JACKSON, Miss. – Fertile Ground Beer Co. is pleased to announce plans for a craft brewery to be located in the historic Belhaven neighborhood of Jackson, Mississippi. Scheduled to open in 2021, Fertile Ground Beer Co. will be located in a former laundry building previously owned by Baptist Medical Center. The taproom-focused brewery will feature an inviting space where Jackson Metro residents as well as people passing through Jackson can enjoy locally-made beer. It will provide patrons with a large welcoming interior, spacious outdoor area, and access to other attractions at Belhaven Town Center.
Fertile Ground Beer Co. is envisioned to be a third space. Third space is a sociocultural term to designate communal space, as distinct from the home (first space) or work (second space). The founders recognized a need for this, a place to gather, socialize and bring families, while incorporating their passion for craft beer. The transformative project will elevate craft beer in the capital city through an adaptive reuse development at Belhaven Town Center. Located in the commercial area of Belhaven, Belhaven Town Center opened with the first phase in early 2020 to include several new restaurants. The completed center will include dining, retail and small businesses.
“Matthew and I were on the Belhaven Improvement Association board about a decade ago when I was just starting to think about Belhaven Town Center,” says David Turner, developer of Belhaven Town Center. “Matthew remembers me talking about this project and specifically that I wanted to get a brewery one day at this location. It’s cool how those early seeds were planted in both of our minds and we now see this coming to fruition. We are very excited about this group and their vast knowledge of the food and beverage industry and breweries in particular. We look forward to partnering with them on some cool events in the near future.”
The historic Belhaven neighborhood is home to numerous businesses, restaurants, artists, and one of the most popular August events in the Southeast. The Bright Lights Belhaven Nights annual music festival attracts several thousand people to the neighborhood. Attendees travel from neighboring states to enjoy three stages filled with live music, local artisans, and restaurants. In addition to the commercial and artistic attributes, Belhaven was designated as one of American Planning Association’s “Great Neighborhoods in America 2014.”
“It’s the perfect location,” says Matthew McLaughlin, co-founder of Fertile Ground Beer Co. and founder of McLaughlin, PC law firm. “We are so excited to open this brewery within the Belhaven Town Center development and know that it will be a destination that everyone can enjoy. The name Fertile Ground derives from the 2014 TEDxJackson event with the same name that focused on entrepreneurship, ideas worth spreading, creativity, and new urbanism in Jackson. Fertile Ground Beer Co. will carry these themes forward in the form of an inviting and open third space where people can enjoy locally and regionally made craft beer.”
“We saw an opportunity and a need for a brewery in Jackson,” says Conner Reeves, co-founder of the brewery and attorney at McLaughlin, PC. “We aren’t quitting our day jobs, but wanted a place to drink locally-made beer. We put together a really talented team to create and operate the brewery and it’s backed by some great local investors who believe in the concept and location. The brewery will have craft beer options for everyone, from the enthusiast to the newcomer, so everyone can find their next ‘go-to’ beer.”
Across the nation, craft breweries are having an immeasurable economic impact on their communities. Case studies have shown increases in residential and commercial property values located near craft breweries. Many craft breweries are opened in old or abandoned buildings breathing life back into the area and creating interest in the forgotten space. Craft breweries are also viewed as a quality of life amenity to many neighborhoods.
“I am thrilled that Greater Belhaven will be home to Fertile Ground Beer Co.,” said Casey Creasey, executive director of Greater Belhaven Foundation. “The brewery will not only create a community space for Belhaven residents, but will also attract our city neighbors while showcasing our historic neighborhood. Fertile Ground Beer Co. represents a national trend where breweries and brewpubs creatively repurpose existing commercial buildings and further transform neighborhoods. The brewery will be a welcomed addition to those restaurants and hospitality businesses that currently call Belhaven home.”
To learn more about Fertile Ground Beer Co., receive updates on the opening and learn more about craft beer, follow the brewery on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or check out our website, fertilegroundbeer.com.