DeKalb’s Byers Brewing Co. awarded city TIF aid for emergency repairs to Sixth Street location

The grant was meant to aid the brewery in repairing equipment at its Sixth Street location in downtown DeKalb.

The Byers Brewing Company production facility annex is seen Nov. 14, 2023 at 216 N. Sixth Street in DeKalb.

DeKALB – A local brewery recently was awarded a grant from the city to help repair equipment at its production facility annex in downtown DeKalb.

The $2,750 grant was meant to aid Byers Brewing Co. in repairing what its owners called critical electrical transformers that have failed at the brewer’s production facility annex, 216 N. Sixth St., according to city documents.

“An expensive emergency repair was necessary, and Mr. [Steve] Byers approached the city to request some assistance,” officials wrote in city documents.

The family-owned downtown DeKalb brewery, 230 E. Lincoln Highway, earlier this year announced plans to expand operations to Sixth Street after the space was vacated by the Forge Brewhouse when its owners retired in 2022. The Sixth Street location was meant as a production-only space to help Byers brew more beer.

City Manager Bill Nicklas said that because of the emergency nature of the repairs, the request was fulfilled but remained in need of retroactive authorization.

As was the case with KJ’s emergency roof repair and Stage Coach Players’ boiler repair, urgent requests have been made in the past without first seeking council approval, city documents show.

A motion to award grant funding to Byers Brewing was approved in a 7-0 vote. Mayor Cohen Barnes abstained from the council’s discussion and vote because he runs a business that falls in the city’s downtown tax increment financing district.

First Ward Alderwoman Carolyn Zasada said she’s happy for Byers Brewing and what the grant funding means for business.

“I think we all value and appreciate that people invest in our community and decide to run businesses in our community,” Zasada said. “I’m thrilled to see that they brought this to us, and I’m glad that we are in a position to help.”

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