CYO about to start brewing

Photo by Alan Warren, Messenger-Inquirer | awarren@messenger-inquirer.com Drew Mitchell takes off the lid of one of the fermenters on Friday that will hold 62 gallons (or two barrels) of beer once production starts at CYO Brewing around Thanksgiving.

It's taken nearly five years for Drew Mitchell to get his federal brewing license for CYO Brewing, a popular nightspot, at 119 E. Second St.

But he finally has his federal license and expects his state license within a couple of weeks.

Mitchell hopes to be brewing 8 to 10 barrels of beer -- 248 to 310 pints -- a week before Thanksgiving.

"We're ramping up things here to become a brew pub," he said Friday. "We already have all the equipment in place."

Mitchell said the day he gets his state permit is the day he'll start brewing and have Owensboro-made beer on tap that same day.

He'll be making eight different beers immediately and expanding to 14 later.

Mitchell is still working on names for the beers.

"We have 28 taps here," he said. "Eight and later 14 of them will be our beers. The others are craft beers from Kentucky, Indiana and Nashville."

The CYO brand will be available at the brew pub and a couple of touristy restaurants downtown at first, Mitchell said.

Once people in other cities begin wanting his beers, he said, he plans to add a production facility and ramp up production.

Brew pubs that offer food can serve people under 21 too, Mitchell said.

So, he's installing equipment to expand his menu and plans to eventually open for lunch.

By February, Mitchell said he'll begin opening on Sundays as well.

He said, "We will limit customers to 21-plus after 9 or 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays."

First in more than century

When Mitchell begins brewing, it will be the first time in more than a century that Owensboro has had a brewery.

The website OldBreweries.com says Owensboro Brewery opened 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.

A second brewery is expected soon, though.

David Haynes and Max Garvin said in August that they plan to open a brewery at 800 W. Second St. in the near future.

Mitchell said he'll have a window cut into the brewery area of the business, so customers can watch the process.

He said he'll be offering brewery tours on Fridays and Saturdays.

Mitchell said he'll be producing 32-ounce cans of beer for people to take home.

He said he initially plans to brew four to five days a week to build up supply.

As demand grows, Mitchell said he expects to "brew upwards of 20-25 barrels per week."

There are 8 pints in a gallon.

Mitchell said he's in the process of hiring more staff for the bar and the brewery section.

"I expect three or four initially," he said.

Mitchell opened CYO in March 2015.

He planned to begin brewing his own craft beer there as soon as he got his license.

But getting his federal brewing license took a lot longer than he expected.

Mitchell went to middle school and high school in Daviess County and, like many people, moved away when he started college.

"I was in Chicago for 15 years," he said in 2017. "Then, my parents moved back here. When I came to visit, I saw all the things that had been done downtown. I had been planning one of these in Chicago. But a place like this pops up every week in Chicago. And it's a lot more expensive there."

So Mitchell decided to launch his brewery in Owensboro.

And now, he's on the verge of doing that.

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

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