JEFFERSONVILLE — Beer "nerds" and live music fans have a new gathering spot in downtown Jeffersonville.
The Goodwood Brewhouse & Live Room opened true to form May 1 with a Hairbanger's Ball, heralding the arrival of a marquee Louisville brand in Southern Indiana with grating guitars and screeching vocals.
The Brewhouse & Live Room, which occupies the second floor of Cox's Hot Chicken, 134 Spring St., represents Goodwood's first foray outside of its home base of Louisville for a taproom.
Ted Mitzlaff, chairman and CEO of Goodwood Brewing Co., said his team had been eyeing Southern Indiana for quite some time. Turns out the perfect location found Mitzlaff.
Andrew Cox, the name behind Cox's Hot Chicken, along with restaurateur Silver Gordon and Nick Nowinski, who owns Baxter's 492 in Louisville, approached Goodwood about opening a taproom at Cox's.
The location — the former home of Big Four Burgers + Beer (along with several sentimental dive bars of yore) — sold itself.
"I've spent a lot of time in Jeffersonville over the years, so I know the area pretty well," Mitzlaff said. "Spring Street is kind of a little bar and restaurant row. Of course you're right by the river, so that was very appealing to me."
Jay Ellis, executive director of Jeffersonville Main Street Inc., said the city is thrilled to welcome Goodwood.
"They will be a great addition to the community of businesses that make our downtown so inviting and vibrant," he said.
While Goodwood's main production brewery is on Main Street in downtown Louisville, a small set-up at the Brewhouse & Live Room will churn out specialty brews, like double- and triple-hopped IPAs "and other kinds of edgy beers, a lot of sours, that the beer nerds will enjoy," Mitzlaff said.
Goodwood's brewers will be able to flex their hoppy muscles.
"The brewers are artists, as well as scientists," Mitzlaff said. "This is an opportunity for them to really practice their art and get kind of crazy."
The brewhouse will feature about 10 taps, including Goodwood's staples and the Jeffersonville-produced "funky" beers, along with other Indiana craft brews and some domestics.
"We want to appeal to everybody," Mitzlaff said.
The Live Room part of the facility was Nowinski's brainchild, according to Mitzlaff, and includes a nearly $100,000 investment in a stage, sound system, lighting and special effects.
"It's awesome," Mitzlaff said.
The Brewhouse & Live Room also offers a more relaxed alternative, with pool tables, plenty of TVs to watch sports, and a sprawling outdoor deck.
"The bands are more for late night, more for Thursday through Saturday," Mitzlaff said. "The main focus for the most part is on the evenings and toward the weekend."
Cox's food offerings will be available at the brewhouse, along with an expanded bar menu, which includes fare like nachos and chicken wings.
Most importantly, according to Mitzlaff, the Brewhouse & Live Room will gain Goodwood entry into the Southern Indiana scene.
"We are very excited for the opportunity to do that," he said. "Sometimes the Ohio River feels like the great divide. We want to really expose our brand to people in Southern Indiana. Indiana is very what I would call hyper-local, so we want to be part of that local."