Master brewer at Paul Mueller heads group of investors that bought the bar and restaurant.
A group of six Springfield investors has purchased the Springfield Brewing Company from the Paul Mueller Company for $3 million.
Bryan Bevel, director of operations at the Springfield Brewing Company, said the deal with Front Row Property LLC closed Monday.
“A group of local investors, headed by Ashton Lewis, the master brewer at Mueller company, has bought Springfield Brewing Company,” said Bevel, who also is one of the investors.
“It’s going to mean bigger and better things here. This is a group that cares about craft beers, that cares about quality.”
Along with Lewis and Bevel, the new owners include Cam Collins, Christina Chanter, John Schnoebelen and Rhett Smillie.
David Moore, president and CEO of Paul Mueller Company, said the brewery has been a good showcase for the brewing equipment the company makes at its Springfield plant. Mueller opened it in 1997.
“However, operating a brewery and restaurant is not core to our business,” Moore said.
Mueller sold the brewery at 301 S. Market Ave. for $3 million, which includes a $400,000 promissory note payable over five years.
Bevel said the brewery unveiled a new menu on Nov. 2 and the purchase wouldn’t affect the staff of about 50 employees.
“We intend to carry on business as usual,” Bevel said.
Along with a full-service restaurant, Springfield Brewing Company makes six varieties of beers at a time — and 10 to 12 varieties a year — using specialized brewing equipment manufactured by the Mueller company.
Lewis, a nationally recognized brewer, has been the master brewer at Springfield Brewing Company for the last 14 years and was instrumental in the company’s start-up as the Springfield Brewing Company.
He will continue his job marketing brewing equipment for Mueller.
According to the investors, Springfield Brewing Company will continue its close ties with the Mueller Company.
The steel manufacturer will still be able to use the brewing company as its flagship example of the high quality and American-made brewing tanks that are sold across the country, to many of the nation’s top breweries, according to a news release from the investor group.
In addition, Paul Mueller, the founder of Paul Mueller Company, will still hold mug No. 1 within Springfield Brewing Company’s “mug club.”
“There is no question, Paul Mueller Company had the ability and foresight to create SBC — those ties and roots will not be forgotten,” Lewis said.
“It has been my dream to find a group committed to the continued growth of SBC, so that it can not only remain a cornerstone of Springfield’s downtown community that it has been for so many years, but so that SBC can be taken to the next level — brewing quality beers for the region,” Lewis said.