07 Feb Function brewing opens on 6th street in bloomington
A man with a long black beard bustled behind the bar, pushing through a 12-hour shift at work.
A couple sitting nearby drank Function Brewing’s trade amber ale and smoked porter.
Despite his long day, Function Brewing co-owner Steve Llewellyn was in good spirits as he served his customers.
Steve and his wife Anne Llewellyn officially opened their downtown brewery on Jan. 29 at 108 E. Sixth St..
Steve Llewellyn said the two had never operated a business before.
“We knew we wanted to work for ourselves,” he said. “We thought about a couple different business models to get us out of the daily grind, be our own bosses.”
Function’s location on Sixth Street formerly housed a photography studio.
“We essentially gutted this place,” Llewellyn said.
All the plaster was removed from the west and east walls, revealing the original brick walls. The dropped ceiling was changed and the carpet was torn out to give the brewery the wood floor it has now.
Originally from Utah, Llewellyn said the beer business was appealing because they are beer enthusiasts.
Steve has home-brewed beer for seven years. The Llewellyns have been working the beer competitions at the Indiana State Fair almost every year for the last five to six years.
The launch of their first business venture posed a number of obstacles for the couple such as permits, construction and beer production.
“There are so many things you don’t think of,” Llewellyn said. “Beer production, it doesn’t behave the same way as it does at home.”
The pair has been planning the startup of their brewery for more than four years, receiving help from several breweries such as Upland Brewery, Bloomington Brewing and Cutters Brewing Company.
However, Llewellyn said, it was primarily the two of them working to start the company.
There were no investors. The couple poured their life savings into the brewery, he said.
By trade, Steve is an electrical engineer for the federal government, a job he landed in Bloomington after graduating from Purdue 11 years ago.
He said he hopes to quit his job as an engineer and work full time in the brewery like his wife.
“We don’t have to be rich,” Llewellyn said. “We just want this place to be able to pay for the bills. And have a good time being our own bosses.”