By Emily Glory Peters
“Ryan’s been brewing forever,” said Kelly Rogers of his youngest son, one-fourth of the Rogers crew behind RT Rogers Brewing Company in Sierra Madre. Each member of the family has pivotal roles: Kelly and his wife Joanna handle operation; older son Jesse (an art teacher) oversees graphic design and marketing and Ryan is the brewing wizard.
“His trade is HVAC but I think he always liked the science of the beer,” said Kelly of Ryan, who began brewing at the tender age of 16. “He’s a traditionalist—so whether it’s Belgian, German, old English or American-style, they all fit their intended classic profiles.”
The names of the brews also pull from the classics. Folklore and ancient myths serve as their inspiration, creating a bit of a whimsical experience when you put in your order for a Milk Maid (milk stout) or the Gold Spinner (hefeweizen). Growlers can be purchased for anything on tap that you want to take home—and seasonal brews are also made for special occasions.
“Most of our beers are without additives of fruit and flavors,” said Kelly, “although we did recently collaborate with Pocock Brewery in Santa Clarita for a raspberry guava fruit beer.” That spirit of collaboration is something the Rogers family found unique to the craft brewing community.
“Everyone in it is so open and helpful,” said Joanna Rogers. “We support each other because we all want to see each other succeed.”
If Sierra Madre were a storybook, perhaps that would be one of its central themes. Small business support has always reigned supreme, and that’s no less evident at RT Rogers Brewing. Local food in the biergarten, local beers as the counter, local musicians at the mic (something especially important to the brewery)—here the best of the city’s characters converge. As Joanna noted, the brewery has become the “Cheers” for many in the neighborhood.
As they round the corner to their first anniversary, the Rogers family has big plans: more events, more of their beers in other restaurants and pubs. In honor of the milestone, they’ve slated a full-day celebration on March 9 complete with food, music and a special anniversary brew—and the whole community is invited.
“We didn’t come here thinking we were fulfilling a need, but a lot of people thank us for opening because they saw they needed something like this,” said Kelly. “We love being part of the town.”
RT Rogers Brewing Co. is located at 38 E. Montecito Ave., Unit #1 in downtown Sierra Madre. For more information, contact the Rogers family at rtrbrew.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | (626) 921-0308 and follow along on Facebook and Instagram @rtrbrew.