Downtown Dubuque brewery buys neighboring property, poised to expand

Bart Frederick, taproom manager for Dimensional Brewing Co. in Dubuque, shows the adjacent building at 99 Main St. that the brewery recently acquired. The space formerly housed Fido Fit and will be converted into additional taproom space and event center. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Kettering

Less than three years after opening in downtown Dubuque, a brewery aims to expand its presence on Main Street.

Tom Rauen, co-owner of Dimensional Brewing Co., confirmed that the business recently purchased the neighboring property at 99 Main St., which previously served as the home of canine training and wellness business Fido Fit.

“We’ll be expanding into that building,” Rauen explained. “We are looking to do a whole remodel of it, similar to what we did with the main brewery.”

Rauen said the new property would provide additional taproom space and also could be used for private events.

The timetable for the opening of the additional property remains unclear. Rauen said Dimensional will apply for historic tax credits to support the project, a process that could influence how and when renovations on the building move forward.

“We are still trying to get preliminary numbers on the cost (of the buildout) and work through exactly what we want to do with the building,” he said. “My best guess at this point is that it will open in the spring or summer (of 2022).”

The upcoming expansion marks another step forward for Dimensional, which opened at 67 Main St. in November 2018. It came after substantial renovations to the property, which was more than a century old and most recently had housed Atlast Fluid Power Co.

Rauen said the distinctive layout and style of the taproom, which features large garage doors that can be opened when the weather is warm, helped the brewery during the pandemic.

“I think that open-air concept really helped out,” he said. “Between the garage doors and the patio seating, I think there were some options that put customers’ minds at ease.”

Taproom Manager Bart Frederick said it has long been apparent that the extra space could benefit Dimensional.

“Most Fridays and Saturdays, especially during the summer and fall, we are full here. We’re at capacity,” he said. “The flexibility of having that extra space will be great.”

The existing brewery and the newly purchased property are connected by a patio area that is currently open to Dimensional customers. In the future, Frederick believes the patio will serve as an important conduit between the two properties.

“I think the plan is to give that area a bit of a facelift as well and add some different seating options out on the patio,” he said.

Mary Erschen, co-owner of Fido Fit, said she had leased space at 99 Main St. and operated her business out of that location for more than 10 years. The business provides a wide variety of services for canines, including training, grooming and boarding, according to its website.

Erschen said the business enjoyed its time in the Lower Main District.

“We put a lot of sweat equity into that building and tried to make it the best we could while we were there, and we became close friends with a lot of the business owners in the area,” she said.

Erschen said Fido Fit soon will open a new location at 595 Huff St. in Dubuque, noting that construction at that building is underway. She credited the staff at Dimensional — specifically co-owner Jeff Burds — with helping Fido Fit find a new home.

“I was initially devastated when I found out (the building was sold),” she said. “But I think it will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.”

The new property at 99 Main St. is just one part of a multi-pronged growth strategy for Dimensional.

Rauen said the brewery plans to purchase new fermenting tanks. He anticipates that this would allow Dimensional to increase its brewing capacity by 30% to 40%.

Dimensional also continues to play a consulting role for a new taproom opening in Peosta, which is slated to be complete by Thanksgiving. The taproom will feature a wide array of beers made by Dimensional.

Rauen said work has already begun on this facility, which will be located off of U.S. 20 between Thunder Hills and Cox Springs roads.