Planning for Goshen Brewing Company began many months ago for Jesse Sensenig, but as is the case with many construction projects, it has not gone as quickly as he would have liked. However, two weeks ago, Zehr Construction began demolition on the former NIPSCO building at 315 W. Washington St., located between Interra Credit Union and the Goshen Millrace. Remodeling or retrofitting might be better terms to describe this project, which will be a big one before the building is transformed into a brewpub.
I stopped in last week to check out the demolition and to also share a celebratory beer with Jesse. Bell’s Batch 3,000 is a barleywine I believe was released around 1998. It is part of Bell’s Brewery’s commemorative batch series and was a one-time release. Having aged for more than 15 years in the cellar, some bold, complex flavors have developed. It had lost a bit of carbonation and oxidized slightly, but neither affected a beer of this big, bold style. I’m not sure of the ABV, but there was definitely a bit of heat left in the flavor, along with some big sweetness of burnt caramel, chocolate and dark fruits. I was very impressed with how well the beer held up over time.
The building where Goshen Brewing Company will open has been vacant for years, and a whole new floor is needed for the pub and dining area. Goshen Brewing Company will maintain the current industrial feel of the building, and many pieces, including light fixtures and large switches, have been salvaged for reuse. A dumb waiter will need to be installed to lower food from the kitchen on the top floor to the dining room and pub on the middle floor, as well as another lift of some sort to get grain into the brewhouse on the bottom floor.
At this point, most of the work is removing and recycling lots of metal, dismantling false ceiling tiles and stripping paint to expose brick walls. Jesse’s aunt, Vicki Graber, will be repainting many of the surfaces, including the outside of the building. Transformation may take place slowly, but many of us in Goshen are excited to see progress taking place.
In the meantime, Jesse has been dialing in his beer recipes and I’ve had a couple of opportunities to do some tasting with him. Tailwind American Pale Ale, Mighty Menno IPA and Fusion Black IPA have all been really solid beers. Mighty Menno IPA was brewed using local maple syrup, which gave it a nice, full body.
I know he also has a deep love for sours and barrel aged beers, so we will just have to wait and see what else Jesse has in store for us in the brewhouse. And in the kitchen, Chef Jesse Shoemaker has been working on his menu as well. With this combination, you know Goshen Brewing Company is going to be great!