CALEDONIA — Drew Koszulinski does an amazing job of explaining the brewing process. On our walkthrough before opening, he shares the finer points and nuances of his trade. EB Coffee & Pub’s head brewer also seems to be a bit of a technical wizard, which has allowed him to create a rather sophisticated yet simple three barrel system.
Touring the backroom that also serves as baking and prep space for EB’s daily prepared goodies, Koszulinski shows off a control box of his own design that operates the brewing system. “It has a key to start it, and it lights up a lot. So that’s kinda fun,” he jokes.
Our tour takes us to the fermenters, which are non-jacketed, individually cooled with coils, controlled by another example of Koszulinski’s electronic wizardry, housed in a converted toolbox. This system allows each beer to be fermented at a different temperature, whatever works best for the style currently being brewed.
“It took a lot of weaving together to make sure everything would work at the same time, but everything is coming along. We are becoming an operation, and I’m happy with how everything has come together,” he says.
EB Coffee & Pub is, and always will be, a café sort of environment. Understanding that fact is essential to understanding EB. Justin Nichols, owner, set out to create a place that had that sort of feel, regardless of what they were serving. Another key component of EB is efficiency. “We want to be busy in the evening as well as the morning. It’s a full cycle business model,” says Nichols.
Running a full menu all day, every day means you can pick up a house baked scone at 8 o’clock at night and a cup of coffee for your D.D. while you enjoy a beer.
“We are open Monday through Friday at 6 a.m. Legally, we can’t serve beer until 7, but if you walk in at 7 a.m. and ask for a beer, we’ll gladly pour you one,” Koszulinski chimes in and laughs.
Part of the conversion process from just coffeehouse to coffeehouse/pub included understanding local clientele and Caladonia, where EB is located. Koszulinski explains: “We realized we might be dealing with customers who don’t have a background in craft beer. We could have some people come in and say ‘what do you have that taste like Bud Light?’ Education for our customers is something we love, and it’s a big part of this process for us. We are starting out with a beer list that will be accessible, easy to grasp, but still have some outliers like our Rye Strong Ale.”
At 8.5% ABV, this is the strongest beer on EB’s initial release list.
“It has the big confusing spice character from the rye. If you don’t know what you are getting into it’s a whole bunch of flavor.”
EB’s gateway beer for those who haven’t delved into the craft beer scene yet is Goldsmith, an oatmeal blonde ale at 4.8% ABV. It’s delicate with a slightly citrusy flavor, and very well balanced without being boring. A coffee stout, an IPA, a dark farmhouse ale and a farmhouse ale brewed with Earl Gray tea rounds out the beer list.
EB Coffee & Pub’s re-launch is Saturday, bright and early at 7 a.m. Live music will be playing throughout this all day event, with giveaways, merch, and of course, beer. Or coffee, if you prefer. Find out more details on EB’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EBcoffeeandpub
Justin Nichols would like to send a quick thank you to his wonderful wife, who has had to deal with long hours, crazy schedules and their four children during this whole process. Someone buy that lady a beer.