Paul Edminster (left) and Greg Brandt examine the space that will become the new Iron Goat Brewing.
Iron Goat’s new home in downtown Spokane is about to start taking shape.
A construction loan is scheduled to close by the end of the month for renovation of the former Jones Automotive Engines building at 1302 W. Second Ave., just around the corner from River City. If all goes smoothly, the new space could be open before the December holidays.
It will allow for both expanded brewing operations and a larger, more visible taproom with food service. The current location will close.
“The idea is that this will be our second home, and our last home,” says Heather Brandt, who owns the brewery along with her husband, Greg, and Paul Edminster and Sheila Evans.
Despite the increased space, Edminster adds, “We’re really going to try to keep that intimate feel.”
Iron Goat launched in June 2012 in a 100-year-old brick building bordering an industrial area northeast of Sprague and Napa.
It has won a following for its quirky, homey atmosphere and wide range of beers (including weekly Wednesday small-batch tappings), but has outgrown its production capacity, particularly since it began bottling beer in February.
The new location covers 10,300 square feet – more than double the brewery’s current 4,070 square feet – and can house enough extra tanks to increase production to an annual 10,000 barrels, including a broader variety of bottled beers, compared to this year’s expected 1,500.
It’s perfect for a brewery, with 16-foot ceilings to accommodate tall tanks and reverse-truss supports that leave the space open, with no posts. “It’s very rare to find something like this downtown,” Greg Brandt says.
The brewing operation will be visible through a glass wall from the taproom, in the southeast corner of the building at Second and Adams. Its 25 taps will pour a wide range of Iron Goat beers, including several barrel-aged and other specialties; there also will be guest taps, and local ciders and wines.
A food menu, still taking shape, is expected to include around a dozen made-from-scratch items. There won’t be table service; customers will order and pick up their food from the bar.
While it needs a new ceiling and floor, there’s no other significant structural work to be done on the building, which is being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed in 1921, it has been vacant for five years.
A roll-up door will lead to outside seating along Adams, and a large alley patio on the west side of the building can house live music and other events.
Brewery owners are looking forward to participating in downtown activities like First Friday, and becoming more involved with the bicycling community.
“We’re really hoping to be that neighborhood place for Browne’s Addition and the lower South Hill,” Heather Brandt says, noting that many of the brewery’s current customers come from those areas.
Parking will be along the street, with several four-hour meters and free spaces nearby.
On the move: Iron Goat isn’t the only local brewery with relocation and expansion plans.
Twelve String has begun initial work on its new space in the Spokane Valley along Pines north of Sprague, two miles from its current location. A kitchen is planned along with a larger taproom and brewery operation.
And No-Li continues exploring locations for an expanded production brewery, including the East Central area north of Sprague.
Curve in the road: If Ramblin’ Road reopens, it will be under new ownership.
The Belgian-inspired brewery abruptly closed "for maintenance” last month (though its Facebook page and website continue to list regular hours).
“The brewery is going through an ownership/management transition right now,” founder Brian Guthrie said today in an email. “This has resulted in the temporary closure of the taproom. Unfortunately, I am not able to provide specific details at this point as negotiations are ongoing.”
Guthrie and his wife Dani, who had their first child in April, have told other brewers they no longer had time to run the brewery and were returning to Seattle.