New Microbrewery Opens in Downtown Green River

New Microbrewery Opens in Downtown Green River

Russ and Danielle Hemmert, owners of Badass Brews, talk to the Green River City Council Tuesday night. Zoom photo

GREEN RIVER — Badass Brews will be opening in downtown Green River later this week following unanimous Green River City Council support for a microbrewery license Tuesday night.

Russ and Danielle Hemmert, owners of Badass Brews, will open their doors to the community Thursday, February 9, at 4 p.m. now that they have secured a microbrewery license. According to Chris Meats, Green River Finance Director, this is the first microbrewery license ever issued in Green River.

“We started this just brewing in the backyard,” Russ said.

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They started selling their beer from their home before deciding to move to a storefront. Danielle said it was her dream to put their brewery in a historic building. When they secured the corner storefront in the Tomahawk Hotel building, Danielle thought, “wow, it happened.”

“We think we’ll be a great asset to your guys’ community,” she said.

Councilwoman Sherry Bushman commended them for moving their business from the home to a storefront.

Community Support

Several residents spoke in support of the microbrewery, in which they all emphasized the class of the establishment. Dennis Laughlin, resident and owner of Flaming Gorge Harley Davidson, said the Hemmerts are longtime Green River residents and have been very involved in the community. He said they will be running a “classy, tasteful” establishment.

“As a business owner and a resident of Green River, I strongly hope you allow this to go through,” Laughlin said.

He added that the Hemmerts have been talking about doing this brewery for 18 years.

“They make some damn good beer,” he said.

Green River resident Jeiremy Gomez also spoke in favor of the brewery, stating that it will serve a more “elevated clientele” than traditional bars.

“I absolutely think this amazing new business is something that speaks very loudly to community growth here in Green River,” Gomez said.

Gomez said that eventually the Hemmerts want to bring food to their establishment, which he hopes to move forward with them to start that side of the business.

Bonnie Tippy, owner of Red White Buffalo, said she also supports the business. She said she has already been talking with the Hemmerts about downtown collaborations.

“As a business partner in downtown, I support them wholeheartedly,” Tippy said. “What they’re doing is an art.”

Marty Carollo, co-owner of the Tomahawk Hotel, said this business is the perfect addition to the building. He said that Coal Train, the former business in this storefront, was a great partner, however, because of staffing issues they were unable to make the business work in Green River.

He believes that Badass Brews will contribute to downtown Green River through both its brews and through inspiring other people to start businesses.

Difference Between a Microbrewery and a Bar

Councilman Gary Killpack said he has never drank alcohol and has never been inside a bar, so he was curious as to what the difference was between a microbrewery and a bar. He expressed an issue with defining some clienteles as less classy.

“I don’t like the distinction between high class and low class,” Killpack said.

The Hemmerts said it isn’t a distinction between high and low class, but rather just a different atmosphere. Russ said that Badass Brews will not have gaming machines, pool tables, or loud jukeboxes. Rather, there will be a couple televisions to watch some games and allow people to gather and have good conversations.

They want the establishment to be a place where police officers, council members, and any community member can gather and relax.

“We’re selling an experience,” he said.

Danielle added that they want this establishment to eventually be family friendly where they can sell food as well as homemade root beer and cream soda for kids. However, for now the brewery is for people 21 and over.

She also said that their hours will not be same as the typical hours of a bar. Badass Brews will be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., and then it will shut down. Danielle said they want people to drink responsibly and get home safely.

“We want to have a classy establishment,” Russ said.

The Council unanimously approved the microbrewery liquor license for the term beginning February 8, 2023 and ending March 31, 2023. Due to state statute, the license can only be granted through March 2023 and will then need to be renewed along with all the other liquor licenses in town.