Solbird Kitchen and Tap – a Powerful Duo
Nov20

Solbird Kitchen and Tap – a Powerful Duo

Some couples were just meant to be together. Batman and Robin, Han Solo and Chewbacca, Bert and Ernie, and the newest collaboration on the Fort Wayne food scene – Sol Kitchen and Birdboy Brewing. Sol Kitchen was one of Fort Wayne’s founding food trucks boasting an elevated version of Tex-Mex fare. Inspired by the Bravas hot dog stand, owner Jerry Perez knew that Fort Wayne was ready to embrace the mobile food concept and embarked on a menu including Latin inspired tacos and quesadillas. Perez named his food truck after The Doors’ “Soul Kitchen”, where Jim Morrison crooned the lines “let me sleep all night, in your soul kitchen”. Just as Morrison was a huge fan of soul food, Sol Kitchen soon had a just as devoted fan base including yours truly who would never be deterred by a long line at the food truck, knowing the deliciousness that awaited you. After five years of serving amazing food on the truck at venues all around Fort Wayne and even in Roanoke, Perez set his eyes on higher sites. A stand along brick and mortar restaurant so he could expand his menu and fan base. Birdboy Brewing is a local brewery created by Ben Thompson who combined his love for planes and craft beer into brewing his own unique creations that can be found at over 60 high-end bars and restaurants such as Joseph Decuis. Birdboy was founded in 2015 and has a taproom located in Roanoke. With names like ‘Wit’s a Bird, Wits a Plane’ and ‘Redturn of the JedIPA’ you can see the creativity that goes into Birdboy’s European style beers. Loyal fans of both Birdboy Brewing and Sol Kitchen were ecstatic to learn of their partnership in the form of Solbird Kitchen and Tap located at 1824 W. Dupont Road in Fort Wayne.  Perez and Thompson have created a kitchen and tap concept that is destined for great success. The Solbird menu boasts food of many cultures, not just traditional Mexican flare. Next to the shrimp ceviche (which was a perfectly portioned bite on crisp tortilla chips and served with fresh pico de gallo and avocado crema) were Korean pork sliders and further down on the menu was a Thai shrimp burrito. Utilizing fresh local ingredients, strong influence from his Mexican roots, and some Latin flare, Perez does not shy away from flavorful profiles, which takes the Solbird menu to a whole new level. For the drink part of the equation, Birdboy Brewing has both flights and growlers available with everything ranging from a Belgian pale ale, a full-bodied Belgian Imperial Stout and, of course, a classic...

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Something’s in the air at Birdboy Brewing
Jul28

Something’s in the air at Birdboy Brewing

There’s something in the air in Fort Wayne – something new and exciting in the local beer scene. Birdboy Brewing is coming and hopes Fort Wayne is ready for a taste of something new. The local craft brewery is starting up production of kegged craft beer for distribution to select bars and restaurants in the Fort Wayne market. “It’s a small brewery,” said founder Ben Thompson. “It’s going to be Fort Wayne’s only production brewery right now.” In naming his brewery, Thompson was inspired by Fort Wayne’s own “birdboy,” pilot Art Smith, who Fort Wayne’s Smith Field Airport is also named for. Thompson himself has been a pilot since the age of 17 and went on to study aviation maintenance in college, which is when he started experimenting with homebrewing. With assistance from the Fort Wayne Arts Incubator Co-Starters program at ArtLink Fort Wayne, Thompson was able to pivot and refine an already existing business plan he originally had for a brew pub and decided to go the distribution route. Working independently with only a contractor, Thompson is balancing working a full-time job while pursuing his dream. “It definitely doesn’t leave time for much else, but it’s manageable,” said Thompson. The first brews on tap are going to be a Belgian pale ale followed by an American wheat. “The Belgian pale ale is not real hoppy, but it has a nice kind of spicy yeast character,” said Thompson. “The American wheat is pretty hoppy with some soft wheat flavors.” With construction just wrapping up and the first batch of craft beer completed, Thompson is now meeting with bar and restaurant owners and managers to get his special brew on tap. “It’s going to be such a small brewery,” said Thompson. “I’m going to have a hard time keeping up with just Fort Wayne.” That’s good to hear, and great for the community to see new things, which add to the culture of Fort Wayne while also reminding us a little bit about Fort Wayne’s rich history. Look for Birdboy Brewing beers at a local pub near you. For more information and to get updates on when and where to find Birdboy Brewing products, please visit them online at birdboybrewing.com and on social media on Facebook and...

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