Once the youngest brewery owners in Virginia, Jake Endres, 31, and Lee Rogan, 32, are now doubling the size of their second Crooked Run Brewing location in Sterling.
The brewery is expanding its 7,000-square-foot Sterling location to 14,000 square feet to include a restaurant, bar and event space, all of which will increase the location’s occupant capacity from 150 to 350. Those concepts will be the Daybreak Biscuit Co. and the Nectar Cocktail Bar, which will serve breakfast, brunch and juice-based cocktails and mimosas. With construction started this past Monday, the project should be open in spring 2019.
Endres said the expansion is timely, considering Crooked Run’s Sterling location isn’t large enough to accommodate the hundreds of visitors that stop by each week.
“It was undeniable that our taproom was overcrowded,” he said. “[Expanding next door] was the logical choice.”
With a brunch scene that’s all but missing in Sterling, Endres feels that Daybreak will stick out like a sore thumb, in a good way.
The restaurant will specialize in a Southern-meets-West-Coast style of food, featuring freshly made biscuits and fried chicken during breakfast hours and hot chicken sandwiches covered in chili oil later in the day.
Crooked Run is also continuing its partnership with Damian Dajcz, the owner of Señor Ramon Taqueria, to serve up its popular street tacos.
Over at Nectar, the brewery plans to use a state-of-the-art, $14,000, 5-foot-tall cold pressed juice machine to create all sorts of cocktails and flavored mimosas like peach, passion fruit and clementine. “It’s a pretty impressive juice machine,” Rogan said.
It’ll also feature coffee from the Lone Oak Coffee Co. and beers from breweries across the nation, like Proof Brewing Co. in Tallahassee, FL and Barreled Souls Brewing in Saco, ME. “The goal with these beers is to feature beers you can’t get here,” Endres said.
As for the event space, there will be a lounge area and a stage for live music, which Endres said would feature local bands like Kid Brother and maybe even some bigger names.
Once the expansion is complete, patrons will be free to roam about and grab a beer or cocktail and some brunch before kicking back in the lounge. “It’s just going to be a cool brunch place,” Rogan said.
The drive behind it all is Crooked Run’s desire to serve the community from morning to night. Endres and Rogan also understand that breweries need to evolve to keep up with an ever-changing society.
“It’s not all about the beer anymore,” Endres said. “That usually means going outside of the beer geek crowd.”
The duo opened their 600-square-foot Leesburg location in July 2013, after raising money through Kickstarter. That landed them the designation of Virginia’s youngest brewery owners at the ages of 25 and 26. At that time, Crooked Run produced 150 barrels of beer each year.
Two years later, they started planning their second location, which opened in Sterling off Davis drive in February 2017. Now, Crooked Run produces about 3,500 barrels of beer each year, which equates to about 882,000 pints.
With the brewery increasing its beer production by more than 23 times since 2013, Endres feels that if they had applied, they could have been included in the Brewers Association’s 2017 Fastest Growing Craft Breweries list. “It’s come a very long way since we started,” Rogan said.
According to the association, the median growth among U.S. craft breweries from 2016-2017 was 216 percent. Crooked Run increased its production by 2,233 percent in the last five years, averaging a 447 percent increase each year.
“It took a while to get there,” Endres said. “We just worked at it, got better over time.”