Beer Me

by Job Abraria

In the summer of 2012  Todd Hayes approached his good friend and former neighbor, Christian Payne, about getting fit using the “Ease into 5K” app. Reluctantly, Christian agreed not realizing what creative ideas would result from the post run flow of endorphins and home brews. By December of 2012, Hayes and Payne were running in 9 degree weather through the area surrounding Bradley University praying that they’d make it to Todd’s garage-turned-home brewery (aka the Hydration Station) for a proper beer. During the early months of 2013, conversations about how to scale up his brewery into a business took place. Branding meetings with local artist, Devin McGlone, resulted in a soon-to-be recognizable brand – Peoria Brewing Company. Christian and Todd thought it might be good to go ahead and form an LLC, and a company was born.

When mid-2013 approached, Todd approached Christian with the idea of creating a Kickstarter campaign to see if crowd funding could provide them, at minimum, some seed money to get the business off the ground. To accompany the Kickstarter campaign, Christian kicked off the Peoria Brewing Company Facebook page to help promote the Kickstarter effort. While the Kickstarter campaign didn’t reach their goal of $25,000, what it did do is get the attention of Peoria Journal Star writer, Nick Vlahos. Nick brilliantly captured the vision of what Payne and Hayes wanted to bring to Peoria. As the Facebook hype accelerated in late 2013, plans to build Peoria Brewing Company were finally underway.

After much searching, Christian and Todd found the ideal property in early 2014 and construction began soon thereafter. Upon completion of mounds of paperwork for the city, state, and Federal government along with months of renovation, Peoria Brewing Company opened its doors on September 26.

contact or visit them at:

8012 N. Hale Ave, Peoria, Illinois 61615

on facebook: Peoria Brewing Company, LLC