Craft beer enthusiasts in Meridian will finally get a brewery to call their own this fall now that Slanted Rock Brewing Co. is set to open a new production brewery in a shopping center across from the High Desert Harley Davidson store.
Slanted Rock Brewing Co. has leased a 3,500 square foot space in the High Desert Marketplace, 2374 E. Cinema Drive. Co-owner Alesa Lonseth says company has a 15 barrel brewing system on order and hopes to have that installed, all the permits taken care of, and the brewery open by fall.
Slanted Rock is going to use the same model Payette Brewing Co. and Crooked Fence Brewing have done this year — open a production brewery with a tasting room for some on-premise sales but concentrate on selling kegs to local restaurants and beer bars. The brewhouse will not have a kitchen or sell any food, but the Slanted Rock folks will try to work out arrangements with local food trucks to stop by the brewery on busy days, Lonseth said.
The brewery should be able to produce about 480 kegs a month, she said.
The Slanted Rock brewmaster is Bob Lonseth, Alesa’s husband, a long-time homebrewer who currently works as a software engineer for Micron.
Bob Lonseth began homebrewing in Texas and kept brewing after moving to Idaho. Alesa Lonseth said the couple got the idea to open a production brewery because so many people seemed to enjoy Bob’s brews and have been working on a business plan for a long time before finally finding the right situation and location on Cinema Drive.
“We live in Meridian and we wanted to brew beer in Meridian and support the local economy,” Alesa Lonseth said.
Bob Lonseth has four recipes nailed down for house beers — a Kolsch, a regular IPA and an imperial IPA, and a Scottish Red Ale. He is very close to finishing the recipe for a malty strong ale (think Alt-beer type), Alesa Lonseth said.
The couple hopes to one day open a bigger production brewery, which would include a bottling line. They would also like to open a second brewery in Texas, where their business partner and co-owner still lives, Lonseth said.
Alesa Lonseth said name Slanted Rock was somewhat of lark.
“Everybody tells us we have to come up with a better story, but what happened is we were really struggling trying to come up with a name for about a month and we just wasn’t figuring it out” she said. “We were going to McCall and drove by International Stone (near the State Street/Idaho 55 intersection) when Bob just said, “It doesn’t matter ... it could be slanted rock or something like that.’ The name just stuck.”