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    3rd Turn Brewing is brewing in Jeffersontown. The microbrewery is a new concept to this area of Louisville. Owners and friends are currently working on a space in the Gaslight Square district of downtown Jeffersontown and the hope is to bring local craft beers and a cool hangout spot for foot traffic to the area. I recently stepped inside the 1860s church they are renovating learned quite a bit from the four guys running the show there. They know their beer, they love their beer, and they want other people to know and love their beer too.

    Co-owners Dale Shinkle-compliance/accounting, Brian Minrath-computer operations/social media and Greg Hayden-project management, along with Ben Shinkle (Dale's brother and the business's contractor) are all home brewers and basically love their craft beer and anything to do with it. Last week I stepped inside the space that is undergoing a major overhaul project and really had a blast chatting with the crew. They made me feel right at home and told me countless stories about their paths that led to this business venture. We started out with a history lesson about the space that they are turning into a micro brewery.

    The building has changed hands from a church to a moose lodge, back and forth for quite some time. It was built in the 1860s and began as a Methodist church. It sits on Watterson Trail in the heart of Jeffersontown and brings with it a lot of history. One fact being that a space in the ceiling was once used to hide slaves coming through from the Underground Railroad. The guys told me that the Moose Lodge folks told them there is a space that had hidden steps that was used for this purpose. To me that really opened up my eyes to the historical nature of the church building itself. The building has beautifully crafted and ornate stained glass windows that have been covered for years and years. Yes, these artistic expressions have been covered from view by plaster and boards and who knows what else, but the 3rd Turn crew has taken every step to remove the cover up and bring them out in the open to the eyes of the public. They are gorgeous. Brick façade walls inside the building were covered with plaster. They are beautiful! They have been revealed as well and the space looks marvelous, even though there is still a lot of work left to be accomplished.

    We walked through the front door lobby and into the main space that will be a lounge type area with nice and comfortable seating throughout. This area flows nicely to the bar, which is being constructed with re-purposed wood that they are using from the building. It is handcrafted and totally pieced together by the 3rd Turn guys. Toward the back of the bar there will be a tv lounge with a couple of tvs on the walls and some more light and comfy seating. Brian Minrath and Greg Hayden did most of the talking on the tour of the space they gave me and said that they don't want their brewery to be a "sports bar" but they do value having some sports games on and will supply a little bit of that vibe to the space. Near the bar they will have an open glass floor plan that will look directly into the basement where folks can see the brewery at work.

    The plan is to have a four barrel system where they will be able to rotate about 12-20 craft beers each week or so. They will be able to experiment and bring customers ideas but also want to gain knowledge from Jeffersontown residents they hope will be frequenting the brewery. They honestly have no idea what the tastes and popularity are like in this area and there will be a lot of experimentation. They have a 20 gallon test system in place for that. I heard over and over again as we conversed that what these guys are hoping to do is bring a brewery to this area, and they refer to it as outside the 264 Watterson Expressway corridor. According to Greg, the first brewery west of their location is Against the Grain, and the first one east of them is in Lexington. They will also be serving craft bourbons and wine and will supply food, but will not be cooking on site. Their plan is to work with other local restaurants in Jeffersontown to bring in food to serve that will be prepared elsewhere. They really want to work with local folks and make this as local to Jeffersontown as possible - some of the local restaurants they have been talking and partnering with are Johnny V's, Loui Loui's, Bacon Bar, El Nopal, and possibly FDKY BBQ. They have been working on this idea through one and a half years of planning, and about three months in execution at this point.

    When they first drummed up the idea to open this brewery, they were looking for a space. They came in contact with the Jeffersontown Economic Development Association (JEDA) and those folks said "we have a building." The Moose Lodge had decided to move from this space, and so it all began for them. Minrath and Hayden give a lot of credit to the members of JEDA, saying how supportive they have been and how they want this to work for Jeffersontown. This project is the JEDA's first project, and pilot if you will, and the hope that the local craft beer scene can succeed in Jeffersontown is what fuels the fire and creativity for all involved. The craft beer scene is really growing, not only in Louisville but across the country. The interesting thing that Hayden pointed out is that Kentucky has the second fewest amount of micro breweries in the country. Louisville, comparatively to a city of the same size such as Portland, OR only has about 10 or 11 (5 or 6 true tap rooms), whereas Portland has upwards of 50 or more. Craft beer locals help each other, and the guys at 3rd Turn have enlisted support and advice from many of the local breweries around Louisville. They are all comrades so to speak, and they want to help each other for the good of the craft beer scene. They state as a great resource for the local craft beer scene.

    So, when will 3rd Turn Brewing be up and running? The plan is to be open in time for Jeffersontown's biggest festival, the annual Gaslight Festival which runs during the third week of September. It's been a two step process in opening so far; they have to apply for a brewer's license and have all qualifications met with the state which they are working on. They do have their brewer's notice, which means they can serve craft beer; they just won't be able to serve their OWN craft beer until the brewer's license is in place. So they will have two openings so to speak; they will be open and serving craft beer during the Gaslight Festival and then later in the fall have a second opening with them making their own local craft beer. They also plan to open up the space outside of the building to outdoor seating and a beer garden. The city of Jeffersontown is currently working on a renovated streetscape project, which goes nicely with 3rd Turn Brewing creating an outdoor venue for their craft beer scene. They will most likely begin by being open Thursdays-Sundays and employ roughly three to five people to start.


    I asked the guys how they came up with the name 3rd Turn Brewing, and they said "ever heard of the 3rd turn at the race track? Everything's a little crazier at the 3rd turn, hence the name." One last tidbit: the building is haunted. Greg tells me a fan was thrown at Ben one afternoon, and the first day they got the keys to the building and entered the back door, they found the note above. Take it with a grain of salt, and leave some spirits on the bar each night for the spirits.

    These guys are serious about their beer, and about as down to earth as anyone I've met recently. It was a pleasure talking with them and I can tell they absolutely love what they do and what they are planning to do in Jeffersontown. They scour local breweries, they travel all through other cities and learn new things as they go. "We love beer. We love people/places who make beer. We want to share that with everyone and hope the people of Jeffersontown and beyond see that." Being a huge Jeffersontown local business fan, I'm excited to walk to this micro brewery from my home in J-town and have a place to just hang out along the downtown district. Let's make it the next Frankfort Avenue/NuLu type vibe, guys. For the time being, find them on Facebook and keep up to date with all of the construction. The photos from early on tell another story about all the work that has been done already as the building has been completely gutted. It's been really exciting watching the progress. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram - @3rdturnbrewing. 3rd Turn Brewing is located at 10408 Watterson Trail.

    Cover photo courtesy of 3rd Turn Brewing, Facebook, others by Erin Nevitt

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    About Erin Nevitt

    Longtime Louisvillian, I am a children's librarian at heart and have a passion for children's lit. I am most recently a stay-at-home mom who is always on the move, searching for family fun in Louisville. If it's free, it's preferable!

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