Lyndon’s little brewery is about to get a little bigger.
Holsopple Brewing has signed a lease on the adjoining space and will undergo a taproom renovation. The space, which is the exact size as the existing brewery, essentially doubles the operations size.
A wall will be removed to double the size of the taproom; the extra space will be used for general storage, barrel-aging, bottling, quality control and anything else that comes along. Brewery co-owner Sam Gambill said he hopes the project will be completed by spring.
In addition, Gambill said the brewery will release its first-ever bottled beer on Feb. 21 in Happily Ebony After, described as “a rich, dark ale that was aged to perfection in Kentucky bourbon barrels.”
The expansion takes the brewery’s overall space to 2,400 square feet, and Gambill, who owns Holsopple with his wife Kristy, said the expansion will cost $30,000-$40,000.
The bathrooms will remain where they are, putting them essentially in the center of the expanded taproom. The existing bar will continue to serve the entire taproom, although for special events a makeshift bar could be set up.
Meanwhile, Gambill said a pair of wall-mounted tables for larger parties are planned that will include a corner space that will serve as an area for small children — including toys.
“We get a lot of families in,” he said.
The expansion will lead to more events such as live music and trivia. In addition, it makes the brewery more accessible for local business that want to use the space as an off-site meeting place.
The brewery also will play host to a special Valentine’s Day dinner in cooperation with FlavaVille Food Truck. The dinner will include hors d’oeuvres along with a five-course dinner and beer pairings with each course.
Happily Ebony After, which was aged in used Old Forester barrels, will see its release in 22-ounce bombers in conjunction with the brewery’s one-year anniversary. He said the brown ale was aged in the barrels for about four months. The beer was tasted once every few weeks to start, then weekly to get the beer aged to the proper flavor.
Gambill and Michael Whitman, who was hired as a brewer last year, have ramped up the barreling program. More bottling will happen going forward as well, as Gambill has been holding on to a pair of bottling machines he acquired a number of years ago.
It is, however, a lot of work to bottle beers by hand.
“It took three guys a full day to bottle it all, but it was fun,” Gambill said. “We ended up doing 500 bottles.”
He said the beer also cycled through quite a few different names, some of which weren’t quite ready for prime time. One was the Pig Latin-inspired One-yay.
“My wife at one point said, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Gambill said, laughing.
While there are no immediate plans to expand the brewery, there is space in the existing brew house to add additional fermenters.
The brewery has begun local distribution, so expanding the five-barrel brewery to a 10-barrel could very well happen. Adding a 10-barrel fermenter would allow for Holsopple to double-brew in the current system, increasing capacity.
Gambill, who originally was highly focused on brewing, these days is more heavily involved with marketing and numbers. The hiring of Whitman has enabled that, and Gambill credits Whitman with bringing added creativity and recipes.
Whitman came here from Colorado and was one of several home brewers who would come into the brewery and share their beers.
“He was the best one,” Gambill said with a chuckle, and when the decision came to hire an additional brewer, Whitman was the choice. That, of course, has given the Gambills more time to plan the expansion and increase events and become more involved with the Kentucky Guild of Brewers.
“I feel like I’m dealing more and more with stuff not related to brewing,” Gambill said. “It’s nice — he really has taken the reins.”