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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. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

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  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

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