In February 2013, John Vyborny and Chris Squires started Ten Fifty-Five Brewing in the name of Vyborny’s late brother. Vyborny and Squire were brought together and became friends through Vyborny’s brother, whose initials were M.L.V. These Roman numerals translate to one thousand, fifty, and five. Ten Fifty-Five Brewing was born.
When asked about the start of the brewery, Vyborny said that Squires is, “a bit of a Renaissance man and makes his own soaps, candles, and beer. He told me I should give brewing a try, so I did, and my first batch exploded in his laundry room and we were hooked. I did IT at the time, and after driving back and forth from Squire’s house three weekends a month for a year, we decided to pursue brewing. I left my job in Phoenix to come back to Tucson. I was born here and went to Salpointe High School and graduated from Eller at the U of A. We fell in love with brewing and our goal was always to have a food component to our brewery, but we knew we had to take small steps to figure things out. We shopped around for a space and this one fit our needs the best and has worked out nicely. We have been really well-received. Tucson’s thirsty, and we are happy with how the community has welcomed us.”
The two friends began Ten Fifty-Five Brewing in the small front section of their current brewery on 44th Street. Only six months after they opened, Vyborny and Squire quickly expanded their operation to take over the space adjacent to them. “We began with the mission to consistently make quality beer, and we wanted to really make something that Tucson is going to like. The next mission was to reflect the community that supports us,” Vyborny said. After taking a couple of years to establish themselves within the community, Vyborny and Squires began to think about opening a brewpub.
Now, they have signed a lease in downtown Tucson at 110 E. Congress Street, a space which will allow them to offer food as part of the Ten Fifty-Five experience. Vyborny feels as if this expansion into downtown Tucson will only strengthen their presence within the Tucson community. They plan to open this new addition to Congress Street in March or April of 2018, and will use their original location as an aging house and tap room for sour beers and bourbon-barreled beers.
The concept for Ten Fifty-Five’s new location is craft sausage and beer. The age-old duo will become a part of the eclectic waters of downtown Tucson. Vyborny wants to focus on the lunch crowd due to the large number of corporate and government establishments within walking distance of their new space. The goal for the menu is to have something that everyone can enjoy, and they will offer gluten free and vegetarian options to accommodate this goal. The brewpub will offer Ten Fifty-Five beers as well as other traditional German beers to go with their artisan sausages. Vyborny said, “We want to be very community-focused. We want to be bike friendly and dog friendly and have some community seating. Breweries are great meeting places and we want to be as welcoming as possible.”
They currently service 25 accounts with different local restaurants and markets, including Reilly Craft Pizza, Prep and Pastry, Agustin Kitchen, Maynards, Tap and Bottle, La Cocina, and more. They keep six brews on tap that rotate throughout the seasons (when I visited, they were preparing their Pumkin Ale for Halloween). They do keep a few flagship brews available on tap as well. These are the Leap Pale Ale, Two Sons Citra, and XOXO Coffee Stout (which features Exo Roast Co. coffee).
When I visited Ten Fifty-five, I tried four of the beers they had available on tap. Leap Pale Ale is a balanced pale ale with a well-rounded body. It tastes strongly of fresh lime and other citrus esters. This bright, citrus-packed pale ale is thirst quenching and enjoyable. It has an ABV of 5.4% and 58 IBU’s.
Two Sons Citra is a double IPA made from Citra hops. Typically, a double IPA would connote an intensity of hops, but Two Sons carries many malty characteristics that give the beer a very smooth finish and a wonderful balance of sweet malt and bold hops. It is 8.5% ABV and 83 IBU’s.
Betts’ Brown Ale is modeled after classic brown ales. It is full of a variety of sweet, rich, and smoky flavors, which are followed by a smooth and balanced finish that isn’t as hop-forward as some other amber/brown ales one might encounter. If you think the name sounds familiar, you are rooting for the right team: Betts’ Brown Ale is a tribute to the Boston Red Sox’s right fielder Mookie Betts. It is 5.6% ABV and 48 IBU’s.
XOXO Coffee Stout is Ten Fifty-Five’s most popular creation. It is brewed to be very light and drinkable, deeming it appropriate for enjoyment any time of the year. Most coffee stouts have a heavy, milky body, but the XOXO Coffee Stout is drinkable even on hot summer days. Although it holds a dark and bold color (SRM), its light body and coffee-infused flavors are reminiscent of a fresh cup of cold brew coffee. With an ABV of 4.7% and IBU’s of 21, this is one beer in particular that I can say is wholeheartedly committed to representing the best flavors and balance of body and drinkability.
Ten Fifty-Five is set on incorporating more local products like EXO Roast Co. coffee, as well as local fruits and produce into their beers. The brewing team is always looking for exciting and new Tucson ingredients to incorporate into their beers. I felt nothing but welcoming excitement for the creations this community-focused brewery has to offer.
Ten Fifty-Five Brewing
3810 E 44th Street