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Brewing up business on Small Brewery Sunday

This year marks the third Small Brewery Sunday, a day to celebrate independent brewers and to drink local.

GALESBURG, Ill. — The holiday shopping weekend is wrapping up, but now, it's time to drink local on Small Brewery Sunday. 

The Brewer's Association created the national beer holiday in 2019 to encourage beer lovers to support their local small business breweries.

Iron Spike Brewing Company in Galesburg marked the occasion with live music and beer specials. To-go beers were 20% off, and they also introduced a new sour beer: the Cotton Candy Eclipse. 

"Goes complete with sparkles and glitter and stuff," said manager Daniel Hite. "It's been exciting. It's really good to see a lot of people are enjoying it."

Iron Spike Brewing Company opened seven years ago and is in a 105-year-old converted firehouse in downtown Galesburg. Hite said being in a historic building makes them unique. 

The eleven beers currently on tap, including Cotton Candy Eclipse, are all made at its onsite brew house. 

Hite said many people don't know about Small Brewery Sunday, but he thinks it will catch on because "in the past few years, you've seen a lot of pickup for Small Business Saturday," he said. 

As a small business, he said having that community support is critical.

"We realize that we can't do it without the community, and so Small Brewery Sunday is just a way to remind the community that we're here and we're running, got great beer and great food and just doing events all the time," Hite said. 

In 2020, craft beer volume sales dropped 9%, lowering small and independent brewers' share of the U.S. beer market by volume to 12.3%, according to the Brewer's Association

"(The) last couple years have been very interesting to say the least," Hite said. "We just kind of take it in strike. Do what we can and, you know, just keep trucking along."

However, he said lately business has been great. 

Iron Spike Brewing Company is located at 150 East Simmons St. in Galesburg. It's open Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The kitchen closes an hour before closing.