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Archive for Friday, September 26, 1997

BUSINESS HAS BEEN GOOD AT BROWN BEAR BREWING

September 26, 1997

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Co-owner Shawn Schlegel said the brew pub is focusing on continuing to build its clientele.

Business at the Brown Bear Brewing Company, open just since Sept. 5, has been great and continues to build, brewery co-owner and general manager Sean Schlegel said.

Under the ownership of three Lawrence residents -- Schlegel, Laura Compton and Kelly Driscol -- changes continue to brew. The changes, Schlegel believes, will keep customers coming back to the brewery, 729 Mass.

"We've added a stage with live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday and are looking into expanding that," Schlegel said. "We've added outside dining, televisions and have a completely new menu."

Most importantly, the brewery is adding a third fermenter next week, which will allow brew master Sean O'Rear more brewing power. O'Rear currently has five beer selections on the menu.

"The demand is so high and you can only brew on certain days. It's tough to keep from running out," Schlegel said. "People don't realize what it takes to make the beer and be able to predict how much you'll need."

Schlegel is proud of the brewery's use of local vendors for everything from flowers to fresh bread in the kitchen.

The coffee comes from Classic Gourmet, 735 Mass; breads from Great Harvest Bread, 807 Vt., using grain left over from their brewing; and fresh flowers from Englewood Florist, 939 Mass., brighten the entrance.

Schlegel said the group was nervous about opening the brewery -- in place of the failed Kaw River Brewery -- but has confidence in its decision, even though it's competing against two other Lawrence breweries.

"We'll all feed off each other, and the consumers will go to each brewery until they find the beer their like the best," he said. "For being open less than a month, we couldn't ask for much more."

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