Ironfire Brewing Co. hoping to wow area beer fans

May 01, 2012 7:00 pm  • 

John Maino and Greg Webb are going for a "wow" factor when someone walks through the front door of the Ironfire Brewing Co.

If everything comes together as planned, almost 5,000 square feet of space in a business park in northwestern Temecula will be transformed into a working brewery with a western/industrial theme that plays off the company's logo: a skull wearing a red bandana and cowboy hat set off with pistols.

"We want you to feel like you're actually inside the brewery," Maino said Tuesday, adding that all the tanks and other equipment will be visible.

As part of that effort, there will be barrels on display that will allow people to see how aging process works and, in the future, the owners are hoping to offer tastings and sales on site.

Initially, Maino said, the focus will be on selling to area restaurants and other large outlets.

"We're not interested in a bar scene," he said.

On Wednesday night, the plans for the brewery are scheduled to be reviewed by the Planning Commission, which will be ruling on an application for a minor conditional use permit.

The commission last month approved an application by a Murrieta brewer to open a 1,500-square-foot brewery and tasting room south of Old Town Temecula.

Ironfire's operation is expected to be substantially larger, taking up 4,696 square feet in a business park in the 42000 block of Zevo Drive.

Maino said that if the brewery is approved, he and Webb hope to produce 750 to 800 barrels a year.

The pair worked together at Ballast Point Brewing Co. in San Diego and they have used that experience to help map out their goals for Ironfire.

"We are definitely quality-focused," he said. "We don't sell anything we ourselves don't love to drink."

That dedication to their product has sometimes led to extremes during the production stage, such as trying out 75 different variations of a beer before finding the right balance.

The roster of beers that will be offered include a golden ale, a pale ale, an IPA and a stout. They also plan to produce a wide range of specialty and seasonal beers: a mix that will range from 3 to 4 percent alcohol content up to 13 percent.

Maino said customers will serve as their research and development department, tasting small batches to determine when they've hit on something especially good.

Down south in San Diego County, Stone Brewing Co. and other craft brewers have been growing at a steady clip and expanding their operations to meet robust demand.

Although that sort of success would be phenomenal, Maino said he and Webb want to maintain a "hands on" approach that allows them to get dirty and do what they love: brew beer.

According to a report for the commission, the proposed hours of operation for the manufacturing facility are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

If the tasting room eventually opens, the hours would be 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The commission's meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Civic Center's council chambers, 41000 Main St.