Amanda and Jarrod Franklin recently purchased the Bloomington Brewing Co., a local brewery on Industrial Park Drive, from its previous owners and founders Jeff Mease and Lennie Busch.
Amanda Franklin said she and her husband heard from a friend of the previous owners that they planned to sell the brewery. She said it sounded like a long shot, but she and her husband had considered getting into the restaurant business with their friend Zech Algood since college. He is now the head brewer at Bloomington Brewing Co.
Amanda Franklin said she was already familiar with the restaurant business having worked in management positions at different restaurants in Bloomington and Indianapolis for most of her life. She recently owned Cactus Flower, a former local boutique in Bloomington.
She said in the past, the brewery owners scaled down the brands they produced, mainly making four different brands from the past few years.
Amanda Franklin said the company planned to bring back a lot of the brews they toned down making in the past. For example, this week they’re brewing a Java Porter.
“We’re bringing back most of the brands that haven’t been in production in a while and probably doing some new seasonal things of our own once we get rolling,” Amanda Franklin said.
She said the brewery is still going to be making great beer. There will be a few recipe modifications, but many of the changes will be about boosting production.
“We want the brand to stay around,” Amanda Franklin said. “We want to be an independent brewery that’s Indiana’s go-to craft beer.”
She said since the pandemic began, inventory levels aren’t what they would have been. As bars closed, keg sales decreased and can sales increased because those were more accessible, she said.
“We came in at a point where things are hopefully going back to normal and I think we’ll see some big blooms and some festivals and things like that next summer,” Amanda Franklin said.
She said she knew people were nervous about a corporation taking up the Bloomington Brewing Co. and outsourcing operations before she and her husband bought the business.
“We are just locals that love the brand and want to see it continue,” Amanda Franklin said.
Algood, the head brewer, said the brewery is prioritizing production.
“We just want to supply our local community with really high-quality beer and start branching out into the rest of Southern Central Indiana,” Algood said.
He said for craft beer in the past 15 years, many brewing techniques and hop utilization became popular.
Algood said he plans to add more hops in the fermentation process rather than the boiling phase to create a taste more popular in modern breweries.
“BBC's beer is a bit too bitter when compared to other breweries,” Algood said in an email to the Indiana Daily Student. “I don't intend to make a complete reboot of the brands, but massage them into a more current version, while still paying a certain homage to the original recipes.”
Jarrod Franklin, the other co-owner of Bloomington Brewing Co., said the pandemic made the production a little riskier to start as the company’s main customers are the restaurants and bars in the area.
“Hopefully it’s close to the end, and we can get back to normal,” Jarrod Franklin said. “We want to make the beer as good as it can be and make it more available too.”
He said the brewery produced the local beer for a long time and he had memories about it from college.
“We believe in the beer,” Jarrod Franklin said. “And if we have the beer, people will drink it.”