Gilberg to open brewery in 2019

Staff Writer

Staff Writer
NEW BREMEN — What started with a batch of excess grapes and an idea to make some wine, has trickled into a new business in New Bremen. This new business however, will focus less on grapes and more on hops and barley.
“My parents had grapes and they wanted me to make wine out of it,” James Gilberg said. “So I made some wine and the wine took forever to make and it was horrible. So I figured out I could use the same equipment for making beer and it was ready in a lot quicker time so I made beer and the beer tasted good and it didn’t take as long to make and I’ve been making it ever since.”
Gilberg and his wife, Diane, will be opening Gongoozler’s, a microbrewery, that will be located at 629 W. Monroe St. The mostly self-taught brewer said he learned the craft from reading several books and doing some research on the internet. He also attended some classes at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.
“My wife and I always wanted to make something I guess you’d say and we love brewing beer and the town could use a brewery here so we decided it was time to take a risk and open a brewery,” Gilberg said.
They recently purchased land where they intend to build their microbrewery from the ground up. Gilberg said they hope to break ground later this month or early in September, with the grand opening being sometime in January 2019.
The name, Gongoozler’s, is an old English term, Gilberg mentioned. It means to sit and watch canal boats go by all day, which Gilberg and his wife thought was fitting given the area, although the microbrewery will not be located on the Miami-Erie Canal.
Gongoozler’s will have 10 to 12 brews for customers to choose from, with one or two seasonal brews, according to Gilberg.
“I’ve been creating more recipes then that and trying to narrow it down to 10 to 12 good ones,” Gilberg said.
He went on to mention that he has received a good amount of feedback on his brews, some good and some bad. Those that are bad, they toss out the recipe. Of the brews he’s created so far, he believes his creme ale and his beach lager will likely be a crowd favorite.
When it comes to the crafting of the brews, Gilberg says he likes to combine the science side of making beer with the artistic side. He mentioned that some brewer’s tend to focus more on one side or the other, but he likes to dabble in a little bit of both.
According to the New Bremen Historical Association, Gongoozler’s won’t be New Bremen’s first microbrewery, but it will be the first in more than 130 years. According to the historical association, the last brewery in New Bremen operated from 1874 to 1879. The brewery was located on the northside of town in a now demolished building. The brewery started with Michael Vossler, who operated the brewery from 1874 to 1877. Dates on the breweries operation are unclear, according to the historical association, however, they claim there is evidence this brewery was also called Meyer & Schwers Brewer from 1877 to 1879. They also said that another brewery was listed in the 1887 business directory with Henry Schwepe listed as the agent.