CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The smell wafting through downtown Charleston serves to remind Ann Saville that her project is nearing completion.
Saville, 78, of Charleston, has been working for months to open the city's first brewpub.
After jumping through regulatory hoops and securing loans, Charleston Brewing Co., located near the corner of Summers and Quarrier streets, is set to open soon. Unexpected construction delays have made Saville's opening date uncertain, though she hopes it will be sometime next week.
"I feel fantastic when I smell the beer brewing downtown," Saville said.
Five beers made on site will be served on opening day along with three from the nearby microbrewery Bridge Brew Works in Fayetteville.
Head brewer Ryan Heastings is making the craft beers, which already have been named, in a room behind the bar. Customers will be able to see the brewing process through glass windows.
Heastings, 30, who lives in Scott Depot, will cover a wide range of beer styles. That way he can expose people to a wide array, he said.
The first five beers to be poured will be an American pale ale named Marcellus Ale; an English best bitter dubbed the Wobbly; an American India pale ale called The Raj; a continental pale ale named the Taylor Blonde; and a Irish dry stout called The Big Ugly, after the town of that name in Lincoln County.
The Taylor Blonde is named after Saville's other downtown business venture, Taylor Books.
The Irish stout is a session beer with a low alcohol content, Saville said. The Big Ugly stout will have an alcohol content of 3.1 percent. Budweiser has an alcohol content of about 5 percent.
Saville, a beer connoisseur herself, is looking forward to tasting all of Heasting's brews. Most of the five to be poured on opening day are ready.
"We were drinking the American pale ale last night and it was absolutely delicious," she said Wednesday.
Beers with origins in various countries eventually will be featured at the brewpub, Saville said. She mentioned Belgian, English, American and Scottish styles.
A common misconception about European-style beers is that they always are served warm, Heastings said. The serving temperature depends on the style.
He noted that English cask ale is served at 55-58 degrees, warmer than what Americans are used to.
"And that's not blood warm," he said.
However, cask ale will not be on tap right away, and all of the beers served during the first few weeks will be chilled to a temperature familiar to local consumers.
However, Heastings said staff would serve each beer as it is traditionally served in its country of origin.
Staff eventually will pour eight beers made on site, phasing out the guest beers.
Heastings is currently working on an American wheat beer and a Scottish schilling, which he said is similar to an English bitter.
"That beer came from the era in Scotland where they wouldn't import English hops," he said.
The English often oppressed Scots, and many brewers preferred to make no beer at all than use ingredients from the country to the immediate south.
As a result the Scottish shilling has much less of a "hop character," Heastings said.
He has not settled on his eighth beer and noted that the beer selection would change over time.
In coming weeks, the brewpub will offer growlers and growlettes. A growler holds a half-gallon of beer. Customer will be able to buy it and take it home. Growlettes hold half that volume.
Fine liquor and wines also will be available.
It isn't just pub food
Although craft beer is the mainstay of any brewpub, it won't be the only draw, Saville said.
"Great beers are international and so is great food," she said.