Open & Shut is an ongoing series looking at the comings and goings of businesses in Southcentral Alaska. If you know of a business opening or closing in the area, send a note to reporter Alex DeMarban at [email protected] with “Open & Shut” in the subject line.
Brewerks: Chad Ringler brewed beer out of his house for close to two decades, dreaming about one day opening his own brewery to bring people together over his craft beer.
But he stayed focused on his civil engineering career at a private company in Anchorage.
Until about a year ago.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, like a lot of people, he decided it was time to reset his priorities and pursue his life’s passion.
“It’s scary in the middle of a pandemic to say, ‘I’ll leave a wonderful job and strike out on my own,’ ” he said. “It definitely kept me up at night, but you never know until you try it.”
“I think just in the middle of everything going on around the world in general, I decided it was time to do something I always wanted to do,” he said.
Brewerks opened last month at 625 W. 59th Ave., units A and B, in a newly built collection of warehouse buildings.
The lone employee for now, Ringler is open Fridays and Saturdays from 4-8 p.m. He’ll slowly expand hours as he finds his operating rhythm, maybe adding a day in January, he said.
Brewerks sports an open-concept design with exposed rafters, round tabletops on beer barrels, and two seating areas including an upper loft.
“It’s my version of a hole in the wall,” he said. “I like the laid-back feel.”
Ringler said he sometimes gives customers tours of the sleek brewing and fermenting tanks in the back.
He’s already serving a variety of beers.
The Wicked Pissah! is a New England IPA. The Blacksmith’s Breakfast is made with coffee from Goldie’s Coffee Roasters in South Anchorage. The beer is named for his brother, who shoes horses for a living.
Other beers are aging in old wooden barrels along a wall. He’ll tap those next November, on his one-year anniversary.
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Pho Lotus: During the pandemic, Brandon Sundara said he realized it was time to “step up” and seize more opportunity in life.
So he left his job as a chef at Benihana restaurant in downtown Anchorage and opened Pho Lotus — a Vietnamese, Thai and Laotian diner in Spenard — with his wife, Surangrak.
“No work, no