Brewery Owners Say Time Is Right To Turn Taps Over To New Ownership

Owners of Keg Creek Brewing Co. have put the popular Glenwood brewery up for sale.

Randy Romens taps a pint at Keg Creek Brewing Co. in August 2023.

Art Renze, one of the founders of Keg Creek Brewing Co., serves a beer in 2018 at the brewery’s original location on Sharp St.

Randy Romens unpacks growlers at Keg Creek Brewing Co. in 2018.

Randy Romens gives U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst a tour of Keg Creek Brewing’s production facility earlier this year.

A Glenwood establishment that’s not only a social gathering spot for local residents, but also a popular destination for out-of-town visitors, is for sale.

Earlier this month, owners of Keg Creek Brewing Co. announced that they’ve placed the 13-year-old business up for sale. The goal and hope of the owners is that a buyer will purchase the business and continue to operate it as a brewery.

“We’re not closing, it’s for sale,” said Randy Romens, one of brewery’s founders and co-owners. “It isn’t like we’re closing the door and shutting it down. We want it to continue.”

Romens said he and majority owners Matt and Jeni Kirsch have been discussing an “exit or succession plan” for the business for about a year. Romens said he still enjoys the everyday aspects of brewing beer and operating the business, but he and his wife Theresa want to devote more time to traveling and their family.

“I’ve been doing this and I’ve had a really good time with it. I really have,” Romens said. “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t having fun, but I’ve got the travel bug.”

Jeni Kirsch said she and Matt also have other priorities in their lives, including devoting more time to their growing transportation business.

“It’s just life scenarios,” she said. “They (Randy and Theresa) are at a stage where they want to do some other things and we have another business that we’re running and we need to focus that way.

“We just want somebody good to come in and take it (brewery) over, maintain it and grow it. Collectively, we’re in a new place. For somebody else to continue here would be phenomenal.”

Both Romens and Kirsch said the brewery and surrounding property has great potential for growth, physically and figuratively. Romens, 66, said he has envisioned expansion to the south with an indoor athletic facility, with basketball and pickleball courts, while Kirsch said she could see the addition of an events or community center enhancing the property and even turning it into a destination center.

“There are options for expansions to the east and south,” she noted. “The opportunities are endless for somebody that has the time and energy to put into it to grow and continue growing from the foundation that these guys have built.

Keg Creek Brewing Co., evolved from a group of home beer brewers, who met regularly to exchange recipes and sample one another’s beer. When the Keg Creek Home Brewers earned nearly half of the top 20 places at a beer judging competition in Schleswig, Romens, John Bueltel, Art Renze and Grant Hebel decided to make a sizeable investment and start a brewery in the former Breadeaux Pizza building on East Sharp St. The brewery had a temporary opening during RAGBRAI’s visit to Glenwood in 2011 and its official grand opening in October 2011.

Since 2011, the brewery has continued to grow and expand. Keg Creek beers are available throughout Iowa and Nebraska. The brewery eventually relocated to its present location at 22381 221st St. and expanded its production, distribution and taproom facilities after Matt and Jeni Kirsch became majority owners of the business. Bueltel and Renze continue to have minority shares in the ownership of the brewery.

Romens said the brewery has had a great run over the past 13 years but it’s time to turn to the taps over to somebody new.

“I’ve always been on the customer service side and as a brewer, I’ve loved it – brewing beer, making good beer for people,” he said. “When we first started, that was our goal. I want it to continue so bad – I just want somebody else to do it.”

Ernst Honors Keg Creek Brewing As Iowa Small Business Of The Week

On Monday, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Small Business Committee, announced her Small Business of the Week: Keg Creek Brewing Co. of Mills County.

Throughout this Congress, Ernst plans to recognize a small business in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties.

“I am proud to recognize the team at Keg Creek Brewing for creating a place where folks can ‘hop off the mainstream’ and enjoy award-winning craft beer in rural Iowa,” Ernst said in a written statement. “The Keg Creek Brewing team’s hard work and dedication stands out and has helped them rise from a hobbyists’ home brewers club to a community hub with nationally recognized beers.”

Ernst’s official statement read: “Founded by friends Randy Romens, John Bueltel, Art Renze, and Grant Hebel in 2011 after homebrewing beers in their garages and basements, Keg Creek Brewing has grown into a thriving regional craft brewery with an avid following. Matt Kirsch joined the team in 2015 and became the primary owner while increasing distribution to new markets. Over the years, Keg Creek Brewing has maintained its Glenwood roots. The patio at their 15-barrel facility is a summer favorite, hosting live music, sports, and trivia. Keg Creek Brewery is actively involved in the Glenwood community, hosting fundraising events for Relay for Life, the Mils County K9 Unit, and local libraries. Their taproom offers 20 taps with a rotating selection of award-winning beers. This year, the City of Glenwood will serve as the starting point of the RAGBRAI route, where riders and guests will have the opportunity to visit Keg Creek Brewery and enjoy a glass of their favorite beer.”


The Opinion-Tribune

116 S Walnut St Glenwood, IA 51534-1665
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