Solon’s Big Grove Brewery requests funds for Iowa City expansion

Tomorrow the Iowa City Economic Development Committee will review a request from Big Grove Brewery to support facade upgrades for a planned Iowa City facility. The brewery’s original Solon location will continue to function as the flagship brewpub and restaurant, with the Iowa City locale serving as a production brewery and taproom. The brewery is requesting $40,000 from the city for the project, with a total estimated cost being $108,100.

“To be clear, we have no plans on changing any part of our business in Solon,” said Big Grove partner Matthew Swift in a letter to the city.

The expansion is slated for Iowa City’s Riverfront Crossings district. The brewery and taproom will be located at 1225 South Gilbert St. in a former warehouse and storage facility previously known as the Hawk Shop and UI Surplus. The brewery plans for significant outdoor seating and will have access to current Johnson County bike trails.

Desperate Measures
Big Grove Brewery is coming to Iowa City — photo by Jordan Sellergren

When considering the move to Iowa City’s Riverfront Crossings district, Big Grove took into consideration the factors of space, proximity to downtown, walkability, access to bike trails, green space and accessibility with regards to loading and logistics.

“We produce just over a 1,000 barrels a year,” said Swift. “Most of the beer is consumed at the brewery itself, but we do have 20 retail customers that carry our beer when stock is available. In addition, we have a waiting list of accounts that would like to carry our products. In the end we came to this simple conclusion, we need to make more beer!”

Update: This article has been updated to include additional information regarding the potential allocation of funds on behalf of the Iowa City Economic Development Committee.

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