Starting a new business amidst a pandemic is far from ideal for business owners in the Valley. But for those at Crow and Wolf Brewing Co. COVID-19 didn’t stop them from turning their craft brew dreams into a reality.
After almost two years of building and planning for the opening of the brewing facility and taproom, Crow and Wolf Brewing Co. was able to celebrate their grand opening on Friday, Mar. 12.
Vice President of Facility Operations Mike Gengozian said the inspiration for opening up Crow and Wolf came from the love of craft brew.
“It started with a group of friends that met [who] all had one thing in common, which was craft brew,” Gengozian said.
“Pretty much everybody was a home brewer at one time and as relationships and friendship grew there were a couple of brewers that were professionally brewing here in town and…there was talk about, ‘Hey let’s do something on our own instead of working for somebody.’” Continued Gencozian.
Thus, the creation of Crow and Wolf Brewing Co. was born.
What makes Crow and Wolf so unique is its location just off of Highway 168 and Herndon Ave. where the building and taproom are only a few steps away from the Clovis Trail system.
Being close to the trail allows customers the opportunity to host various walking, running and trail riding events while also enjoying a beer when coming or going from the trail.
“For as large as we are, we’re a pretty good sized brewery,” Gengozian said.
“It’s a 15,000 square foot warehouse and we have about 3,500 square feet of air conditioned space so when it’s in the middle of August, you can come in here, have a nice beer at the taproom and be in an air conditioned space instead of having to sit outside where it’s really hot.”
Working alongside award-winning commercial brewers, Brad Gaines and Spencer Andrews, has helped the team produce a variety of unique beers for their company’s grand opening.
Beers range from a coffee stout all the way to a berry seltzer with ingredients sourced locally from Valley farmers and fruit vendors.
“We’re very much in the agricultural belt here and there’s a lot of opportunities for us to partner with other farms to have their fruit in our beer,” Gengozian said.
One of the specialty drinks currently at Crow and Wolf is their Apricot Pie Sour, which Gengozian said tastes incredibly similar to that of an actual apricot pie.
Other drinks include hazy IPAs, a pale ale, a lager, various other seltzers and a hard apple cider.
For the creators of Crow and Wolf, opening their brewery in Clovis was due to the desire to give the community the best craft brew experience possible and within the proximity to the Clovis trail system.
“This was an area that was definitely underserved from a craft brew perspective,” Gengozian said.
“The area is [also] a business park and…it’s a relatively newer area in Clovis. We know there is a lot of growth in this area [in] both residential and commercial properties.”
Although there were some challenges with opening Crow and Brew during the pandemic, the team was persistent in opening as soon as they could.
“We were lucky enough to not have opened up when the pandemic started, that would have been tragic,” Gengozian said.
“Instead we are opening up on the back end of it and so we are fortunate enough from a timing perspective and planning perspective to have that work out…it’s a great feeling to know that we have a good partnership with the city of Clovis and that they have been very supportive in this endeavor.”