Now in the final stretch of completion of both the brewhouse and restaurant, Owner Peter Kreinheder and Operations Manager Steve Gotreau are in the process of turning the Ellicottville Brewing Company into the premier gastro-pub of Western New York. With an increasing market demand for additional seating, beer variety, conference space and food that will leave a lasting impression, EBC’s upcoming evolution is essential to meet the needs of their number one priority - their guests.
However, everyone can’t help but wonder, what’s been happening behind those big wooden doors? Whether you’ve made a quick drive-by on your way through town, or even walked past the building to peer inside the windows after hours, the excitement and anticipation that have been “brewing” since construction began last fall is undeniable.
“Our expansion has been twofold, with the goal of updating our antiquated brewing system and expanding our seating in the restaurant,” said Kreinheder. “In Ellicottville, we see a consistent theme of ‘Friends and Family,’ which often requires us to accommodate larger parties. Along with that, we are also trying to meet the demands of a new, more educated beer consumer.”
As Ellicottville has transformed from a quaint little ski town to a four-season destination, so has the Ellicottville Brewing Company. Rest assured that this summer is only the beginning of what this growing local phenomenon has in store.
What was once only a 10-barrel Belgium brewing system has now been expanded into a 30-barrel German brewing system to meet the needs of the growing craft beer market.
“Our new brewhouse will allow us to have more control over our product, providing an extended level of consistency. It is the first of this kind in North America,” said Gotreau.
The new brewery, installed by Esau Hueber from Schrobenhausen, Germany, has had professionals from the company on-site off and on since last April, overseeing the installation and the electrical and mechanical build out.
Along with the expanded brewhouse, an intimate bottling line has been installed. Although the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, NY will continue to bottle EBC’s more popular brands into six-packs, this in-house bottling line will allow EBC to initiate a specialty four-pack bottling system, giving them the opportunity to offer these selections both in-house and regionally. Plans include eventually bottling a specialty EBC soda line as well.
Tours of the new brewhouse are slated for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11:30am and 1:30pm, and Saturdays/Sunday at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. An online tour reservation system will soon be available at www.ellicottvillebrewing.com
, where guests will have the option to pick their tour date and time and pay through Paypal. Tours lock out at a 20-person maximum. For $12, guests will receive a complete brewhouse tour, a short brew-school, four 5-ounce beer samples and a souvenir logo pint glass.
The aesthetic beauty that has taken over the brewing company since its expansion is one to be reckoned with.
“The Village Planning Board has stood behind us from the get-go, which has made all the difference,” said Kreinheder. “The ultimate goal of our project is to continue to drive the economic and culinary tourism that has taken over Ellicottville. EBC is now a destination in our town, in addition to skiing at Holiday Valley and HoliMont, golfing, mountain biking and Sky High Adventure Park.”
For Kreinheder, it was a no-brainer to bring local contractor and restaurateur Michael Nickolson on board as the General Contractor for the project. Nickolson, who is not only well-known locally as the owner of The Silver Fox Steakhouse, but also admired by many for the beauty, comfort and classic style of his unmistakable craftsmanship that has been a mainstay in Ellicottville for over 30 years.
“We are truly going to miss having Mike around when the project is completed. He is not only a friend to us, but a pleasure to work with and be in the company of on a daily basis,” expressed both Kreinheder and Gotreau.
The exterior concept was created by contracting supervisor architect Bill Hicks from Toronto, Canada. Hicks conceptualized the initial design that was approved by the Village Planning Board. As for the interior structure, Kreinheder wanted something that would be lasting, impressionable and different, which prompted him to choose Timberbuilt from North Collins, NY.
“I blindly trusted Timberbuilt founder George Klemens, who had a vision of using Douglass Fir Trees from Oregon from the start,” said Kreinheder. “These guys put up beams in the middle of snow storms this past winter; it was just incredible, and I love the way it turned out.”
Along with the expansion of the brew pub came the addition of Operations Manager Steve Gotreau, who will be overseeing the restaurant, catering operations and brewing operations. Gotreau is well-known in Ellicottville as the former six-year General Manager of Centerplate at Holiday Valley and nationally recognized for his distinct culinary leadership and success in the foodservice industry.
“With the addition of our private dining room and conference space, we now have the ability to hold literally any social event, whether it be for wedding rehearsal dinners, receptions, post-wedding brunches, showers and the like,” said Gotreau. “We are also welcoming reservations for beer pairing dinners and beer tasting events.”
Event dependent, sections of EBC can now be rented for up to 200 guests. Clients will have the ability to choose from renting the Pub and Garden Room, the Private Dining Room, the Tasting Room and Mezzanine, the Brewery and the Beer Garden. Both Kreinheder and Gotreau are thrilled to have the flexibility of keeping the restaurant open while hosting private events. For the complete, 18-page EBC catering menu, visit www.ellicottvillebrewing.com
and click the “Private Functions” link.
The original lunch and dinner restaurant menus are expected to evolve slowly, with core menu favorites remaining the same. Guests can expect some new items, and many with different beer selections worked into the recipes. The presentation and ingredients will all incorporate a rustic alpine look to compliment the aesthetics of the restaurant.
As construction is continuing in some sections throughout the summer, guests can expect the Beer Garden to progress into the autumn months. Carrying the theme of a child-friendly entertainment space, the Beer Garden will still offer its famous fire pit, where families will soon have the opportunity to create s’mores again on the weekends. Kreinheder also plans to add different outdoor adventure games for kids and eventually, an outdoor kitchen.
The Outdoor Garden Bar, a u-shaped masterpiece now featured in the Beer Garden, will be the pit-stop for a plethora of frozen specialty drinks. The new Island Oasis machine will expedite the production of frozen drinks and give bartenders the opportunity to create more than just your average Pińa Colada. Also making its debut this summer is the “Limey Donkey,” a margarita with an upside down bottle of EBC’s “El Gordo Burro” beer. Upcoming beers throughout the season will include a white grape lager and a citrusy maple lager.
All are welcomed and encouraged to stop by and view the vibrant, new operation of The Ellicottville Brewing Company, located in the heart of Ellicottville at 28 Monroe Street. The restaurant is open seven days a week, year-round, serving from 11:30am-10pm on weekdays and until 11pm on the weekends. (Bar hours are until midnight on weekdays, and until 2am on the weekends.) For questions or comments, don’t hesitate to call EBC at 716-699-2537, or fill out their convenient online contact form, located on the website. View the complete website, including their beer selections, catering menu and opportunities for employment at www.ellicottvillebrewing.com