Who’s ready for another #featureFriday? We sure are! This week we want to tell you about Gladiator Brewing Co. If you haven’t heard of them, they are a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Brewery. They focus on what they call antiquity craft beers, meaning beers that have been around for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years.
Gladiator Brewing came about when owners James and Funda Pradke were in a tragic car accident. They both lost their jobs after the accident and realized they needed something that they could use as an escape and a retirement. Years prior James had a friend that bought an at-home brewing kit. James tried his own and ended up with a big mess in his kitchen. He went back to the brew shop and the woman there mentioned a homebrew day workshop. Intent on getting it right, James attended the workshop, and after that, he was hooked. From then on, he periodically brewed for fun but realized it would be a good business venture. The story behind the name goes back to his days in the Army. Gladiator was one of his call signs when he was deployed and to them, it seemed like a natural choice. They give all their beers a Latin-based name because it ties into the language base of the gladiator era and Roman culture.
As for their brews, James is the master brewer and Funda is the seltzer queen. Funda makes all the custom syrup flavors that go into the seltzers. She makes them with real ingredients. If the seltzer is based on a candy, then she’ll put the actual candy in the syrup to make it as authentic as possible. She tries to switch up the flavors and not reuse them more than once a year, so if there is a flavor you want to try you have to get it while it lasts. James makes the bases for the seltzers and beers. He researches base recipes using historic documents, tradition, and old brewing laws. They modify their water profile by adding minerals to mimic the waters of the countries they are trying to replicate. That then becomes the canvas to which they build and add the grains that they import from the regions in which the beers come. So, if you’re having a German beer, you can expect an authentic German beer.
They’ve recently started serving brunch. It’s a European-style breakfast spread, where everything comes to the table. Each person gets to choose the kind of eggs they want. Most of the food they serve is European-based and matches the regions of the beer they have on tap. Just like the brews, the food is authentic. They don’t Americanize any of their dishes and pride themselves on being a scratch kitchen. If you want to expand your horizons, and experience true European dining, head on over to Gladiator Brewing at 214 Tiny Town Road.