Frank "Pancho" Miranda doesn't know what to expect this weekend.
The owner and head brewer of 2nd Phase Brewing in downtown Bakersfield has been working on this for eight years, starting with homemade beers in his backyard to now owning his own brewery. He's heard the buzz that people are excited but, even with the opening quickly approaching, it still doesn't feel real.
Everyone will get a chance to sample and see what 2nd Phase Brewing is all about when it opens Friday afternoon at its 19th Street location.
Miranda is a petroleum-industry chemist by training and transferred those skills to brewing. His background in chemistry was the inspiration for the name, referring to one of the four fundamental states of matter — liquid. But the name has another meaning and can be viewed as a new start for him.
"My wife joked it was the second phase of my life," Miranda said.
The building, originally a laundromat that opened in 1941, can fit just under 200 people inside, Miranda said. The space has been completely transformed: The 4,200-square-foot warehouse holds the six-barrel brewing system and bar stools line the counter, it's hard to imagine that the building was anything but a brewery.
"The moment we walked in here we knew we had to make it work," Miranda said. "We want people to feel comfortable here."
The brewery's interior is a testament to the help that Miranda has had from his family. Everything, from the art on the walls to the counters, was made with the help of his family. Even the wooden containers that hold the flights of beer were crafted by Miranda's uncle.
The decor is a fun nod to Miranda's career with formulas on the wall and tables reminiscent of a high school chemistry lab.
But make no mistake, the star of the show is the beer and Miranda aims to use local ingredients in his brews. 2nd Phase Brewing will have four beers on tap Friday based on recipes he's developed over the years.
"I started these recipes in my backyard," Miranda said. "I've worked on these for a long time and I hope that people appreciate the quality."
R(oil)dale (4.2 percent ABV): Miranda describes this as a good after-work beer. This light ale is lightly hopped and has a citrus flavor. This is the beer for people who don't drink craft beers, Miranda said.
Rich Uncle (6 percent ABV): This standard golden ale was designed with one person in mind: Miranda's uncle who exclusively drank Coors Light. This golden ale goes down smoothly and is hardier than R(oil)dale.
Freeholder (5.5 percent ABV): This is an Irish-style red made with American flavors, Miranda said. This malty-tasting brew with caramel flavor enjoyed a test run when Miranda brought it to a couple of beer festivals.
Gravity 13 (9 percent ABV): This brew could be anyone's gateway into stouts. Miranda focused on the best parts of an IPA to create a non-heavy dark beer. The Gravity 13 has a subtle coffee taste without making customers feel like they devoured an entire loaf of bread.
To carve a niche in the local beer scene, Miranda set out to be as experimental as possible, including dedicating one barrel to an experimental series of beers that he will work on. If an experimental beer is met with enough fanfare, it will be added to the regular rotation, he said.
For the opening, there will be two experimental beers to try: a cucumber-infused golden ale and a mystery beer. These experimental beers will be limited to only 50 glasses, Miranda said.
"It's all about process," Miranda said. "The beers are going to improve with each batch. I'm excited for that."