Business & Real Estate

Pipeworks climbing gym plans to start brewing and serving craft beer

Patricks Sparks, 25, works out on the bouldering wall at the Pipeworks climbing and fitness gym last year in Sacramento. A small brewery called Touchstone Brewing Co. would make use of two old metal buildings totaling 3,000 square feet in back of the main 11,000-square-foot gym.
Patricks Sparks, 25, works out on the bouldering wall at the Pipeworks climbing and fitness gym last year in Sacramento. A small brewery called Touchstone Brewing Co. would make use of two old metal buildings totaling 3,000 square feet in back of the main 11,000-square-foot gym. Sacramento Bee file

Pipeworks, the popular climbing and exercise facility on North 16th Street, is getting into the craft beer business.

The novel project in the River District would make use of two old metal buildings totaling 3,000 square feet in back of the main 11,000-square-foot gym. While plans have been submitted to the city for review, the target date to open is many months off.

The small brewery will be called Touchstone Brewing Co., a reference to Pipeworks’ parent company, Touchstone Climbing & Fitness, which owns 11 gyms throughout California. The brewing operation will be set up in one of the metal buildings, with a tasting room – and possibly a restaurant with a wood-fired pizza oven – in the other. A beer garden will operate between the two buildings.

“I knew Sacramento was exploding on beer and I said, ‘Hey, let’s put a brewery in there,’ ” said Ryan Campagna, an avid climber and professional brewer, most recently with Strike Brewing in San Jose.

Campagna said the brewery will initially be “a pretty small operation,” with an emphasis on brewing a variety of beer styles to supply the tasting room, which will be called Pintworks. Campagna moved to Sacramento in August to get the brewing project started. The brewery could be open as early as this winter, he said.

“I didn’t link up with these guys to blow up and be the next Lagunitas,” Campagna said, referring to parent company Touchstone. “But if it morphs into that, I’m happy to help it grow organically.”

The Sacramento region now has about 50 craft breweries, thanks to explosive growth the past five years. Campagna said he is not wedded to brewing any particular styles, though he said hoppy beers such as India pale ales will be a certainty.

“I won’t have the ability to get into sours and barrel-aging stuff, but I do want to dabble in them when the time comes,” he said.

Touchstone has an in-house construction crew that will handle the build-out, he added.

“We’re super excited about it. It would be awesome to be up and running by winter, but I’m not terribly sure,” Campagna said.

In addition to the small brewery, a manufacturing facility will be constructed on the Pipeworks property, where Touchstone will manufacture a wide variety of plastic holds used for its climbing walls.

Blair Anthony Robertson: 916-321-1099, @Blarob

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments