A local engineering and refinery plant construction firm has re-purposed those skills toward crafting beers and artisan spirits.
"From the first conversation about beer two years ago, we had a dream to have a bit more fun within our industry, which is now a reality at Mill Street Still & Brew, home of Micron Precision Crafted Beers and 10 TORR Spirits," said Randy Soule, owner of Encore DEC.
Encore DEC has been designing, engineering, building and operating refinery and industrial plants for over 12 years. These plants are fabricated in Reno by Encore’s mechanics and welders for use around the world.
Following a long installation day in 2015 at a refinery plant in Mississippi, Encore’s engineers were having a beer and burger at their favorite spot The Bulldog in Baton Rouge, LA., a large, 250-beer tap house. Conversation easily turned from the same old refinery problems to the technology of brewing and distilling.
"The conversation developed into ideas and then evolved into real thoughts about designing and building our own brewery and distillery that would produce products that were much more enjoyable than diesel fuel and gasoline," said Soule.
The facility would utilize Encore’s chemical engineer, Will Whipple, who already had a passion for the brewing industry and knowledge from his garage experiments, along with Encore’s entire employee team who brought their talents from the engineering, construction, fabrication and refining world.
After cost budgets and some research was completed, Encore finally found a potential building at Mill and High Street from Kelly and Pamela Haberae. The building was well situated for a brewery and distillery, which would also enhance the character of Reno by renovating an old abandoned building.
"Mill Street Still & Brew would be born from a former grocery store building built in1940 that had many nice features to make for a unique brewery and distillery for all of Reno and Sparks to enjoy," Soule said.
Mill Street Still and Brew was then funded, designed, developed, engineered and built by Encore DEC. Using all of Encore’s talented engineers, welders, mechanics and operators, Encore fully fabricated, built and installed the tanks, fermenters, process vessels, columns, platforms, walls, ceilings, tables, chairs, bar, systems and finishes.
"From the tanks and taps, all the way down to the front door, Mill Street was hand-built in Nevada by all local engineers, fabricators and crafts people," Soule said.
The brewery and distillery deploys special distillation techniques and state-of-the-art control systems in addition to structural features and finishes not found in any other facility. All of Encore’s engineers, which include chemical, civil, electrical, and structural, are graduates of the University of Nevada, Reno.
Whipple designed the brewery and distillery process systems. Head brewer Melissa Test is a biology graduate from UNR and certified judge with the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). She takes that knowledge and experience from a decade of home brewing with Whipple to develop the beer recipes that are being deployed at the facility. Test is currently Northern Nevada's only female head brewer.
The beer and spirit products are then packaged and sold at the Mill Street Still and Brew taproom or sold through New West Distribution to stores and tap houses throughout the region.
All of the beer products produced are named and marketed by the Mill Street Still and Brew as MICRON beers because of our unique centrifuge filtering process.
All of the spirit products produced are named and marketed by the Mill Street Still and Brew as 10 TORR spirits because of our unique vacuum distillation process.
All of the product and company logos deploy and market the same designed “phi” brand mark so we can become one recognizable product.
Mill Street's grand opening celebration is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2017 with food, music and a full lineup of craft beer and spirits from Micron and 10 Torr. Located at 490 Mill Street, current hours rare Wednesday through Saturday from 1-10 p.m. and Sunday 12-6 p.m.