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June 12, 2014

Flat 12 closer to pouring brews

Late summer or early fall opening expected

JEFFERSONVILLE — People driving, walking or biking down Riverside Drive under the newly opened Big Four Bridge and past the Olive Leaf Bistro may wonder if any progress has been made in the warehouse next door that will host Flat 12 Bierwerks.

“It’s one of those stories where there’s been a whole bunch of work that’s been done, it’s just not anything that people can see,” said Sean O’Connor, CEO of the brewery.

Indianapolis-based Flat 12 is only months away from serving beers downtown at its new taproom and brewery at 130 W. Riverside Drive. Some of those creations will be unique to the Southern Indiana location.

“I’m still saying end of summer/early fall is pretty realistic,” said O’Connor, who originally quoted a late spring/early summer opening.

In addition to a few Jeffersonville-specific brews, Flat 12 also will offer its lineup of flagship beers along with a limited menu, mostly of different types of flatbread to stick to the brewery’s namesake.

So far, plumbing and electrical work has been completed on the inside, plans and permits have been OK’d and now, the exterior is getting a fresh coat of red paint. O’Connor said waiting for approval of brewing permits and interior plans has caused the taproom’s delayed opening.

Even though the Indianapolis brewery had permits, O’Connor said he had to re-apply for Jeffersonville.

“All of that stuff had to get finalized and sent off to the state to get approved by Indiana,” he said.

Site plans included what the bars, kitchen and coolers would look like.

“We wanted to tweak and make sure the design inside was right,” O’Connor said.

The Indianapolis taproom has an a minimalistic warehouse feel with exposed beams and bricks and concrete floors. To-go six-packs and growlers also are offered.

“[The Jeffersonville taproom] is going to be consistent with the Indianapolis brewery, with its own Jeffersonville touch,” O’Connor said, though he wouldn’t elaborate what that might entail.

All that remains is to finish painting the building, get the bar in and the walls up, finish the interior build out, make sure everything is up to code and build an outdoor deck.

“It’s going to look just like the deck at Olive Leaf, so it’s a really neat consistent feel along the waterway,” O’Connor said.

Jimmy Shraby, owner of Olive Leaf, which recently opened, said he is looking forward to Flat 12 moving in next door. He said he thinks the taproom will help his business by bringing in more people who want a full meal.

“I think it will bring a lot of foot traffic in that area,” Shraby said.

O’Connor said Flat 12 will have a good relationship with other downtown restaurants and bars.

“We’re excited about not just [Olive Leaf] but Cluckers and Big Four [Burgers + Beer], and everybody down there has been wonderful,” he said. “We’re going to be working well with everyone.”

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