Tucson micro- and craft-brewing company Ten Fifty-Five opened a call for investors Tuesday, just ahead of its third birthday.
“It’s been a wild ride for sure. We had happily underestimated Tucson’s demand for craft beer,” said co-founder and owner Chris Squires.
The current location, 3810 E. 44th St., is in an industrial area near South Dodge Boulevard. Beer production and a tap room are nestled into the 1,800- square-foot space, just down the road from another Tucson beer icon, Nimbus Brewing Co.
“It’s kind of funny, when we opened the space where we are now, we did not account for much sales on premise in our tap rooms.” Squires said.
“We didn’t think people would be able to find us, much less want to. But within six months we had to knock out a wall and expand into the space next door.”
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The expansion continues as Ten Fifty-Five plans to open an 11,000-square-foot facility at 127 S. Fourth Ave., hoping to increase production five to six times.
The space will include brewing and seating, food service and an outdoor patio with picnic tables and areas for games like bocci ball, Squires said.
However, it is all in the very preliminary stages, as the company must meet its nearly $2 million investment goal before going further.
Squires said he and co-owner John “JP” Vyborny always intended to end up downtown but wanted to gain experience and build product recognition first.
“We always knew that this is where we wanted to go. We didn’t think we had the means or experience, but I think the Tucson market has evolved, and so have we,” he said.
An investment information portal is at Invest.1055brewing.com, where interested parties can get an overview of operations and register for access to the investment agreement. Investors must be Arizona residents, which was a legal condition of the offering the owners chose, but also dovetails with the local focus of the company, Squires said.
One of Ten Fifty-Five’s best-known brews is the XOXO Coffee Stout, made with local Exo Roast Co. coffee.
Last year, the brewery made an “Our Valentine” of all Arizona-grown ingredients, the first brew of its kind, to Squires’ knowledge. It was no easy task, as the hops and barley used in beer “like it when it’s wet and cold, and we’re none of those things,” Squires said. But, with the help of Marana-based BKW Farms and friends and family picking wild hops in the White Mountains, Squires said the experimental brew made quite a splash.
Keeping the current space running for just such experiments is definitely in the plans, Squires said, especially as there is currently no set timeline for opening downtown. Squires said construction alone will take at least six months but can’t begin until investment needs are met.
“It’s been a long process,” Squires said. The owners started looking for buildings two years ago. “This is unquestionably a big step up, but Tucson is ready.”