SPILLING THE BEANS: Hikers Brew Coffee Expands in E.C.
local coffee roaster company grows with new warehouse, equipment
While their new warehouse may look unassuming from the outside, the inside of Hikers Brew Coffee’s new home is like a geode – it sparkles. New ready-to-brew equipment lines the steel walls, while an updated HVAC system is up above. Hikers Brew’s new building at 2602 W Frank St., Eau Claire, evolved from a paint warehouse to a coffee roasting facility, and the change is a welcome one.
Founders and owners of Hikers Brew, Addy Serum and Zach Pecha, are excited to share their new facility with customers and retail spaces alike. “We have an opportunity to really expand from what we’ve done previously,” Pecha said. Larger equipment allowing for a generous output will allow Hikers Brew to go bigger and broader with their flavors, roast strength, and distribution.
Previously, Zach and Addy lifted, packaged, bought and brewed every bean of Hikers Brew. The renovations are a product of their hard work as well: They spent the summer tearing out insulation and planning the assembly route. The warehouse is an opportunity to make production smoother and more efficient.
Chippewa Valley-born Hikers Brew has been in business since 2016, promoting coffee and environmental sustainability. With coffee as the medium, they promote a clean environment throughout the coffee making-process, recently partnering with Earthbound Environmental Solutions to compost any waste the company makes. Hikers Brew currently consists of six medium- to dark-roast flavors: Hazy Hiker, Mile Marker, Red Rocks, Some Mores, Van Life, and Yurt Dirt. Each is available in a compostable 1.5-ounce four-pack pouch, or a 12-ounce bag for longer use.
Being climate neutral certified, Hikers Brew offsets its carbon emissions, and the new warehouse will allow them to improve those practices. Hikers Brew will receive higher quality statistics on their energy, allowing them to create precise offsets. A clean burn from the hybrid roaster, as well as all-new fully natural flavoring oils alongside their already established practices will allow this to happen. “We have always tried to do better,” Serum said. “And I think this expansion has allowed us to do better.”
The co-owners are determined to make the most of their large space, even traveling to Portland over the summer to learn how to roast on their new Loring S35 Kestrel™ roaster. What used to take them half a day now can be done in a few hours. “Our maximum (prior to the move) was around 200 pounds a day of coffee, and now we can do 2,000 pounds,” Serum said. With room to spare, Hikers Brew is ready to make the most of their hard-earned opportunity.