JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. (June 13, 2017) — 3rd Turn Brewery has tripled its presence in the heart of Jeffersontown with two deals that will allow the local craft brewery to expand.
With the deals signed on June 8, 3rd Turn now controls the use of two properties adjacent to the craft brewery the four partners opened in September 2015 in a former church at 10408 Watterson Trail. The brewery’s owners, Greg Hayden, Brian Minrath, Ben Shinkle and Dale Shinkle, opted to acquire the two vacant properties while they were both available.
“We recognized this was a ripe opportunity that might come along just once in a lifetime,” said Hayden, owner/operator and one of two brewery owners who works full-time for 3rd Turn.
The 1,680-s.f. building at 10410 Watterson Trail most recently housed the Michael Thomas Dance Center, which closed late last year, and the 1,582-square-foot building at 10412 and 10414 Watterson Trail most recently was home to the Louisville Coffee Company coffee shop, which closed earlier this year.
Acquiring controlling interest in the two additional properties puts 3rd Turn in control of about half a block of Jeffersontown’s Gaslight Square District. City officials have made great strides in recent years to focus on and help build up the historic part of town.
The expansion of 3rd Turn was enabled by support and financing provided through the Jeffersontown Economic Development Authority, according to Mike Kmetz, executive director of JEDA. He said the value of the combined deals is a little more than $338,500.
City officials noticed that 3rd Turn “created a buzz” that has been beneficial to Jeffersontown’s core, attracting other businesses to the area, Kmetz said.
Technically, the deals were done by Trifecta Brewing LLC, the parent company of 3rd Turn. The brewery has a lease with option to buy the former dance studio building from JEDA — a similar arrangement that Trifecta/3rd Turn has with the church building. The former coffee shop building has been purchased by Trifecta/3rdTurn with financing through Stockyards Bank & Trust Co.
“These guys are the type of business owners we like to work with,” Kmetz said. “They’re not just looking for a hand out. They’re willing to put some skin in the game.”
Hayden said he and his partners have been pleasantly surprised by Jeffersontown officials’ willingness to work with them. “Our real reason for wanting to expand is Jeffersontown,” he said, adding that the support and cooperation of city leaders enabled the partners to launch a successful venture.
“We weren’t handed some binder of rules and just told what we could and couldn’t do,” Hayden said. “They asked us what we needed. We worked directly with the mayor and other officials to come up with deals that worked for us.”
That approach to working with businesses is important to Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf, a longtime Jeffersontown business owner himself. “The kind of deals we’ve done with 3rd Turn is an example of what good government does for its citizens,” said Dieruf, who owns Dieruf Hardware & Rental Center at 9608 Taylorsville Road. “We like to help businesses get a strong start in our community so the people who live and work here have nearby places to get products and services they need — and enjoy life.”
The brewery owners are still in the process of developing plans for the two properties, Hayden said. He explained that a priority for now is to focus on finishing the brewery’s second operation, which is a brewery, tap room and four-acre farm set to open soon in Oldham County. “Once it’s open, we’ll transition our attention over here,” Hayden said of the Jeffersontown buildings.
While there is no timeline on opening to the public in the two newly acquired buildings in Jeffersontown, the partners’ ideas for the former dance studio building next door to their current operation are further along.
Hayden envisions a wraparound deck being constructed in back of the properties, serving to join the buildings into one place that’s easily accessible by customers.
He also expects the former dance studio to be a place where more events and parties will be held. Already, 3rd Turn has become a popular place for parties and events to be held. “It’s an affordable option for a lot of people,” Hayden said, since people can bring in their own food.
For now, the next-door property offers space to expand brewing capabilities and storage, he said.
The former coffee shop space provides the 3rd Turn owners with an opportunity to venture into food service. But that’s not something they desire to do, Hayden said. “We want it to be more about the beer.”
Currently, 3rd Turn customers bring their own food into the brewery or have nearby restaurants deliver food there. Plenty of menus can be found around 3rd Turn for patrons to peruse and opt to order. On occasion, food trucks park close by so patrons can get food to go along with their 3rd Turn brews.
Hayden called the former coffee shop building the “wild card” at this point. He said the partners have kicked around ideas for the space. Potentially, they might develop a partnership with a restaurant or caterer to sell food out of a catering kitchen on the premises.
As often is the case with craft breweries, the partners of 3rd Turn started out as home brewers. “Everyone who has ever been a home brewer thinks: ‘I wonder what it would be like to own a brewery,’ ” Hayden said.
The 3rd Turn partners realized they had a strong shot at succeeding at brewery ownership given their divergent career histories and skills. Among them they had a CPA, a project manager/logistics specialist, a chemist and a building contractor.
So far, 3rd Turn — yes, the name references that spot at the Churchill Downs racetrack — has proven to be a successful venture for the partners. Hayden said he and his co-owners “didn’t do this to become wealthy” from the brewery operation. They’re simply pleased that the venture is working out so well and that they’re able to expand so quickly.
“We often talk about how we’re having so much fun doing what we’re doing,” Hayden said.
The partners also like experimenting with craft beer flavors and building a community of customers who come in to relax and share their thoughts about the beer they’re drinking, he added. “We’re happy when we hear people say ‘my brewery’ when they’re talking about 3rd Turn.”