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Bloomington’s first taproom opening

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Bloomington Briefing Published August 4, 2021
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Get ready to toast “cheers!” to Bloomington’s first taproom this fall. On June 17, the Bloomington Planning Commission held a public hearing and approved a conditional use permit for Nine Mile Brewing to set up shop at 9555 James Avenue South as a brewery, taproom and restaurant.

The new business came about after a change in policy by the City Council. For years, councilmembers heard from residents about taprooms and how they felt it was an amenity Bloomington needed. In 2019, Bloomington voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to remove a section of the City Charter that effectively prohibited taprooms and cocktail rooms. In response, the City Council amended the City Code to permit breweries, brewpubs, taprooms/cocktail rooms, microdistilleries and wineries in many zoning districts.

Nine Mile Brewing will celebrate local traditions and community with house-made specialty beers, traditional IPAs, stouts, porters and lagers. Food will be served from pop-up kitchens. An existing office and warehouse space will be refurbished into an approximately 11,000-square-foot taproom and restaurant with seating for approximately 200 people indoors and 90 outdoors. 

Founder and operator Bob Countryman, pictured above, has lived in Bloomington most of his life. In 2018, Countryman began to look into why there were no breweries in the city. From there, the idea of opening a taproom evolved.

“Having a craft brewery is really a cool thing, and Bloomington being the third-largest community in the metro, it struck me as kind of odd that the city didn’t have one yet,” Countryman said. “The taproom will be family friendly with drinks for kids and games for all ages. It will be very welcoming for everyone.”

Nine Mile Brewing has 10 investors and owners, most living in Bloomington now or at one time in the past. “Living and working in the community is something we feel strongly about in our investor group,” Countryman said.

The name for Nine Mile Brewing came from one of the investors. Nine Mile Creek runs by his house and he thought the well-known creek would make a good name for the business. 

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