Thursday, July 8, 2021 / by Adam Donaldson-Moxley
Chris Squires and his partner John Paul Vyborny are the co-owners of Ten55 Brewing Company at 110 E. Congress St. Their story over the past year is one of nothing but adversity. Their survival and reemerging growth is a great example of why they, and every other restaurant, need support as we begin to exit the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
It actually became a business when, with a $600 brewers license, they opened a small brewery in a south side industrial site. It was just Squires and Vyborny for the first year, and they brewed and delivered beer in kegs to bars and restaurants around town. They also had a tasting bar on-site where they sold their beer.
Squires and his family are longtime Tucsonans. At 17, Squires enlisted in the Marine Corps, and served for eight years. As with many young men, he had a liking for beer. After getting out of the Corps, he was searching for what was next. One aspect of Squires’ search was dipping his toe into the world of brewing craft beer. This came about because his mother purchased a home brew kit for his birthday. Little did she know what would follow. Squires made his first batch, and invited his good friend John Paul over to try it out. Vyborny liked it and took a shot at brewing the second batch, and it was even better than the first. Both Squires and Vyborny found something they liked, and they were off and running.
The goal was to get downtown, and they finally made the leap in late 2018. They raised capital and moved to their current location on Congress Street. As Squires called it, Version 2 of the business. They needed a name. The monogram of a beloved family member who passed away was MLV, which in Roman Numerals is 1055. In his honor Ten55 Brewing Company was born.
They spent weeks practically sleeping in the building. They stripped it down to its bones to get it ready for opening. Mirrored walls were gone. Black paint was blown away. Three different ceilings were removed. A 120-year-old building was brought back to its origins of exposed brick, hardwood floors, and exposed beams.
They hired staff, brought in a chef, and Vyborny assumed the role of head brewer. They launched and were off and running. Business for 18 months was good. Downtown nightlife was growing, weekend business was strong. Staff started with 16 employees, grew to almost 40, and Ten55 became a family.
Click on the link below to see the full article and how they pivoted their business: Link