It’s a dream come true for brothers Mitch and Marc Aparicio.
The pair has teamed up to open a new restaurant and taproom in their hometown of Coupeville, the Penn Cove Brewing Company Taproom on South Main Street. The intent is to shine the spotlight on local and regional micro beer brewers.
“We’ll have 12 taps to start, moving to 16 to 20 in the near future,” said Marc Aparicio. “We’ll also do lunch with good-for-you sandwiches, vegetable trays, meat and cheese trays, soups, plus we’ll have Happy Hour with food.”
Marc, who recently retired from the Coast Guard, has been brewing his own beer since the early 90s. He said they hope to start brewing their own beer next year, but for now, they want to provide an outlet for other small beer brewers.
“I think we’re filling a gap,” he said.
“We’re a niche,” agreed Mitch. “It will be a nice, upscale environment and we’ll have stuff no one else has from Whidbey Island and around the Whatcom and Skagit region.”
But the two are clear that this new venture is about more than beer.
“This is a community collaboration,” said Mitch.
“It’s not just about beer, but it’s about food, art, music – great community things like that,” agreed Marc.
It’s also about following dreams.
“I’ve always wanted to be in a family business,” said Mitch, who has been in sales and marketing for much of his career. “I think we’re a good balance.”
“Small brewers in the area are jumping on a wave of trying new grains, new hops. There’s a big change coming in the industry in the next few years,” said Marc, who is the head baseball coach in Coupeville and also teaches classes for Arizona State University. While he enjoys both of those things, he said he wanted to build a business doing something he likes.
“Me, I’m following my dream,” he said.
While there will be a small over-21 section, the Penn Cove Brewing Taproom is meant to be family-friendly. There will be more than just beer to drink and they hope to make a stop at their restaurant an experience.
“We want to try out local artists, and offer different kinds of events like trivia and comedy. All kinds of things,” said Mitch.
The duo, who are doing most of the construction themselves, is hoping to have the taproom up and running in time for Mussel Fest, which is slated for March 12 and 13, but at the very least will be serving chowder there. They’ve already hired a chef who is developing their recipe and are hopeful they’ll meet their self-imposed deadline.
Regular hours when the Taproom opens will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, although that could be adjusted as needed. Anyone interested can watch their Facebook page for the exact opening date, which can’t come soon enough for the two brothers.
“We want to cater to locals and build a following,” said Mitch. “We can’t wait.”