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Opening on tap for Great Escape Beer Works

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The first of two anchor tenants at the $14 million Quarry Town development in Galloway Village will open Saturday as Great Escape Beer Works LLC is set to become the eighth brewery establishment in Springfield.

Great Escape occupies 3,000 square feet in the Green Circle Projects LLC development. The Rock, a restaurant from Bair’s Sports Grill owners Tim and Jennifer Bair, is the second anchor tenant that’s set to open around March, Tim Bair said this morning.

Located at 4022 S. Lone Pine Ave., the two-story brewery owned by Jake and Jen Duensing is on a five-year lease for an undisclosed rate with Green Circle Projects. Jake Duensing said Great Escape has seating for approximately 150 people, including outdoor space on a second-floor deck.

Duensing said only draft beers will be served at the brewery, with four brews to be on tap Saturday. More will be added by the following week, he said, with as many as 14 taps available as customer demand warrants. 

“It’s a dream and a goal that my wife and I have worked on for years,” Duesning said, noting he’s been brewing professionally for the past eight years, including time at Upslope Brewing Co. and Odd13 Brewing Inc. in Colorado and Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Co. in Washington. “We’re just excited to get it open.”

Duensing said he grew up in Springfield and whenever he and his wife came back to visit family for holidays, they took notice of the expanding brewery scene and desired to open an establishment of their own. Eight other breweries are either currently in operation or planned to open in Springfield, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Hold Fast Brewing, a venture led by sisters Carol and Susan McLeod, is set to open in summer 2019.

The Duensings most recently lived in the Seattle area before moving back to the Queen City in May to develop Great Escape.

“We finally got to a place where we got comfortable to jump and we decided to put both feet in,” he said, declining to disclose startup costs for the couple’s first-time business venture.

Four employees will staff the brewery upon opening, Duensing said, adding there are no plans to serve food at the facility.

“That’s out of my wheelhouse,” he said. “I’m in the brewing industry and not the food industry.”

The couple was drawn to the Quarry Town development area, as Duensing said he and his wife are both “very outdoor oriented and with the Galloway trails here right outside our door, it was a great fit for us.”

Finishing touches on the brewery’s interior are wrapping up this week. He added the tap-oriented brewery has no outside distribution plans for its beers.

“At this point, we’re really focused on getting this space open,” he said. “It hasn’t left a lot of time for new dreams. We’re going to try this out and see where it leads us.”

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