Corporate Ladder Brewing Company recently marked its first anniversary of providing well-crafted beers to the area, as well as offering a new place for folks to gather.
Located at the crossroads of the growth boom in northern Manatee County at 4935 96th St. E., near the Interstate 75-Moccasin Wallow Road interchange, Corporate Ladder Brewing Company represents the fulfillment of a dream by owner Blake Kleppe.
“I had been home brewing about 10 years — obsessively for a lot of that time — and had the idea to open a brewery about five years ago,” the Parrish resident said. “We decided to do it about three years ago.
“We were the first business to open at this I-75 exit. We were hopeful we could draw people out here. There is also a ton of new growth coming, and we hoped to grow with it,” he said.
Customers at Corporate Ladder often order food from TK Grill, but Kleppe also brings in food trucks to provide variety in the menu offerings.
“We don’t have a kitchen, nor do we want to,” Kleppe said.
That way, Corporate Ladder keeps the focus on what it knows best: Making a wide range beers, particularly lagers, fruit and sours flavors, and New England IPAs.
Most of the beers are produced within two weeks to one month, but some of the products, such as the company’s whiskey barrel beers, can require a year or more.
The name of the business, Corporate Ladder, has everything to do with Kleppe’s previous work as owner of an insurance brokerage and as a business analyst for a large telecommunications company.
“We’re running away from the corporate world as fast as we can,” Kleppe said. “It’s about people and community.”
Brewer James Herrholz is a recent addition to the staff, helping with his beer-making skills and aptitude for social media.
“It’s been an awesome experience. It’s a fun environment,” Herrholz said.
Samplings from the Corporate Ladder tap list include Paperweight Pilsner, Basic Blonde (ale), Liquid Asset Saison, Vacation Day Toasted Coconut IPA, Empty Cubicle IPA, Hostile Takeover sour ale, and more.
Prices generally range from $3 for six ounces to $5 for 16 ounces, $9 for a crawler, and $15-$16 for a growler.
“Our goal is to bring world-class, amazing beer to our area and the state, lasting memories and positive experiences. We are driven by a lot of regulars. We are still being found by people in this area and the general beer scene,” Kleppe said.
Special events at Corporate Ladder Brewing Company include an open mic comedy night the third Thursday of each month, and live music on many Saturdays. The business is licensed for 149 seats.
Every Monday until May 11, 2020, is appreciation night for military, teachers and first responders. Tuesday is run club night. For a full listing of special events, check the Corporate Ladder Brewing Company Facebook page.
Corporate Ladder is open seven days a week. Hours are 5-10 p.m. Monday, 2-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon-midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.