Friday, January 18, 2008

Operation Progressive Pint: Current progress.

It’s hardly a secret that we’ve been exploring options to expand the brewing side of the business. The existing pub, pizzeria and brewery have been going full tilt, and we’re running out of tricks to squeeze more people (and autos) into the available space.

Consequently, future growth will have to occur elsewhere, and I’m an advocate of a revitalizing downtown in New Albany. If any of this information comes as a surprise to you, consider reading a previous posting at the Curmudgeon’s blog:

"If Your Mother Says She Loves You, Check It Out."

Our strange internal company machinery is starting to clunk into something approximating a road gear, so I thought it might be time for an update.

There is a vacant building in downtown New Albany, and we’re about to begin serious negotiations with the owner pertaining to a remodel-to-spec, lease-to-own arrangement.

Roughly two-thirds of the 1960’s era industrial footprint would be home to a 15-barrel brewhouse (yet to be acquired) primarily intended to brew NABC brands for distribution off the premises. The remainder would be a taproom with a limited menu of snacks presumably modeled after the bill or fare at Belgian beer cafes.

We believe that it will be a difficult year for craft brewing given shortages in raw materials, but that this might actually enhance options if we’re in a position to be opportunistic with respect to equipment. In the meantime, the tap room could be up and running later this year with the beer we’re already brewing at the current home of NABC, where eventually the old brewhouse might become exclusively devoted to Belgians or another specific genre.

Yes, there’s much speculation and conjecture in all this, but progress is being made. The three owners are on board, along with the brewery team, and we’ve selected our friend John Campbell, late of BBC (Main & Clay), Schlafly and the Red geranium in New Harmony, to serve as de facto project manager. John is fond of telling people who ask that while the owners have a leisurely timetable, he expects to be up and running by Labor Day.

The business plan is being written, various action plans commenced, and the coming months -- not to mention the disposition of area bankers -- will tell the tale.


Brad said...

Does this mean that the NABC may soon be selling kegs to the general public, or that kegs may be available to the general public through some distribution channel?

Also, are there any plans (even sort of "Pie in the Sky" ideas) to expand the brewpub business of NABC/Rich O's? While I don't mind waiting 30 minutes (or more) for great pizza and incredible beer, I'm sure I could justify the trip from Louisville more often if 1/4 of my stay wasn't spent standing around.

antzman said...

I think I already know the answer to this age old question about New Albanian Brewing, but I have to ask anyway....

Will there be a bottling line in this new venture?

TedF said...

Thanks for the update. When I moved to New Albany a few years ago, it was in part to be closer to good beer. And now good beer is moving closer to me in downtown New Albany. Keep the updates coming.

The New Albanian said...

Todd: We are not planning a bottling line.

Ted: Thanks.

Brad: I'm going to make your question the subject of a separate posting.