Master Brewer David Rodriguez has bowled over Europeans with his beer. Now he’s hoping to do the same thing for Pittsburghers.
Enix Brewing Company is set to open in late July in the former Levine Brothers Hardware building on Eighth Avenue in Homestead. The business will feature 12 rotating taps, an extensive wine list and full bar, an outdoor beer garden, a second-floor bowling alley and a wood-fired oven churning out Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.
In the 1930s, Rodriguez’s grandfather emigrated to the U.S. from Spain, where he grew up on Enix Street. The family now runs A.M. Rodriguez Associates, Inc., a company with offices in Pittsburgh and Akron, Ohio, that develops and manages affordable housing communities and commercial spaces.
They saw potential in the old hardware store located along a busy thoroughfare.
Rodriguez, who owns Enix with his brother, Victor Rodriguez, started homebrewing 10 years ago. Soon after picking up the hobby, he enrolled in Chicago’s Siebel Institute of Technology, the oldest brewing school in the country.
He opened Madrid’s first brewpub in 2013. Fábrica Maravillas — which means “marvelous factory” — quickly became a go-to tourist destination and was soon followed by Mad Brewing, a larger-scale production facility and bar located in the same city.
Some of the tried-and-true brews that are popular at those pubs — such as the Mad Red, an amber ale — will appear on Enix’s menu. But David Rodriguez says there will be a wide variety of styles offer at Enix. An on-site yeast lab will allow him to experiment with different strains.
BrauKon, a German brewing system manufacturer, recently installed a 15-barrel setup at the facility. Enix also invested in a water purification system that gives its beer a crisp, clean taste.
“It’s like the Mercedes of brewing systems,” Victor Rodriguez says.
A test batch was brewed last week and beer should start filling customers’ growlers and glasses — available in three sizes, ranging from a small cup to a pint — by late July. The owners hope to can their beers in the near future.
Using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, chef Sean Skerrette will serve modern and traditional Spanish dishes, Italian cicchetti and Grecian mezza. Pizzas and flatbreads, as well as beer, will be available at the upstairs bowling alley, which has been given a makeover.
In addition to hosting league play, the eight-lane bowling alley will be open to the public. Several nights a week, live bands or DJs will bring music to the beer garden.
Lavinia Rodriguez, David’s wife and the marketing manager for the brewery, says she wants Enix to be a family-friendly place with a fenced-in area where kids can play while their parents enjoy a well-deserved beer.