HANFORD — The downtown scene will get a little livelier in the near future thanks to new a business moving into the neighborhood.
Hops Forged Brewing Company — a local beer-making operation started by Brian Alves, AJ Soares and Jordan Loewen — signed a lease earlier this month, and plans are for the formerly empty spot to be a taproom and base of operations for brewing.
Brian Alves’s father, Frank, recently purchased the building, clearing the way for Hop Forged Brewing to lease it from him.
“It just happened to work out perfectly where he wanted to own a piece of downtown Hanford and we were looking for a building simultaneously, so one day I said to him, ‘let’s align our interests, let’s do this together.’ And he got on board. And he has a lot of history with the old Cottage so that building really appealed to him,” Alves said.
The small, home-based brewery has made fans at local tastings and events like Everybody’s Irish for the last six years and Alves is excited to have a permanent spot downtown. HFBC will call 106 W. 7th St. home. The building formerly housed Tequilas’ and is known as “The Cottage.”
“I want to support downtown Hanford and Hanford in general as much as possible,” he said.
The taproom will serve their own in-house-brewed beers, of which they’ll start out with seven to 10 options, hoping to expand that selection to 20 within a couple of years.
“We’re starting out small so that we can grow organically and to test out the market in Hanford, as we’re not exactly sure what to expect,” he said. “There aren’t many businesses like ours around here.”
Alves said the company is looking to make improvements to the outside of the building, including making room for a patio big enough for at least a few tables, but because the property is in the downtown Hanford historical district, decisions about those improvements may have to be decided by City Council.
The current plan is to open for business in the fall.
“Hopefully the City will be nice to us. We’ll have to navigate through complying with the local codes while getting our vision approved. But six months is our goal,” he said.
The vision for the brewpub’s interior is an “industrial chic look” that pays homage in some way to the history of Hanford, Alves said.
Alves said that while the pub won’t be serving food of its own, he envisions collaborations between them and neighboring restaurants and perhaps food trucks. Local bands and musicians will be invited to perform at the spot, as well.
The brewmaster said that one of the things running the company has taught him is that you can’t just brew what appeals to your personal sensibilities, and that HFBC will take their crowd-pleasing mindset into future brews.
“You can’t always brew what you like. You’ve got to appreciate every style of beer,” he said.
For more information, visit https://hopforgedbrewing.com.