EatDrinkJax.com interviews Jack Twachtman of Brew Five Points.
Talking craft coffee and craft beer with Jack Twachtman
1. Tell us about BREW Five Points
BREW is a craft beer and espresso bar. Our focus is exclusively on espressos as opposed to drip coffee and pour overs. For beer, we’ll have a few draft taps but our main focus will be on craft beer in cans.
2. What did you envision BREW to be when you were creating it?
We wanted to present the bar and coffee shop in a way that hasn’t been done here yet. We definitely wanted to have a clean, modern, stylish design. We knew we’d have a smaller space so we wanted to make sure it was warm and inviting. It’s a place where you can bring one person or a small group of friends. It’s about community and conversation and trying new things. Our tables are community tables as opposed to little two-tops with bar stools. We’re never going to have cheap beer and PBR specials. It’s about getting people to try new things and hopefully finding new favorites.
We want to educate on both sides of the concept - beer and coffee. The staff will all be very knowledgeable about what it is they’re serving and hopefully able to make recommendations based on what you like. More than anything we want to highlight the story behind the product. That’s why we went the craft route. The people who make our coffee, for example, some of them went as far as visiting the farms in South America where the beans were grown. There are real people and faces behind the products. We could potentially show you a picture of the person who roasted your coffee beans or the person who brewed your craft beer. Behind all these people are stories and reasons about why they’re doing what they do - they’re not just using a set formula based on focus groups and marketing research - it’s something they’re passionate about and what they want to do.
Brew - inside three chairs
3. How will you share those stories with people who come to BREW?
We’ll be using things like social media to provide teasers about the stories and if you want to know more you can ask. We’re not going to lecture to people who don’t care. It’s also a function of being in a smaller space. It provides a personal environment that’s conducive to talking and sharing information.
4. Why Five Points?
My partner, Jason, approached me about the concept for BREW. I’ve always been passionate about coffee and wanted to get into it but there are a lot of startup costs and I didn’t really know how to do it. The opportunity to rent out the space was given to us by the owners of the building. They wanted a coffee shop here and they wanted us to run it. Our idea was to have a concept that included both coffee and craft beer, so we presented that and they were cool with it.
So, the opportunity presented itself, but it’s also the right time. Within a few months there won’t be an empty storefront in the neighborhood. Five Points has always had these stops and starts and things are starting back up now. At one point when it was really fun it was all about these young people doing their own kooky things. Now it’s more … and I definitely don’t want to say gentrified, but people are doing it right. Things are being handled the way they’re supposed to be. Rain Dogs has opened. Corner Taco and Hawkers have just opened as well. Now, when you come here you can’t park - if they could get more parking around here it would be awesome.
Brew - front door logo
5. With many bars upping the ante with more and more draft beer taps, why did you decide to focus less on draft beer and more on beer in cans?
It’s an emerging trend with craft beer and we really liked the idea of cans. It’s something that seemed really simple and sort of nostalgic. Canned beer also lasts longer and it doesn’t get damaged by the sun, so many argue that canned beer tastes better. It’s more fun too - you get to crush the cans and recycle them.
I also own Burro Bar and we have 20 taps there, which is pretty cool. A lot of people like draft beer, but from a management perspective it’s much nicer dealing with smaller little discrete units versus liquid inventory, which is very hard to manage. With taps you also waste a lot, which many people don’t realize.
6. Who’s the audience for BREW?
I think it will be young professionals through to middle-aged Riverside people who are still cool. Burro Bar is my punk side and my party side and BREW is my me-growing-up-a-litttle-bit side. I think BREW will appeal to my designer friends, developers, and people like us who are craftspeople in their own right. Whether they’re artists, entrepreneurs, furniture makers, or whatever - all people who appreciate craftsmanship in their lives. There are people who have regular jobs who also appreciate these things. BREW will be for people who are looking beyond commoditized products to something that reflects the person who is making the product and that allows them to be closer to the stuff they consume.