Three partners working to open
New Madison Brewing in May
They plan to brew, serve and deliver
craft beer from facility
(May 2019) – Directions that end with “You can’t miss it” aren’t always that easy. However, directions to the New Madison Brewing Co. start with “You can’t miss it!” When you see the City of Madison water tower on the left, while driving north on Wilson Avenue, which becomes Shun Pike, there it is. The New Madison Brewing Co. at 3463 Shun Pike in Madison, Ind.
The grand opening at the end of May will celebrate the results of long hours of planning and hard work by New Madison Brewing Co. owners Nick Privette, Daryl Hardesty and Chris Bratten. Hardesty graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1999 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He returned home to Osgood, Ind., and found a position at the Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corporation.
Photo by Sharyn Whitman
From left, New Madison Brewing Co. owners Nick Privette and Daryl Hardesty are pictured at the facility in Madison, Ind. They hope to open by Memorial Day Weekend.
Privette and Bratten were assigned to be roommates in 1999 during their freshman year at Rose-Hulman. They graduated in 2003, also with mechanical engineering degrees. Bratten found an engineering and sales position in Louisville. Privette found a position at IKEC. Now a 15-year resident of Jefferson County, Ind., Privette has been brewing his own beer in his basement for the past decade. The three college friends have watched the growth of the microbrewing trend while enjoying Privette’s brew. Initially, the conversations were hypothetical: “We could do that.”
“We could do that” changed to “Let’s do it!” said Privette. As engineers, they each had the technical background to develop the plan. They formed an LLC in November 2017. Privette, 38, is the Chief Executive Manager and brew master. Hardesty, 41, is the Chief Operations Manager. Bratten, 37, is the Brand Manager.
The first challenge was to secure the right location. The partners scoured downtown Madison for options to locate their facility. While buildings were available for renovation, the downtown buildings they toured were not suitable for a large-scale production facility.
With advice and assistance from Dave Ungru, owner of Koehler Tire and Welding, the entrepreneurs investigated options on the hilltop in the area designated as the Jefferson County Industrial Park. Ungru is a board member of the Jefferson County Industrial Develop-ment Commission. He was knowledgeable about purchasing real estate, city and county regulations and permits, and the necessary contacts. The New Madison Brewing Co. team was able to purchase two acres in the designated industrial park.
“It was easier and cheaper for us to build a facility from the ground up than to renovate an existing building into a production facility,” Hardesty said.
While working with Privette, Hardesty and Bratten, Ungru was impressed. “They had an awesome business plan.” The trio credits the Indiana Small Business Development Center for the assistance they received in developing their plan.
Photo by Sharyn Whitman
The New Madison Brewing Co. is housed in the new building on Shun Pike in Madison, Ind.
Hardesty wrote most of it during his graduate program at Indiana Wesleyan University. He received his MBA in 2018. The plan provides for all three owners to initially continue working in their full-time jobs, so cash-flow is not a problem. Privette and Hardesty are still working at IKEC. Bratten completed a master’s degree in engineering at Purdue University. He has worked for Bastian Solutions in Louisville since 2005.
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The plan includes a substantial amount of work personally completed by each of the three owners. They moved Privette’s original small system to the new location. They have purchased a large SS Brewtech 10-barrel, 20-keg system, for production brewing. The plan includes both small-scale specialty brews as well as large scale production of local brews for distribution to area bars and restaurants
They plan to produce four main beers and four rotating specials (small-batch productions every few weeks). The four main beers will include a porter (dark, malty, roasty style), a raspberry-wheat beer (dry, not sweet), an IPA (“hoppy” bitter beer), and an ale (lighter, easy to drink beer). Eventually, they plan to make six main beers. Craft brews are all about the unique taste. “Each drinker’s personal taste is as unique as the fingerprints on their condensation-covered glass – it’s totally subjective,” according to Andy Sparhawk at CraftBeer.com.
Privette drew the plans and layout for the facility to provide a draft for the architect. The tap room or tasting room has community style seating for 50 patrons. There are two windows inside the tap room that provide a view of the brewing equipment. They learned first-hand about the impact of regulations. Those windows cannot be ordinary glass. The glass is required to be fire-rated for two hours of fire resistance. That regulation changed the cost from $200 to more than $8,000, just for two windows.
The production space is sized to provide room for expansion. They spend nights, weekends and vacation time working in the facility. They have personally constructed tables and benches in the tap room. In their “spare time,” they are painting a wall mural based on an old photograph of the original Madison Brewing Co.
“Things are working well,” said Bratten. “We are getting the work done ourselves. We will have a better foundation for the business and what we actually need before we hire anyone. We really own this.”
The New Madison Brewing Co. logo is an original design by Bratten. All three owners are big soccer fans, Bratten said. He was inspired by shield-style logos of professional soccer teams. Professional soccer team logos include stars for each championship won.
The New Madison Brewing logo includes three hops, recognizing the three owners. The crest includes a stylized version of the trusses of the Ohio River bridge at Madison, with the N and M initials of the company included in the truss design. After several revisions, they were satisfied with the new logo and ordered polo shirts with the new logo. The next weekend, someone asked about their soccer team after seeing the logo on their shirts. This was the ultimate compliment to the design and an opportunity to talk about their new brewery.
The business plan really focuses on distribution. Growlers and kegs will be produced initially. The tap room provides the opportunity to taste various brews. It is also a great location for manufacturing workers to stop in after work. Those workers have watched the progress of preparing the site, construction of the new building, and installation of the large sign featuring the new logo.
Privette noted anticipation is building for the grand opening. Although food will not be provided on-site, patrons are welcome to order a pizza or other items to be delivered while they are hanging out at the New Madison Brewery.
Jerry Wade, owner of the new Mad Paddle Brewery in Madison, offered a tour of his facilities and the opportunity for more helpful discussion. Wade said he was happy to do anything that would help this new brewery open sooner.
“The Mad Paddle is already making Madison a microbrew destination,” Wade said. “Each weekend, people are coming 30-60 miles, and some as far away as Michigan and Tennessee. Social media has a big impact on the publicity needed to draw customers.”
Wade said Mad Paddle is excited to have another brewery in town. There is the potential to do a “collaboration brew” where two breweries work together to produce a specific recipe. Mad Paddle is also expanding its on-site production, but the two breweries have two completely different business models.
The Mad Paddle is a downtown place to hang out and try new brews. The New Madison Brewing Co. does have a tap room on the hilltop; rather, the business model is focused on distribution to other bars and restaurants. Wade said, “I made the offer to have their beer on tap – to be their first customer.”
The New Madison Brewing Co. owners will manage the distribution personally in the beginning. Both pick-up and delivery will be available. When their production grows, it will be possible to expand distribution outside of Jefferson County to other Indiana locations to leverage their Indiana licensing before looking across the river to Kentucky locations. They are also interested in the idea of trading kegs with other brewers.
“Regional distribution gets Madison’s name out there,” noted Bratten. Madison already has great history, art, cultural attractions and festivals. Microbreweries help create more draw for the area. Privette, Hardesty and Bratten all echoed the same sentiments about the community.
“We are excited to become part of the bigger community,” Bratten said. They are looking forward to being more involved, engaged and to give back to their community.
New Madison Brewing Co., visit their website: www.newmadisonbrewing.com.
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