By Herb Meeker
News Report Staff
Al Church and Tom Bauserman are in the groove on brewing now.
They have a licensed brewery in a converted pole barn garage just off West Main Street in Teutopolis. This is a long way from their past home brewing. With their huge cooking vessels, fermenters and a carbonation tank, they can produce several barrels of their craft beers. Best of all, they have a walk-in cooler ready to store cases and kegs of their brews produced in the 57/70 Brewery, a name that illustrates their future plans
“We named it 57/70 Brewery for the interstates in the county. We might get some traffic through those roads,” said Church, an award-winning home beer brewer. “We can’t sell our beer by the mug or glass here, but our beer will be appearing in different local bars, liquor stores and some restaurants.”
Church and Bauserman are taking pride in creating their brewery. They traveled out West to pick up knowhow and equipment before they started. They have created a “push-button” operation for loading grains and hops and transferring the mixes to the fermenters through pumps. Their shiny stainless steel carbonation tank, which prevents a flat tasting beer, looks like a decompression chamber from a submarine.
“After we get everything loaded, we can come back two hours later and put everything in the fermenters,” Church said. It takes three to six weeks of fermentation before the beer batch is transferred to the carbonation tank.
Bauserman explained their research and handy work saved them a lot of money. Both are educators, so they made sure they were “educated” on building a brewery before they got started.
“We were planning on making sure on everything before we started spending money. We had the knowledge to do the work ourselves, whether it was the plumbing or in the cooler,” he said.
Their biggest savings comes on rent for their new brewery, a mere $1 per month to Bauserman’s wife. The “security staff” reflects on the operation’s frugality. A dog that likes to bark at strangers keeps an eye on the place when it is not on a “lunch break.”
Best of all, they are the taste testers on their different beer batches that offer different flavors. Of course, they naturally offered some tastes of an English IPA, an Imperial Stout and a Belgian Orange to a thirsty journalist, astute enough to schedule his visit at the end of a workday last week.
State and federal licensing has been completed for 57/70 Brewery and now the brewers are working on perfecting their craft recipes in their new equipment. In coming weeks, they will have their different craft beers pouring out of taps or being sold at different venues with liquor licenses, whether package liquor stores or restaurants.
If the beer is flowing well for 57/70 Brewery, there might be plans for expansion. A new facility might be in the works. Partnering with a restaurant might also be a possibility.
For now, Church and Bauserman are having fun with accomplishing their goal for opening a licensed brewery.
“Every home brewer dreams of working in a brewery,” Church said.
“Most of the time it’s a pipe dream, but not for us,” Bauserman said.