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Hold Fast Brewing’s planned summer opening at the former Fire Station No. 1 would make more than a half-dozen breweries operating in Springfield.
SBJ file photo
Hold Fast Brewing’s planned summer opening at the former Fire Station No. 1 would make more than a half-dozen breweries operating in Springfield.

Sisters to open brewery at former firehouse

Posted online

A family venture led by sisters Carol and Susan McLeod is targeting a summer 2019 opening for a brewery at a former Springfield firehouse.

The sisters are creating Hold Fast Brewing at 235 N. Kimbrough Ave., the long-vacant former home of Fire Station No. 1.

“I love breweries in fire stations or old churches,” Carol McLeod said. “We just got really lucky.”

The McLeods are leasing the two-story, roughly 9,500-square-foot firehouse from Stinson & Co. LLC owner Jack Stinson for undisclosed terms. Springfield City Council in April approved the contractor’s $370,000 offer for the property with plans for an unnamed brewery at the time.

Those plans are now in motion, as the McLeods launched a Facebook page for Hold Fast Brewing and hired Stinson to renovate the center city building. Carol McLeod declined to estimate renovation costs for the brewery, which she said has a target opening date of June 2019. Stinson also completed infill work for 4 by 4 Brewing Co. LLC in Galloway Village.

McLeod said the first step of the multiphase project is to convert the lower-level garage bays into a brewhouse and taproom. She said customers would have access to menu items through a rotating selection of food trucks.

In Phase II, the family wants to add an event space to the second floor and in a “distant third phase,” create a rooftop patio, she said. The timelines haven’t been set for the last two phases.

Hold Fast Brewing joins a half-dozen other breweries in the burgeoning Springfield craft beer scene. The youngest, Tie & Timber Beer Co., opened in April, and the oldest, Springfield Brewing Co., has been in business since 1997.

“I’m excited for Springfield. I think it’s a really great community builder,” McLeod said. “Both Susan and I grew up here in Springfield. We know Springfield, and we’re excited to be part of that community.”

The Hold Fast Brewing moniker is named after the Scottish McLeod family motto, which McLeod said means hold your ground or hold true.

“We’re a family affair. Our brother is our lawyer. Our other sister is our chief financial officer,” she said.

Carol McLeod is currently a store manager for Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX), a role she’s held for 16 years that led her to open stores in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, market. Her background includes a two-year stint as production assistant for Dead Armadillo Craft Brewing in Tulsa, and she has a brewing science and engineering degree from the American Brewers Guild.

Susan McLeod is recreation supervisor at the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

“Hopefully, I can put together events for the brewery,” Susan McLeod said. “I love the aspect of bringing the community together.”


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