If all goes according to plan, Owensboro should see another beer brewery open this year. Officials with Mile Wide Beer Company said the Louisville-based brewery has plans to open an Owensboro location in 2020.
Mile Wide will take over the downtown space that formerly housed CYO Brewing. According to Brenda Clayton, a lease was signed on the property, located at 119 E. 2nd St., on Thursday.
According to Mile Wide’s website, the brewery is known for handcrafting interesting and flavorful beer brewed to the highest quality.
“We can make incredibly good beer, and I think we make the best beer in the city of Louisville,” said Scott Shreffler, one of three owners at Mile Wide.
Shreffler said Mile Wide had been in talks about opening a location for their brewery in Owensboro about a month before CYO announced it would be closing its doors. After that announcement, Shreffler and his team started moving forward with the idea.
Originally, Shreffler said, he and his team thought a second Mile Wide location could be opened in Louisville, but they couldn’t find anything they liked.
“Owensboro seemed like a good fit. It seemed like a really unique opportunity,” he said. “[This second location] has moved incredibly fast compared to our experience in Louisville.
The location was a perfect fit for Mile Wide as there was already a two-barrel brewhouse at the former CYO site. Mile Wide will be brewing out of that system, and the beer will be specifically made for the onsite taproom that will open alongside the satellite location.
“There are 28 taps at that location, which is over twice the amount we have in Louisville,” Shreffler said. “It gives us a lot of opportunities to play around. We’re excited to be able to put on fun things for the beer geeks, but also serve a variety of beers that are enjoyable for everyone.”
All beers served in the taproom will be brewed by Mile Wide, but Shreffler said exceptions will be made if the brewery collaborates with another company or if a big festival takes place downtown.
Mile Wide is one of several successful breweries out of Louisville and around 80 percent of its beers are distributed in and around Louisville, but western Kentucky makes up the brewery’s second-biggest distribution source. Shreffler said Owensboro has always been very receptive to the brewery, with restaurants like Mellow Mushroom, Legends Bar & Grill, Lure Seafood and Grille, J’s Liquor and Gambrinus having served their beer in the past.
While Mile Wide will send over one of their staff to see things through during the first three months, Shreffler said his company encourages Owensboro locals to run the taproom, kitchen and, eventually, the brewery itself. He estimated that 8-10 jobs will be available for the taproom, kitchen and, eventually, the brewery itself.
“We won’t bring in Louisville people,” he said. “Being a part of the community is bringing in locals who know the community. The number of jobs this creates could end up being more because of the events that take place at the waterfront. We’d need an event staff for those.”
Food will be served at Mile Wide, and Shreffler envisions creating a dinner menu that gives customers the chance to relax and enjoy the atmosphere while they’re there. The team is currently in talks about whether to offer table service along with bar service.
Though the lease has been signed, Shreffler said they are still waiting to hear back about their federal and state brewing licenses for the Owensboro location.
“Our hope and plans is to open at some point this year, but there’s still some obstacles to be crossed that are out of our control,” he said.