or the second time since opening in 2013, Smiling Toad Brewery
is moving and expanding — so get your last visits in before the spot closes sometime in October. Co-owner Biff Morehead hopes that the brewery’s new location at 2028 Sheldon Ave., the former Thirsty’s, will open in December, around the same time that road work on the adjacent stretch of 21st Street is completed.
“There’s been a demand for our beer... so we’re moving up to 10 barrels,” says Morehead, noting that he’ll be using the brewery’s current three-barrel system for at least the first few months in the new location. He couldn’t afford to buy the brewery’s current building and do the necessary build-out to expand, so he elected to move and keep the budget intact. Over the coming months, he and his team will renovate the new location’s lower floor as the brewery area, leaving the upper floor and deck for customers.
“We’re going to have a much bigger taproom presence,” he says. “I don’t know about food yet, if we’re going to add a kitchen or rely on food trucks... I don’t know if I want that responsibility yet.”
The new location will have 15 taps, just like the current spot, though Morehead plans to add a nitro tap. He also notes how this expansion will help Smiling Toad open accounts at more bars and restaurants around town; right now, he has no plans to bottle or can.