IDA Board Approves Al Tech Loan For City Brewery

Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency officials are supporting a brewer who’s bringing 13 years of craft brewing experience to Jamestown.

The IDA’s Board of Directors approved to authorize an Al Tech loan for Jamestown Brewery during Tuesday’s meeting in Jamestown. This is the first start-up brewery in the Greater Jamestown area since Southern Tier Brewery came to the area in the early 2000s. John McClellan Sr., a Buffalo resident who’s the sole principal of Jamestown Brewery, is proposing to operate a full-service manufacturing craft and farm brewery in the Renaissance Center on West Third Street.

The $100,000 Al Tech loan will be used for renovations at the Renaissance Center. Greg Lindquist, executive director for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, told board members the project is supported by the Jamestown Urban Renewal Plan and is synergistic with the National Comedy Center.

“This is their first venture at this,” Lindquist told board members. “He’s been brewing for 13 years and has owned a couple restaurants in the past besides being an engineer.”

Carol Rasmussen, project development manager, said McClellan began looking for a spot in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area before making his way to Jamestown, meeting Lindquist and finding a location in which he was excited about, especially with the National Comedy Center on its way.

“He felt this would be an opportunity to get everything in place,” Rasmussen said.

The $5.2 million project has received funding from a number of local sources. A $500,000 Main Street Anchor Grant that Jamestown Renaissance Corporation secured during the 2015 New York State Consolidated Funding Application process will be used for facade improvements.

A little over $3 million in renovations and upgrades will be made to the Renaissance Center by G. Patti Development. The bottom portion of the building will include a brewery while the second portion of the building will hold a restaurant and beer tasting area. Plans also include space for meetings, conferences and weddings.

Rasmussen said the IDA’s loan review committee placed their stamp on the project after they received encouraging information about the operation. Rasmussen said they’ll have a brew master and a head chef who’s looking at doing wholesome foods. Rasmussen said they make 12 different types of beers and have won a few awards for their products.

“They all have the experience, the passion and the desire to do this,” she said. “They would be selling beers on site, giving tours, selling kegs and hopefully distributing like Southern Tier Brewery.”

Lindquist told board members Jamestown Brewery shouldn’t be viewed as a competitor coming into the marketplace, but more a partner coming in to bring more people into the area to help everybody rise.

“We’re working on a plan to work with other businesses in the area to assure that they not only continue to succeed in the downtown environment, but are able to work with the new brewing operation to their benefit,” he said.

Lindquist said McClellan would like to push the project ahead aggressively in hopes to be in operation by the third quarter of 2017.