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From Bottle to kegs

A hobby born on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille will be bringing a new brewery to Spokane.

Marco Plastino this week filed license applications for Bottle Bay Brewing. He’ll be starting out with a one-barrel system, focusing on event catering and private sales.

“I’m getting pretty excited about it,” he says. “It’s just been a passion of mine.”

Plastino started homebrewing seven years ago at his family’s lake property at Bottle Bay, using water from their artisanal well (which he hopes to incorporate into his commercial brewing).

He scaled up his system when a cousin asked him to brew beer for a wedding, and decided to turn that into a business. Plastino plans to distribute primarily in sixth-barrel (five-gallon) kegs, though he’ll have some quarter- and half-barrel as well.

Along with events, he expects to have the beer at a few select bars as well as the Rocket Market, where he works as a cook; a kickoff party is planned there when licensing approval comes through later this summer or fall.

While he’s starting small, he hopes to grow. Plastino already has invested in a microscope for lab work, and is on the waiting list for next year’s master brewers program at highly regarded University of California, Davis.

“I’m trying to come at it from the scientific side and make sure that everything is good quality, that I’m able to make beer consistently,” he says. “I want to get where it won’t be so hard to expand when the time comes.”

A longtime cook, he eventually plans to add food to his beer offerings. And as an artist, like others in his established Spokane family, he’d like to incorporate his offerings into arts events.

For now, there’s that wedding, which takes place tomorrow – the first time his beers will be exposed to a broader audience beyond a few friends.