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If you can get in to Final Draft before the crowds, you will notice the expansive space. Given nearly 6,000 square feet to work with, the possibilities seem endless. On a busy night it’s no problem to have a party of 20 or 30 at a private bar in the corner, host a cornhole league on adjacent courts, and still serve cozy couples on the other side of the bar. The shaded patio is positively serene in the late afternoon as the sun goes down-today the temperature is perfect.
When I asked what they will do with the space, brewmaster Bart Hauptman was all about the beer. He touted the potential of adding new fermenters and more storage space-all towards his goal of providing ample variety. Variety seems to be the theme around here…a little something for everyone.
Founder and brewer Adam Ward is a homebrewer first and loves bringing his favorite styles to the public. Final Draft Brewing Company is just that-it’s his final in a long list of draft beers he’s perfected over the years. While the style of the building is rough, there’s nothing rough about Bart and Adam’s creations. These brews are smooth and palatable, and there’s a style for every beer lover.
At first they told me the thing was automated. It’s an impressive five barrel brewing system that feeds five fermenters. To my untrained eye, an easy brew machine seemed plausible. Apparently it’s the exact opposite. Thanks to Final Draft’s open layout, you can show up at the right time of day to watch Bart scamper from dial to nozzle checking temperatures, maintaining boiling rates, adding ingredients, and generally plying his wizardly trade to create this amazing liquid. I can’t wait to watch a brew.
I’ve had a few of these by now, and the lineup changes rapidly. Here are a few highlights, in no particular order:
5.2% ABV; 36 IBU
5% ABV; 21 IBU
5.4% ABV; 28 IBU
5.6% ABV; 37 IBU
5% ABV; 48 IBU
Burnt gold in the glass, this has the full flavor of a solid west coast style IPA without compromising just because it has fewer points on the ABV scale. There are twists and turns in the hop profile and it finishes pleasantly bitter.
5% ABV; 48 IBU
8.1%; 140 IBU
5% ABV; 26 IBU
5.2% ABV; 36 IBU
Reddish amber in the glass, this gives off a subtle toasted scent. There is no ginger in this beer, so don’t ask. It goes down smooth and malty, pleasant and full in the mouth. Overall, it will suit any of you that have affinity for the irish red.
As a new venue, Final Draft is taking a relaxed approach to developing an identity. They focus on beer, but serve a full menu of delicious pub food. Adam envisions a downtown area bustling with active patrons browsing a broad selection of places to eat…and imbibe. He supports the Redding Food Truck work by Todd Franklin. As such, Final Draft believes it’s not carving a piece of the pie, but enhancing consumer choice to make the pie bigger. Brew on, my friends, brew on!
Bart envisions an Oktoberfest celebration in the newly renamed Carnegie park as part of the same effort. A bunch of breweries pouring alongside food trucks? Palm trees and sunshine? Yes, please.
Live music will likely be a part of things at Final Draft Brewing Company, but what form it takes remains to be seen. With quality shows just down California Street at the dip, perhaps FDBC will stay a little more towards pub background versus headline acts. Then there’s the cornhole. Two regulation sized courts divide a smaller ‘event’ bar from the main service bar, and diners on the other side will hardly realize games are going on. I wonder if there’s a team over at the Wildcard Brewing facility that wants to take on these downtown brewers? I smell the best of a cross town rivalry about to make things fun.
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