It takes rich earth to grow hops and a hot fire to ferment it into the brew that inspired Earth and Fire Brewing Company co-owners Nick Vega and Brewmaster Nolan Mott to open up shop in Paso Robles, creating small batch beer and a place for locals to hang out with a frosty glass in hand.
"It takes a lot of earth and a lot of fire to make beer," Vega said, explaining the inspiration for the name Earth and Fire Brewing. "We were trying to figure out a label and didn't want it to be just Mott and Vega brewing. It needed to mean something to both of us.We have just installed flat screens for football season and want this to be a regular hang out place to have a beer for our locals. With that in mind our brewery pour house is all about comfort."
The feel is rustic and homey with plush couches in one corner, a bar with stools adjacent and wine barrels repurposed as tables. There are two flat screens for football season and Mott and Vega hope to have a regular game night following for folks that want to have a beer and watch the game in comfort.
Both Mott and Vega felt a passion for opening a brewery and didn't want to let the opportunity pass them by. For Vega, being in control of his own destiny and owning a business has been a dream since childhood and that dream has finally come true. For Mott, it all began when he was a Cal Poly student studying to be an engineer. He said that his roommates and he were sick of drinking cheep light beers and thought, "why not make it ourselves?" The rest is history and after years of bottling other company's libations, Mott is now making his own professionally.
"Right now we have Belgian, a Saison, a vanilla Porter, Chocolate Bonfire Stout and we are playing around with a double IPA and single IPAs," Mott said. "Since we are small we can really make whatever we
Earth and Fire Brewing Company co-owners Nick Vega and Brewmaster Nolan Mott celebrate the opening of their new brewery with a frosty mug of beer.
want and cater to what our customers want. We do small batch and are planning an October Fest-style beer with a little spice. Right now we are working with pellet hops and are looking for the local source for hops and have been looking at some in Salinas. We are seeing grain growing around here as well as hops and as that industry grows we will be sourcing more and more local goods. We make our own starter and grow it using three main strains of yeast — Saison, Belgian and California Ale yeast. We are not doing a house yeast because we want some diversity of flavor and don't want all the beer to taste the same because we are using the same yeast for everything. It is interesting for me to use the variety to get better, more varied flavors."
Earth and Fire Brewing offers beers on tap, growlers to go and has created a diverse menu of beers for its first official run. Vega said that in the future, as the business expands, they will offer more beer varieties, plan to source locally and will move forward with more sustainable practices.
"When we expand we plan to have a wood-fire grill put in and Nolan's family has animals, so right now our used grain goes to them," Vega said. "In the future we will harvest the cattle that were fed on our gain and bring things full circle with sustainability in mind. Our goal was to do this as a family and we did all the build out with the help of friends and family. We are so grateful for all the support and hope to see all the locals out for a taste."
Earth and Fire Brewing Co. is open three days a week — Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. They are located at 825 Riverside Ave., Ste. 1, in Paso Robles. To learn more about owners Vega and Mott, see new beers on tap and more, visit earthandfirebrewing.com.