Local Brewer Finds Loophole In Greencastle Liquor Laws

Oct 12, 2015

Credit Matthew Peoples / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leftymgp/7332282888

A Greencastle brewer is benefiting from a piece of  10-year-old economic development legislation that makes him eligible for a liquor license, even though the county has reached its limit. 

Former teacher and home brewer Chris Weeks can’t wait to be serving up locally brewed beer and burgers in the former downtown Greencastle NAPA building.

“I was actually given a Mr. Beer kit over five years ago for Christmas, and I quickly realized that I loved brewing," he says.

He couldn't turn his hobby into a business, though, because Putnam County had used up its limit for alcohol licenses as regulated by the state. 

But Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray found a piece of legislation that was specifically written in 2005 to help Valparaiso revitalize its downtown square.

“The strictness in which they wrote the Valpo law, interestingly enough, applied to Greencastle," Murray says. "That our downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places, and in that district, we have a courthouse, we have a jail and we have an opera house.”

Wasser Brewing Company is the first to be granted one of those ten additional licenses, and the timing couldn’t be better.

“These are 10 barrel fermenters, so we’ll be able to brew 20 kegs,” explains Weeks.

The blueprints feature a bar, outside seating and a stage. Weeks says construction begins soon, and he plans to open this fall.