Joe Percoco, owner and head brewer, explained that they are working on three different spaces. First they will complete SØLE Bar + Bottle, a beer cafe and growler bar in downtown Easton. Simultaneously, they are putting together an 8,000 square foot brewery and tasting room space called “World Headquarters” about a quarter mile from Bar + Bottle. After that, they will be developing a larger, 20,000 square foot space that adjoins the 8,000 sf space.
Percoco described the concept and inspiration behind Bar + Bottler as, “When I spent time brewing in Europe, I’d go to these beer cafes and got great beer with no hassle. So we wanted that concept for Bar – it’s the larger space on the left when you go in. It’s got it’s own feel – very cozy, exposed brick, nice ambient lighting; we’re getting some custom murals. That’ll be the place where you go and you sit and chat over a beer. Then on the other side, Bottle, it’ll have its own bar – slightly smaller – but it wont have any seats. The tables in that space will be hightop and it’ll be for take out. Those people can go in and get their growler fills efficiently without waiting or standing behind people who are sitting at the bar, and then people who are sitting at Bar won’t have a guy with 10 growlers standing over their shoulder. “
No detail has been overlooked to make Bar + Bottle the space Percoco wanted. “Every single detail has been examined and turned on its head: the size of the pour, the way we pour our beer, the glasses, the aesthetic, the furniture – everything has been done to be different and innovative. It’ll be our little European beer cafe.”
The food at Bar + Bottle will focus on quality, “We are keeping it simple; inspired by the European beer cafes that my wife and I hung out in when we were in Europe. They had snacks, but not like American snacks like a bag of potato chips. They actually put thought into it even though it wasn’t a significant plate of food. They really cared about the quality as well.”
The brewery space, World Headquarters, is located in the redeveloped Simon Silk Mill. It is a five minute drive on Route 22, but there is also an arts trail that connects the spaces, so you can bike or walk between the two.
The first stage of the brewery is located in a turn of the century brick building and is halfway complete with the brewhouse and equipment already on its way. Percoco explained, “It’s going to be a 15 bbl system. We’ll have 30 bbl tanks for our canning runs and we’ll have 15 bbl tanks and I’ll have 8.5 bbl tanks that serve as sour fermenters and small projects. In total we’ll have 25 tanks that are going in. At Susquehanna we were brewing 100 bbl batch sizes and had about 3 batches per month. Now we’ll have the ability to keep it even fresher than we have in the past so we are really excited.” It will also be home to a 3000 sf tasting room and an outdoor patio.
The second phase of World Headquarters is a 20,000 sf space that adjoins the 8,000 sf brewery. They plan to have a foeder and barrel program there, as well as a private barrel room bar. The larger space will serve as an area where people can stand inside for can releases rather than standing outside. Even better, they will be able to grab a number and go drink at the bar while they wait. “We’re going to completely change the can release structure because we’ve been doing something very interesting operating out of a brewery we don’t own. It’s been a bit unorthodox and people really like our can releases, so we really want to maximize what a can release can be and give the customer as much as we can for the length that they are going through to get this beer!”
Percoco also plans to build a koelschip/greenhouse room in the larger space. His concept is to have the “koelschip up in the ceiling and you can sit below it – not directly of course – in a year round green house beergarten patio that has a retractable greenhouse roof. So when we do koelschip brews, we can throw the hot wort in the koelschip, open the roof and inoculate the wort that way.”
Bar + Bottle should be open in early June, but keep your eyes open on Sole’s Instagram and Facebook pages to find the exact date that Percoco will be ready to share his vision with his fans. And stay tuned – in addition to these three locations, Percoco has many more things in store for Sole Ales in the next few years!