Black Acre Brewing Co. is busy getting ready to open a second location, but it isn’t standing pat at its home base in Irvington.
The 7-year-old brewery, restaurant and taproom is two to three months away from opening its Zionsville location. In the meantime, it’s also making big improvements to its facilities at 5632 E. Washington St. and 5529 Bonna Ave., both in Irvington.
The changes will give Black Acre more room for patrons, additional brewing capacity, improved kitchen facilities and a new beer garden.
Black Acre’s brewery has grown in popularity, but its seating capacity for diners hasn’t, so owners Holly Miller, Justin Miller and Steve Ruby have created room for 12 more people by adding seating to the former fermentation room, increasing dining capacity to 60.
The next step is removing the cold room behind the bar, which will provide enough room to double the size of the bar.
The Black Acre taproom also is getting bigger, by expanding into space to the west, allowing it to almost double seating and restrooms. The expansion will provide enough room for the taproom to host private events and become an all-ages dining room until 8 p.m.
With the extra space available, Bee Coffee Roasters of Irvington plans to operate a coffee bar in the space during morning hours.
Black Acre was once known among patrons for its sweet potato fries but quit serving them in 2014 due to equipment failure. The fries are coming back this summer after the kitchen doubles in size, making room for new equipment, including fryers, a range, oven and smoker.
Nearby, outside its production facility on Bonna Avenue, Black Acre is building an outdoor beer garden and events venue featuring a bocce court and a stage for live entertainment. The entire project is slated for a summer 2020 completion but the beer garden will open for the Beard Tax Day Beer Festival on Sept. 28 and the Irvington Halloween Festival on Oct. 26.
To accommodate the additional business in Irvington and the new location in Zionsville, Black Acre has acquired an additional 200 extra barrels of stainless tank space (almost doubling its existing 225 barrels).
The brewery also expanded into 10,000 more square feet of production space to accommodate the growth.
The 2,700-square-foot Zionsville location, at 98 S. Main St., will feature a taproom, restaurant and bourbon bar. It is expected to open in September or October.