11 Mar Evansville Brewhouse Changes Owners, but Lands in Familiar Hands
The Big Cat is going to have the ash paddle in his hands again soon. Joshua Pietrowski, owner of Doc’s Sports Bar in Evansville (1305 Stringtown Rd.) has agreed to buy Evansville Brewhouse (56 Adams Avenue on Haynie’s Corner) from owner/brewer Jeff Smith.
The sale will be finalized and Joshua will take over on April 1st, so look for the first Pietrowski beers to come out in May. It’s also nice to know that nothing will be changing at Evansville Brewhouse (EBH), the beers that were brewed by Jeff will be continued under the EBH brand, to be augmented with the Pietrowski beers under a new brand. The details of the branding haven’t been worked out as of this date.
Joshua has been involved with the Evansville food and beer scene for decades. He started out in the kitchens and serving, moved behind the bar and then to the brew house at Turoni’s Main Street Brewery under Evansville legend Jerry Turner. Being so attached to Evansville – he was born there, probably die there – it was Joshua’s dream to have his own bar/restaurant, so eventually it was time to move on from Turoni’s.
The opportunity to purchase Doc’s Sports Bar with his business partner Cory Edwards came along in late 2017, and he couldn’t pass up that up. Doc’s was a way to move forward with Big Cat’s long term plan, but he never really wanted to leave brewing. Merl Smith, the head brewer at Turoni’s now, as well as John Mills at Maiden’s Brewery & Pub and Carson’s Brewery before that, are frequent visitors to Doc’s. They talk brewing and have kept that itch going for Joshua.
Another brewer that Joshua would talk to was Jeff Smith, the local banker and founder of Evansville Brewhouse. When Jeff expressed an interest in backing away from the brewery, Josh was interested. Talks over a long period of time helped to smooth out the details, and the agreement was recently close with a handshake and the appropriate paperwork. Jeff is winding down the banking career, and has a place up north that he and his wife will likely be spending more time at in the future.
The Evansville Brewhouse is the ultimate neighborhood nanobrewery and taproom. It has always been a gathering spot for the community, with trivia and other events, and has always had a good list of EBH beers like the Nazgul Fuel stout and the Holden’s Hangover Rye since it’s opening in mid-2016. Josh states that nothing is changing at either Doc’ or EBH, the feel they had before the acquisition will be the feeling and atmosphere they have afterward. It’s nice to have that consistency and continuity.
Congratulations to all parties involved for completing this agreement and keeping a neighborhood brewery going. These are the backbone of craft beer, and it’s nice to see that care is being exercised to maintain an established community watering hole for craft.