A career-changer has entered the craft-brewing business in Germantown.
In April 2016, Laura Lacy, an executive with the retailer H&M, dropped a bombshell on her husband, Todd, a National Park Service ranger working at Independence National Historical Park in Center City Philadelphia.
“I told Todd, ‘I’m quitting my job on Tuesday. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I think I want to try to own my own business.’”
But what? The couple made a list. On it was beer, as they had visited more than 400 breweries just in their travels and were homebrewing in their attic apartment in Germantown after Laura, 37, had given Todd, 39, a kit for his birthday.
Coincidentally, the national Craft Brewers Conference was happening in Philadelphia in a few weeks. “It was a couple thousand dollars," Laura Lacy said. “I bought just a ticket for myself, went the first day, and met a bunch of people from breweries that we admired. Then I called Todd and I said, ‘This is really cool.’ Then he took off work for a couple of days and came to the rest of the conference. Since then, we just followed the steps. We trademarked a name, started looking for financing, started looking for locations. We took a couple of business classes and just started figuring it out.”
Last weekend, they opened Attic Brewing Co. at 137 W. Berkley St. in Germantown. The brewery and taproom’s name harks back to their early days. Next door, a new location of Deke’s BBQ is due to open any day. It’s across from the Wayne Junction SEPTA station and a few blocks from Route 1.
While Todd has kept his day job, he helps with the graphics and marketing while Laura runs the brewery, which has a 10-barrel brewhouse and four 10-barrel fermenters, giving them a 2,000-barrel annual capacity.
Bogdan Lisachenko, who has worked for such brewers as Trillium and Forest & Main, is Attic’s brewer, scaling up the couple’s recipes. Attic does not serve food; Deke’s and food trucks provide that.
It’s not as if the Lacys leaped right into business from that date in spring 2016. “We wanted to make sure that we were successful,” said Laura, who started working for breweries, including Deer Creek Malt House, where she learned how to make and lab-test malts; 2SP, where she learned canning; and Dock Street, where she was a brewery sales representative and bartender.
“We befriended so many other brewery owners along the way as well, asking questions, touring breweries, seeing equipment so that we could kind of design our space to be successful and know as much as we could about the business we were getting involved in.”
For now, Attic has nine of its beers on tap, including a New England IPA, a brown ale, a cream ale, and a Russian imperial stout, all served in a vast, curio-filled room that offers a variety of seating, including cozy tables for board games.
Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, 4 to 10 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday.