Fun Times at Climate City Brewing Company
When I first started hanging out in Grants Pass back in 1976, the Brewery had just opened and was the place to go. The owners had converted the turn-of-the-century (circa 1886) brewery into a restaurant and adjoining bar, and it was a fun place.
Sadly, the restaurant bit the dust a while back, and the historic building sat vacant for a few years. To the rescue came a team of four local people who opened Climate City Brewing Co in the spring of 2015 in the Brewery’s old location at 509 SW G Street. It all started one fall day in 2013 when Christine Meis and her husband Mark Simchuck were enjoying beer at a brew fest in Grants Pass with their friends Jodi Paquin and her husband Steve Baksay.
“We all discussed the idea of starting a craft brewery/pub in downtown Grants Pass,” Christine said. “After several months of research, we became really enthusiastic about the idea, especially when the old Brewery building became available. We enjoyed learning about the history of the building and how it is tied to the history of Grants Pass. Every time we walk into the building we have a feeling of deep pride. Climate City Brewing Co is meant to represent Grants Pass, our area, our culture.”
Christine is originally from California, and Mark from Colorado. They are both podiatrists and took over a Grants Pass practice in 1997. Jodi and Steve have lived in the Rogue Valley since 1998, although Jodi grew up here but moved away in 1985. Steve grew up in Beaverton and has been a physical therapist for 25 years, while Jodi’s background is in social services.
When Climate City Brewing Co opened in 2015, it became an instant hit and, in fact, won for “Best New Restaurant” in the Sneak Preview’s “Best of the Rogue Valley.” In the spring of 2016, Joesett Dirling began working at Climate City, and in January 2017 she took over as General Manager. That was when she and her husband Ray bought into the partnership as well.
“Ray has been helping out our brewmaster, Acacia Cooper, learning to brew and all that is involved in the process,” Joesett said. “He also orders all the merchandise in the swag shop. Our three kids are also involved. Sierra, the oldest, is in charge of social media and also works as a server. Mikaeli has worked as a server and dishwasher on occasion. And Joe has helped bussing tables and with reports on the computer. He’s even learning the payroll.”
Climate City has 16 beers on tap, along with an extensive menu. Chris Kempf, the Executive Chef, has created a varied menu that includes pizzas, salads, burgers, pastas, seafood, fish & chips, and more. Desserts are made in-house by the Sous Chef.
“We also have a mug club,” Joesett said, “where members design their mug next door at The Glass Forge. It’s their personal mug that stays at the brewery. They get 20 ounces of beer for the price of a pint. There are other specials that go along with mug club membership. Many of our guests know each other and enjoy hanging out together.”
Climate City also cans beer for Orange Torpedo and they are in partnership with them for The Paddled Pub, which is a 14-person raft and “floating bar.” The restaurant’s banquet room is also ideal for special parties and events.
For more information, call 541-479-3725 or go to climatecitybrewing.com. You can also like them on Facebook.