Born out of a garage in northern Monroe County, Switchyard Brewing Company’s taproom is now located in downtown Bloomington. The rustic-industrial taproom opens at 8 a.m. daily, welcoming the creative entrepreneur and remote workforce communities to build and collaborate amid ample table space, free gigabit wireless internet, and unlimited coffee refills. Originally homebrewers and full-time paramedics, owners Jeff Hall and Kurtis Cummings wanted to bring a new twist to the traditional brewery concept. While working with the South Central Indiana SBDC, the two recognized that opening the brewery earlier on would allow them to gain a market advantage over their competition while helping other entrepreneurs capture their dreams in the versatile space.
As part of the business’ sustainability goals, Switchyard partners with other small and independent businesses, such as the taproom’s unique blend of locally-roasted Hopscotch coffee and teas from Cup & Kettle Tea Company or baked goods from The Big Cheeze. Not to mention they donate their spent grain to local area farmers to feed to their cattle. Additionally, each month, the brewery partners with a local non-profit for their Wooden Nickel program. Each flight of beer that is sold in the taproom comes with a wooden nickel, which customers can then use to either donate a dollar to the non-profit or take $1 off the brewery’s merchandise.
The South Central SBDC was instrumental in helping define Switchyard’s market, providing business plan assistance and facilitating general guidance discussions while the team worked to launch their brand and raise capital through Series A financing.