The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Wednesday:
For Immediate Release
Jan 5, 2022
For more information:
New Owners at the Bloomington Brewing Co.
The Bloomington Brewing Company, founded by Jeff Mease and Lennie Busch in 1994 welcomes new owners this week, Amanda and Jarrod Franklin of Bloomington. The brewery was the first “craft brewery” to open in Southern Indiana, and is the 3rd oldest craft brewery in the state.
Mease and Busch built the brewery adjacent to their restaurant Lennie’s, originally part of the Crosstown II shopping Center on E. 10th street. The restaurant debuted in 1989 and remained in that location—as Bloomington’s first brewpub—until Lennie’s moved to its present Kirkwood Avenue location in 2019. At that time, brewing operations were consolidated at the BBC production house on Bloomington’s west side.
Mease and Busch began considering new owners about 6 months ago, and they feel lucky to have connected with the Franklins, who learned about the brewery being availability from mutual friends. The Franklins approached a friend, Chris Welsh, along with Brian Graham and Mitch Ackerman of Indianapolis brewery Four Day Ray, and together formed an entity to purchase the Bloomington Brewing Company. Brewer Zech Algood, a longtime friend of the Franklins who has been a lead brewer at Upland Brewing for the last 7 years, will lead brewing operations for the new team.
Jeff Mease commented, “We’re excited for a new era for the Bloomington Brewing Company. Lennie and I have operated BBC for more than 27 years now, and it’s been a good run. We’ve built a lot of brand equity, created a lot of friendships in the pub, and made a lot of great beer—thanks to the focus and commitment of a talented chain of brewers over that 27 years–beginning with Russ Levitt, who was the very first brewer back in the ’90s (Russ went on to help found the Upland Brewing Co.), Floyd Rosenbaum who still works with us in various capacities, and finally Nick Banks, who led the brewery for the last 6 year. These guys (and several others) had a tremendous passion for their craft, and together I think we created something remarkable. We built this thing to last. We’ve long admired those European beverage purveyors who built multi-generational brands. Some are hundreds of years old. We’re excited to have Amanda, Jarrod, Zech and the team from Four Day Ray continue the fun, and we’ll be helping along with a way to contribute to this ongoing and delicious Bloomington Brewing adventure.”
Amanda Franklin said, “We have big plans for making great beer! Jarrod and I are beyond excited to be able to continue to serve our local, craft beer-loving community the BBC beer they know and love. We appreciate Jeff and Lennie for entrusting us with the care and growth of Bloomington Brewing Company, we are honored to carry on the BBC name and promise to brew the very best beers.”