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Pressure on tap at new take-home pizza business

Noble Romans offers custom pizza and CO2-charged microbrew growlers


by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Pizza artist Alan Ruff, left, dresses the part to help promote the new Noble Roman's Take-n-Bake Pizza and beer growler shop on Southwest Canyon Road with owners, Jennifer and Tim Burch.It’s not too hard to find pizza and micro-brewed beer served together on the Westside.

If you want to take that combination home with you, it may take a couple stops, particularly if you’d prefer to bake the pizza at home and enjoy micro-brewed beer from a 64-ounce growler jug.

Taking it a step or two further, how about a custom-made, take-n-bake pizza from a franchise new to Oregon alongside a growler of microbrew charged with carbon dioxide so the suds stay fresh and bubbly well after you take it home and plop it in the fridge?

If that sounds like a winning combination, your options are pretty much narrowed down to Noble Roman’s Take-n-Bake Pizza and On the Growl, Beer Growlers to Go. Gaston residents Tim and Jennifer Burch opened the hybrid business, which offers custom pizza along with 33 taps of uniquely bottled micro-brewed beer and cider on Nov. 4 at 12795 S.W. Canyon Road on Nov. 4.

The take-out shop just south of The Round at Beaverton Central is likely the first of its kind in Beaverton, and certainly the first

Oregon outlet for Indianapolis-based Noble Roman’s. Tim Burch first sampled the pie at a restaurant conference in Orlando, Fla.

The former owner, with Jennifer, of Anytime Fitness outlets in Tigard, McMinnville and Newberg, Burch hatched the business model to honor two of his favorite consumables.

“I love pizza, and I love beer,” says Tim Burch, a 1989 Sunset High School graduate. “I thought I’d try them together. No one’s really doing growlers and pizza.”

On his first sampling of Noble Roman’s thick-crusted pizzeria-style pie, Burch was knocked out by the zesty zip of the sauce as well as the snap of fresh vegetables and toppings.

“The pizza was so good,” he recalls. “The sauce on the pizza is from tomatoes just a couple weeks from being on the vine. There are no fillers. All the ingredients are real. For the price point and the taste, I didn’t think I could get that with any other franchise.”

Aside from the tastebud appeal, Burch was drawn to the advantages of take-and-bake from a convenience as well as cost standpoint.

“With take-n-bake, it’s ready when you’re ready to eat,” he says. “It’s also about the price point. If I made this a restaurant, the pizza would cost two or two-and-a-half times more. By eliminating ovens and hoods and those kinds of things, I can turn around and offer that value to the consumer.”

Noble Roman’s offers three sauces and 19 toppings, all of which are free, regardless how many are chosen. A medium traditional pizza costs $10, or $13 for a large. Additional medium-sized pizzas can be added to an order for $6 each. A large super-thin crust pizza costs $13, and a deep dish goes for $15.

Noble Roman’s menu also includes items such as lasagna, chicken wings and side salad kits.

To the right of the pizza counter, an array of 33 taps dispenses a selection of beers Burch intends to rotate based on customer demand. The taps themselves are used for sampling only.

The 64-ounce growler jugs, which start at $10, are actually filled in one of several glass tanks, each of which is internally linked to four taps. Before the chosen beer is admitted into the jug, the tank apparatus replaces oxygen — which quickly alters the flavor and consistency of beer and cider — with CO2.

“It simulates the inside of a keg,” he observes, noting light and oxygen are beer’s “biggest enemies.”

“When you cap it (with a CO2 charge), it’s like a bottle of beer,” he notes. “When you pour it, it’s going to taste like it just poured out of a keg. That means as long as a customer doesn’t open the growler, it will remain fresh in their fridge for up to six months. Plus, the filling system looks really cool.”

The Burches plan to open eight Noble Roman franchises in the area, with the next one now under construction at Sunset Square at Northwest 185th Avenue and Walker Road in Hillsboro.

Jennifer Burch says she’s confident area customers are ready for the combination of Noble Roman’s, a 40-year-old pizza franchise, and a novel, effective method of enjoying Northwestern microbrews in the comforts of home.

“We feel really good about giving people new products,” she says. “I just think it’s a good fit.

It can cover everybody’s needs.”by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - It was Tim Burch's idea to sell beer along with his franchise business, Noble Roman's Take-n-Bake Pizza.



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