The Plan: Operation “Close our Taprooms”!

By now word is out that the Kettlehouse Brewery on Myrtle street is undergoing some changes. We have been remodeling the space adjacent to us in order to restructure our business.  The plan is to move all brewing tanks into the adjacent space so that physical separation between the taproom and the brewery can be established.  If a conditional use permit is approved by the Missoula City Council, my mother will open Myrtle Street Taphouse LLC in the facility now used as our south brewery taproom. The two entities, Kettlehouse Brewing Company LLC (a licensed brewery), and Myrtle Street Taphouse LLC, (a proposed non-gaming beer and wine licensee) will operate much like the old taproom did. The major difference is the brewery will be owned by me and the beer bar will be owned by Mom.  We don’t expect to change our serving hours or quantities drastically.  In fact we may not even serve wine. That is an option that the proposed license allows but does not require.  Our goal is to maintain the atmosphere at 602 Myrtle that our longtime customers have come to love.

Concurrently, the Northside Kettlehouse Brewery will be renamed Northside Brewing Company and be solely owned by Suzy Rizza, co-founder of Kettlehouse Brewing Co.  That Northside taproom will stay open operating “as is” and serving beers brewed under contract for Kettlehouse Brewing. Those beers include Cold Smoke Scotch Ale, Eddy Out Pale Ale, Double Haul IPA, and others.  It will be bound by the 3 pint, 8 o’clock serving limits.

Since the Kettlehouse Brewing Company will no longer be operating a taproom, we will be able to produce as much beer as we can sell. That means we are not bound by a 10,000 barrel limit to sell beer in a taproom.  The facility adjacent to 602 Myrtle will allow us to brew about as much beer as we were producing there prior to our opening the Northside brewery. From 1995 to 2009 our production there went from 0 barrels to approximately 4,400.  We expect to be shipping Cold Smoke and other beers back to the Kalispell, Great Falls, and Helena markets sometime later this year. Even with this reconfiguration, we expect that the wholesale demand for our beers outside of Missoula will require another brewery be built sometime in the next 2-5 years.

There will be a public hearing for our Conditional use Permit application at the City Council Meeting on January 28, 2013.  If you are interested in attending that meeting and speaking in support of our request, please contact me at 728-1660.  We feel the Kettlehouse has been an asset to our local neighborhood and the greater Missoula community by providing jobs, great beer, and fundraising and exposure to local non-profits.  If we are granted approval, there will be some delays in gaining state licensing approval. I would guess that we might be operating under this new business structure sometime late spring (2013!).

Thanks Missoula for your continued support.

Sincerely,Tim O’Leary
Kettlehouse Brewing Co est. 1995.