Community has always been a core focus of Roaring Fork Beer Co., and Batch, its downtown tasting room, has succeeded in creating a welcoming and family-like atmosphere for the town since its opening on Main Street. This Valentine’s Day, the brewery is hosting “The Art of Cool,” an artist reception for locally loved artist Chad Stieg, which Aly Sanguily, Batch tasting room director and show curator, said has been a long time coming.
“I have had the pleasure of showing Chad Stieg’s art in the tasting room for RFBC for almost four years now, starting in our original location on Dolores Way. It’s taken me four years and a new location — and some begging — to finally make this show happen and I could not be more excited or honored,” she said.
Permanent gallery space has been given to Stieg since Batch’s opening in June of 2017, as the walls of Batch host mostly Stieg’s work year-round. Other works in Batch can be found by Chris Erickson (Carbondale, Colo.) Donnie Henry (Houston) and Brian Colley (Carbondale) on a rotation with some pieces belonging to Batch and in Sanguily’s personal collection.
Honoring local artists in a professional way, yet in a whimsical space, has been a passion for Sanguily, as she takes on the role of curating beer with art. For Stieg, accepting the role of a featured artist at Batch was an easy choice.
“Batch is like a family unit, and the fact that its location is in the heart of one of the most up-and-coming art scenes in the country, is a very satisfying feeling. The people in this valley have a love for art I haven’t seen in even the big cities I’ve lived in,” Stieg said.
Sanguily has curated over a dozen art shows from her previous tasting room space to her current space on Main Street and she said it happened with intention. “I have a degree in art, painting specifically, but I’m in the beer game, not the making art game. So, to fill the void of not having time to create art of my own anymore, I found that I had this really great space at Batch — and my previous space on Dolores Way — that people were really drawn to and I wanted to make a connection with the art of making beer and art itself. I found my favorite artists, and I’ve sort of just given them priority in the space.”
Stieg’s art is clearly a favorite. The connection is apparent and felt deeply when guests walk in the door. “Brewers are craft makers, they are artists in their own right, so I thought this is a really great opportunity to bring the two together with some sort of real meaning and I have this unique space to do it, it’s been a happy pre-mediated accident of sorts,” said Sanguily.
Guests oftentimes order a craft beer and then take themselves on a self-guided tour of the tasting room space, as aesthetics of the space do not go unnoticed. Aesthetics is a passionate part of the Batch experience, and Stieg’s art has been a profound part of that experience even through the welcomed transitions in his art. “I have a core concept of art that I revisit every so often. In-between those spurts I experiment with random transitioning, and if successful, those become part of the core creativity as well,” Stieg said.
Sanguily and Stieg chose Valentine’s Day for the highly anticipated show to sort of mimic the most “un-cool,” day of the year and to host an evening that did not just cater to couples, cheesy dinners and unnecessary spending (unless on art of course.)
A very special Ramen Family Dinner, will also be part of the evening’s festivities with a ramen dinner made in house by Batch’s new eatery, Carousel 42 and Executive Chef Josh Rutherford. Reservations for the Ramen Family Dinner must be made in advance by calling Batch. Less than a dozen seats remain. The evening is open to the public.