Cozying up to an old novel while sipping on a thick home-brewed stout.
It’s a dreamy combo for Books& Brews Founder and CEO Jason Wuerfel. One he has taken from hobby to growing business venture.
Books & Brews, a hybrid of the friendly used bookstore and craft brewery, seems to appeal to Hoosier taste buds.
The first Books & Brews location opened in 2014 off 96th street. A spot in Zionsville followed two years later with the first franchised location opening in Carmel. This summer the tap room is expanding with two new locations opening in Muncie and Brownsburg.
Wuerfel feels Hendricks County is a good fit for the tap room.
“The response from the community has been humbling and overwhelming. There is definitely a market in Brownsburg and we cannot wait to welcome the community through our doors,” he said.
The craft beer bar/book nook will be off North Green Street filling an empty storefront in the same building that hosts popular spots like Great Clips and Boulder Creek Dining Company.
While bookstores may be a dying breed in the digital age (remember hanging out at Barnes & Noble on weekends?) the thirst for craft beer is pretty strong. Books & Brews locations boast tap rooms, a friendly staff, a place for kids, and a hub for creativity, including open mic nights, tastings and interactive games.
“It’s a place for people without a place,” explains Wuerfel.
The busy father and entrepreneur got the idea several years ago while working as a stay-at-home dad with his then newborn son.
“I was a home brewer that loved books and really wanted a place to hang out,” he said. “The idea began to take shape where an entrepreneurial jock, that brews beer and considers himself a geek can have a place to call home.”
The former University of Michigan baseball player grew up in the lakefront tourist town of Traverse City, Michigan where his parents ran a hotel. There, he learned early on what it took to run a business. Now he’s proud to build such a unique space of his own.
Books & Brews locations are known for their friendly vibes and literary themes. You can find catchy beer names like Charlie Chocolate Milk Stout and Winnie the Brew.
“It’s a unique place where you can go and see a group of businessmen sitting next to a group of gamers next to a family of five next to a table of college students. How do we pull it oﬀ? Because we aren’t trying to be all things to all people, we are just trying to be something to someone.”
By Lindsay Doty
- Describe your business in one sentence?
Books & Brews is a place for people without a place.
- What would be one thing that could help your business?
Because we are a little but different in everything we do, we are strongly dependent on word of mouth. The strength of our business is our base of regulars and we understand that’s a process that takes time to develop organically. So, the additional locations around Indiana and throughout the country will be our biggest help in order to educate our customers on our “strategic oddness.”
Compiled by Lindsay Doty