What’s Brewing in the Highlands: Great Flood Expansion

FloodBarDrillGlassThe guys at Great Flood Brewing Company on Bardstown Rd have been working on an expansion project for about a year and a half now. It was around the middle of December 2014 when I set them up with one of my favorite Louisville Commercial Realtors, David Aikens at KW Commercial. They had mentioned to me their desire to open a production brewery so they could: a) brew more beer and b) begin distributing their delicious brews to other places in Louisville, and around the region. Through plenty of hard work and planning, Matt, Vince, and Zach were able to find the right building to suit their needs for this expansion. On January 25th this year I received word that their offer on a commercial property around the Smoketown/Shelby Park area was accepted. 629 Bergman St sits just south of Shelby Park on the outside edge of Germantown, and is the new site of the Great Flood Brewing Company production brewery.

THE DEAL

  • The new production brewery for Great Flood was purchased using bank financing, which means the whole operation still belongs to Matt, Vince, and Zach. Without adding other investors, these three guys can continue to run things the way they see fit, which I think we can all agree works nicely.
  • They hope to be fully operational at the new warehouse before the end of this year. It could be sooner than later, however there are quite a few variables in place that don’t allow a completely accurate timeline at this stage.
  • The brewing equipment has been delivered and modifications to the warehouse are in the works. A new concrete pad is being installed to support the rather large brewing system. There is also new drainage being added to the space.
  • The new brewing system consists of 6 x 30 BBL (BBL=31 gallons) fermenters, a 30 BBL brite tank, a 60 BBL brite tank, and a 15 BBL brew system. Currently, they are using a 2 BBL system at the Douglass Loop tap room. The new system will allow for them to brew around 4,000 barrels per year.
  • They also have a new canning line going into the space. They will select a few of the better known brands that we have all seen around the tap room over the last couple of years for canning and distribution. Although they haven’t announced which specific beers will be canned, here’s my guess: Eclipse Brown, Guardsman IPA, and ’37 Porter.
  • They plan to keep the warehouse space as open as possible, just as with the Douglass Loop tap room. They mentioned in a recent blog post that they have really enjoyed staying in conversation with their loyal patrons and keeping the place very transparent, and they want to keep that feeling when they open the second tap room at the production brewery.
  • The guys will continue to brew small batch beers at the Douglass Loop tap room, allowing them to experiment with new flavors and styles. Vince also mentioned the possibility of doing some brewing classes there down the road as time permits.
  • River City will be distributing Great Flood Brewing Company kegs to local restaurants and pubs. I asked Vince if they plan on heading into other markets and he said, “We’re establishing relationships with other distributors around Kentucky which will allow us to send beer to other craft markets when we’re ready. For now our focus is to sell beer in Louisville. Louisville has supported us and given us this amazing opportunity, so we want to stay close to home and be our hometown’s brewery.”

As a patron of Great Flood Brewing Company and a craft beer enthusiast, I am stoked for these guys to be growing. These guys have done an incredible job with their spot in the Highlands, and the Great Flood success should only increase from there. It’s also nice to know that I will be able to enjoy some of their brews when I’m out at my favorite restaurants around Louisville. Looking through my real estate lens, this is also very exciting time to be moving into the Smoketown/Shelby Park area. The neighborhood is undergoing quite a bit of change and revitalization. Congrats to the guys and cheers to the expansion!

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