NORMAL — Ten years after getting a home-brewing kit for Christmas, Matt Potts will break ground on a $14 million production brewery in Normal that follows the success of his Destihl brewpubs and a smaller production facility that makes beer sold in 13 states.
Potts, who announced the plan Thursday, said the brewery on Greenbriar Road should bring 70 new jobs and possibly twice that many within the next decade. The new facility is expected to open in 2017.
The 6-acre complex will be in the Northland Commercial Subdivision, north of Menards, 900 Greenbriar Drive. The site is owned by Country Acres Land Corp.; owner Tracy Shepard declined to comment on the pending sale.
“We had a major expansion last year, but we are just running out of room and we really can’t squeeze anything more into our existing facility,” said Potts, Destihl’s founder and CEO. “The facility we have is a great stepping stone, but we can really make our new place something special with a tap room and allow the public to see what we are doing with tours.
"This project has been part of our long-term business plan since the beginning and to see it now becoming a reality is a dream come true for our dedicated team.”
Destihl has an option to purchase adjacent land for future expansion. Destihl operates brewpubs in Normal and Champaign and a production facility at 1616 GE Road, Bloomington.
According to information issued Thursday, the new 47,000-square-foot-production facility will include production space; brewhouse, fermentation and cellar areas; a two-story oak barrel and maturity room for beer aging; a packaging floor; a cooler; a warehouse; and lab.
The facility will include a 6,300-square-foot taproom and event space, an outdoor beer garden and brewery, and corporate offices.
“We are ecstatic that Destihl is continuing to grow,” said Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council CEO Kyle Ham. “This will be a tremendous asset to our community and to our quality of life. We look forward to this new facility becoming a destination and for people to take tours and enjoy their product.”
“We are thrilled that an innovative and award-winning business such as Destihl has chosen the town of Normal as the location to grow their business,” added Mayor Chris Koos.
Twenty employees at the production facility at 1616 GE Road will transfer to the new location. About 15,000 barrels (465,000 gallons) are produced in cans and kegs at the GE Road facility; the new site will be able to brew more than 150,000 barrels a year.
The GE Road lease expires in August 2017, and Destihl hasn’t decided whether to request an extension.
Normal City Manager Mark Peterson said the town is working with Destihl on a possible expansion of a nearby enterprise zone that would include the new site, but that change requires approval of Bloomington, Normal, McLean County, Ford County and Gibson City. The zone would allow a tax abatement on building materials purchased in Illinois.
The current enterprise zone — which ends at the Bridgestone tire plant at 1600 Fort Jesse Road, Normal — expires June 30. The state is considering an application to reinstate it, effective Jan. 1.
The town will extend Greenbriar Drive in a project expected to cost about $800,000, Peterson said.
Potts, a former attorney, opened Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works in 2007 at the Shoppes at College Hills in Normal. Four years later, he opened a similar restaurant in downtown Champaign.
The 20,000-square-foot production brewery opened in May 2013.