Don’t feel like fighting through throngs of emerald-clad revelers downtown? Then head to the grand opening of the North End’s newest nanopub, Cloud 9 Brewery
The 1,350-square-foot space, located at 1750 W. State St., will welcome St. Paddy’s Day partygoers today at 3 p.m. with microbrews and a special Irish-themed menu.
“We’re going to open with some traditional Irish stuff and then a really limited menu—we’ll do our burger and we’ll probably do a salad and some apps and then we’ll do corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, vegetarian shepherd’s pie and corned beets and cabbage,” explained co-owner Maggie Lake. “And then starting Tuesday, we get into the regular menu. We’re going to start slow just because we’re still figuring out the kitchen.”
Cloud 9’s menu will feature the usual pub grub suspects—burgers, fries, mac ’n’ cheese—along with some more North End-y fare.
“We have a lot of patrons in the North End that want vegan, they want gluten-free and they want alcohol-free, so we’re totally going to cater to them,” said co-owner Jake Lake.
The pub will utilize local and seasonal ingredients, including grass-fed ground beef from Homestead Natural Meats, buns from Gaston’s Bakery and cheese from Ballard Family Dairy. Co-owner Jake Lake has concocted a housemade root beer and a non-alcoholic “hop pop,” along with a selection of beer staples and rotating seasonals.
“Right now we’ve got the blonde, the pale ale, the IPA, the double IPA, the porter and the stout,” said Jake. “Those are our staples, so those will be the ones we always have on. … Then we’ve got six random beers. We’ve got an Irish Black Lager, the Winter Warmer is 9.4 percent and the Aphrodite Ale, which has a ‘sex’tet of aphrodisiacs—there's damiana, there’s maca, there’s ginseng, there’s honey, there’s alcohol and there’s some herb that’s similar to horny goat weed.”
Cloud 9’s four-barrel brew system—which is encased in a glass room adjacent to the bar—only cranks out eight kegs per batch, so Jake hopes to rotate through seasonal beers every three weeks or so.
“If we can sell three to four kegs to bars and drink three to four kegs onsite, we’re done,” said Jake.
Cloud 9 will normally be closed on Mondays and open Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday until midnight and Sunday until 9 p.m. The pub also plans to open a patio section in about a month.
“Once we get the patio up and running and the kitchen can keep up with essentially double the seats, then we’ll start to offer brunch on Saturday and Sunday, too,” said Maggie.
Ultimately, the Lakes hope that Cloud 9 will become an integral part of the active North End community.
“I think we’ll get a lot of people riding their bikes Saturdays, or see a lot of people with strollers out for a walk. … We’ve got guys who used to come in here for coffee for 20 years when it was Moxie Java who’re like, ‘Well, we can switch to pints,’” said Maggie, with a laugh.