From left, AJ Soares and Brian Alves are the founders of Hop Forged, which hopes to a bring a more woman-friendly vibe to your traditional tap house.
Written by Edward Smith
A new brewery is coming to downtown Hanford.
Hop Forged Brewing Co. is in the middle of construction and is looking to open by the end of the year, said co-owner Brian Alves.
“We’re moving right along, everything is right on track,” said Alves. “We just need to make sure the people doing the work get there on time and finish on time.”
Alves and his parter, AJ Soares – both of them bankers – are doing most of the work themselves to transform the 130-year old building at 106 Seventh St. to make it ready for the public.
A lot of the equipment needs to be retrofitted and brought up to fire code. They are currently putting in fire sprinklers and a staircase to have access to the basement. The front will be bricked to match the rest of the building to “tie the look together,” Alves said.
Once construction is complete, they can install the brewing system for the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to inspect. After that, they can get the green light to sell their product.
Alves said the duo got together six years ago to brew out of Alves’ garage. They got tired of having to go out of town to a nice bar. They weren’t into the dive bar scene so they got together to lease the space from Alves’ dad. They want to focus on “easy drinking and smooth beers,” said Alves.
The goal is to market toward women, which is something that not a lot of breweries do, he said.
That means creating beers that aren’t too aggressive that can be enjoyed in a safe space.
Alves says they can fit about 150 people into the building. The main floor is 4,000 square feet and the basement has 3,750 square feet.
They will be working with a three-and-a-half barrel system, which can be limiting, but they have plenty of fermenting space to store their brews. Each barrel holds 31 gallons. With eight fermenters, they can have 93 gallons of product going at any one time.
The goal is to produce options, Alves said. They’ll start with five staples and slowly increase the number of beers, incorporating community feedback on what to brew next. One of their beers is a blond ale for which they are planning a naming party.
They’ve done an orange Creamsicle beer, a tootsie roll beer and during the summer, they like to make fruit beers from locally sourced product.
“It’s like cooking,” Alves said. “You whip up a recipe and you have fun with it.”