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Downtown Jamestown is getting craftier. For the past sixteen years, Jon McClellan Jr and his father, Jon McClellan Sr, enjoyed a mutual appreciation for the art of homebrewing, with the ultimate vision of opening a brewery. Jon Jr. has a background in biochemical engineering and business, an excellent precursor for brewing beer. With the help of loans from public lenders and grants received by the building developer, construction and renovation to the former Lilian Ney Renaissance Center began three years ago. After some delays, Vice President Jon Jr. said, “We are happy to be open and part of the community.”
The restaurant portion of the business opened in July as the team waited for a liquor license, which was granted the week of September 9th. They are now able to offer a variety of craft brews in the restaurant and bar. The license also allows them to manufacture beer and realize the dream that was many years in the making. “Head brewer Matt Redpath and I have lager and ale experience. We also plan on making kettle sours and stouts” said Jon Jr. He mentioned that a Porter style beer was one of the first brewed on the premises, but details on each signature beer is something the public can look forward to hearing more about.
People Make the Difference
The father-son team enlisted a staff with plenty of experience and ideas of their own. Head chef is Carrie Gifford, formerly of the Athenaeum Restaurant in Chautauqua, and Jon says she is a crucial piece to the puzzle. “She has a lot of great food and event ideas,” he said.
Head brewer Matt Redpath has ten years of brewing experience, first working as an assistant brewer in a Brewpub chain based out of California. “I learned the most when I worked for Gordon-Biersch in San Jose California” Redpath said, this is also where he met Jon. Redpath, who was hired on in 2018, said this facility has the potential to cellar 4,000 barrels a year. Bar Manager is Andrew Harrington. Most of the staff are native to the Western New York area.
Efficient Layout, Pleasing Aesthetic
9,000 square feet is divided in an efficient and pleasing layout. The Brewhouse and cellar area is dugout, allowing patrons to get a first-hand view of the fermenters. A 1300 square foot cooler is located directly under the first-floor bar. Plans include a cut-out in the bar floor to view operations underneath.
A mezzanine adds more dining space and is where local artwork will be on display. “We’re going to take submissions and rotate the art every two weeks. It’s a way for the artist to have an outlet, and it changes up our aesthetic.” Jon enjoys woodworking and plans to make the frames for the artwork himself. He also constructed the bar and will soon be creating tables for a new lounge area that will allow patrons to order a pint, relax, and watch a game.
Love of Food
Love of great food pairs nicely with a handcrafted beer, and the new brewery wants to showcase it all: a full menu with appetizers, boards featuring items like smoked salmon, bacon, or Mediterranean foods, stand-alone burgers, and several entrees to choose from. Jon recommends the “Gobble and Oink,” smoked turkey and pulled pork, and says the Beef on Weck is another local favorite. Customers can also ask for the butcher block special, which is the chef’s choice cut of meat, and ask for the best pairing with what’s on tap.
Hours of Operation
Jamestown Brewing Company is currently open Sun-Thurs. 11am-10pm. Fri, Sat 11am-12am. Visit www.jamestownbrewery.com to keep up with daily specials and order online.