Brew Bridge

David Haynes, left, and brewmaster Will Johnson stand Thursday in the patio area where they, and partner Max Gavin, plan to open a new small batch brewery, Brew Bridge, at 800 W. Second St. in Owensboro.

By the end of March, David Haynes, Max Garvin and their brewmaster, Will Johnson, hope to open Brew Bridge, Owensboro’s first brewery in more than a century.

And they think they have the perfect location at 800 W. Second St.

It has a long history with Owensboro’s nightlife.

The first mention of that address in Messenger-Inquirer files is from 1912, when B.B. O’Bryan applied for permit to open a bar there.

Haynes said he wants the new brewery to be part of an entertainment district.

“We’re waiting on the contractors to finish working on the building,” he said Thursday. “We’re ready to start as soon as they finish.”

They have their federal license and have to wait until everything is ready to go to get the state to sign off on that license, Haynes said.

He said the building will be painted gray with a picture of the Glover H. Cary “Blue” Bridge stretching around it.

Johnson said they plan to brew 160 different craft beers a year at the rate of 7,000 pints a month.

“We’re working on the names for the beers now,” Haynes said.

Brew Bridge will serve bar food and he said food trucks have been invited to park outside for the first few months, at least.

The fermenting tanks will be inside the door for people to pass as they enter.

Johnson said the building will have “a real nice aroma.”

Brew Bridge also plans to age beer inside O.Z. Tyler bourbon barrels.

It will also serve coffee from two local distributors — Big Turkey Foot Coffee and Stave Coffee.

Haynes said the brew pub will seat 140 inside and 80 on the patio.

“This will be the largest brewery in western Kentucky,” he said, based on square footage.

There are 80 parking spaces out front and 40 more on the western end of the block next to Haynes and Garvin’s Escape Today.

The Daviess County Property Valuation Administrator’s website says the current 5,265-square-foot building was erected in 1950.

It was a body shop for a used car dealership in 1981, when the late Bob Green bought it and rebuilt it.

That fall, it became Barnaby’s, a popular nightspot for a decade.

After Barnaby’s closed in 1992, the building saw a lot of different bars that didn’t last long.

Haynes said Brew Bridge is in for the long haul.

The building is near the Owensboro Convention Center and the planned Home2 Suites hotel.

Haynes said they plan to grow hops in a garden south of the building.

“We want everything to be local,” he said.

To help with funding, Brew Bridge is selling gift cards in advance.

For $2,000, you can get a beer every day for life — your life or the life of the business.

“At $5 a glass, you’ll get there before you know it,” Johnson said.

Four hundred days, to be exact.

Haynes said a couple of people have already purchased those gift cards.

He said the previous owner walked off and left more than 100 bottles of liquor behind.

The brick patio, Haynes said, has the only outdoor bar in town.

One interior wall of the building will be covered with 25 to 30 grains that can be used in brewing, he said.

“We love this side of town,” Haynes said. “We hope to see more entertainment down here.”

The website OldBreweries.com says Owensboro Brewery opened here in 1899 and closed in 1903.

It was the only brewery in Owensboro, the site says.

But there were several in rural Daviess County, it says.

That list includes Emil Breidenbach Brewery, 1874-1876; A. Maxmilian Bredenbach Brewery, 1876-1891; Schrecker & Snyder Brewery, 1891-1896; and Winkler & Walk Brewery, 1896-1899.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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