By Stephanie D. Schulte, on April 18, 2012, at 8:39 am
Two local childhood friends turned a dream of doing something unique into a thriving business and are now expanding into a roomier location to accommodate in-house brew making: Beer on another level.
Brew-Ligion owners, Mike Toner and Brent Szychulda, who both served in the military, spent several years brainstorming about opening a brewery/restaurant in the Temecula Valley, which they did last year in September.
“Brent and I have wanted to change the whole atmosphere in the Temecula Valley with regards to a brewery,” Toner said while juggling phone calls. “Our wheels were spinning with visions of something different.”
Then, while enjoying a glass of wine during a spur of a moment trip to Napa, they became enthralled and inspired by the story of how the owners of Cakebread Cellars turned their dreams into a wildly successful business.
“The heart and dedication that the owner’s put into creating Cakebread Cellars sparked something in us,” Toner said.
The expansion into the new location located on Los Alamos in Murrieta was inevitable given the duo’s determination and love for the art of beer making.
“Our vision was always to create a brewery and our current location isn’t big enough to house one,” Toner said. “We were in the process of obtaining our manufacturing license when we heard about the larger vacant space in Murrieta.”
Toner added they plan to have 50 craft beers on tap, gourmet burgers, sandwiches, seafood, pasta, chicken and steak — all whipped up by a seasoned chef.
The man in the kitchen, Oscar Madamba, was the head chef at the famous Outrigger Reef Hotel in Waikiki before moving to the mainland.
“He is an amazing chef,” Toner said
The new brewery is slated to have a ten barrel system that will be visible to customers as they drink and dine.
“It will definitely be an experience for people,” Toner said with a smile.
Both men are excited and hope the elbow grease they are pouring into their endeavor will be a lesson for their children in pursuing dreams.
“We are setting an example for our children that to be successful you have to roll up your sleeves and put some effort into making your dreams a reality.”
The new location is slated to open before summer.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.