Great Escape Beer Works expanding and adding new location in Republic

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 10:02 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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REPUBLIC, Mo. (KY3) - Plans are underway for a new addition to nightlife in Republic.

A Springfield brewery is planning to expand and add a much larger site off Highway 60. Great Escape Beer Works currently has one brewery located off of Lone Pine, but the business will turn the former Burke Bridge Company building into its newest edition.

The new brewery will sit on 6.3 acres of land. It will include a 16,000-square-foot production warehouse, producing much more beer than it currently can.

“We started off small,” said owner Jake Duensing. “Everyone tells you when you’re getting into this, that you should oversize a little bit because you’re going to have room to grow. And we didn’t take that advice. So we started off real small, and now we’ve stuffed as much as we possibly could into our small space. It’s just starting to grow.”

Duensing said Republic seemed to be the perfect fit for a second location.

“Since we already have the Galloway location, we were hoping to be somewhere a little bit outside of that to give another taproom a chance without encroaching on our current customer base,” he said. “And Republic just became a fit. We met with the city, who has been fantastic to work with, and a building came available that fit our needs almost perfectly. So we jumped on it.”

Republic has experienced quite a bit of business growth in the last several months and couple of years.

“I think Republic was always sitting on an opportunity to grow,” said Andrew Nelson with Republic’s Public Works Department. “And once we kind of opened the doors to that growth, it really took off.”

Nelson said the city’s growth really took off after Amazon and Convoy of Hope constructed in the area. He said a new brewery is certainly a welcomed addition.

“A development like that, that offers new jobs and then a place of entertainment for our citizens, that’s a big win for Republic,” Nelson said.

Duensing said he wanted to also help add something new to Republic.

“Republic has a lot of things to offer,” he stated. “One of the things they don’t have yet is a real big nightlife, and we’re hopefully going to play a really big part in establishing that.”

The current spot will stick around, but the new location will be a much larger entertainment center with games, food, beer, and even a spot for food trucks. Duensing said this allows the brewery to have its own menu, but also give customers the option to grab a variety of other foods. He also said it allows other businesses the chance to grow.

“I think we see a wide variety of development and business investment in general [in Republic],” Nelson described. “For Republic, just getting the opportunity to receive something with an entertainment or a nightlife kind of amenity for our citizens is something our community has been asking for for a long time. And to an extent, the community just had to grow in order to attract businesses like that.”

Duensing said the Republic brewery will also add around 25 new jobs, including bartenders and packaging technicians.

“We’re going to use the current location as a little bit of a pilot brewery or experimental playhouse for our brewers,” he described. “And then our production facility in Republic will be able to kick out all of the big hits, everything that we’re pushing out around the city and then eventually the state.”

Duensing said there is a lot of work ahead. He knows finding workers can be a challenge these days, but he said he is excited for what’s to come.

”We’re just really pleased to be in the position that we are to be able to grow,” Duensing said.

Duensing hopes to have the new spot completed in 2023, but said he knows there are some challenges in the construction industry right now.

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