Proud to be Members: Bitter Creek Brewing
Nestled in downtown Rock Springs is a welcome sight for the hungry, weary, thirsty traveler – Bitter Creek Brewing. Specializing in freshly-brewed beer, distinguished food and premium spirits, Bitter Creek was started out of necessity as much as anything else explains Jane Caller who, together with her husband Larry, started Bitter Creek Brewing in 1997.
“We have always been foodies looking to experiment with the latest trends and found ourselves seeking out brew pubs,” Caller says. “The quality, variety and flavors of the food and beer we found were always inviting and we kept saying to ourselves that this is what we wished we could find at home.”
After waiting for such an establishment to open in Rock Springs for some time, the Callers finally decided to take the gamble to provide that brew pub experience to the citizens of Rock Springs. A location was chosen in the downtown area to help revitalize the area and give more of an urban feel and experience. “We are firm believers in community and wanted our place to be a reflection of our values of being committed to our town – we just couldn’t see our brew pub anywhere else,” explains Caller.
Like so many others, the Callers found the world of hospitality to be challenging, especially trying to find that balance between what they offered and what their customers expected and appreciated. “We’ve had the most fun seeing others having a good time in the place we’ve created and nurtured,” says Caller. “It’s always tricky in a small town to keep people coming back, and we’re very grateful to our community who continues to support our efforts.”
It is this same spirit of community and support that encouraged the Callers to join the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association.
“We knew we wanted to keep a heads up on what was going on at the state level,” says husband and co-owner Larry, “but it was just too hectic during those first few years of business to get engaged in that larger group. But when we learned of some of the WLRA’s other resources, we discovered a great sounding board for some of the problems we were experiencing.”
One notable example, they explain, is the “tax on tips” issue this past year. “It was great to have the WLRA staff work with the legislature to solve this problem,” Caller says.
“Being a small restaurant business surrounded by large chains is a struggle all by itself,” Jane says, and Larry agrees: “The WLRA provides us with a go-to source to help us solve problems and we are a source for them to know what the industry needs – together we make a great team.”