Woody’s Brewing Company: Redding’s Only Brewpub is a Family and Friends Venture

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What do you get when a family by the name of Wlodarczyk includes an uncle who’s made award-winning beer for three decades, a father who’s spent his career as a beverage distributor, an entrepreneur son, generations’ worth of Polish family recipes and a surname name that few people can pronounce?

You get Woody’s Brewing Company, Redding’s only brewpub.

You also get a logical but memorable brewpub name. Because Wlodarczyk is pronounced wood-ar-sik, many of the Wlodarczyk friends long ago shortened Wlodarczyk  to the nickname “Woody”.

Behold, Woody’s Brewing Company was born.

It’s set to open at 1257 Oregon Street on Jan. 1 – knock on Woody’s – assuming all the planets line up properly with licensing and certifications by then.

“It’s a a friends and family thing,” explained 29-year-old Andrew Wlodarczyk, who co-owns Woody’s Brewing Company with his father Scott Wlodarczyk, and uncle Pat Wlodarczyk, along with a silent investor.

Father and son Scott and Andrew Wlodarczyk are ready for Woody’s Brewing Company to open next month.

Wlodarczyk  took a break recently from working on Woody’s to show off the brewery and restaurant space that once housed Tapas restaurant next door to the Oregon Street Antique Mall. He also talked about the Woody’s venture that’s part leap of faith, part belief in their product and perfect timing.

“We’re a start-up, and the budget is tight, so family and friends have helped with everything from paint to decor,” Wlodarczyk said.

Case in point is the “pallet wall” constructed from pallets donated by friends who own Moore’s Flour Mill, scarcely a kitty-corner block away.  While Wlodarczyk spoke, his mother Melinda Wlodarczyk worked on sewing burlap curtains for Woody’s windows.

Goodbye Tapas’ Mediterranean atmosphere, hello Woody’s urbanesque look that includes the liberal use of metal and wood. Everything is an inside job.

“We’re definitely a do-it-ourselves venture,” Wlodarczyk said as he pointed out that nearly every single part of Woody’s has been constructed, designed or created by friends and/or family.

“Maybe it’s more stressful this way, but it’s also more rewarding.”

Just as rewarding for Wlodarczyk and his team is the fact that Woody’s will serve ales, lagers and stouts on tap from recipes that have been perfected by uncle Pat Wlodarczyk for more than 30 years. Though initially Woody’s beers will be brewed at another location and brought to the brewpub, eventually the empty warehouse at back of the old building will be transformed to Woody’s on-site brewery.

In the brewpub tradition, Woody’s will serve food; but not just any food.

Although Wlodarczyk was not yet at liberty to share Woody’s entire menu, he did disclose that it will consist of a rotation of about 15 to 20 finger-food items, all made from scratch. The foods will represent a variety of ethnic cuisines, such as found in the Thai pork sliders, but some family dishes will also be featured, like his Polish grandmother’s pieroges, and Woody’s own “Polish nachos” with such typically un-nacho-ish ingredients as potatoes and sauerkraut. Beer, of course, will star as an ingredient in foods like fish and chips, cheese straws and onion rings, and perhaps even desserts.

Yes, the Wlodarczyks were aware that it would be much easier and far less expensive to serve and sell only beer. But they wanted to take Woody’s to the next level.

“We thought that a lot of excitement would come if we served food to compliment our beer,” Wlodarczyk said. “We really hope to nail it with the food.”

This requires a full kitchen crew, which rounds out the number of total employees at Woody’s to about 20.

True, the Wlodarczyks chose to open their brewpub at a time when some people might suggest that this economy might not be the best in which to open a business – especially restaurant-related. Wlodarczyk isn’t worried, because there’s Woody’s beer, and for that, he believes there’s never a bad time, especially as Woody’s rides the wave of public interest in craft beers.

“My father says that people drink beer when they’re down and depressed, and they drink beer when they’re happy,” Wlodarczyk  said. “We’re counting on that.”

In fact, the Woody’s team is so confident of their success that they have only one concern.

“We know we can get people in here,” Wlodarczyk said. “Keeping up with demand will be our greatest challenge, but I think we’re up for it.”

Woody’s Brewing Company opens Jan. 1 at 1257 Oregon St., Redding, Calif., 96001. Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Photos by Rob Simpson.

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2007 Chamberlain was an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, CA.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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20 Responses

  1. Avatar Hal Johnson says:

    I’m looking forward to experiencing what the Wlodarczyk family has created. Best of luck to them.

  2. Sounds like a great addition to downtown Redding. Can’t wait!

  3. Avatar mike says:

    Scott sure looks familiar. What does he do? Is he local?

  4. Avatar Mary says:

    If they serve authentic pierogies, then I’m there! Haven’t had any decent ones since I left the midwest. Hope their beers are solid.

  5. Avatar Rob Simpson says:

    Good luck with the new venture guys!

  6. There’s nothing better than CRAFT products!
    A BIG Welcome to WOODY’S!!
    (Can’t wait to check it out!)

  7. Avatar Ginger & Rick Corsino says:

    This is so very interesting. Our son Greg Wlodarczyk is part of this family. He lives in Rhode Island currently, but was from Cypress, California. I was formerly married to Frank Wlodarczyk many years ago.

    I remember the Wlodarczyk family being very nice. I met them when I was very young in Holland Michigan.

    We will try and give you all a visit in the new Pub. Thanks for posting your information.
    Ginger Corsino

  8. Jon Lewis Jon Lewis says:

    Looks like a winner to me. Anything Scott’s involved with is going to be good 😉

  9. Avatar Scotty W. says:

    Much appreciate the kind words and support, or family, friends, co-workers, and local media, I can’t say enough about you all. Redding downtown community, you’re amazing you know who you are! We are dedicated and hard working people that want to see Redding thrive year around and be that exciting destination that keeps people coming back. Cheers!

    • Avatar Chardell Jones says:

      Looks and sounds amazing. Good luck for a very prosperous new year and many more. Can’t wait to check it out.

  10. Avatar Jim H. says:

    Redding continues its growing reputation as a destination city. I’ll definitely add Woody’s as a place to take visitors. Best of luck!

  11. Avatar Phil Barker says:

    As the owners of Oregon Street Antique Mall, Kathy and I have been anticipating the opening of Woody’s. It has been an amazing thing to watch this family, and their friends come together and transform “the space”. We see this business as furthering the emergence of north Oregon Street as a destination point for not only locals, but travelers.
    CONGRATULATIONS, Andrew, Scott, and Family!

  12. Avatar Ron says:

    Wth,Polish nachos?! Ya baby, can’t wait to try that with my IPA.

  13. Avatar John Saltysiak says:

    Auntie sent us a Christmas card and told us of Woodys.
    Congrats and break a leg on the Grand Opening.
    Wish we were closer to be able to help out.

    Its been years since I’ve seen you all, but your hospitality so
    many years ago has never been forgotten.

    Best wishes and Happy New Year.

  14. Avatar Lisa says:

    GREAT Beer, Great Place, Yummy Food! And even great wine!

    Can’t wait to go back!

  15. Avatar Richard says:

    Sounds great. Walking distance from home, Mom was Polish, and I love a good IPA. Will check it out and hope that Woody’s is a great success.

  16. Don Williams Don Williams says:

    Great place with good solid beers. Stop by, they are open now.

  17. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    I visited Woody’s Brewing Company this evening and was amazed. The place was crowded and the beer was excellent! Powodzenia Wlodarczyk family. I asked the wait staff if they were part of the family so I could trot out my Polish….the two gals said “No, but I wish I were!”

  18. Avatar Ken says:

    My wife and I stopped in the day after they opened to sample an I.P.A. and some pretzels before leaving town.The owners and staff are to be commended for not only great fare and beer but excellent service as well. The pub was crowded but things were running smoothly . It’s nice to have a pub on the west side that is within walking distance of the garden tracts.

  19. Avatar Tekla Wlodarczyk says:

    Good luck to you all!!!! I hope you will serve pierogis, that’s always been my “go to” drunk food in college.

    (Believe it or not, not related, as far as I know!)