Chris and Amanda Cischke started making beer as hobbyists while they were also operating seven Little Caesars franchises. As they became more passionate about home brewing, they ditched their pizza endeavor and opened Ocean Republic Brewing last year. We caught up with Chris to talk about his passion for brewing, bar fare, and community.
Why did you choose to open Ocean Republic in Stuart?
There wasn’t a brewpub in Martin County at the time, and we wanted to combine one with a full-blown restaurant. Our goal was to expand the options available to locals.
What do you find so exciting about brewing?
It’s the culture that comes with it—the ability to express yourself through different styles of beer that aren’t available to the public on retail shelves. At Little Caesars, I was making the same product over and over again. In the brewpub, things are always developing and changing.
Describe your taproom vibe.
It has a coastal-industrial look and feel, with painted cement floors, ceilings exposed to reveal HVAC ductwork, and an outdoor terrace. We have a 78-foot-long bar in the shape of a wave. When you walk in, you’re about 25 feet away from the actual brewery and stainless-steel tanks, so you can watch the beer being made. We’re family-friendly and welcome kids, which most breweries don’t do. We’re also dog-friendly on our terrace. We just want our neighbors to come in and enjoy themselves.
How does food fit into the picture?
Food is an important part of what we do. We offer elevated pub food—unique takes on familiar dishes. The mac ‘n’ cheese egg rolls are one of our most popular appetizers. It’s a four-cheese macaroni and cheese, which is wrapped, coated with panko, then deep-fried and served with a spicy ranch dressing for dipping. We also have an amazing pulled pork sandwich. The pork is smoked in-house and served with homemade barbecue sauce. But our personal favorite sandwich is the “Smash” burger—seasoned Angus beef is literally smashed and charred on a flatiron grill.
What are some of your best-selling beers?
We’re still tinkering with recipes and trying to find our core brews, but the most popular one thus far is the Hoppy Daze Ocean. It’s a New England–style IPA, citrus-forward and juicy. We make a tropical, refreshing beer called Hello, Guava! that literally does its second fermentation on guava. We also have a light-but-flavorful German-style Krueger Kolsch that is catching on.
What’s the plan for the future?
We’d like to stay local and keep our identity. We’re trying to sell the entire craft experience, from beer to food and wines. We’re also very involved in the community and want to continue that. We do a lot of Give Back Nights, which we’ve hosted for things like cystic fibrosis, wounded warriors, and local charter schools. 1630 SE Federal Hwy., Stuart; (772) 600-5596