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Entrepreneurs plan microbrewery for Fountain Square

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Beer lovers can soon add another local craft brewer to their "to-sample" list.

A group of entrepreneurs plans to open Fountain Square Brewing Co., possibly this summer.

The three partners, Bill Webster, Jeff Gibson and Justin Brown, describe themselves as avid home brewers with diverse business backgrounds. Webster works at Eli Lilly and Co.

Webster, president of the brewing company, is a project manager at Eli Lilly and Co. Brown is an electrical engineer with a local firm. Gibson, an old friend of Webster's, is an executive with Aramark and lives in Dallas.

“We have a lot of the same interests,” Webster said. “We're all of this analytical kind of mind and maybe beer nerds.”

The partners are self-financing the enterprise. Webster said they plan to continue with their present careers, but will work on the microbrewery full-time if the business demands.

Fountain Square Brewing Co. said it purchased its equipment from a recently-closed local brew pub. The partners are working with Skip Duvall, who was head brewer at Alcatraz Brewing Co. at Circle Centre mall before its recent closing.

The start-up brewery will be at 1301 Barth Ave., which formerly housed a carburetor-repair shop and is owned by Southeast Neighborhood Development. SEND acquired the 10,000-square-foot building, which is off Shelby Street behind Bud's Supermarket, six months ago for $250,000.

"That's been an under-utilized piece of property right on the commercial corridor," SEND President Mark Stewart said.

Stewart said the entrepreneurs sought out Fountain Square, which attracted nine new businesses in 2010. SEND and Fountain Square Brewing Co. have not yet hammered out a long-term lease for the building.

Stewart said he expects the business to open sometime in the third quarter of 2011.

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  • question
    I am also looking at opening a brewery. From talking to some folks from around town, running a brewery is more than a full time job especially a start-up. I talked to Darren at Bier Brewery, and he puts in about 70 hours per week. Unless they have enough money to keep dumping into the project, I have a feeling the owners will be at their new brewery more than a few hours a day/night. With that said, good luck in the new venture.

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

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