On Jan. 23, brewers James Rogalsky and Lauren Pattan opened the doors of The Old Bakery Beer Company to the public, located in downtown Alton at 400 Landmarks Blvd.
Part of the building began as the Colonial Bakery in the late 1800s. After a fire in 1929 and extensive remodeling, it stayed a bakery until the early 1980s when it shut down.
Beers currently brewed by Old Bakery Beer Co. include: Porter, English Pale Ale, India Brown Ale, Rye Pale Ale, Magnum Pale Ale, and Dark Mild.
“Right now we have six beers on draft, but we’ll have eight pretty soon. I’d like to get to the point that we have 10-14 beers on draft at any one time, but we’ll see,” Rogalsky said.
Along with a wide selection of beers, the bakery offers a unique variety of foods including: soups, salads, sandwiches, artisan, made-in house meats and condiments.
To add to their one of a kind style, The Old Bakery Beer Co. strives to be both environmentally and economically resourceful.
Sustainability is a major role in their products. They make it a point to be 100 percent organic with ingredients whenever possible.
New LED energy efficient lights have been installed throughout the building. All the restaurant tables are made from reclaimed wood, and the bar top was made from 100 year old floor joists from an old schoolhouse.
The company also manages to make use of their waste. The grain produced during the brewing process is sent to a local farm to be used for cattle feed.
Rogalsky had this advice for anyone seeking to open their own business:
“Take your time and think through what you want to do, how you want people to perceive your business. Obsessive attention to detail. Don’t let anything slide. Especially in the service industry, there’s a lot of competition,“ Rogalsky said. “You need to make sure that every customer who walks in will feel like they’re somewhere unique, special, fun, etc.“
While having a good idea is the foundation for starting a business, a well thought out plan is what makes an idea become a reality.
“Just because you have a great idea doesn’t mean it will work. You have to plan and listen to people; take some business classes and take advantage of free help on campus like SCORE,” business professor, Doug Schneiderheinze said.
The Old Bakery Beer Co. also offers services for events such as receptions, meetings, or parties. For more information on the brewery or to book the venue, visit oldbakerybeer.com.
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