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Switchyard looks to switch up the idea of a traditional brewery



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Emily Anderson pours drinks behind the bar at Switchyard Brewing Company, located on North Walnut Street. Switchyard was founded in 2014.  Ty Vinson Buy Photos

A brewery probably doesn’t come to mind when thinking about your favorite place to study, but Switchyard Brewery opens at 8 a.m. and offers coffee, so it might just become your new go-to study spot.

Switchyard, which is named because of the train line that once ran through Bloomington, opened its taproom May 28. It's open to all ages.  

“It’s just a really cozy kind of place where you can come in and get work done,” co-owner Kurtis Cummings said. “Basically think about it as if Starbucks or Panera were to come together with a brewery, that’s what we are.”

In the morning, they offer a bottomless cup of Hopscotch coffee in a blend that is only available at Switchyard. They also offer cold brew and nitrogen coffee. 

Cummings said it’s a place where someone can “set up shop” to get work done. They offer Wi-Fi and many electric outlets. 

Also, Switchyard is dog friendly, so people who can’t bear to leave their dogs at home are in luck.

Cummings and Hall have been brewing for six or seven years, co-owner Jeff Hall said. The two of them met while working at a local hospital but did not see it as their career. 

“We started the business in my two-car garage,” Cummings said. 

Cummings and Hall took the beer they developed to local festivals and presented it as Switchyard beer.

“The general overall feedback was ‘this is really good beer, where can we buy this?”’ Hall said. “And legally, we couldn’t sell it because we weren’t an actual business.” 

This, coupled with the fact that they needed to make money to keep funding their hobby, is what led them to open the taproom. 


Beer glasses showing the Switchyard Brewing Company logo adorn the back shelf behind the bar. The brewery, now located on North Walnut Street, was founded in 2014. Ty Vinson Buy Photos


The building Switchyard opened in had been sitting vacant for five years. They rebuilt the space on North Walnut Street, to be “raw and industrial but open and inviting,” Hall said. 

The taproom is an open concept space with plenty of seating. The bar and table are all glossy wood and at the back of the space are the large brewing machines. 

Hall said they visited more than 300 breweries over the years to gain inspiration for Switchyard’s look.

Along with the Hopscotch coffee in the morning, they offer their in-house crafted beers. 

“We stay open until midnight so you can work hard in the morning and then play hard at night,” Cummings said.  

Hall said a fan favorite is the Lavender Blonde. 

“It’s a unique spin on a traditional blonde ale,” said Hall. “You get this nice floral lavender scent, you also get a lavender taste throughout the beer itself.”

It was the number one seller for the first two and a half months they were open. 

The current best seller is the Blackberry Wheat. 

The brewery also has as focus on being involved in the community.  There is a Switchyard running club and a yoga class in the tap room every other month. 

Switchyard also has live music a couple of times a week and trivia nights every Tuesday.  

It also raises money for local non-profits with their “wooden nickel program.” 

When a customer buys a flight of beer, he or she gets a wooden nickel which they can choose to use as a one dollar donation to the chosen not for profit of the month or a dollar off of Switchyard merchandise. 

“We still believe business should be a positive change in our community,” said Hall. 

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