Slumbrew‘s newest brick-and-mortar venture, American Fresh Brewery and Taproom (15 Ward St.) opens to an expansive room where owners Caitlin Jewell and Jeff Leiter fit beer making, beer drinking and fine eats all in one place. A sleek taproom with bar and dinner seating conceals the large brew operation behind it in the open-ceiling space. A large L-shaped bar runs around a two-floor “mezzanine” that conceals the cooler with black, ribbed sheet metal. On the top, a chain link fence holds rows of kegs.
In its four-year history, Slumbrew has followed an impressive trajectory. First opening the Assembly Row Beer Garden last November, the American Fresh Taproom marks the craft brewers’ second location. The company distributes to seven states, and while most of those are in the Northeast, we’re told their Happy Sol (a blood orange hefeweizen) happens to be very popular in Louisiana.
The couple refurbished the former warehouse space on Ward Street by hand, for the most part. Jewell estimates she and her husband put 39 weeks of “non-stop work” into the Boynton Yards location—and it shows. Walking into the space, guests are first greeted with a wall garden sporting fledgling sprouts. Employees mingle among guests, carrying charcuterie plates, pretzels and pizza.
They didn’t get here alone, though, and that’s something Jewell is quick to emphasize. The solid concrete bar, which she and her husband poured themselves, is adorned with 192 small gold stars—one for every person who helped them along the way.
American Fresh Boynton Yards features a laundry list of Slumbrew’s patented creations, as well as a light bar food menu to soak up the libations. A welcome break from the diet of Busch Light and McDonald’s my journalistic salary affords, no doubt—especially when accompanied by a plate of meats and cheeses that fall out of my oh-so-worldly purview.
Though when they first hit the scene, the Slumbrew moniker drew some “nuclear” ire from community members (perhaps triggering memories of the “Slummerville” of old), the Boynton Yards spot has been a welcome addition for neighbors. As Jewell gave us a tour of the facility, we bumped into Jenn Tkowski, an employee of Gentle Giant Moving Company, a neighboring business that put their shoulder to the wheel for Slumbrew. She said the location is sure to be the after-work hangout for the foreseeable future.