DECATUR – A beer brewing company is coming back to Decatur after a near 100-year hiatus.
“Decatur Brew Works” is under construction in downtown Decatur and will be located at 101 N. Main Street. Dreux Lewandowski is one of the partners and says the last time a brewery was in Decatur was in 1916.
“Our concept kind of pays homage to what Decatur Brewing Company used to be,” says Lewandowski. “Here at Decatur Brew Works, we will be bringing hometown beer to Decatur.”
Lewandowski says they hope to initially be brewing 4 beers, but will also have a taproom with 24 total taps. Decatur Brew Works will not be serving food, as Lewandowski and the other partners say they are “not cooks.” Partner Micah Koll says they will let people bring in food, however.
“Our business is beer,” says Koll. “We are bringing Decatur a beer to call its own, finally. This will be a place people can congregate and bring food in from anywhere downtown. They can come in here, order a pizza and drink our beer if they choose.”
Koll, Lewandowski, and several other partners are Decatur residents, but that isn’t the only reason they want to bring the brewery to Decatur.
“We saw a gap in the beer culture that is really booming in central Illinois,” says Koll. “It is booming all around us and it just needed to come here, so we are jumping at that opportunity.”
While it may be early, considering the brewery isn’t even completely built yet, Koll says they do have future plans.
“As the youngest partner in the group, I have stars in my eyes,” he says. “If we could expand I would love to become the next Dogfish Head or Rouge. It would be amazing to do that, but if all we ever did was here in Decatur, I would still call it a success if we become popular.”
Lewandowski says, as a more senior member of the group, he has a more conservative goal.
“My personal goal is that business is strong and booming every day, that we try and make new friends in the community, and that we introduce people to beer,” he says. “In the long run, with God’s willing, we could do well and end up expanding.”
Lewandowski hopes to be up and running by November 1st in the best case scenario, but worst case would be the end of November. He says they will be launching a Kickstarter campaign sometime soon as they will call on the community to give them a little help. Lewandowski says they want to have the latest innovations, but that requires a good amount of cash.
“I think there is a built-in audience here in downtown Decatur with everyone that works around here,” says Lewandowski. “We won’t be opening till 4:00, which is right around the time people get off work.”
“This is a totally unique concept to anybody in Decatur,” says Koll. “You have to drink other places’ beer there, but you can take ours home. If you want to watch the football game on Sunday, you can come by and grab a beer to take home with you.”
If you would like more information on Decatur Brew Works, you can visit their website at decaturbrewworks.com or their Facebook page by searching “Decatur Brew Works.”
Photos courtesy of “Decatur Brew Works” Facebook page.