The other day I took the opportunity to tour the Thomas-Stieglitz Brewing Co. with co-owner Jeff Thomas. Some of the finishing touches are happening, and at times it was hard to talk with each other over the sound of power tools.
According to Jeff, “We are down to just the nuts and bolts.” Hopefully they will pass their health inspection on Friday and then the Indiana State Excise Police can inspect next week. Then it may be only a matter of days before brewing and possibly a few short weeks before serving their first beer.
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Public and employee bathrooms are both operational, most of the electric is finished and heating will be finished soon. They have moved their slightly-larger-than-one-barrel system into the brew house, and 10 three-barrel fermenters sit waiting to be filled. There are two conditioning rooms that can be temperature controlled separately for more versatility. Jeff, along with co-owner Gary Stieglitz, are already looking at larger brew systems so that they are ready when the time comes to upgrade. With this anticipation, the brewery was made large enough to house up to a seven-barrel system.
Kegs and kegging equipment are on order as well as other bar supplies, and the keg room behind the bar is insulated and ready to go. Carpenter Dale Klassen drilled holes for 12 taps just before I arrived, however Jeff is hoping to have six beers on tap when they actually open, with a goal of filling 10.
The bar area is shaping up nicely. Although the form for the bar itself is ready, Gary, Jeff and Dale are still discussing what material will be used for the bar top. Jeff and his wife have made a couple of tables with plans for a couple more to accommodate the 25 person limit in the bar.
If you are interested in a tour, the brewery will have an open house from 6 to 9 p.m. during Goshen’s First Friday on Feb. 5. Jeff will have at least four beers to try, including a Russian imperial stout, two versions of his traditional ale, one fermented with American ale yeast at 7.5 percent ABV and one fermented with Belgian yeast at 9 percent ABV, and a cherry sour. The new brewery is located at 211 S Fifth St., Goshen.
The last thing that I got to do before leaving was help Dale and Jeff hang the nose of a 1967 Ford Mustang above the entrance to the brew house. It was a bit too rusted out to be restored, but the previous owner said it was a fitting place since it had spent most of it’s previous life parked outside a bar in Bloomington.