Dubuque brewery expands footprint, keeps atmosphere

Jubeck New World Brewing

Address: 115 W. 11th St.

Hours: 4 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Phone: 775-375-5692

Online: jubeckbrewing.com

A Dubuque brewery is ready to spread its unique atmosphere into a larger footprint and offer more ways to enjoy its signature brews.

Jubeck New World Brewing, 115 W. 11th St., recently wrapped up its expansion project and opened its larger space for the first time Wednesday afternoon.

Owner Jay Jubeck opened his craft brewery in 2014 with then-partner Dan Caraway as the first of its kind in Dubuque. From the outset, Jubeck New World Brewing collected a devoted following, many of whom joined the brewery’s membership program based on community-supported agriculture models.

Also from the outset, Jubeck said, it was clear the business needed more room.

“It’s a small space. It’s always been tight,” he said. “We’ve made it work, but there are things we’ve done that make it more of a challenge. There were certain beer projects — we got into barrel aging, for instance, which really took over our cellar for a while. Then, when COVID hit, we started canning.”

Jubeck explained that the pallets on which the cans they ordered were stacked were too wide for the original storefront’s 36-inch exterior door. So, he and staff would move cases in just a few at a time, carry them down to the cellar and then restack them on pallets there.

“The space just wasn’t intended for work on any kind of production scale,” Jubeck said.

The expansion more than doubles the footprint in terms of square feet — from 1,000 to around 2,500. It is located in what was most recently The Wolfhound bar, but long before that was The Aragon Tap.

With this new space, Jubeck has planned some new features.

“We’re excited to have more seating capacity and move into a space that allows us to have more beers on tap, more events and music in the future but also keep our same atmosphere,” he said. “The old side space is basically overflow or just another kind of seating area. If we have music in the new space, the old space will be a little more quiet, like it always has been.”

Bar service has moved to the new space and, with it, some new ways to experience certain beers.

“Most significantly, one of the things we’ve added are two Czech side-pull taps,” he said. “That’s a different type of serving beer that’s been more and more popular in the craft beer world. We’re also going to offer cask-conditioned beer — that’s an English style of packaging beer — with special tappings.”

Jubeck said the brewery’s annual Oktoberfest beer will be offered as a cask-conditioned special.

All told, the number of beers on tap increased from nine to 15 at a time with the move.

The expansion also included a renovation of the space from its previous look under past owners. Crews exposed the original wood on the floors and brick on the walls, added numerous windows and added a double glass door onto 11th Street for additional light.

As excited as Jubeck is about the new features and more elbow room, he has labored to ensure the overall atmosphere remains the same for his loyal regulars. They provided a boost in funding for the expansion, after all.

“When we first started all this (in 2014), we did a Kickstarter campaign to invest in the projects,” he said. “Part of that was we created this membership program. Instead of just kicking in for a T-shirt, we made it a membership, where you get a certain number of beers for a special price or special access. We’ve kept that going, our membership program. In order to raise money for this expansion program, we utilized that membership drive to raise money. We just made a special effort to fully capitalize on that, offered different levels — lifetime, six years for the price of five — little things. They were a big help.”

Michael Loebach has known Jubeck since he was a home brewer and was one of the original members. He was impressed with how well the old atmosphere was spread into the larger space.

“It feels virtually the same to me, just less crowded and with more room to sprawl,” he said. “My first experience of home brew was with Jay in his kitchen on a Saturday afternoon, so it’s exciting to see all of this grow.”