Craft beer enthusiasts curious about progress at the Resurgence brewery-in-the-making can get their first glimpse inside on March 16.
It will be limited. Owners will throw open a garage door on the east wall of the cavernous structure at Ohio and Chicago streets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., during the Old First Ward St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Pints of four to six Resurgence brands will be offered for $5, cash only, while supplies last. Music and Fat Bob’s food truck will add to the atmosphere.
“People can pop over and say, ‘Hi, can’t wait for it to open,’ then go back to the parade and have a good time,” said Jeff Ware, who owns the brewing company with his brother, Chris.
Resurgence will lease the new digs from Ellicott Development, which owns a condominium project across Ohio Street, as well as other nearby property.
Talks started on the new brewery project three years ago, about two years after Resurgence opened a 7,500-square-foot brewery at 1250 Niagara St.
That space will continue to operate as a research and development brewery – and beer hall-style taproom featuring Resurgence and other regional craft beers – after the new brewery opens. That could be as early as May, Ware said, depending on the weather and pace of construction on the overall project, called the Cooperage.
That $7 million project pays homage to the shop once on premises that produced machinery used across the country to make barrels. The complex will include the brewing operation and a new three-story building next door with a distillery, other commercial businesses and top-floor residential units. A rock-climbing gym is planned for a third building.
“We think people are going to appreciate it,” Ware said. “We’ve got a little bit of new and a little bit of old.”
Resurgence and Ellicott Development made creative use of a two-story, century-plus-year-old structure called the Pattern Building, which will serve as the project centerpiece. It will contain the brewery taproom on the first floor and banquet center and mezzanine on the second.
A new 18,000-square-foot steel fabrication building that spills off the historic structure toward Ohio Street will house the brewhouse – increasing beer-making capacity almost seven-fold – as well as an indoor beer garden.
At about 28,000 square feet, the entire Resurgence space almost quadruples the size of its current operation.
“We were much more a first-mover on Niagara Street,” Ware said. “Here, that snowball is already moving downhill. We’re just going to be a nice cog in that wheel. There’s a lot of other stuff going on here. We’re happy to be enjoying an emerging neighborhood.”