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Summit City Brewerks a long time in the making

Monday, December 30, 2013 - 8:15 am


 For longtime friends David Tomaszewski and William Long of Auburn, Summit City Brewerks started out as a dream. In early 2014, the guys are turning their dream into a reality when they open Fort Wayne's newest brewery at 1501 E. Berry St., near Indiana Tech.

Tomaszewski and Long each bring their own specialties to the start-up.

The two began sharing their beer with friends and family, then moved on to offering free samples at some of the summer festivals. While they already have quite the following, they are ready for a brewpub to call their own.

“Our basic model is just to offer variety. We will have a few beers that are constant and then we plan on having a dozen in the first few months that will rotate. We focus more on the beer than the food, but we will invite some of our local food trucks to park out front for part of our food program. We will also have some heat-and-eat things available, too,” said Tomaszewski.

Summit City Brewerks will include the quintessential window looking into the seven-barrel capacity brewery. It will seat about 100 people. The owners hope to keep a vintage downtown look and feel with exposed brick and other architectural characteristics through the 100-year-old, almost 4,000-square-foot building.

“We are trying to keep the somewhat industrial and old feel to it while still being up to date and modern,” Long said.

And, of course, Summit City Brewerks will be selling refillable growlers, because, what's a brewpub without growlers?

The brewers love to cook up different brews with unique ingredients.

“Brewing beer is a trade that has so many possible outcomes and ingredients. It's kind of an artistic experiment that you can then enjoy when you're done with. When I brew, I kind of go overboard on the special ingredients so I can make something a lot different than what you can buy in store. Most beers are made with base ingredients, but with my beer I typically go all out,” Long said.

Just like with any new business, the guys have been working early mornings and long nights getting the place up and running. From traveling all over the Midwest gathering the best-of-the-best equipment to dealing with federal, state and local paperwork, Long said it's been quite a ride.

“I wouldn't say that that is an extraordinarily different story than from what other business owners have experienced, but we have had some trials and a lot of adventures,” he said.

The two even launched their own Kickstarter campaign last August. While they didn't reach their $25,000 intended goal, they did have nearly 30 supporters and raised more than $2,000.

Just last year, the team made beers ranging from a Mango Peach Ale to a Coffee Bock. So far, a local favorite is the 2012 Oktoberfest, which was shared with friends and family. But just like any beer guys, the two brewers are ready to share their creations with even more beer lovers.

“Honestly, my favorite part is sharing it with everyone. It's one thing for me to like a beer, but we really have been surprised with all the festivals that we have done. Some of the things that maybe we weren't sure was going to be a big hit, people went crazy over. That's the really fun part of it, seeing what everyone else likes. We just want to make a bunch of different beer all the time and share the experience,” Tomaszewski said.

While the hope to open near the beginning of January, they joke they have a tentative date of “as soon as possible.”