Mission’s Rockcreek Brewing Company opens amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rockcreek Brewing Company, located at 5880 Beverly Avenue, has opened two years after its initial announcement. The craft brewery's taproom is open and also offering cans to-go. Photo courtesy of Sara Charlson.

Two years after Rockcreek Brewing Company first announced it was coming to downtown Mission, the craft brewery, located at 5880 Beverly, is open for business.

Co-owners Sara Charlson, Mark Schonhoff, Craig Reed and Chris Murrish opened the craft brewery in late May, but only initially offered cans to-go due to the coronavirus pandemic. After a brief opening, the brewery closed for a little while to see if the pandemic would get better, and when it didn’t, the doors opened back up.

“We figured [the pandemic] is not going away, so we’re back to figuring out — like every small business — how to make it work with the current circumstances,” Charlson said.

Rockcreek owners wear masks and requires all customers to wear masks when moving throughout the taproom, but not when seated and drinking beer. The craft brewery allows 38 to 40 customers in at a time to accommodate social distancing, and tries to limit larger crowds, she said.

Additionally, the owners are constantly using COVID-19 approved sanitizers and offering guests the opportunity to self-sanitize if they wish, Charlson said. Despite the pandemic challenges, Reed said “business has been really good” and the brewery feels supported by returning customers.

The craft brewery, with 10 beers on tap, is doing well despite the coronavirus pandemic, co-owner Craig Reed said.

“What’s interesting is that drinking, good, bad or indifferent, seems to be an industry that’s not really struggling in this pandemic,” Reed said. “Liquor stores are doing great in sales and stuff, so I don’t think we were really deterred in opening up.”

The craft brewery features 10 beers on tap, including what head brewer Trent Wiegers said are two favorites: the Beverly Ave Belgian Blonde Ale, with Abbey Ale yeast and Tettnang hops, and the Kan Kan Pale Ale, a single-hop, single-malt brew. Wiegers said he uses Kanook hops, grown locally by Kansas Hop Co., for Kan Kan.

Schonhoff said weekly numbers show more than 50% of Rockcreek patrons are new customers, and the natural foot traffic from the area is ideal.

Rockcreek Brewing Co. recently released a new beer called Discerning Minds Pale Ale on July 29. Pictured are the fermenters used by head brewer Trent Wiegers.

“People are still finding us,” Schnohoff said. “We’re excited for when we can bring more tables in and really open up the place, just have a great place for the community to come in and have a good pint.”

The Rockcreek Brewing Company tap room is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. A new brew, Discerning Minds Pale Ale, will be available beginning Wednesday, July 29.