QUEEN CREEK, AZ - Brian McKean went from brewing beer with a home-brewing kit on a stove in his kitchen, to a turkey fryer in his garage, and now is the co-owner of a large brewery located in a prime spot in one of the fastest growing communities in the valley.
McKean and his family are now the proud owners of Old Ellsworth Brewing in the heart of Queen Creek.
He describes it as a "bustling spot for classic pub grub and rotating craft beers in industrial digs, plus a patio."
McKean's dream came true with help from town officials in Queen Creek who had placed an ad in a statewide magazine saying Queen Creek was an "untapped" market for breweries.
Economic development coordinator Jennifer Lindley said they were really looking for the right person to open up a brewery in an area they were really putting a lot of investment in. The Old Ellsworth brewery was definitely a big attraction that would bring more interest to the area and their vision of creating a walkable downtown.
"It's really helped our growth here in the town center area. We are starting to see a lot of investment and growth in the area," said Lindley.
McKean credits his mother-in-law for the success. Town officials said McKean's mother-in-law saw the ad in the magazine and contacted Queen Creek officials, saying she had a son and son-in-law who would love to open a brewery in Queen Creek.
After almost two years of planning, the dream was finally coming true. McKean will be serving up four new beers on tap at the Old Ellsworth Brewery on Saturday.
He added that the town of Queen Creek had been instrumental in helping them with renovations and paying for "facade improvement" which included garage doors, a railing, and patio.
Lindley said the town had many incentives for bringing new businesses into the community.
McKean said the beers on tap are creations he has perfected over the years.
"It's still kind of shocking for us to sit down and we'll talk over a pint and say 'I can't believe we own our own brewery that's amazing!" said McKean.
Saturday, March 31 the brewery will be open from 11 a.m to 11 p.m. There will be food and music starting at 3 p.m. McKean said the first 200 guests would also get a free pint glass and sticker.