Photos by Jamie Alexander
After opening their first brewery in Louisville in December of 2016, the Milewide Beer Company decided to take a short trip down the Ohio River to open an expansion in downtown Owensboro. After over a century-long drought, the microbrewery and taproom are the second of its kind to grace Second Street this year.
Craftily named, Milewide will join The Brew Bridge in brewing beer in the city of Owensboro for the first time since 1903. The company looks to use their Owensboro location as a playground of sorts, to create and experiment with beers that would only be served at the taproom.
This level of innovation is a direct reflection of co-founders Scott Shreffler, Kyle Tavares, and Matt Landon, who joined their many talents under the motto, “always flowing.” Tavares is from Henderson and serves as the head brewer – his familiarity with the area played a pivotal role in the expansion.
“Owensboro was the largest city in the country without a brewery, so it seemed like a good market to start exploring,” said hype man and marketing director Scott Shreffler. “Kyle having ties to the area was a nice little bonus.”
The idea for the expansion began when the previous tenants of the location, CYO Brewing, posted that they were closing and that all of their equipment was for sale. CYO operated as a successful bar, but never actually began the brewing process.
“They posted on their Facebook page if anyone was interested in acquiring all of the equipment,” he said. “We thought it was the perfect opportunity for us. The equipment was already there, and it had been a functional bar for some time – the barrier of entry was really low and it wasn’t going to take long for us to get in and get working.”
The new location participated in a grand opening on November 13 before being forced to close its doors just over a week later because of COVID-19 restrictions. As restrictions are lifted, the company hopes to raise visibility and bridge the gap for the everyday beer drinker in Owensboro.
“The weather was great and people were walking around Second Street, so it gave us an idea of what a post-COVID world would look like,” he said. “We need to let people know that we are around – there are individuals that don’t care about the newest IPA – they need to know that we’re a good option for them, too.
“Milewide produced over 35 beers during 2020, constantly experimenting with new recipes while tweaking existing ones. Reluctant to set many guidelines for the type of beers they wanted to brew, the company continues to rely on input from their consumers.
The taproom features a plethora of their brews along with other craft beers that would excite most consumers from connoisseurs to casual drinkers. They also feature wine and limited liquor options with plans for a kitchen and food items in the future.
“We are really excited to be a part of downtown Owensboro,” he said. “It’s an exciting time and I think downtown is about to take off, from us up to The Brew Bridge.
“We’re both trying to bring good locally-made beer to Owensboro, it’s definitely a ‘rising tide floats all boats’ mentality.”