BELLEVUE, Iowa — A brewery in Bellevue, Iowa has been closed since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The taproom at River Ridge Brewing isn't big enough to social distance in. But now a move may allow them to reopen.
"This was new to Bellevue, we didn`t know what this was gonna grow to be and how it was gonna go over," co-owner Kelly Hueneke says.
River Ridge opened in 2016 on Riverview Street. Hueneke says they started with a one-barrel system because they didn't know how popular their brews would be.
Now, they can't sell as much as they'd like. So they've been working to renovate a former tractor showroom just down the street.
Since January, Hueneke and her co-owners have worked to restore the more than 150-year-old building. It'll be home to a new, three-barrel brewing system, as well as a bigger taproom and outdoor patio. All with a great view of the Mississippi River.
Work in Progress
"It`s where we`ve always wanted to be," Hueneke says. "Just starting off, we wanted to start small and play it safe. So when we saw the growth, then we knew it was time we could move and expand, and it only made sense we would move to the river."
The building needed new flooring, paint, plumbing and electrical. Hueneke says they have some more HVAC work to do. They also have to set-up the new brewing system and taproom.
Hueneke says people have been asking about the opening. Originally it was planned for summer 2020.
"That was before the pandemic," she says, "and this world we`re in right now, it`s an interesting time."
Now they're hoping to open in August or September this year. River Ridge is still offering carry-out in the mean time.
Love beer? Check out Brewed, a half-hour program focused on the Craft Beer scene in and around the Quad Cities. Hosted by popular local radio personality, Dave Levora, watch on Saturday nights on News 8 at 10:35 p.m. and on Sunday nights at 9:30 p.m. on MyTV8-3 or online at Brewed's website.