How Commercial Brick Ovens and the Craft Beverage Industry Work Together

Adding a commercial brick oven to a craft beverage operation can grow your business by catering to new clientele strengthening new revenue streams and diversifying your market share. Successful breweries, wineries, and distilleries all over the world have seen how adding a commercial brick oven has resulted in the expansion of menu options, the discovery of unique and signature beverage and food pairings, and esthetic and environmental improvements. Lisa Champagne, a Food Service Consultant with LC Kitchen & Bar Designs, LLC believes that “you can get the real aesthetic that you’re looking for, and there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of style with a Marra Forni commercial pizza oven.” She loves the Neapolitan style aesthetic as a major selling point among her clients.

From Mela Kitchen Instagram

Many of Lisa’s clients come to her with a specific Marra Forni oven already in mind. As someone familiar with commercial bar and restaurant equipment, she is a fan of the Marra Forni Rotator, which is a rotating deck oven that has revolutionized the brick oven category industry. Two of her most recent clients, Nevada Brew Works and Evora decided to purchase them before they even started working with Lisa. There are several reasons why the craft beverage businesses are including commercial brick ovens in their strategies.

Profitability, of course, is paramount. Here are a few reasons why this trend continues to grow:

  • The Brewers Association reported, that “small and independent breweries collectively produced 24.8 million barrels of beer and realized 8% growth, against a backdrop of 1% volume growth in the overall beer market.”
  • According to, “US craft beer volumes grew 8% in 2021: recovering from pandemic-hit 2020.”
  • Craft brewers are reported to have “provided more than 172,643 direct jobs (in 2021), a 25% increase from 2020.
  • What food goes best with beer? and other craft beverages? Pizza! Even in pizza’s historical homeland of Italy, pairing craft beer with pizza is a growing trend.
  • There is a huge variety of foods that can be produced with speed and customization with a commercial brick oven.
  • Give back to the community. Restaurants that play an active role in their community’s livelihood enjoy visibility, marketing, and PR for free.

From Nevada Brew Works Instagram

Marra Forni is the supplier of choice among craft beverage operations when it comes to successfully purchasing a commercial brick oven.  To learn more, click here.

How to add a brick oven concept into a craft beverage business:

  1. Design concept/space to feature both ingredients prominently
  2. Pair unique, quality beverages with equally creative pizzas.
  3. For pizza and bread the yeast present in both the food and alcohol makes them perfect partners.
  4. Many gourmands and business people are taking the trend beyond pizza and beer They can high-end craft-brewed beverages including wines, ciders, craft distilled beverages then pair them with signature pizzas, bread, and so much more.
  5. Make your commercial brick oven and your professional brewing equipment the focal points of your design aesthetic.
  6. Design menus that heighten the pairing relationship between craft beverages and pizza.
  7. Give back to the community. Restaurants that play an active role in their community’s livelihood enjoy visibility, marketing, and PR for free.

Mela Kitchen Cider/Wine/Spirits happy Marra Forni customers

One successful example of this strategy is Chef Josh Fidler at Mela Kitchen/Jack’s Hard Cider in Gettysburg, PA told us that their restaurant, Mela Kitchen, is named after the Italian word for apple. Their mission is to offer thoughtful, rustic, and hearty dishes that accentuate their carefully crafted ciders. They built both their menu and their kitchen around pizza. At Mela Kitchen, their craft cider pairs well with pizza. This then accentuates the rustic fall ingredients such as apples. One of their best-selling ciders is Sweet Helen, a blend that is named after Founder Jack Hauser’s wife, Helen. She loved the orchards, and the harvest was her favorite time of the year. This blend is made with fresh apples and is sweet, but with a little kick — just like Helen.” It is often paired with their artisan-made Apple Bacon Pizza.   Mela Kitchen, which is only two years old, is also a fan of Marra Forni. Chef Josh says the commercial brick oven he purchased “takes the variables out of the equation so that you can focus on your ingredients. “Even with staffing shortages, a Marra Forni oven allows your pizza program to perform consistently and stay strong.”

The Commercial Brick Rotator Oven by Marra Forni

“There are a lot of pizza places, but none that do the Neapolitan style that Marra Forni allows.” Their custom brick oven is the centerpiece of the restaurant. “We built the bar around the oven. It creates a strong focal point with great emotion… a feeling of connection,” continued Chef Josh.  From an operational technological perspective, he continued, “It has saved us a lot of money in the cost of wood.” Mela Kitchen purchased a Marra Forni Rotator gas-fired pizza oven. “You can crank pizzas out like crazy,” said Chef Josh. Recently, Mela Kitchen did a fundraiser, with 300 pizzas in an hour and 45 minutes. They raised almost $10,000 for a local food feed bank. “We had to stop production because we made too many pizzas. I tell other restauranteurs that this is the oven to get!” says Chef Josh.

Josh Fidler from Mela Kitchen

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