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City Center

Germania Brew Haus to anchor Jerseyville’s northside improvements

JERSEYVILLE, IL – At their meeting Tuesday evening, Dec. 14, Jerseyville City Council members approved plans for the owners of Germania Brew Haus to open their fourth location on the north side of the developing Historic City Center District.

With its first-opened location at 617 East Broadway in Alton and its second at 5775 Godfrey Road in Godfrey, Germania Brew Haus will open a third location at EastGate Plaza in East Alton. Within weeks of its East Alton opening, owners will open the doors on what will become the company’s largest location of the four, at 309 North State Street in Jerseyville. 

Locals will recognize their footprint more familiarly as encompassing the former long-time Norton Hardware store and White Spot Restaurant locations, with Dairy Queen and the Knights of Columbus Hall as its immediate neighbors. Tentatively scheduled to open the East Alton location around the middle of January, plans are to open the Jerseyville location quickly after, by mid-February.

“Our Jerseyville location will be the largest location but will maintain the coziness you feel at both the Alton and Godfrey locations,” said co-owner Jared Brynildsen. “It will have a dedicated drive-thru, an event center, and a full kitchen. Our focus will be to continue serving the St. Louis area’s best coffee while adding in a food menu that matches. The location will feature many of the themes seen in our first two locations, including an electric fireplace, couches, ambient lighting, various lounge areas, and a place for kids.”

Jared Brynildsen co-owns Germania Brew Haus along with his wife Carolyn and youngest brother Ben Brynildsen. Ben also serves as the company’s general manager of daily operations. Jared and Carolyn also serve as active duty military officers in the Army and Air Force, respectively.

This 6,000-square-foot Jerseyville venue will also feature a sit-down café space as well as a coffee and liquor bar. “We will have a bar, but at this point, it will be primarily for the events hosted on-site. If the community has the desire, and the city is willing, then we may consider hosting an evening speak-easy type of cocktail lounge. Our aim is to bring the community together and encourage societal interactions,” Brynildsen shared further.

“We also enjoy actively serving our small-town communities,” Brynildsen added. “We look for ways to give back, whether that be cookbook fundraisers for our partnership with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, round-up campaigns for Lewis and Clark Community College tuitions, or for Restore Network. We want to demonstrate our values instead of simply hanging signs and telling people what they are. We believe that if you invest in a community, they will in turn also invest in you.”

The family further plans to partner with the Alton-based award-winning WOW Events Center to ensure the new Jerseyville event space is best used on the weekends. “During the week and on weekend mornings, we plan to host a small kids play area, so that parents can let their kids expend all their energy while they build up their own,” said Brynildsen. 

The Alton location of Germania Brew Haus opened in 2017 in the former Germania Bank building on Broadway. “We opened the first Germania because we wanted to invest back into the community that both my wife and I grew up in,” explained Brynildsen. “We noticed a large gap in the coffee community and thought it would be a great fit for the building we had found and purchased. The word ‘Germania’ was etched in stone on the building and was known as such throughout Alton. Additionally, my wife was stationed in Germany when we first met, and we lived in Germantown Nashville when we first married.”

“Once we opened the doors in Alton, it became popular, but it was a few years later in late 2019 before we really started to become a bigger deal. When COVID hit, we decided, with the support of city hall, to put a drive-thru in the parking spots directly in front of the building there. Business took off, and we expedited our search for a second location. One presented itself in Godfrey, across from Lewis and Clark Community College. Opening in late 2020, it was also highly successful, so we started looking at expanding our market reach and brand recognition even further,” Brynildsen shared further.

The Jerseyville location is expected to employ one full-time team member along with 10 to 15 part-time positions. Anyone interested in becoming a “Germaniac” can apply through the company’s Facebook page, @Germania Brew Haus.

The Brynildsens have been working with City of Jerseyville officials and personnel to develop the former hardware store and restaurant facilities, as well as the alley that runs behind them and the short strip of street that runs between them, all of which will be encompassed within this newest Germania Brew Haus footprint. The development will also bring added green space and parking to the Historic City Center District. 

“We really like the community of Jerseyville. The mayor and city council members have worked hard, and diligently, with us to ensure it is a mutually beneficial relationship. We have been in the planning stages for this location and its adjacent development for over six months now. However, the city has had plans for something similar for much longer,” said Brynildsen. “The downtown has come a long way in the recent past, and where it’s going is even more exciting. We are proud to become part of this growing and long-respected community.”

Jerseyville’s Director of Economic Development Jeff Soer said, “This is a public-private partnership that will benefit everyone. Dairy Queen, the KC Hall, all the north-end businesses and establishments, the improvements to Lions Club and Wittman Parks, the City Center District, and the city as a whole, will all benefit. Germania Brew Haus, as another piece of the overall Historic City Center District development, will fit right in with our community.”

“The Jerseyville City Council members are to be credited for having the foresight on this, and for what’s being done throughout Jerseyville with its ongoing improvements and developments, including the City Center District,” Soer said. “They are on board with bettering our community, from all the parks’ improvements to providing TIF incentives to doing whatever it takes. Jerseyville is very pro-business, and this all couldn’t have happened without the Council’s approval and ongoing support.”

“Jerseyville is a sales tax-driven community. There’s not much generated in funds to support the city from local property taxes. The revenues that will come into the city will be a significant help, and Germania’s presence will help attract shoppers who will spend with other community merchants in the city. It’s a win-win. We know they are a good business to have here. They give back to their communities and are incredibly supportive,” said Soer.

“This project is a wonderful example of how a public-private partnership can increase investments in the community, increase revenues, and create jobs. All of which helps to support Jerseyville as a destination, a place where people want to come, spend the day, eat, shop, and grow their families,” Soer added.

To learn more about Germania Brew Haus and to keep up with the latest developments, follow them on  Facebook, @GermaniaBrewHaus, visit online at germaniabrewhaus.com, or call (314) 667-4751.

For more information about ongoing activities in Jerseyville and its Historic City Center District, contact Shari Albrecht, JEDC Partners in Progress executive director, at (217) 556-8696, visit jedc-il.us online, or download and access the “Explore Jerseyville” app with any mobile device.

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This article was prepared for JEDC Partners in Progress by Melissa Meske Publications, macmeske.com.

ACCOMPANYING IMAGE: 

Pic 1: Courtesy of City of Jerseyville

This is a representation of the preliminary design for Germania Brew Haus, coming to Jerseyville early in 2022 as the company’s fourth location.