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Microbrewery coming to Battlefield

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A craft beer operation is in the works just southwest of Springfield.

Battlefield City Administrator Frank Schoneboom confirmed Wire Road Brewery is planned for construction on land near Highway FF and Farm Road 172. He said the brewery ownership, Jeff Birchler and Cary Walker, first approached city officials about the brewery concept back in May and are likely just a couple of weeks away from being cleared for a groundbreaking. Secretary of state records list Birchler as organizer of Wire Road Brewery LLC, which was filed in April.

The land was annexed into the city over the summer and rezoned Sept. 1 to commercial from residential, Schoneboom said, adding no development incentives were provided for the owners.

“My first thought was this kind of brewery would be a really good fit in this community given the demographics,” Schoneboom said. “There’s a lot of professional people here at an age where they would enjoy craft beer.”

The brewery plans have indoor and outdoor seating, with a possibility of food trucks on-site, Schoneboom said. He deferred additional questions of the project to the owners, who declined to comment. When reached by phone, Birchler said he and Walker weren’t ready to make any formal announcement of plans, but they expect to soon.

Schoneboom said the brewery site is less than a mile south of Republic Road and around five miles from Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. It sits near Highway FF and south of a strip mall occupied by a Domino’s restaurant and Battlefield Pharmacy. He said finding a spot to accommodate outdoor seating was a priority of the owners.

“All along, their vision was a ground-up kind of facility,” he said. “There are places where if they wanted to move in, they could. But you’re not going to get that kind of seating in a strip mall environment.”

Schoneboom expects the brewery to provide a unique and desired amenity for the city’s roughly 6,300 residents.

“One of the things that we hear from our citizens all the time is we wish we had a restaurant or a place where we could go to maybe have a beer and congregate,” he said. “From that perspective, this kind of fills a niche here.”

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