By ALLEN LAMAN
HUNTINGBURG — Wade Pierce believes there’s a beer out there for everybody. Maybe it’s a tongue-smacking sour. Or maybe you’d prefer a hazy New England-style India Pale Ale. Ever had a creamy, malt-like milkshake IPA?
Perhaps you haven’t found your beer just yet. That’s OK. A new local brewery and restaurant wants to help.
Set to open in the former Purple Plum building at 417 E. Fourth St. in Huntingburg in Spring 2020, Yard Goat Artisan Ales aims to bring a new slate of local craft beers to Dubois County. With 5,000 square feet of floor space that will also include a restaurant and large dining area, the brewpub’s owners believe the family-friendly atmosphere will be a destination for residents and visitors alike.
“Every brewer’s got the pipe dream of going pro,” said Jeff Schipp of Ferdinand, who is one of the operation’s four owners.
Alongside Jason Barnett of Huntingburg, Stephanie Pierce of Bretzville and Gary “Pete” Altman of Ferdinand, they’re about to make that goal a reality.
Their collective resume is extensive. Schipp, Barnett and Altman are all homebrewers who have tapped into the hobby at various points throughout their lives. Wade Pierce — Stephanie’s husband, who is not an owner but will lend his talents to the brewing and kitchen operations — has years of experience concocting beers at home and at St. Benedict’s Brew Works in Ferdinand.
“I do think, it’s cliché, but there is a beer out there for everybody, is my opinion,” Wade said. “We want to be able to get those in here that like the light beer — the pilsners, the blonde ales, the cream ales — and maybe introduce them to something a little bit different that they haven’t had before.”
He explained that Yard Goat hopes to rotate its offerings “quite a bit.” If everything goes as planned, the brewery will launch with six to eight taps, and could eventually offer between 10 and 12. In addition to their in-house offerings, the owners also plan to pursue a retail license that would allow them to sell guest beers and wine.
Brewing and selling sour beers, lagers and other styles that aren’t common at other local breweries will be a priority, Wade said.
Though the food menu is far from nailed down, Barnett said the goal is to make it “unique to the area.” After walking around the cavernous building’s interior — which is currently undergoing a big renovation — he spoke of how Yard Goat could further bolster the “destination” identity of Fourth Street.
“This isn’t a bar or tavern,” Barnett said. “It’s a family restaurant that has its own brewery, which obviously will be a primary draw and a primary feature, but that doesn’t keep you from coming in if that’s not your thing.”
The restaurant and brewery’s name is connected to Huntingburg’s railroad roots. “Yard goat” is slang for a train switcher, which is a small engine that serves to move train cars in freight yards.
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