Craft brewery King Jugg plans Broad Ripple production site

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King Jugg
King Jugg Brewing Co. presents live music outdoors at its Fishers brewpub, 11110 Lantern Road. (Photo provided by King Jugg)

Beer-making equipment previously used by Black Acre Brewing Co. in Irvington has a new home in Broad Ripple, where King Jugg Brewing Co. plans to launch a production facility on Sept. 1.

Mike Finnegan, King Jugg’s majority owner, said an 18,000-square-foot brewery will take over part of the former Passwater’s Auto Specialists space at 829 Broad Ripple Ave. to produce ales and hard seltzers sold at King Jugg’s brewpub in Fishers.

The Hamilton County brewpub opened in June at 11110 Lantern Road, sharing space with delivery-only kitchen concept Room Service on Wheels. Adding in-person dining and a beer garden has been a hit, Finnegan said, but also taxing on King Jugg’s existing brewing system that can produce just two kegs of beer at a time.

“We release a beer on Thursday and it’s sold out by Saturday,” said Finnegan, who’s also president of health care technology staffing firm Medasource. “Because we’ve had such demand on our patio, we needed more capacity.”

Finnegan said King Jugg purchased 12 fermenting tanks and other equipment from Black Acre Brewing Co.

In February, Black Acre permanently closed its flagship bar and a brewery in Irvington as well as a speakeasy-style bar downtown. Scarlet Lane Brewing Co. subsequently opened a tap room and hamburger restaurant to succeed Black Acre’s bar at 5632 E. Washington St.

Passwater’s specialized in auto body repairs in Broad Ripple from the mid-1960s until the business closed in 2020. Vehicles entered Passwater’s through a garage door between Kilroy’s Bar & Grill, 831 Broad Ripple Ave., and Old Pro’s Table sports bar, 827 Broad Ripple Ave.

The car-repair shop occupied a total of 36,000 square feet, mostly behind Old Pro’s Table.

In addition to operating the body shop, siblings Dick and Ron Passwater opened a bar known as the Garage in the 1970s in the building now occupied by Kilroy’s.

Room Service on Wheels opened in 2022 near the Pullman Pointe apartments west of Interstate 69 and north of 106th Street. Co-founded by Randy De John, Room Service on Wheels employs drivers who deliver food via mopeds, golf carts and cars.

Finnegan invested in Room Service on Wheels a few months after the business launched, and De John is now managing partner of King Jugg.

Finnegan co-founded King Jugg in 2022 with brewer John Jakob. The craft brewery uses medieval terms when naming its beverages, including its Juggernaut IPA, Landowner pale wheat and Catapult! hard seltzer featuring a Key lime pie flavor.

Once the Broad Ripple production facility is active, Finnegan said the Fishers brewpub will have eight to 10 beers continuously on tap.

Finnegan said King Jugg likely will hire two to three brewers to work at the Broad Ripple site.

By spring 2024, King Jugg would like to open a 50-person sports bar-themed tap room inside the production facility.

Finnegan said King Jugg and Room Service on Wheels formed a partnership after he suggested that beer sales would be a good addition to live music presented on Room Service on Wheels’ patio in Fishers.

This weekend, the beer garden’s music schedule includes performances by the Why Store on Friday and Andrew Young on Sunday.

Ultimately, Finnegan said he envisions multiple locations where King Jugg and Room Service on Wheels combine forces to deliver food as well as beer to consumers.

“One thing led to another,” Finnegan said of the companies’ partnership. “It was a series of decisions that all made sense, but it wasn’t anything we initially set out to do.”

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2 thoughts on “Craft brewery King Jugg plans Broad Ripple production site

    1. That building was only Sun King for a minute before the Pandemic. It was Scotty’s Thr3e Wise Men for years before that.

      Although the public safety issues Sun King cited when they closed haven’t really gone away and may be keeping other beer businesses/restaurants away.