A distinctly traditional beer maker has set up shop in the city’s brewing district.
Crusader Brewing Co., which opened Feb. 23 at 5880 District Blvd., Suite 18, focuses on traditional European beer styles, not the hops-intense, IPA- style beers popular among many West Coast craft brewers.
"We're doing traditional style of English and German beers," said Bailey Hale, who co-owns the brewery with Christopher McEnulty. "We want to do maltier beers and beers that have a much more classic, historical flavor profile."
Crusader is closed Sundays and Mondays but is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It's also open from 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays and noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays.
"We've been doing well," Hale said of his business since last month's opening. "We've had people from Fresno and Los Angeles drive up to try our beer already."
Although it does not serve food, the business regularly hosts food trucks for customers who want to eat tacos, pizza or barbecue with their beer.
As a five-barrel brewhouse with no employees, Crusader follows the same business model as other smaller local breweries.
Hale and McEnulty hope to do as much business out of their taproom as possible but are also in talks with local restaurants about making beer available for sale outside the beer district, which is generally located between Gosford and Stine roads, north of District Boulevard and south of White Lane.
Hale said Monday he hopes to sell canned beers "to go" soon. "Hopefully I can get that wired up and working today," he said.
The brewery is positioning itself as friendly to veterans and law enforcement. Hale said he is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and that before McEnulty was involved in a traffic accident he worked for the Kern County Sheriff's Office and the Ventura Police Department.