LEWISBURG — Lost Railroad Brewhaus held a community information meeting in Lewisburg on Tuesday, Jan. 15, to share updates on the future project.
The proposed brewery will be selling craft beer, local wines, cold brew coffee, various finger foods, and eventually flavored vodka. Lost Railroad will be promoting a family friendly atmosphere, where parents can bring their children and still enjoy their beer.
The project will break ground this spring and is slated to be complete in October of 2019.
The presentation was given by Dick and Adam Ewing, who are the founders of Lost Railroad Brewhaus. Adam Ewing is also the head brewer for the project. The two began by addressing the status of the project.
“We’ve been working on this for a long time and everybody has been asking what is taking so long,” Dick Ewing said. “For the past five years I’ve been working on the idea of the brewpub, but the first thing I had to find was a location. You want to make sure you have a location where you can get a lot of people and it is convenient to get to. The location requires that you have city water, city sewer, natural gas, and three phase electricity.
“The Village of Lewisburg fits all the criteria. I purchased a house here in Lewisburg on Lewisburg Western Road. It has three and a half acres on the north side of the road and 4.4 acres on the south side of the road. This is what they call ‘the point’. I needed some more land, so I bought 3.1 acres from Cargill, therefore the building site is 7.5 acres. With the village’s help, all the land on both side of the road was annexed into the village. Then we worked to get it rezoned from agricultural to industrial, because everything around there is industrial.”
He also had to work with the zoning board, because under the classification of industrial, it allows for an establishment called a cocktail lounge. The zoning rules were established in 1920s. In order to do a brewpub, they had to present their project to the zoning board, noting that a brewhaus is similar to a cocktail lounge because they both sell alcohol.
All of these steps took months, because the company had to attend various meetings that only meet once a month. Once all of this was completed, the project has to be submitted to the county, which has a 90 day waiting period.
The site also has challenges which need to be overcome. A detailed survey had to be performed on the land, because the company was combining tracts of land. It had to do a topographical survey as well. An environmental study also had to be performed.
Soil borings were completed for the company, which found limestone in the area. Officials had to determine where the front of the building was going to be and the size of the parking lot.
For brewing equipment, Lost Railroad chose the manufacturer American Beer Equipment, out of Nebraska. Lost Railroad Brewhaus will be utilizing a 10-barrel system, which means one barrel is two standard kegs. Each batch would be 20 kegs of beer.
On the menu, there will be eight core beer styles — with additional seasonal and experimental beers offered; wines from local wineries, soft drinks, cold brew coffee, and various finger foods.
“We would like to have a family-friendly environment. We want to have it so you can bring your kids in, it is not going to be an adult-only place. Bring your kids in — there are going to be games, entertainment, and live music. We don’t want to exclude anybody who would like to go there but can’t bring a sitter,” Adam Ewing said.
Dick Ewing added, they would eventually like to branch out into the “spirit world” and make flavored vodka.
The total project is $2.6 million — the bank loan will be $1.3 million, and $500,000 has already been spent on the project. They are working on raising the rest of the funding through private investors and Wunderfund.
All the land is purchased, the zoning is done, the building placement, drainage, utilities, and surveys are all complete, and the equipment manufacturer is chosen. The design firm and construction contractor is the Simmons Group. Prograde will construct the building.
There will be a groundbreaking in spring of 2019, with estimated construction completed in October of 2019.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH