Brothers To Buy Petroleum Club Building, Build A Microbrewery
Two brothers intend to convert the building that housed the late Petroleum Club into a microbrewery.
Ben and Daron Gruner received an unofficial thumbs up from council at a work session Tuesday about a question whether a microbrewery is permitted on the formerly owned city property.
"We are planning on purchasing the Petroleum Club building in the next upcoming week, provided the council gave us the thumbs-up, which they did, to house a microbrewery that not only makes beer but packages it in cans and kegs and distributes it in the Casper, Wyoming, area," Ben Gruner said.
They got the idea for a microbrewery in part because Daron has been brewing his own beer for 25 years, and because Casper doesn't have one, Ben Gruner said. The brothers also own Compression Leasing Services in Casper.
"It's just something we enjoy doing," he said. "We saw a need in Casper, and we wanted to make something that was a little bit larger than, say, just a brew pub, for economic reasons for one, and for two, it has to be a sustainable business."
The microbrewery would have a restaurant and serve its own product.
Renovations probably will start in the next few months, but opening probably will not happen until next year, Ben Gruner said.
They needed the go-ahead from city council because of covenants accompanying the property.
City planner Aaron Kloke told council the city owned the property, known as the North Platte Industrial Park, until 1980 when it was purchased by the predecessors of the Petroleum Club at 1301 Wilkins Circle. The club closed in September.
The covenants allow banks, hotels and motels, office buildings, parks and other uses.
They do not specifically mention “microbreweries,” but Kloke said there was no reason why they could not be included. Council agreed.
Besides the building itself, the most prominent feature would be as many as six grain silos up to 35 feet tall..
The Gruners have their work cut out for them.
Besides getting the necessary permitted use, and buying the property and renovating it, they need to go through an arduous process of obtaining state and federal permits to brew, package and sell beer, Ben Gruner said.
The process is so technical that the brothers were reluctant to even publicly suggest a name for their product, because even that requires federal approval. “Gruner Brothers Beer” is a possibility, but only a possibility.
They found a "Gruner Brothers Beer" in Germany, but there may be one in the United States, Ben Gruner said.