One Giant Drink For Mankind
ZHS Alum Opens Moontown Brewing Company in Whitestown
Writer: Jon Shoulders
Photographer: Ryan Woodall
Whitestown’s first brewery has opened its doors on South Bowers Street, and while Moontown Brewing Company is brand new to the area, its physical location is a rather familiar sight to many locals.
Co-owner and General Manager Bobby Mattingly, who runs Moontown along with long-time friend Cody Peczkowski and his father Pete, says he and his dad were approached about acquiring the 10,000-square-foot building three years ago. It wasn’t long before they realized the structure, then owned by the town, was perfect for their collective brewery vision.
“The town owned the building since 2012, and the original plan was for the town to turn it into a community center,” says Whitestown Town Manager Dax Norton. “That would have been a big taxpayer burden, so I went to the city council and suggested we start showing the building to some businesses.”
Home brewers since the mid-2000s, the Mattinglys took first place in the Home Brew contest at the first annual Whitestown Beer Fest in 2015. Shortly after, Norton suggested the crew launch their own brewery in the historic Bowers Street space, which served as a grade school and high school from the early 1900s until the early 1960s.
“We had been home brewing as a hobby for quite a while, and had talked about doing it professionally,” says Bobby, a 2007 Zionsville High School graduate. “(Norton) knew we were looking for a place to take it to the next level, and we decided it was the right place for us. We just thought it was awesome.”
Bobby and Pete then enlisted the help of Peczkowski, a close friend and fellow home brewer, to take charge of brewing operations. More than a year of renovations followed including electrical, plumbing and HVAC updates, and the construction of a wall to separate Moontown’s Brew Pub from its event space and brewery.
“The bones of the building are good, and we didn’t have to do anything to the actual structure,” Bobby says, adding that his brother Pat has also joined the Moontown team as co-owner. “We cleaned up the exterior and the interior, redid the inside concrete, and we took the brick from some windows that had been bricked in and used it at our main bar as a foot rail. Anything we took out, we tried to reuse.”
Moontown officially opened on March 15 after a soft opening in January, and offers a full food menu as well as eight rotating taps and a liquor and wine list. Peczkowski oversees a 15-barrel brewing system, and house favorites so far include King of Troy, a German-style lager, Cecil, an IPA, and Hefe-Czkowski, a traditional German Hefeweizen named in honor of the head brewer himself.
“My dad, Pat, Cody and I all have input on the beer recipes, and we try to have a balance of brewing what the people want, as far as what our staples are, and having the freedom to brew what we want as well,” Bobby says.
Moontown Chef Dave Slama has developed relationships with several Indiana farmers and artisans including Saint Adrian Meats & Sausage in Lebanon and Fischer Farms in Jasper for the Brew Pub menu, which features sandwiches, wings, burgers and flatbreads.
Norton is optimistic that the brewery will have a positive economic and cultural impact on the area.
“You can’t find a better economic development project than one that rehabilitates an important piece of history and brings some economic vitality with it,” he says. “When I walk in there and I see faces that I don’t know, that’s exactly what we want. I think it’s going to jumpstart some private investment here.”
Moontown Brewing Company is located at 345 South Bowers Street in Whitestown. Call 317-769-3880 or visit moontownbeer.com for more info including beer and food menus and hours of operation.