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3850 E. 44Th Street Suite 138
At Nimbus Brewing Company, we are dedicated to providing the finest quality, best tasting, all natural beers with no additives or preservatives. We pride ourselves on our flavorful, distinctive beers - beers for those who know the difference. Even with our gro... more.
3850 E. 44th St.
The monkeys were a mistake," says Jim Counts, owner, head brewer, and managing partner of Nimbus Brewery Company.
Counts recalls, "Everyone said, 'It looks great, but where's the monkey?'" It was then that a practical joke became the heart of the brand. With a clean bill of health as of August, Jim Counts is back at Nimbus, once again brewing good-tasting beers--although, now more than ever, he's counting on the help of his staff and customers. With a clean bill of health as of August, Jim Counts is back at Nimbus, once again brewing good-tasting beers-although, now more than ever, he's counting on the help of his staff and customers. Counts says that the American palate became accustomed to lagers in part because of the popularity and availability of German beers and credits craft breweries for popularizing the ale style. The brewery world is not easy," Counts admits. He said that when Nimbus opened in the late 90s, breweries were closing left and right. Nimbus opened and thrived despite the odds, but there have been obstacles. In 2011, the brewing company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. That same year, according to the Arizona Daily Star, Counts sold a majority stake in his restaurant to New Way Restaurants. But the biggest obstacle by far, which affected Counts both personally and professionally, was when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2011. "This is not a business you turn your head from," he says. Nimbus had won the Best Local Brew award in the Tucson Weekly for 14 years in a row until their streak was broken in 2013. Counts believes it had to do, in part, with the time he needed to be away to focus on his healing. "Making beer is tedious and exacting," he says. If the beer is not fermented within a degree or two, if the distributors don't store the beer properly, if the equipment is not cleaned the same exact way every time, the beer can taste completely different. For example, he says, a Hefeweizen is meant to be fermented at 70 degrees. At 68, the beer will taste like cloves. At 72, bananas. Now that he is back, with a clean bill of health as of last August, Counts is committed to providing the same quality beer as before, though the challenge is not completely over. Although Counts is the head brewer, his taste has not fully returned. When he goes out to eat at a restaurant, he often struggles with his palate. "I can taste the most minute amount of salt," he says. "How do you own a business that relies on your taste when you can't taste things accurately? It helps if you have a longstanding product and a slew of loyal employees and customers. He has learned to rely on others, steady customers and staff, to help him know when the ales taste right by comparing their taste to his own. Counts says he is grateful for all those who have volunteered to sit across the table from him to help. "The customers have been amazing.
"It is exciting for us to be available in such a concentrated area of 18 million people," Nimbus owner Jim Counts said.
"We are confident that we will do well." Counts said Nimbus caught the attention of distributors after taking home the "Arizona Brewery of the Year" honor in 2013 at the New York International Beer Competition. All six Nimbus standards, including its oatmeal stout and "Dirty Guera" Southwestern-style blonde ale, will be shipped, he added.
Nimbus opened in September 2009 as a joint project of Tucson restauranteur Bob McMahon and Nimbus Brewing Co. owner James Counts.
Counts maintained minor ownership, but said at the time that he wanted to focus his energies on brewing beer.
2001 marked the arrival of their new state-of-the-art 35-barrel high-pressure steam-fired brewhouse, the crowning accomplishment in Nimbus Brewing's major brewery expansion that began in June of 2000 with the arrival of James Counts, Managing Partner of Nimbus Brewing Company.
Counts, son of Nimbus Brewery owner Jim Counts, opened 4th Avenue Delicatessen five weeks ago in the old home of Buddha's Dog House at 425 N. Fourth Ave.
Counts served as kitchen manager for eight years at his father's original Nimbus at 3850 E. 44th St. and spent another year in the same position at The B Line. When he saw a "for rent" sign in front of Buddha's a few months back, he felt he could fill a void. "I didn't see many traditional deli options on Fourth Avenue that stayed open late and offered a sandwich, chips and a drink for under $10," he said. Counts sells hot and cold sandwiches using Boar's Head meats and cheeses.