What would you do if you didn’t spend so much time watching Netflix? Maybe you’d finally finish your basement or read Moby Dick. Or maybe, like Martin Prebula, you’d take up homebrewing and become so good at it that you opened your own brewery.
Prebula first started homebrewing as a hobby because he didn’t want to spend money on internet or cable. That hobby quickly became a passion, and that passion quickly became a full-time business.
At least, it will soon! This summer, Prebula and his wife, Lacy, will cut the ribbon on Saints Row Brewing in Rockville, Maryland, about 20 miles outside of Washington, D.C.
To prepare for this venture, Prebula quit his job and went to brewing school, which he would not have been able to do without Lacy’s incredible support. He then spent two years as the head brewer at a Baltimore-based brewery. There, he learned the art of brewing traditional beers.
“As much as it’s fun to go out there and experiment, I really came to appreciate the beer styles for what they were,” explains Prebula. “We’re hoping to bring traditional styles to people who may not be exposed to them, which is pretty new to where we are.” When it opens, Saints Row will offer three traditional brews — a tart Gose brewed with coriander and sea salt, a German-style Kölsch, and a Farmhouse Saison — as well as three seasonal beers for variety.
Thanks in part to recently relaxed liquor laws, Rockville is experiencing a resurgence. Prebula, who grew up there, hopes that Saints Row will help fuel increased interest in the area. “We feel like this area has a lot to offer and we’re hoping to bring people back to rediscover it.”
One of the challenges any new business faces is getting the right equipment at the right price. And, of course, one of the most important pieces of equipment for a brewery is the cooling system.
For that, Prebula chose a CoolBot Walk-in Cooler.
As a homebrewer, Prebula went the DIY route. He built a shed, which he transformed into a cooler inside using a standard A/C unit and CoolBot.
For Saints Row, he wanted something a bit more professional. Fortunately, that was just around the time when we launched our turnkey walk-in cooler solution. He evaluated other commercial options. But they ended up going with the CoolBot Walk-in Cooler because of its economic advantages and because he knew how well the technology worked.
“Because I was familiar with CoolBot and how easy it was to set up and use, I was just comfortable with it,” Prebula explained. “We looked at a commercial unit that was 10’x10’, but now we have a 10’x14’ unit with the CoolBot for less,” he says. “Economically speaking, it was a lot better option for our small family business to go with the CoolBot Walk-in Cooler. We got a good amount of extra square footage and put some money back in our pocket.”
Prebula found the delivery and setup processes easy and hassle-free. With the help of his brother and a family friend, he assembled the cooler in just a few hours. “I am really happy with the unit we got and the way it worked out,” Prebula says. “I wouldn’t change anything about it.”
So far, so good! But, of course, the proof is in the pudding. So, we’ll check back in with Martin and Lacy in a couple of months to see how it’s all going once the brewery is up and running!
If you want to stay up-to-date with Saints Row in the meantime, follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the construction (and also pictures of the Prebulas’ adorable daughter, Pia). You’ll also be the first to find out when they officially open!