Ted Webb said opening a brewery has been a dream of his for many years and as work continues to make that dream a reality at the Ruby Junction development in Madisonville, he said there are still many hurdles to clear.
The Kansas native said his next steps are finalizing projections and loan information in order to next open Tradewater Brewing Company.
“There’s nothing official yet,” he said. I don’t have a lease agreement signed. A letter of intent, that is kind of the next step. I have nearly finalized a business plan and basically have the equipment chosen that I want.”
Webb said he’s working diligently on finalizing his business plan and making sure the financial projections are correct and to complete that piece of the puzzle.
He said his interest in craft beer and brewing started in college when he and his friends made some beer that he said — at the beginning — was “God awful.”
“The process was fun,” he said.
After taking some jobs and eventually meeting his wife, who is from Dawson Springs, Webb said he didn’t get back into craft beer until moving to Kentucky in 2015.
“I started reading some more on home brewing, and two years ago I picked it back up,” he said. “I’ve been brewing two to four times a month for the past two years.”
Webb said his parents both own their own businesses, and that he has looked up to them for “a lot of different reasons.”
“The brewery has always been that glimmer in my eye,” he said, adding that as he started making products for his family and friends, people were trying to get more of the craft beer he was giving out.
Webb said it was important to find a job he is passionate about, and he also knew that he and his wife wanted to stay in the area to be near friends and family.
“We don’t want to leave, we want to be part of the community here,” he said. “My thought was why not take what I’m passionate about and start a brewery?”
He said he wanted to get the project started sooner, but COVID-19 slowed it down.
“It was not a good time to try that,” he said. “Last year put a standstill on it.”
Webb said he reached out to David Garrigan, who owns Garrigan Building and Construction and who bought the entire Ruby Junction block and began developing it in September 2020.
“That began the conversation about potentially putting a brewery into the old Ruby Concrete factory building,” said Webb.
He said the warehouse is 11,000 square feet, but the plan is to not use all of it right away.
“It would need probably half a million dollars to inject into that space to do it right,” said Webb. “The goal is to start a little bit smaller, something on the scale of what Hopkinsville Brewing Company is.”
Webb described the brewery size, saying it is based on how much beer can be produced and the equipment size will dictate how much liquid can be produced in any given time. He said he is aiming for the brewery to have a three and a half barrel system, with one U.S. barrel of beer equaling to 31 gallons.
“It’s not super small but also not incredibly large,” he said. “The goal is to get out of that, produce some great craft beer and get the local community excited about craft beer.”
He said he also wants to do community events as much as possible, adding the focus on community is an important part of the business.
“Hopefully, in a couple of years, we are able to expand some so we can use that whole warehouse space as a community space,” he said. “It is extremely important to me to focus on the community as well.”
Webb said his goals for operation are next year, but supply chain issues are also hindering the process. He has also had to go through the licensing to meet local and state requirements.
“Once it gets going and once we get the loans finalized, I’m really hoping to hit the ground running,” he said. “I think this could be really fun for the city and I’m looking forward to the community space we can build and serve great craft beer at the same time.”