and procedures,” said Cox. “It’s been good. It gets less stressful every day.”
“It’s been great working with Sean because he has such a great following and support system from Jernigan’s as well and that has helped us a lot,” Keys said.
At the end of the day, the people behind Roost just want the community to enjoy the fruits of their labor while sipping a pint from Grass Valley Brewing. Their dedication to locally-sourced ingredients is a common thread between the two businesses, they said, and the end product is wholly representational of the abundance of creativity and agriculture found in our neck of the woods.
Additionally, Cox is extremely proud of what he, Keys, and their staff have created.
“It’s awesome!” he enthused. “Just the quality of the food and the integrity of the people running the place. It’s a pretty unique menu to the area. There’s really nothing that matches what we do. I think we really nailed it with a unique flavor profile. I encourage people to come out and give it a try.”
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4231.