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Tag Archives: Main Street

Hyperion opens to huge crowds, outstanding neighborhood support

IMG_8417 (1)Last week something wonderful happened in my neighborhood; with the opening of our first neighborhood craft brewery, hope and pride swelled to overflowing.

For longer than I have lived in the district, Main Street has been a source of frustration in its inability to attract consumers from other areas of the city. Uptown Kitchen made inroads, but it alone was not enough to provide the spark Main Street needed to truly start on the road to recovery.

Then, a few months ago, when Hyperion Brewing Company announced that it would be setting up shop in the Springfield National Historic District, the neighborhood lit up. The combination of Hyperion, the soon-to-open Crispy’s restaurant and bar and another brewery — Main & Six Brewing Company — seems to have reawakened interest in the long neglected heart of Springfield.

From the beginning, Hyperion’s mission was to open in an emerging neighborhood. The goal was to help in the renaissance of the area and to become a draw to bring more people into the area and bring vibrancy. After a long search, several false starts, and a bit of a rezoning fight with the city of Jacksonville, a location on Main Street in the Springfield National Historic District was chosen.

In a press release issued by Hyperion May 22, co-owner and CEO Alexandra McKeown estimated that more than 100 eager patrons attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening Friday, May  19. When I arrived I talked with numerous neighbors and others who were all excited for the new opportunities the brewery would bring to Main Street.

“All of us at Hyperion Brewing Company are overwhelmed by and so thankful for the support we received from the Jacksonville community, and especially our Springfield neighbors, at our Grand Opening and first weekend open for business,” McKeown said. “We look forward to adding more brews to our selection in the coming months and offering our customers a great experience at [our] historic Springfield’s first brewery.”

The new brewery will serve a variety of beer styles, traditional and innovative, on a 32-gallon 1-barrel system, ensuring plenty of variety for patrons to sample. The opening of Hyperion marks the first true nano brewery in Jacksonville with the aim of creating a large variety of beers while avoiding — at least initially — brewing “core beers” that are always on tap. The larger selection of beers provides patrons with a constantly changing selection that is meant to expose them to many different styles of beer.

Over the course of the weekend, Hyperion estimates that they served more than 900 patrons. I personally visited several times to find the taproom full of excited, laughing patrons eager to support the new business. Many expressed their enthusiasm for the direction and tone set by Hyperion.

Based on the response, it is easy to see that Hyperion touched a nerve within the historic district. And, if one can predict the response other new Main Street businesses like Common Grounds coffee shop, Block Skate Shop, Crispies and the forthcoming Main & Six Brewing company can expect from the outpouring of enthusiasm heaped on Hyperion, Springfield is about to become the next great entertainment and shopping district in Jacksonville.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Beer, brewery

 

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Second craft brewery wins rezoning approval and green light to open in Jacksonville’s Springfield Historic District

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Image by MetroJacksnville.com

Last night, Tuesday, December 13, 2016, Hyperion Brewing Company officially became the second brewery to receive approval to open on Main Street in the Springfield National Historic District. With a Jacksonville city counsel vote consisting of 18 yeas and one nay, the brewery helmed by Alexandra McKeown and brewer Troy Orton will open at 1740 Main Street.

As I have noted in the past, this is exactly the type of business needed to help revitalize the Main Street Business District and bring other, quality businesses to the area. Time after time other cities have seen breweries bring enormous boosts to areas in need of restoration.

And, I am not the only one that says breweries bring gentrification. James Fallows, a freelance writer who, and his wife Deborah spent three years working on a project for The Atlantic that sought to find out what factors lead to the success of American cities following the Recession of 2007-2008. In the article, Fallows created a list of items that indicated a city was bouncing back. The final item on his list is of particular interest to beer-lovers.

“One final marker,” Fallows wrote. “Perhaps the most reliable: A city on the way back will have one or more craft breweries… A town that has craft breweries also has a certain kind of entrepreneur, and a critical mass of mainly young customers.”
Fallows was not the only advocate for craft breweries as economic engines for change. An article in USA Today published July 6, 2016 cites multiple examples of how craft breweries improved down-trodden and undesirable neighborhoods.

“The arrival of a craft brewery,” the article stated. “Was also often one of the first signs that a neighborhood was changing.”

One example cited by the article is the story of how Great Lakes Brewing Company transformed the downtown Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio from a decaying district, “Marred by abandoned buildings and boarded-up stores,” to a thriving market district complete with a renovated market, specialty shops, bars and restaurants.

The examples of what a craft brewery can do for a neighborhood are even visible right here in Jacksonville. To provide proof of the benefit craft breweries can have on a neighborhood at a Land Use and Zoning committee meeting, I looked at property values in the Silvertown neighborhood of Jacksonville where Intuition Ale Works maintains a brewery and Bold City Brewing Company has both a brewery and a tap room.

The results of my informal and unscientific study showed a staggering 18% increase in property values over the past eight years. It also showed an increase in home renovations and property sales. This is significant because Bold City opened in 2008 — eight years ago — followed by Intuition in 2010.

With Main & Six Brewing Company and now Hyperion Brewing Company coming within just a block of each other, Main Street is poised for rapid growth. This growth can only serve to increase property values for long-suffering Springfield residents who, though the neighborhood is growing and attracting younger families and professionals, have longed for a catalyst to spark the rejuvenation of the Main Street shopping district.

Only time will tell if the addition of Hyperion and Main & Six breweries will foster more interest in Main Street from other businesses. But, if the examples of other urban neighborhoods holds true, things are definitely looking up. In the meantime, Springfield residents will soon have the benefit of being able to walk to their own local breweries. And that ain’t bad.
 
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Posted by on December 14, 2016 in Beer, Local Brewery

 

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