We received word late Monday that the Books & Brews franchise has acquired local craft brewery Flat 12.
The brewery’s 8th anniversary party this week will mark the changeover.
In a press release, Books & Brews CEO Jason Wuerfel writes,
“When we were looking to expand our concept [Flat12] jumped on board to partner with us without hesitation. To be able to join forces with them and have a staff and facility of their caliber in the Books & Brews family is a dream come true. I’m extremely excited for the future.
“Flat12 has been a brewery partner for Books & Brews for the past two years, brewing all of B&B’s flagship and seasonal beers. I have the upmost respective for the crew at Flat12.”
“We’ve developed a great relationship with the Flat 12 brewhouse crew the past two years. I would have never made this move if I didn’t have complete and total trust in them,” confirmed Jason Wuerfel, founder and CEO of B&B, in a follow up email exchange.
“B&B and Flat12 will continue as separate and distinct brands.There will be no change in Flat12 and what they do currently. If anything, I’m planning to double and triple down on the racing theme - finding more and more ways to incorporate the theme in the products, marketing, and taproom itself.
”There will definitely be more room for crossover events and collaboration between the brands in the future, but nothing will change with the atmosphere and the products. If anything, we’ll lean into the racing theme even more at Flat12 and separate it even farther from Books & Brews than it is today,” said Wuerfel, replying to the query about Flat 12’s long relationships with Indianapolis 500 and Hoosier Park, where Flat 12’s Dan Patch Wit brand has been an on-site staple.
“My background is in professional athletics but my education is in English,” added Wuerfel. “After running a brand like Books & Brews for the past five years, I’m excited to get to work with the athletic side of my brain again and come up with fun ways to incorporate the racing theme at Flat12 even more than it is today.”
Regarding food access on-site at Flat 12, Wuerfel said, “Hoagie and Hops is planning to move out January 31st. This was already in motion long before I considered purchasing the brewery. We’ll be discussing potential concepts for the kitchen space in the coming weeks and expect to move quickly. Our hope is to have a new model in play in early March. In the meantime, we’re looking to develop relationships with local delivery and food trucks to bridge the gap.”
Wuerfel also confirmed, “B&B locations will carry select Flat12 beers. Some stores will carry more than others based on the number of taps they have. Flat12 will continue to carry just Flat12 beer.”
“I’ve been stretching my crew to the max the past couple months to get this [acquisition] over the finish line - pun intended - so I hope for a great day of celebration and fun to let everyone take a deep breath, relax, and feel good about everything we’ve accomplished,” said Wuerfel, referring to the Jan. 26 event at Flat 12. “The short version is, we’re hoping we can get the whole squad there, if possible - and by squad I mean both the F12 and B&B sides of the company!”
“The industry is a great one, filled with a lot of caring, dedicated, and compassionate people,” said Wuerel in response to how the B&B acquisition of Flat 12 fits into Indiana’s craft industry overall. “If you look at the statistics of start ups the numbers are pretty grim. The reason the craft beer world outperforms industry standards is because of the people. Products are key but they’re nothing without great people - both customers and crew. I feel grateful every day that I’m able to do what I love. A sincere thank you to everyone who has supported craft beer in Indiana.”
Flat12 owner Andrew Tweed bought the brewery in 2016 and spent much of the past two years trying to improve the company’s finances.
“It’s no secret our business had some financial challenges when I bought it. I spent most of the first year addressing the challenges through a series of investments that have made the company sustainable and healthy,” Tweed wrote on the company website in early 2018.
“Owning a brewery is incredibly fun, but none of us do it with visions of big profits. Breweries aren’t good business models compared to other industries I’ve been exposed to, but they’re perfect for the community draw I was after.”
Find more information about the Flat12 8th Anniversary Party here.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the original posting following a response to our query from Jason Wuerfel.