After spending more than two years on a frustrating search for the ideal urban location in which to open a small-batch craft brewery, Tim Patton finally settled on a historic building with beer in its bones. Now, he’s only a few short months from opening Saint Benjamin Brewery
Located in South Kensington near the corner of North 5th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, the three-story, 14,000-square-foot building Patton bought for $395,000 was originally home to the Theo Finkenauer Lager Beer Brewery, which went out of business sometime around Prohibition. Technically, the space was home to the brewery's carriage house and stable, so Patton has been spending much of his time lately (not to mention his money; the project is largely self-financed) rehabbing the space.
"The building itself was actually in very good shape," he says. "This was the first clean and dry building I had actually seen when I was looking at spaces."
Still, certain infrastructure upgrades were necessary. The former carriage house has been outfitted with new electrical circuits, a sprinkler system, new sewer lines and a two-inch gas line, to name just a few of the recent improvements. And, as Flying Kite reported in April
, Patton used crowdsourcing to fund a facade rehab.
The brewery hopes to officially open for business in early spring, distributing beer to pubs in Fishtown, Northern Liberties and Kensington. Saint Benjamin's will also offer the occasional brewery tour and tasting, and customers will be able to fill growlers onsite.
Patton also has plans to eventually add a brewpub. Unfortunately, that step is still probably another year or two away.
Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Tim Patton, Saint Benjamin Brewery