Just in time for the Great American Beer Festival, though more than a year behind schedule, comes Briar Common Brewery + Eatery at 2298 Clay Street, officially opening this Thursday. Owned by brothers Kent, Greg and Travis Dawson, this family affair features simple brews and an eclectic food menu, with an emphasis on pairings.
The corner location is triangular in shape and simple, yet sophisticated in style. In its past lives, the space, which required serious rezoning to serve beer, was once a bridal consignment shop, a home, and a print shop, according to Kent, who left a career in health care to start Briar Common. The venue has two bars on two floors, both indoor-outdoor, and the upstairs patio comes complete with a garage door opening and a view of the park.
With more than a decade's worth of home brewing experience, Kent lured Greg, the head brewer to Colorado to embark on the restaurant startup adventure. His philosophy around the five or so beers – from a saison to a porter – is to keep the beverages on tap drinkable and simple, going so far as to call his beer "boring." To balance the boredom out and give patrons a memorable experience, chef Joshua Goodsell comes from Raleigh, North Carolin and is striving for an eclectic but elevated menu of bar fare, with a no waste mantra dictating his kitchen. The pork belly platter is an original take on a charcuterie plate, with the pork taking three days to brine, braise and press before being presented alongside house jams, pickles and other accouterment. The ceviche tostada on the snack section of the menu is a slam dunk, with tomato-less pico de gallo and a sweet and sour hibiscus glaze drizzled over the rotating white fish atop flour tortillas.
The game-plan will be to sell Briar Common's beer directly from the brewhouse to start, without separate retail or distribution operations. And because the new neighborhood brewery is on the way to the Bronco's stadium, the restaurant team will be celebrating this Sunday with a pig roast at 10 a.m.