Brewing company

Roc Hopper Brewing Company set for May 28 grand opening – Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Wendy Werner

A Christmas present nearly a decade ago that turned into a hobby ends with the opening of a new business in Syracuse. Roc Hopper Brewing Company, owned by Ben and Katy Biehl, is opening a Taproom at 448 5th Street that will offer draft beer, wine, cocktails and food. The grand opening is Saturday, May 28 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“Our focus will be on offering ice cold Roc Hopper beers (13 on tap), wine, cocktails, fantastic food and great customer service. We hired bartenders and a chef. They’re a really fun group of people who are really excited about the vision that Ben and I have for Roc Hopper. They are all committed to giving our customers the best experience possible,” said Katy Biehl. “Chef Kelley Rawlings plans to have consistent weekly specials and change the menu often to keep it interesting and fun,” Biehl added.

Ben Biehl received a homebrew kit in 2013 for Christmas from his wife Katy. The couple say they’ve been hooked ever since, studying the science and art of craft beer brewing. In 2019 they were approached with an exclusive beer opportunity for the Champions Run golf course in Omaha and Katy says that’s when Roc Hopper was born. They opened their brewery, a two-barrel system located in their residence, and also began distributing beer to Lincoln, Omaha, Grand Island and Kearney. Ben is a family doctor and with his background in chemistry and Katy’s love of food, Katy said they’ve come up with some great brew recipes. Their most popular beers are Coconut Blonde and Turtle Candy Porter.

Katy describes how the idea to open Roc Hopper came about: “It was a hobby that continually evolved. It all started with a small kettle in the kitchen, then a larger installation in the garage and finally we built a brewery in our garden. She said they loved having homemade beer to share with friends and family and never imagined it would turn into a business.

In March 2020, three days before the COVID shutdown, the Biehls closed the main street building in Syracuse that was most recently the pharmacy. The building dates from the late 1800s. After buying the building, the Biehls discovered it

After purchasing the building, the Biehls discovered that it was originally the opera house and also held political meetings, plays, medicine shows and basketball tournaments. the city.

Katy Biehl said it was amazing to tear down the layers and reveal what it looked like back then. She added: ‘We were able to salvage some of the original tin ceiling and brick walls. You can see where some of the old windows and doors were and where the scene would have been. The space features some of Katy’s artwork which she says gives it a gallery feel. The plan is for Roc Hopper to feature other artists, painters and musicians there as well.

“The bar has evolved into a completely different place than we originally imagined. We had no idea of ​​the history and the potential the building would offer us. The ideas grew and changed from start to finish. The simple, beer-only dining room we were thinking of building at first is now a 140-person bar/restaurant,” Katy Biehl explained.

The Biehls were very committed to supporting the local economy, saying Roc Hopper wouldn’t be what it is today without any of them. electric, Bertie Crook Drywall, Danner Spray Foam, Zeb Kreifels Concrete, Mahoney Concrete, Farley Masonry, FirstBank of Nebraska, Syracuse Ironworks, Beach House Designs, Ryan Ross Carpentry and Syracuse Lumber Yard.

The Biehls have been married for 12 years and have two children, Rocco and Lyla. Katy, who was a hairstylist for 20 years, retired to focus on starting Roc Hopper. Katy said: “The whole trip was a collaborative effort between Ben and me. Our individual strengths really complement each other and I think we make an incredible team. It’s been a very natural progression and we envision it continuing to new heights.

Roc Hopper Brewery is on Facebook

Katy concluded, “We are thrilled to show the public what we have worked so hard on over the past two years and to share our passions with our community.”