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New Year Brings New Business to Czech Village

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) The groundwork was laid back in March of 2010 when the state of Iowa increased the amount of alcohol allowed in beer from 5% to 15%. That opened the door for more local and smaller breweries to open up and now, the Lion Bridge Brewery is riding that wave to Cedar Rapids.

"People are more loyal to local. They want to support their local guy because they know him. Because he's there every day, because he's out there and they see him, said Lion Bridge Brewing Company Owner Quinton McClain.

McClain says he wanted to open up within the downtown area, where people could easily walk to this front door. Czech Village gives him an easy-to-find address and the space he needs. The building used to be Frtizs Food Market, so its big enough to house all the equipment needed to brew beer. Blemishes on the brick and marks on the floor show the character of the building, topped off with lights found in the attic when Lion Bridge moved in.

"The lighting here, the schoolhouse fixtures, are the original globes, said McClain.

Paired with a building designed to be a beer hall and a passionate staff, it makes the patron's experience a lot more rich and fulfilling, said McClain.

The same effect he hopes some of his heavier beers might have. The goal isnt to be a restaurant, he says plenty of other businesses already do that. Hell serve food, but more as a complement to the beer.

"We want to be a brewery that is self-distributing, a brewery that is out at other bars and restaurants in the area but also have a great home base that people can come to and enjoy beers, said McClain.

He says the plan is to start small, achieve a local following here. A cool place that people like to come to and also branch out a bit, maybe look at bottling or canning, said McClain.

He says for now, the focus is on opening the doors in the middle to late February. Once that happens, hell look to distributing his beer to bars and restaurants in between here and Iowa City.
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