The historic White Elephant building in Cedar Rapids’ New Bohemia district will experience new life as a brewpub.
Quinton McClain, a former brewer at Fort Collins Brewery in Fort Collins, Colo., plans to open the White Elephant Brewing Co. by renovating and expanding what remains of the structure at 1010 Third St. SE after the 2008 flood.
McClain, who is from Cedar Rapids, recently moved back to town to pursue the project. He has become a spokesman for the brewer’s art since his return, writing a column on craft beers for The Gazette’s Hoopla publication.
“The goal is to make delicious beer, revitalize part of a historic district, bring the White Elephant to a new generation of Cedar Rapidians and provide another draw to the downtown,” McClain wrote in an email.
The 10-barrel brewpub will be a relatively small venture, McClain added, with a small food menu. McClain said the brewpub’s tap room will be modeled after his experiences in Colorado, Portland, Ore., and visits to breweries in Europe.
McClain did not have a timetable for the redevelopment of the property, which was purchased from the Thorland Co. for $68,000 on Dec. 12.
A brewpub was one of the things Cedar Rapids area residents would most like to see added to the New Bo/Czech Village Main Street District, according to an online survey conducted as part of the district’s master planning process, said Jennifer Pruden, the district’s executive director.