2017-07-15 / News

Something new brewing in Emporium


Emporium’s Bearded Brewing LLC gives coffee aficionados robust flavor options not found in many grocery stores. Owners Ryan and Brandi Magaro (right) and Josh and Lindsey Zucal are hoping to expand their operations to include production of small-batch craft beers. Emporium’s Bearded Brewing LLC gives coffee aficionados robust flavor options not found in many grocery stores. Owners Ryan and Brandi Magaro (right) and Josh and Lindsey Zucal are hoping to expand their operations to include production of small-batch craft beers. Two Emporium families have brewed up a new business in the community.

Bearded Brewing, a fledgling coffee roasting endeavor, is the inspiration of Ryan and Brandi Magaro and Josh and Lindsey Zucal.

The couples are already established members of the business community -- the Zucals as owners of Aroma Café and the Magaros as the proprietors of Rich Valley Apiary. The idea of roasting their own beans sprung from a casual conversation about brewing their own beer. Eventually, the discussion switched gears to coffee brewing, and a plan was hatched.

“I’m actually not a big coffee guy, but I love the process and the background involved,” Ryan said. “I like to try new things, so we thought we’d give it a shot. There’s definitely a market here for this type of product.”

“Part of our goal is to make Emporium more of a destination spot, and we feel a unique product like this could help,” Josh said.

Learning how to properly roast exotic coffee beans took a bit of trial and error. Knowing what blends of coffee would appeal to local java connoisseurs was also a bit of a guessing game.

Beans are purchased exclusively from fair trade-certified farming operations in nations such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Indonesia, Columbia and Brazil, to name a few.

Fair trade producers use sustainable environmental farming practices. They also prohibit child or forced labor.

Four blends are available for sale at the Aroma and Cameron County Artisan Center.

While coffee is their main focus now, Magaro and Zucal still haven’t given up on their dreams of brewing ales, lagers and pilsners. Start-up cost and licensing requirements are the primary obstacles. However, they’ve begun dabbling with different varieties of hops and malts.

“We’ve had a lot of support and encouragement from our families and the community. There’s definitely a buzz in the air,” said Magaro. “Coffee and beer both improve with age, so we’re hoping the business does too.”

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