St. Joseph’s Bad Habit Brewing has some big changes in store for 2019. The brewery, which has called its downtown location home since opening in 2015, is moving its operation around the corner to the old city hall.
“We’re looking at moving just for the sheer fact that we’re running out of room here,” says founder Aaron Rieland. “We’re running out of beer, and the taproom is super busy.
“We wanted to stay in downtown St. Joe, that was our one requirement,” he says of the brewery’s search for a new location. With such a small pool of for-sale properties in the small downtown area, the old city hall was the obvious option for expanding the brewery.
Bad Habit’s current 1,800-square-foot location houses seven five-barrel fermenters, producing around 600 barrels per year. With the move to a larger brewhouse, the brewery will be adding at least two additional 10-barrel fermenters and another five-barrel tank, hiking production to around 1,000 barrels per year.
Along with the 8,000-square-foot brewhouse and taproom, the new facility sits on a 40,000-square-foot lot, allowing for ample outdoor patio space and add-ons to the taproom.
The indoor space will give the brewery the ability to host larger parties during taproom hours, says Rieland. “It’ll allow us to use some private party rooms. Most people want to do [that] while we’re open, so it’ll be nice to do it while we’re open for business.”
Rieland says they’ll be hiring an additional 10 or so employees with the new space, both in the brewery and behind the bar. Demolition on the space begins this week, and they hope to be moved in by mid-2019. But in the meantime, they will remain open at the current spot. “Our hope is to not have any downtime,” says Rieland.
Though the move is an exciting development for the brewery, Rieland admits he’s sad to be saying goodbye to Bad Habit’s first home. “This location has been really good for us,” he says. “We’re gonna miss it. We built our business at this spot.”