Beer and bicycles are not the first words that come to mind when hearing "B&B," but the two are a new pairing coming to Bettendorf.
Crawford Brew Works and Healthy Habits Bike Shop are partnering on a new "bike and brew" site and will break ground Tuesday on a 7,000-square-foot building at 3659 Devils Glen Road.
Crawford Brew Works will occupy half of the space with a microbrewery and tap room, and Healthy Habits will relocate to the site from its existing location, just south on Devils Glen Road.
The brewery will be the first of its kind in Bettendorf.
"Owning some land and new construction was where we wanted to go, and we were looking for an area of town that would support the new brewery," said Ian Frink, co-owner of Crawford Co., a Rock Island plumbing, ventilation, welding fabrication and brewing equipment manufacturer involved in the project.
Frink said Crawford's interest in the project comes from its division that manufactures brewing equipment for small- to medium-sized microbreweries wanting to showcase its products and allow prospective buyers to train or get familiar with how they operate.
Besides offering its flagship beers and seasonal options, Crawford Brew Works will feature a brewhouse, low-level production area and fermenters manufactured by Crawford Co.
The brewery and tap room is expected to accommodate around 150 patrons and will create 10 new jobs.
While the concept for the multi-tenant building is only about six months old, Healthy Habits owner Bruce Grell said he had been kicking around the idea of opening his own small brewery and tap room in Bettendorf for years.
"I had inquired about small startup a couple of years ago, but nothing came available and tabled it," Grell said. "I hadn't given up but wasn't in a big hurry either."
Before the development picked up steam, Grell said he kicked around the idea with brewery co-owner Keith Gerks. It wasn't until Frink, who was customer at Healthy Habits, contacted Grell six months ago to tell him about Crawford's plans to showcase its equipment that the idea of a shared building came to be.
Although he had not intended to move his business, Grell consulted with his employees, who were enthusiastic about the new venture despite already being a fixture in the area.
"It's something that I've been kicking the idea around for 10 years," Grell said. "It's a dream come true. That sounds cliche, but it's been on my mind for years."
Grell said the transition for the bike shop should be simple, considering it will need to move only a few hundred yards.
With the site's location, it also will have access to the Bettendorf bike path.
For Gerks, who has seen his fair share of startup microbreweries and knows what works, he said the ambiance of the facility, location and uniqueness of the partnership will contribute to its success.
Besides Frink, Gerks and Grell, the ownership group in the new brewery includes Bob Frink and Adam Isaacson.
"There are five equal partners, and everyone in this is successful in the business they operate," Gerks said.
Gerks also announced that Scot Schaar would be joining the team as its brewmaster. Schaar is an award-winning brewmaster and has been a judge of many brewing competitions.
Plans for the multi-tenant building were approved in June by the Bettendorf City Council, and the site is expected to be open for business during the winter.
Before receiving council approval, the new business was granted a special use permit by the Zoning Board of Adjustment for an outdoor seating area with the caveat of having to shut down by 10 p.m.
Build to Suit Inc. has been chosen as the general contractor, and designs were completed by Design Build by Architects.
With ownership group members expressing their excitement to move the project forward, the City Council echoed the same sentiments when it green-lighted the plans in June.
"I remember when this project came forth when it became storage properties," Alderwoman Debe LaMar, 3rd Ward, said. "I'm excited to see that we're finally having something go up there. I think that it's great, and it will be a good amenity there."