After stepping away from corporate life, a 35-year-old man who once owned a craft beer bar in Australia is looking to take his knowledge and industry contacts to a new level.
Anton Sagan has taken over Aslin Beer Co.’s old space in Herndon’s Sunset Business Park at 257 Sunset Park Drive and plans to open in December for takeaways and a taproom, creating small batches of fruit-based craft beers with four 132-gallon fermentation vessels, which can create 300 crowlers (32-ounce cans) at a time.
The space currently features ingredients he’s importing from around the world: malts from Germany, an in-demand product called Phantasm that uses Sauvignon blanc grapes from New Zealand and more.
“We’re already playing with our recipes here,” he said. “Being so niche with hops with the other business, … but having that background … gave us that additional knowledge base with the recipes we want to create now.”
He brewed the first batch for the public last month for private events and a pandemic-induced craft beer called FML Festival at a Hampton brewery last month, and he said he’s looking to have a handful of flavors that rotate each month, starting off with flavors such as peach-banana-vanilla (vanilla from Madagascar, Sagan notes) and Siberian berry.
Sagan, who attended grade school in Cherry Creek in western New York state and went to university in Australia, has lived abroad, including Moscow, but he and his wife and two kids relocated during the pandemic to Herndon this year.
Living for 15 years in Australia by way of Melbourne and Sydney, he got connected with farmers and sold hops through the craft beer-focused distributor Hops Engine, which eventually began selling to Aslin Beer Co. Sagan also got connected with former Tired Hands and Foreign Objects brewer Steven di Eva, who’s serving as his brewer.
“As we grow into it, we’ve got 10 taps we want to be running at any one time,” he said.
He thinks the taproom will allow for 30-40 people, even though the space can accommodate more on paper.
“Having that intimacy is important to us,” he said. “We want to stay small and local and humble.”
He’s looking to work with local shops and farms and is already providing spent hops to a family farm for animals free of charge.
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