Words: Collette Orquiz
Photos: JoMando Cruz
Back Unturned Brewing Co. is on track to open by the end of 2019, but it wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for a gift card to Academy Sports + Outdoors. Founder Ricardo Garcia purchased a Mr. Beer kit (a.k.a. a “cake-in-a-box”) with the gift card from his mother-in-law, and the rest was history. “I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit so as I got more and more obsessed with it, the thought was always there,” Garcia said.
Like most first-time brewers, the beer was horrible, but as Garcia got better at brewing, his friends egged him on to open a place of his own. That was nine years ago, and now he’s opening Back Unturned in the former spot of the Brookylnite.
Garcia is 38-years-old with a wife and two daughters. His background is in design and he actually worked on elements for The Historic Pearl. He was born in Colombia, but immigrated with his family when he was just a month and a half old.
The brewery’s concept is simple: don’t give up on the things you want. “I want to inspire other people to not turn their back on their dreams. It’s still possible,” Garcia said. Back Unturned will feature 12 taps, and beers will run the gamut from light to complex and flavorful. They’ll include everything from easy drinking lagers, pale ales, IPAs, golden ales, porters, stouts, and Belgian style beers. “I want to make it easy for people to order beer, Garcia said. “It’ll just go from light to dark and try to eliminate questions and make it easier for people to order.”
Food will be available at the brewery in the form of pizzas and salads, and will eventually have gluten-free friendly items. Pizzas come from Colorado Boy, a franchise-like training program where they teach people their recipes and let businesses call it their own. It was an easy decision for Garcia to make as pizza is his favorite food. “My goal is to have really good pizza so even if you don’t drink beer, people will be there for the pizza,” the owner said.
Speakeasy vibes from the former tenant are gone and are now filled with a hip and industrial ambiance. It still has some accents from the past, but it’s definitely not a cocktail joint. Garcia said he really wanted people to know they’re in the spot where the suds get made. It’ll definitely be a glow-up from brewing in his garage. “There’s a lot of places where you go and can’t see the beer. People want to see it and feel like they’re in a brewery,” Garcia said.
Originally he wanted to be a production spot only, but Garcia said he’s thankful that he went the brewpub route after hearing so many production brewers say they had regrets. Garcia wants everyone to feel welcome. “You walk in, we’re there, we greet you, give you great service, and it just makes you want to come back because, ‘Damn, that’s a kickass place! Let’s go there.’”
Keep an eye on the brewery’s social media for an opening day announcement. Back Unturned Brewing Co. is located at 516 Brooklyn Ave. and is near Roadmap Brewing Co. and Alamo Beer in what Garcia’s calling the “Beermuda Triangle.” “So if you get lost, that’s not on us,” Garcia said.