Ponysaurus: a brewery in the making | Dish | Indy Week
Pin It

Ponysaurus: a brewery in the making 


Not 24 hours after Keil Jansen finished his last day as a special education teacher at Central Park School in Durham, he sat next door at Cocoa Cinnamon with two collaborators in his new venture, Ponysaurus Brewing Co. It sounds like the title of a children's book, but Ponysaurus is a nanobrewery—smaller than a microbrewery—with big plans for the Bull City.

"I was having a hard time deciding whether the totem should be a pony or a dinosaur," Jansen says of the name. "I decided that I didn't need to decide. They're both just beautiful, magical animals."

David Baldwin, of Baldwin& creative agency, characterizes the name another way: "We love the collision of things that don't belong together." Baldwin's company is assisting Ponysaurus with its brand, including a logo that evokes 17th-century wooden pub signs with the addition of what Baldwin calls a "postmodern ... dinosaur/horse."

"Did I just say that?" Baldwin asks Jansen, smiling.

Jansen is well-known in local brewing circles. He has served as president of TRUB (TRiangle Unabashed homeBrewers) and is a longtime organizer for BrewDurham, an event that showcases area homebrews and food. Joining him in Ponysaurus are Baldwin and Jennifer Gardner of prettyfab PR. Nick Hawthorne-Johnson has also been a supporter, helping Ponysaurus set up in his Durham kitchen incubator—The Cookery—using Jansen's German-made nanobrewing equipment.

Out of The Cookery, Jansen plans to brew approximately 300 barrels (600 kegs) annually to sell in bottles, growlers and kegs at restaurants and shops. Jansen names Cocoa Cinnamon as one collaborator that will carry his brews, saying he'll incorporate "some of the chocolate and spices they're so magical with" into a beer.

Jansen hopes to find other ways to distribute Ponysaurus, perhaps creating a delivery system similar to that of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which offers shares and weekly drop-offs at various locations. "You can't have a name like Ponysaurus and not get creative," Gardner says.

When it officially launches in September (Ponysaurus has already made quiet appearances at BrewDurham and the opening of SPECTRE Arts), it will join a vibrant brewing community in Durham, which is home to Triangle Brewery, Fullsteam and Bull City Burger and Brewery. Ponysaurus will focus on Belgian-style beers in addition to more prevalent American varieties. Initially, Jansen says to expect six options, including Videri Chocolate Stout (a partnership with Videri Chocolate of Raleigh), Biere de Garde, Belgian Dark Strong, a fig saison, an IPA and a Belgian pale ale. But the list will expand. As Jansen puts it, "I wouldn't be surprised if we had 10 to 12 [offerings] in the first year."

"It's an interesting question to ask if the world needs another beer," says Baldwin. "It doesn't. But the world always needs another great beer."

And, as Gardner adds, "The Ponysaurus is out of the barn."

This article appeared in print with the headline "Saddle up."

Tags: ,

More by Emily Wallace


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Dish

Twitter Activity


Your description of the Spotted Dog is close, but not quite right.

You said: "After half an hour of …

by Participant Observer on A Cynic's Guide to Date Nights For Every Bump in the Road (Dish)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

Your description of the Spotted Dog is close, but not quite right.

You said: "After half an hour of …

by Participant Observer on A Cynic's Guide to Date Nights For Every Bump in the Road (Dish)

Love the suggestions for going out with yourself. When I lived in Atlanta, it was never an issue for a …

by Barbara 2 on Dates Don’t Have to Involve Another Person. In Fact, Some of the Best Ones Don’t (Dish)

Fun story but not quite accurate.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/history-southern-food-pimento-cheese.html …

by Lane McColl on A brief history of pimento cheese (Dish)

Waraji, yes....I can't believe Sushi Blues and Cow Fish made the list. Harris Teeter has better sushi that these both …

by Michael Anderson on The best sushi in the Triangle (Dish)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation