Flat 12 Bierwerks of Indianapolis announced recently it would open a tap room on Jeffersonville’s riverfront in 2014. Well, hold on to your growlers, because president and CEO Sean O’Connor has now confirmed the new location will also house a full-blown brewing operation that will likely have a larger capacity than its current brewery.
He said Flat 12’s brewing will be split between the two facilities and would theoretically more than double Flat 12’s total capacity. The current brewery, O’Connor said, can produce up to 40,000 barrels per years in its 10,000-square-foot space.
“If the facility layout here can get us between 30,000 and 40,000 we think the facility down there will be able to do more than that,” he said of the roughly 12,000-square-foot space in Jeffersonville. “It will be able to pop out a sizable amount of beer.”
O’Connor, who founded the brewery with Steve Hershberger and head brewer Rob Caputo in late 2010, said bids are expected soon from brewing equipment designers that designed the brewing system in Indianapolis; once that happens he will know more specifically what the brewing operation will look like.
Though there still is no target date to open, he said the goal is early summer.
One of the reasons for opening the new Flat 12 facility is to be closer to its southern distribution line, he said, but also because it takes Flat 12 to another level in terms of spreading the word. Like most breweries, Flat 12 employs traveling representatives for tap takeovers, brewing events, etc., but a new facility extends that in a much more significant way.
“One of the things I like in Indianapolis is [customers] can come into the tasting room and talk to the brewers, taste the beers, and get a feel for what Flat 12 brewing is all about,” he said. “We have people traveling, but that’s not the same as when you build it into your daily routine.”
He also said there will be specialty beers that will not only be brewed in Jeffersonville, but which will only be available in Jeffersonville.
“We want to make it special to Southern Indiana,” he said.
While O’Connor said he and Caputo will travel between the two breweries – “It will be a home away from home,” he said – a full-time brewer will be hired to manage production in Jeffersonville, along with “a sizable hiring” of managers, tasting room employees, brewing assistants and even kitchen help.
The need for kitchen workers is part of what will differentiate the new facility from its predecessor. While the tasting room will have a similar design and layout, the new location is equipped with a small kitchen, enabling the tap room to offer a small menu of food items to pair with beers.
Another differentiator, of course, is that Jeffersonville’s new Flat 12 will have a view of the Ohio River and Louisville.
“We definitely want a piece of the Indianapolis tap room in there,” he said, but noted that the new facility features rows of windows facing the river, and O’Connor also said a small patio area will be built for outside seating.
Flat 12 offers a wide range of creative craft beers in various styles, along with rotating seasonals. Craft beer enthusiasts will find plenty of challenging beers, while craft beer newcomers will be able to find options they can enjoy as well.
With the news of Flat 12, it seems quite the beer scene is brewing in Jeffersonville. In January, Red Yeti Brewing announced it will open a brewery just a few blocks away from the future Flat 12 on Spring Street; it will include a full-service restaurant and bar, with guest taps and a handful of house brews. No official open date has been announced.