On March 21st, right in time for spring and new beginnings, we closed the deal on the Ivywild School!
Mike Bristol, along with partners Jim Fennell (our LEED certified architect) and Joseph Coleman (the man behind The Blue Star, Nosh and La'au's), bought the 94-year-old building from District 11, which closed the school in 2009. With encouragement from supportive neighborhood residents (Thank you!!) and community leaders (Thank you, too!!) the D-11 school board responded with vision and leadership and decided that OF COURSE we should turn the school into a brewery-slash-bakery-slash-cafe-slash-office space-slash-community event center! (And thank YOU, D-11!!)
So what are we really going to do with it? For starters, we're building 12,000 sq feet of additions to house our fermentation, packaging, barrel aging, storage and. . . stuff. Our brewing capacity will increase by 300%, which is a huge deal for us since we're currently producing about 10,000 barrels a year on a system designed to brew 6,500 barrels. That means we'll never run short on a flavor EVER again or, uh, for a while anyway. Everything will be bigger, better, newer, shinier, and will allow for expansion of our Brewhouse Series (think Imperial IPA, Scotch Ale, and Imperial Stout, for starters) and our Belgian Series (Dubbel or Tripel, anyone?). We couldn't be more pleased with ourselves and we'll be rolling out some of those new brews this year!
The Tasting Room will double in size and will offer a full menu, with input we gathered from you at last summer's Food for Thought events. One side of the Tasting Room will feature our high, signature stainless steel tables and the beloved shuffleboard table, and the other side will have low tops perfect for having a quiet dinner with the fam.
We'll also have a farmers market and seasonal cooking classes (think of all the times you picked up your CSA and found 15 pounds of bok choy in it -- now you'll know exactly what to do with it!). We'll have concerts, community events, rentable space for private parties, art performances and curated shows, and lots of nooks and crannies to curl up with a beer, an espresso or a glass of wine to work, socialize or just enjoy the vibe.
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