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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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