This space in Portland is set to become the future home of Falls City Brewing Co. | Courtesy of Falls City

Neace Ventures, the parent company of Falls City Brewing Co., announced it has signed a letter of intent to acquire majority ownership of a building that houses the Heine Brothers’ Coffee headquarters. The acquisition would mean that all of Falls City’s brewing production would return to Louisville.

“We are excited to announce that Falls City Brewing Company’s full-scale production is coming back to where the brand was born,” said Falls City president Shane Uttich in a press release. “With four different packaged offerings and a constantly revolving draft-only series, our brand is gaining significant traction, and the time is right.”

Heine Brothers moved its corporate headquarters into the building at 1301 W. Main St. late last year. The two-story, 80,000-square-foot structure was built in 1927.

The original Falls City Brewing began in 1905, lasting until 1978. The brand was purchased by an investor and re-launched in 2010 before being then purchased by Neace Ventures. Falls City currently outsources, or “contract brews,” all of its bottled beers through a brewery in Nashville. Falls City’s draft-only beers are brewed on a seven-barrel brewing system located in the same space as Old 502 Winery and Over the 9 on South 10th Street. Creation of new recipes also happens on the current local brew system.

The building is also headquarters for Heine Brothers Coffee. | Courtesy of Falls City

Assuming the deal is finalized, the brewery anticipates adding a large-scale brewing system, a canning and/or bottling line, and a public taproom. Further details about these features were not provided.

Falls City currently distributes to Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee, and that will not immediately change, according to marketing manager Brian U’Sellis.

He added the new production facility would allow for the expansion of Falls City’s current packaged-beer line, as well as enable continued release of small batch, draft-only beers such as the current Neighborhood Series.

Coincidentally, the news release noted, the new building is located directly across from the Falls of the Ohio, the namesake of the beer-brewing company.

“The brand Falls City is a symbol of early economic development for our community, one of our first local brewers,” said Mayor Greg Fischer in the release. “Today we raise our glass in celebration of their history and bold renaissance of this iconic homegrown brand.”

Heine Brothers’ Coffee president Mike Mays added, “Falls City Beer is one of Louisville’s most iconic brands, and they share our love of this great city. We can’t wait for them to open their brewery in the 1301 W. Main building in Portland. We look forward to working together to make good things happen in Louisville.”

The letter of intent is set to close within 45 to 60 days, according Neace Ventures president Brad Estes.

“We look forward to the opportunity to expand both our real estate and food and beverage portfolios in partnership with another great Louisville brand,” Estes said. “Being able to do all of this in support of the development initiatives in Portland is just icing on the cake.”

“A Louisville-based coffee brand and a Louisville-based beer brand rubbing shoulders at 1301 W. Main will definitely create some wonderful smells,” Uttich added.

No further details were provided on Thursday, however, U’Sellis said the plan is to have the brewery and taproom open by late 2017 or early 2018.

Kevin Gibson covers everything from food to music to beer to bourbon. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono (pissed her off a little, too). Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he co-hosts a local radio show and plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies. Check out his blog, 502Brews.com, or feel free to call him names on Twitter: @kgramone.


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