© 2024 WGLT
A public service of Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bloomington Brewery Expands During Pandemic

beer tap room
Lil Beaver Brewery
An architectural rendering of the Lil Beaver expansion planned on Currency Drive in southeast Bloomington.

The pandemic has hurt so many businesses in central Illinois. But not, apparently, some alcohol producers.

Lil Beaver Brewery on the south end of Bloomington has announced an expansion. Co-owner and lead brewer Chad Bevers said they sell out of nearly every type of beer they package within a few days.

“I’m not going to lie, I was extremely concerned about the fate of this company when the COVID-19 closures started,” said Bevers. “Fortunately, we have an amazing customer base, including the individuals that buy directly from us at our brewery taproom, as well as 150-plus retail partners we have throughout Illinois."

Business partner Justin Bellas said the city is reviewing construction plans for a kitchen and additional brewery space.

"By building a new space for our customers, we’ll also be freeing up space for more brewery equipment, which will ultimately allow us to double our recently-doubled capacity," said co-owner Adam Bellas.

Bellas said the facility also will include a video gaming room and private barrel room for events. The brewery already has added an expanded patio on the adjacent Currency Drive lot. 

“We purchased the building and adjacent lot on Finance Drive last year, but didn’t get the plans approved in time to start construction until this spring,” said Justin Bellas. “The patio and parking lot were just the first step in our expansion. We’re so excited to announce the next phase of the project, which is moving into the adjacent unit at the 16 Currency Drive location, which was previously occupied by a rental company until April of this year.”

The brewery, whose current address is 5 Finance Drive, opened in January 2018 as a moonlight project and has grown to include several full-time jobs.

We’re living in unprecedented times when information changes by the minute. WGLT will continue to be here for you, keeping you up-to-date with the live, local and trusted news you need. Help ensure WGLT can continue with its in-depth and comprehensive COVID-19 coverage as the situation evolves by making a contribution.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
Related Content