Owner Barbara Kochlin officially put her 150-year-old brewery on the market for $1.35 million. But she isn’t quick to sell.
She’s looking for that perfect buyer — someone who loves the place as much as she does, and she is in no rush to find them.
“It’s for sale, but if it doesn’t sell, that’s fine,” she said. “I kind of look at it like the market is good, the economy is good, interest rates are low.”
The first floor of the old brewery is home to the Corner Peddler, an antique shop, and Kochlin has five apartments upstairs. On top of that, two homes built in the 1800s would also come with the price tag.
The white home next to the property is completely updated; however, the yellow one further up Broadway needs water and sewer work.
Kochlin has years of landlord experience. She first started renting when she was 24 years old. She bought her parents’ family home and turned it into three rental properties.
It was a natural transition to buy the old brewery in 2011 at the top of Broadway Street in downtown Jordan.
Her mother wasn’t completely on board.
“My mom thinks I’m crazy,” she said. “When I bought the brewery, she was like, ‘don’t buy the brewery, the hill’s going to fall’ — which it did. I hate it when mom’s right.”
And it definitely fell.
Roets Brewery was originally going to open in the space.
“They had just signed the leases and were working on the buildup,” she said. Her business partner Kevin Breegemmann helped with repairs and maintenance to get the brewery ready.
Then disaster struck.
In June 2014, a landslide came through the kitchen wall of one of the apartments. Thankfully no one was hurt — not even the tenant’s dog and cat who were home at the time.
“It was absolute fear, like what do you do, how do you fix this?” she said. “Kevin and I were pretty innovative and we’d fix up our sleeves and do just about anything, but how do you fix that?”
The brewery closed its doors for two years.
The city helped connect the brewery to state funding for a hill study. That determined that the whole hill wasn’t coming down, just the slough — deep mud caused by a big tree that came down in the landslide.
“There’s not a textbook that says, ‘if this happens to your business, here’s what you do,’ you know what I mean,” Kochlin said.
Miraculously, she only had to do some cosmetic fixes and fix the back wall of the apartment.
But after all that, the landslide had nothing to do with her wanting to sell the place.
A long history
Frank Nicolin built his second brewery in Jordan in 1867, and in 1902 called it the Schutz and Hilgers Brewery when he sold it. Caves were built to store the beer and keep it cool.
The brewery saw dry days in the 1920s into the 1930s during Prohibition. But they made good use of the caves and stored eggs there.
In 1954, the brewery was gutted by a fire and closed in 1967.
Gail Andersen — Jordan’s first female mayor and Kochlin’s grandmother — bought it up in 1972 at an auction. She was the only bidder and completely renovated the space in the 1990s, even moving the two mid-century homes closer to the brewery.
In 1980, the brewery earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kochlin partnered with Kevin Breeggemann and bought it from Andersen in 2011. Breegemann died in 2015 from a heart attack. He focused on repairs and maintenance at the brewery, and Kochlin found herself taking on those tasks.
Andersen died at 99 years old last year.
“It’s got just so much family history and it would be super sad if it sells,” she said.
History and sadness aside, Kochlin genuinely wants to sell the place, and doesn’t want to focus too much on emotions.
“I’ve made too many decisions on real estate based on my emotions instead of my brain,” she said.
Kochlin would love for the next owner to turn it into a microbrewery and sit at their bar. Currently, she has enough money to maintain the place and also doesn’t want to run a bar or restaurant herself. She was a bartender in college and doesn’t like the hours.
As for the perfect buyer?
“Someone that has the vision and the money to make this a wow factor,” she said. “I can keep it rented and keep it at this level, but I know there’s the right guy or woman out there.”