02 Feb Fountain Square Brewing Under New Ownership
The co-owners of Fountain Square Brewing Bill Webster, Justin Brown, and Jeff Gibson have turned over the brewery to new ownership in order to pursue other projects. Just this week, Brad Smith, a craft brewery veteran who recently finished an important consultation role in opening Brokerage Brewing in West Lafayette, took over as the executive in charge of the brewery, although the piece on Do317 did not state whether there were additional individual owners or a corporate owner.
Indiana On Tap has confirmed that the ownership group is an investment firm out of Lafayette, IN, but is not associated with Brokerage Brewing. Brad Smith expressed to IOT that several processes in rebranding have been started, and will sit down with IOT for an in depth talk about the future focuses of the brewery and the brand.
Some of the scheduled music shows have been cancelled (but Friday, February 2nd’s show will be held as scheduled), and the hope is that the association with First Fridays will continue. Other changes that have already been implemented include a removal of the paintings representing the house beers on the north wall and their replacement with a mural saying, “Savor Every Moment.” The liquor behind has the bar has disappeared, so the focus will be on beer only, and the small kitchen that had been open on weekends has been closed. The lack of food service now opens the way for the return of a dog-friendly taproom, something that will be welcomed by a good portion of the regulars.
More merchandise has been displayed on the south wall of the taproom, which may represent this return to craft beer branding and a hope for a wider distribution of the brand both inside the city and out. Increased focus on distribution of beer will offer head brewer Mike Grap the opportunity to increase both production and innovation. At present there is no indication that Mike will not carry on has head brewer for the new owner(s).
As for the former owners, Jeff Gibson is returning to his focus on Fountain Square real estate development and promotion of Fountain Square, Bill Webster and his wife Teresa have opened Repeal Restaurant and 12.05 Distillery in Fletcher Place and will concentrate their efforts on those projects, and Justin Brown is working on a spin off company based in his family’s electronics and controls business. Indiana On Tap wishes the previous and current owners the best of luck.