If you’re a fan of Zio Carlo Magnolia Brew Pub’s Facebook page, you may have noticed some coy announcements. A video clip of Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come. An open invitation, posted March 3, to a Transformation Completion on March 21.
“There has been a change stirring just below the surface,” the invite from the popular Magnolia Avenue hangout says. “The yeast sings a song to those who listen. There is a grand transformation and we will require your presence.”
We don’t have a lot of details on this yet, but word comes from our beer columnist, Scooter Hendon, that Zio Carlo is going to become Chimera Brewing Company.
According to a post by Adam T. Gonzales, Chimera Brewing’s “Head Unicorn,” on the brewer- and beer-centric Cap and Hare message board, one of Zio Carlo’s partners, Austin Jones, left at the end of 2014 to return to his homebrewing roots. Zio Carlo has been growing since its 2011 opening, expanding its brewing operations and its beer and food menus.
“We find it fitting and reflective to move forward under a new name,” Gonzales wrote. “We put a lot of time and effort into creating a new identity that was a reflection of the two of us and our love for this city and neighborhood.” The “two” refers to Gonzales and his other partner, the pub’s namesake, Carlo Galotto. (You may recall that in late 2011, Galotto caused a bit of a fuss when he posted about “spolied Obama kids” on the pub’s Facebook page and then tangled with commenters, in an incident that caught the attention of websites such as Forbes.com. Galotto apologized, and no similar incidents have occurred since then.)
There’s not much out there yet as far as a Chimera website or Facebook page, goes, but a Twitter page quietly debuted in February and is still pretty quiet.
The “Transformation Completion” party will feature rare beers, and the brewpub will host a party to celebrate its new name with rare beers available. The event is free and will run all day March 21.
“In addition to six house beer offerings, we will have a full menu with some specials displaying the might of our recently bolstered kitchen staff,” said an email to Hendon. “We will also be choosing some selections from our cellar to release, rare and limited releases that we have sat on for upwards of 2 years.”
It’s still unclear what this means for the pub’s pizza-pasta-sandwich menu, which currently has a lot more than six items on it, but we like the sound of “recently bolstered kitchen staff.” Stay tuned.
UPDATE: We received a reply to an email query we sent Gonzales.
“It was really important for us to emphasis our identity as a brewery because that is the foundation of who we are and the foundation of what the bar and kitchen rest on,” Gonzales says of the name change. “Straight out of the gate we were doing things like using Myrtle in beers, i.e. Roman Empire (ESB with Myrtle). Our Vivaldi inspired Saison series has used ingredients like HIbiscus flowers and most lately smoked Black Truffles to capture the essence of each season.,”
Gonzales writes that the pub has been working on expanding it barrel program, now at 16, and it aiming for 50 by year-end.
“Many of the house favorite beers such as 1011 Amber Ale, Shields Up! Pale Ale and Roman Empire are here to stay,” he says. “We will be exploring many new and old style moving forward and are working on developing a wild mixed yeast culture that is native to our city.”
The pizza-pasta-sandwich menu will expand to other options, with that bolstered kitchen crew led by Marcos Quintanar, as well as from Mary Beavers. who has increased the pub’s dessert options (oatmeal stout ice cream sandwiches — mmmm).