Brewability and Pizzability

Pizzability reopening within Brewability Fall 2020

3445 S Broadway

Englewood, CO 80113

(303) 598-0809

https://www.brew-ability.com/

BrewabilityLab@gmail.com

Founder: Tiffany Fixter

“Brewability is a brewery that  employs adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to brew and serve craft beer.”

From the Website:

Welcome to Brewability where we hire people with developmental disabilities and are accessible for both our employees and our customers.  At Brewability you will experience quality and flavor in all of our beers. Hand brewed in small batches and tasted throughout the entire process to ensure a quality product for our customers.  Brewability is kid-friendly as well as dog-friendly! (may not be dog friendly once the pizzeria opens)   Tiffany Fixter, a special education teacher, developed the idea for Brewability after working with  a home brewer in a day program.

The bar is designed to be accessible for both employees and customers:

-The menu is color-coded to match the handles on the taps (coordinating a specific style)  so customers can order by size and then by color.  

-The tap handles also have braille for employees with visual impairments.

-Employees use pictures and checklists for dishwashing, cleaning and other tasks.

-Customers can utilize a braille menu and use sign language with their bartenders.

-Brewability has a section of  sensory items for customers and employees who may need something tactile.

Brewability originally opened in 2016 and was located in North East Denver. We are pleased to announce the opening of our NEW and improved location of  Brewability Lab in October, 2019 at 3445 South Broadway, Englewood.   In December 2018, Pizzability opened in Cherry Creek but due to the limited number of tables and poor reception from the Cherry Creek neighborhood, the decision was made to move to the new Brewability location in Englewood. We are currently working on building out our new kitchen and are planning to reopen Fall of 2020.

Be sure and visit our website brew-ability.com to learn about all of our upcoming special events, you won’t want to miss the live entertainment and all of the fun scheduled weekly.

The Visit:

I visited Pizzability in their original North Cherry Creek (Denver) location on July 17, 2019.  While the store is no longer in operation at that location, this entry is written in the present tense, at the time of my visit.

The pizza store, located on the lower level and accessible via an elevator from the parking lot in the rear of the building, trains and employs people with disabilities.  The pizza store has gone to great lengths to make the ordering and dining experience very pleasant for diners with a wide range of disabilities.   The restaurant is filled with games, fidgets, a sensory room, wiggle seats, noise cancelling headphones, and features Braille throughout, an easy-to-read menu and the option of cutting up pizza into very small, chewable pieces or the option of  blending the pizza for people with G-Tubes.  In addition, the bathroom is both stylish and accessible, and the restaurant has a “door theme.”  Founder and owner, Tiffany Fixter explains, “it represents opening doors for people without opportunities.” 

Fixter, a special education teacher by training, moved to Denver to run a day program for people with disabilities.  After encountering some challenges in that job, she opened a brewery.   A customer told her about a pizzeria for sale and she bought it with the plan to sell beer from the brewery at the pizzeria.

During the visit, Fixter, shared the history of her businesses, some successes and the many challenges she was facing.  She has sadly found that some in the neighborhood have not been welcoming to people with disabilities, going as far as asking her to “hide the (wheel) chairs.”   (Negative attitudes of some neighbors is reported here:  https://denver.cbslocal.com/2019/07/27/pizzability-special-needs-employees/

Lessons Learned/Challenges/Advice:

-If you truly believe in something, give it your all!  There will be challenges but it is worth it.

-There are so many costs associated with running a business (and some are unanticipated)

-Be sure to find out what permits are necessary to operate your business

-Location, location, location—and attitude (location is important—being downstairs didn’t help access or visibility; the negative attitude of some of the neighbors was unexpected and disappointing. The new neighborhood is near two major hospitals and a school for the blind, which is very promising for business!)

-In moving locations, transitions take time for employees to get used to

-Consider carrying products of other businesses which are made by people with disabilities (i.e. art gallery items, Peaceful Fruit)

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