As the “Cheers” theme song indelibly states, sometimes you want to go somewhere everyone knows your name, whether it’s a nearby pub or a brewery.
Husband and wife Adam and Hannah Clark are sure to make a name for themselves at First Man Brewery (437 E. Madison Ave.), as local residents recently established the business — a first in Derby — and opened its doors on October 10. Celebrating its grand opening. 13.
Clarke is a derby through and through, actually at St. St. Mary’s Catholic School is located on Madison Avenue’s current location in Central Park – just across from the First Man Brewery. Based on this connection, some of the seats installed on the west side of the brewery are the original school benches.
With the perfect fit, the brewery is a logical evolution after Adam started brewing at home in 2015, inviting friends and family to try his creations every week.
“The gatherings grew, and the positive feedback solidified our belief that we could open a brewery,” Clark said.
Strengthen ties with St. Louis. Mary and Clark’s Catholic roots, First Man Brewery is named after a riff on Adam and Eden — and some of its beers are also named after saints.
Adam points out that small-batch brewing provides an opportunity to diversify and experiment with the brewery’s offerings. While First Man Brewery will offer standard light, dark and hoppy beers, Clarks is also creating a collaborative environment to keep the taps and ideas flowing.
“First Man staff will also contribute to the brewing process, so it’s always fresh,” Clark said. “We’re delighted that our Norwegian Lager and Amber Ale are now available, and our Porter and Pumpkin beers are coming soon.”
Clarks has worked in the food industry for more than 15 years, owning a brewery is no easy feat, and most of their employees are inherited from previous jobs. Adam works as the master distiller, while Hannah, who also runs a professional photography company, handles many of the artistic and aesthetic aspects of the business.
Taking over the former Blue Dragon book space with some major renovations to make room for the brewing area, walk-in cooler, bar, kitchen and second bathroom – a new patio has also been added to the east side of the building.
Bears are not yet allowed on the east patio due to permission, but until this issue is resolved, a temporary patio has been set up on the north side.
In addition to beer (which also offers canned beer), First Man Brewery will be serving food from its kitchens in the future – the menu is still to be determined. During this time, the brewery will be hosting food trucks on site. As artists themselves, the Clark family also hopes to host live music on the patio and showcase local artwork – in partnership with the brewery for the final third Thursday of the Derby on October 10th. 20.
Starting October 19, First Man Brewery’s normal hours of operation will be Wednesday and Thursday 3-10pm, Friday 3-11pm, and Saturday noon-11pm. These times may change pending beer availability.
Derby local Clarks pointed out that they had great local support in establishing First Man Brewery, and they wanted to pay off – working hard to create “a convenient place to drink beer” and a truly family atmosphere.
“Raising four children,” the Clarks said, “it was important to us that everyone felt welcome here.”