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Entrepreneur hopes brewery is key to happiness

October 23, 2013 Updated: October 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm
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Travis and Niki Fields are making their dream come true by opening a craft brew house at 521 S Tejon Street in Colorado Springs. The two, pictured Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2013, hope to open Fieldhouse Brew next spring. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Some will look at it as just another bar.

But Travis Fields hopes people will see his hand-crafted brewery as an inspiration.

Fields, 29, hopes to open Fieldhouse Brewing Co. at 521 S. Tejon St. by March 1, pending city approval of his permits.

An electrician by trade, Field has been doing construction work for nine years. While the job offered him a steady paycheck, it did not offer him fulfillment.

"It is not where I want to spend the rest of my life," he said.

He discovered brewing about three years ago, and decided it would be more fun and challenging to create different flavors and textures of beer.

Now Fields is setting off on a brewing adventure that he hopes others will use as an example to pursue their own passions.

"This is more than just following our dreams," he said. "I want to be an example for those who are not happy in their jobs and looking for something else, and that it is possible to change."

Fields declined to say how much his dream is costing him - only that his rent for the 1,800 square-foot Tejon space is about $2,500 a month. But the money is neither the objective nor an impediment in this case.

"There is risk on both sides," Fields said, "and the risk of not being happy my whole life is bigger than the money I am putting up."

Fields and his wife, Niki, have a 2-year-old daughter and a son who is due to arrive in November. Rather than being afraid of her husband's new venture, Niki Fields said the risks have already reaped rewards.

"It has changed how he is as husband and a dad because he is so happy now," she said, "and that benefits me and his kids."

Fieldhouse Brewing will offer several different beers, including honey wheat, nut brown, honey milk stout and a gluten-free variety. It also will have a tap devoted to "an experimental beer" and one that is a handcrafted root beer.

Fields said he is unconcerned that there are numerous brew houses nearby, because craft beer makers share information, and craft beer drinkers "have no loyalty" to a single pub.

"They will come to mine one week when I have a new beer," he said, "and the next week they will go to another."

Fieldhouse will seat about 45 and have standing room for about 20 more, Fields said. He is putting in leather sofas and chairs to create an atmosphere more like that of a coffee house than a brew pub. Free Wi-Fi will also be available.

Fields' business license will not let him serve food. Instead he is working with several companies that own food trucks, such as those at the corner of North Nevada Avenue and East Platte Avenue.

"They have full-scale kitchens," Fields said, "and they will serve in the parking lot, and people can bring the food in."

For now, he and Niki will run everything themselves, with no employees. He will take care of the beers; Niki will do the administrative work, order supplies and help behind the bar. The couple is waiting until after Nov. 6 to start renovating the building. That is when they will know if their license has been approved by the city.

So for now, Fields continues to lay electrical conduit throughout buildings he does not own, waiting for the day he can begin building his own future.

"This is a big risk because I know beer but I don't know business," he said. "But it is a bigger risk to me personally to not be happy with what I am doing the rest of my life."


Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.

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