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New space, same brews

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A small brewery is looking to grow its customer base by moving into a larger facility.

Hawcreek Brewing Company will move into a 1,728-square-foot structure, co-owner Josh Bontrager said.

He said the brewery will be located inside a renovated pole barn adjacent to the current brewery at 11420 N. State Road 9.

Hawcreek Brewing Co. is only open from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturdays at its current location, co-owner Jacquie Carman said.

Customer demand has fueled the need for more space and services, she said. She’s hopeful that with more customers, the brewery will be open longer on Saturdays and also open on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

“If we didn’t have people coming out asking us to serve pints and be open more often, we wouldn’t be making the move,” she said. “Once we have the supply to meet the demand, we definitely plan on being open as much as possible.”

The expanded brewery space will have a new tap room for beer sampling, a new seating area for customers and a food truck on site 10 times a year. The brewing, packaging, bottling and labeling of the beer also will take place in the renovated building.

The Bartholomew County Board of Zoning Appeals gave the brewery owners approval June 23 for a conditional use to allow for the home-based business to exist in an agricultural use area.

The board also approved the brewery’s operating hours to be until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, which will allow for more time for food truck vendors to serve more customers. The board added that a food truck can operate at the business 10 times a year.

The business is co-owned by Bontrager, Nicole Bontrager, Carman and Abram Carman. It opened in September 2012.

Hawcreek Brewing Co. offers original brews such as Creek Water Cream Ale, Four Founders Wheat, Get Down Ruby Red, Little Town Brown, Night Owl Imperial Porter, Doghouse Pale Ale, Choas IPA and Wicked Black IPA, along with some seasonal beers.

Carman said the company offers carryout options for beer in 22-ounce bottles and 64-ounce growlers. Having a tap room and offering food on location will be new to the business, she said.

“Right now, we can only serve samples and do carryout orders,” she said. “We’re hoping to be able to devote more time to the brewery. Once we are in this new location and have a dedicated space … it’ll be a lot easier to be available to the public.”

Josh Bontrager said he hopes to start the process of renovating and relocating the brewery in the next few months but added that the it needs to get a change of address for its brewing license on a federal and state level and approval from Indiana State Excise Police.

It also will need to contact the Bartholomew County Health Department, the Bartholomew County Department of Technical Code Enforcement and Indiana Department of Transportation for approval, he said.

With those approvals, the brewery could be open at the new location by the end of this year, Carman said.

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