I was only a little embarrassed when my question about the missing fridge of ogle-worthy desserts and bottled beer elicited a compassionate expression from the staff at Brasil. Whatever disappointment I might have shown quickly gave way to elation when I learned that the tempting display case had been swapped for a draft beer and wine system.
After years of coming to this Montrose coffee shop and restaurant, I thought that I knew what to expect (save for the funky wall art exhibits that always pleasantly surprise), but there have been big changes in the plan all along.
“We’ve been in business for 20 years, and the draft system is the final step in a long process,” owner Dan Fergus says.
There are 17 taps currently pouring mostly local craft beer, along with pints of Guinness and Chimay. Although the selection isn’t set in stone, their plan is definite: Go local and go craft as often as possible.
“Every time we’ve made a change people have said, ‘I’m not going to come here anymore,’ but they keep coming,” Fergus says.
“We want to work with local breweries while still serving the classics for our customers,” Fergus says.
The tap wall will also feature draft wine, an eco-friendly alternative to bottled reds and whites.
“It allows us to keep the costs low and the quality high with always-chilled, perfectly-pressurized options,” Fergus says. “It also leaves a low carbon footprint.”
Another big change is the addition of chef William Carlisle, formerly of Shade and Canopy. While most of the original cooking crew remains at Brasil, Carlisle is anchoring the kitchen and changing up the menu, with new offerings released in the coming weeks. He will be adding more refined dinner options and plated desserts, but the chef promises that the revisions won’t ward off regulars.
“This is a popular place, so I’m not going to drastically change anything,” Carlisle says. “I want to keep prices affordable while upping the food with dishes like bistro-style hanger steaks, steak frites and pasta.”
Carlisle will also incorporate the recently installed draft beer into his meals with chili, gumbo and his highly sought-after bread pudding served with Guinness stout ice cream.
All of this change makes me nostalgic for the days when I went there to cram for exams, but Brasil vows to retain its de-stressing atmosphere, impress its regulars and continue drawing in a new crowd.
“Every time we’ve made a change people have said, ‘I’m not going to come here anymore,’ but they keep coming,” Fergus says. “I’ve been to ten different weddings of people who met here, we have seen generations of people, and we don’t even have a sign up.”
Maybe the sign will be the real last step in the process, but they clearly don’t need it.