7 Hermits Brewing Co. doubles space, capacity at new location in Eagle Ranch | VailDaily.com

7 Hermits Brewing Co. doubles space, capacity at new location in Eagle Ranch

Brews and chews at 7 Hermits Brewing Co. will soon be twice as nice.

Within two years after it opened, 7 Hermits is preparing to double its restaurant space and brewing capacity while remaining an integral part of the Eagle Ranch Village community. Next week, 7 Hermits will open at its new space, located on the northeast corner of Capitol and Founders streets in the heart of the Eagle Ranch commercial area. Formerly, the brewpub was located on Sylvan Lake Road next to the Eagle Ranch Fitness Center.

The craft brewery opened on Super Bowl Sunday 2014, and since that time, Matt Marple— the brewmaster at 7 Hermits and one of the chief members of the operation's ownership group — said he has learned a whole lot.

"Every time we do a run, we learn how to work the process better and more efficiently," Marple said.

Cramped quarters

Marple said it didn't take long for 7 Hermits to realize its former space was too small.

Recommended Stories For You

"We originally wanted this space, but it was occupied at that time," he said. When the former tenant moved out, the brewery was ready to make its move.

"We just outgrew the other space pretty fast," Marple said. About a year after opening, 7 Hermits began distribution of its beer to other locations, and that's when the constraints of the former location became more pronounced. Marple noted the brewing and canning process was not compatible with operation of a restaurant. At the new location, the brewing operation is separated from the dining area.

"We will offer tours, but we felt it would be a little bit better for our patrons that way," he said. "And this will allow us to run the canning operation whenever we need to."

They need to do that often. Marple said when 7 Hermits first opened, the brewhouse was producing about 32 barrels a month. Once it hit top production at the former location, 7 Hermits was turning out about 120 barrels per month. But the new facility will be able to turn out 200 barrels a month from the start.

"There is so much demand for craft beer in this state," Marple said. "It's really a passion-driven industry for Colorado."

One of the interesting aspects of the state's craft beer atmosphere is its emphasis on collaboration instead of competition. That dynamic is particularly true in Eagle — a small town that is home to two successful breweries. Bonfire Brewing Co., located in downtown Eagle, and 7 Hermits have both seen traffic increase at both of their storefront locations, in addition to increased distribution demand.

In fact, at times when his supply was running low, Marple said as many as half of his restaurant taps featured Bonfire products. "That's the great part of having another brewpub in town, you can do stuff like that," he said.

New eats

With the new location, Maple said 7 Hermits is expanding its dinning menu. Chef Andy Buechel is overseeing that part of the business, with food offerings that compliment and incorporate the beer operation. That includes pizzas with beer in the dough, brats, ribs, salads, sandwiches and homemade pickles. The design at the new space has been planned to accommodate both drinkers and diners.

A new 60-foot, U-shaped bar is located in the center of the space. Diners can step up to the bar and order their meal instead of waiting for table service.

"We thought there was kind of a hole for that in the community," Marple said.

He also noted that Eagle Ranch needed a neighborhood bar — a place to hang out, watch TV or play some pool or old-school video games, so there's an expansive games space at the front door. There's also patio space outside and garage door separators that can bring the outside in at the pub.

As he prepares to open the new location next week, Marple said he is proud of how 7 Hermits has grown and ready to meet the next challenge. "Ultimately, we want to build a large-scale production facility," he said. "I really think we are a success story for the community."

7 Hermits Brewing Co. is open from 4 p.m. to close — which means 10 to 11 p.m., depending on how many folks are still inside — Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the pub opens at 11:30 a.m. and the business phone number is 970-328-6220.

On tap

There is a plethora of beer varieties out there, and 7 Hermits Brewing Co. is no exception. While brewmaster Matt Marple is always tweaking his flavors and processes, there are five 7 Hermits staples:

• Gold Dust Blonde

• Haystacker Amber

• World’s Greatest Pale Ale

• Bruiser IPA

• Paul Imperial IPA

If those names sound familiar, that’s because the brewery names its beers after mountain biking trails in and around the community. Marple said there is a great connection between biking and brews, something 7 Hermits will continue to build.