When master brewer Chase Engel and his wife, Aly Sanguily, launched Roaring Fork Beer Company (RFBC) in March 2013, they only ever intended that the modest, rustic taproom, adjacent to the production facility on the tourist-sparse side of Highway 133, would whet palates. In just a few years, however, accolade-rich RFBC’s brews have become the official beer of the midvalley. Downtown Carbondale, meanwhile, is long overdue for a laid-back beverage lounge to cement its hipster cred with late-night crowds.
Lucky for us, Engel and Sanguily were willing to work overtime on Batch, which opened in June. After the venue’s construction on Main Street was well underway, however, the couple was forced to take a big gulp: the town would only grant them a tasting-room license to start. That meant no liquor for a planned speakeasy theme, nor wine from Infinite Monkey Theorem, artisanal hard cider, or sake among the 24 taps—yet.
“Our brewers had to work really hard to fill all those taps,” says Sanguily, adding that Batch opened with 16 of its taps pouring RFBC beers, plus guest quaffs by Casey Brewing and Blending and Idylwilde Brewing Company, Bonfire nitro coffee, local kombucha, maté, and probiotic soda. “It’s crazy, but they managed to pull it off,” she adds.
Joining RFBC’s flagship Slaughterhouse Lager, Freestone XPA, and the new Flip IPA is a summer list that includes grilled Meyer lemon and rosehip saison; rum-barrel-aged imperial stout; and tequila-barrel-aged imperial IPA, as well as exclusive, experimental one-off brews. In lieu of liquor-based cocktails (for now), barkeeps will craft beer beverages dosed with house-made simple syrups and shrubs in collaboration with Carbondale Soda Company.
“We’re bringing more energy to Main Street,” Sanguily says. Indeed, Batch’s “vintage-inspired café vibe” complements the neighborhood’s modern-chic Marble Distilling Company tasting room, casual Beer Works pub, and divey Black Nugget watering hole. Low, living room–style seating—including velvet couches, leather ottomans, and “date night” booths custom-upholstered in emerald green python leather—faces a 15-seat bar carved from cool quartzite and decorated with gray mosaic tile. Custom built by Carbondale-based One World Marble, the bar's honey-onyx marble has LED lighting inside, which creates a glowing rainbow effect. Funky chandeliers; marble, glass, and steel finishes; and smoky mirrors offset the 107-year-old building’s original polished wood flooring, and a 12-foot locally made farm table offers a community perch at which to enjoy small plates and snacks delivered by Phat Thai and Town.
Harking to the couple’s Texas roots, Batch hosts Sunday blues brunches catered by chef Mark Hardin of Field2Fork, by reservation only. “We have a bottomless bloody beer bar and ‘beermosas’ until we get our wine license,” Sanguily says. The hoped-for wine and spirits program can’t come soon enough, she adds. “I’m actually a wine, not beer, person, even though I’ve been married to a brewer for 15 years.”
358 Main St., Carbondale