Our Story

History  |  Our Craft  |  Our Team

Founded in 2014, Switchyard Brewing is located in a 80+ year old building that was originally built as an International Harvester dealership. We brew, can and keg our beer out of our pet and family friendly taproom, selling it at bars, restaurants, grocery and liquor stores throughout the state of Indiana. We take a lot of pride in the beer that we craft on site, cultivating an employee culture like no other, and having a positive impact on the communities we're a part of. 

Switchyard was born as a startup on the workbench of a two-car garage in Northern Monroe County. We set out to redefine the brewery experience by producing hand-crafted, flavorful beers alongside a functional co-working environment that encourages other entrepreneurs to create great things. 

What truly defines us, is our culture.

From the beginning of this journey, we dared ourselves to think differently. We believe that our dedication to a high-involvement employee culture is what sets us apart. We believe that hand-crafted, small batch beer is best made using the best ingredients at the peak of their flavor. We believe that the best tasting food is grown within an easy drive of our community.  We believe that the collective is stronger than the individual.  Most importantly, we believe that business can be a catalyst for positive change in our community.

We can't wait to #ShareOurCraft, our experiences, space, and flavorful creations with you soon!


Our History

Named after the McDoel yard of the historic Monon Railroad, Switchyard embodies the hard working culture of past generations. The Monon line doesn’t exist anymore, the track has been taken up to make way for the B-Line trail and the rail yard will soon be converted into Switchyard Park, Bloomington's newest and largest city park. 

Located in the heart of downtown Bloomington at 419 N. Walnut we built our taproom in the skeleton of the former Jakes Nightclub building where artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, REM, Buddy Guy and John Mellencamp have preformed sold out shows. Originally built as an International Harvester dealership in the 1930's, the building has seen many tenants, including a car dealership, "Time Out" a sports bar by IU Hall of Fame forward Archie Dees), a nightclub named Mars, and finally Jakes Nightclub.


Our Craft

In 1873,  a little over 4,000 breweries were operating in the United States. In the years after the 18th amendment, also known as the Volstead Act went into effect, the number of active breweries dropped to a staggering 331. Recently, over the last several years, craft brewing has been the largest growing beer segment in the United States. Today, the Brewers Association reports that over 6,000 breweries are producing not only beer, but over 456,000 jobs in communities just like ours.

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Craft brewing is innovative, independent, curiosity, collaboration, character and family. It is built on the American Dream. Craft brewing has integrity, tradition, and a style all its own. Craft breweries make their communities a better place. In 2017, craft breweries, like ours donated over $73.4 Million to charities in their communities.

From serving at the peak of harvest, to supporting our local farms, everything that we put into our products, we chose specifically to enhance the flavor.

Passionate about our craft, we work by our Guiding Principles and a core purpose to redefine the brewery experience and enhance the Bloomington community.

At Switchyard, we are passionate about quality beer and making memories with good friends in a family friendly atmosphere.

We will always honor and hold true to our craft.


Our Team

Kurtis Cummings

Kurtis started working in emergency services at the age of 18 in Yorktown, IN, his hometown. After moving to Bloomington in 2007, he met with business partner Jeff while working nightshift on the local ambulance service. 

The two then began transforming Kurtis’ two-car garage into a fully functioning brewery where they would develop recipes and brew pilot batches on their days off work. 

Kurtis worked part time for the Oliver Wine Company during this time and found a passion for quality service. Kurtis also met his wife Kristin there, and they married in 2014 at the vineyard. While building Switchyard, the two adopted their newborn daughter, Cora in late 2017.

As an avid coffee drinker, Kurtis, alongside Jeff and Kristin would often meet in local coffee shops to work on building Switchyard. They quickly realized the need for a hybrid tap-room in Bloomington. A place where other like-minded creatives, entrepreneurs, friends, and neighbors could come together to create, build, and dream.

 

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Jeff Hall

Originally from Southern California, Jeff first arrived in Northern Indiana the fall of 1998. In 2004, he made his way to Bloomington to begin studying at Indiana University. In 2008, he made Bloomington his new permanent place of residence and landed a job at the local hospital where he met Kurtis. Having a shared love and passion for craft beer, wanting to continually give back to the community, and provide a place for all to experience these things together, Switchyard Brewing Company was created. 

It's no secret Jeff is a people person and has no problem striking up a conversation with anyone. Working for the local hospital-based ambulance service provided Jeff the ability to instantly connect with people, even during their worst moments in life.

His dedicated work ethic, bubbly personality and passion for helping others are what makes him an integral part of the Switchyard team. 

 

 

 

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Jake Gee

Head Brewer

Jake was introduced to the world of craft beer while attending Indiana University. After he received a homebrew kit for his birthday, he quickly fell in love with the art, and science of brewing. He continued to brew as a hobby, while working as an archaeologist across the Midwest and Rocky Mountains, before deciding to make his passion a career. 

Originally from Valparaiso, Indiana, Jake received a brewing education from the Siebel Institute of Technology before moving to North Carolina to begin working in the craft beer industry. He spent five years at Olde Hickory Brewery where he honed his skills and worked his way up to Head Brewer before moving on to brew at Sierra Nevada’s east coast facility. 

Jake, his wife Beth, and daughter Edie, are excited to be back in Bloomington. He is looking forward to bringing creative, high quality beers to Switchyard. 

 

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Kristin Cummings

Private Events Director

A Bloomington native, Kristin is an avid IU fan and loves the oasis feeling of this small town in the Midwest. After marrying Kurtis and purchasing their first home in 2014, Kristin became fully immersed in building Switchyard alongside Kurtis and Jeff.

She was very happy when Kurtis and Jeff stopped brewing in the garage so she could finally park her car inside! Kristin is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor working with children in foster care. While in grad school, Kristin worked part time at Oliver Winery and learned a great deal about the service industry and event management. 

 

 

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Doug the Pug

Chief People Officer

A Bloomington native, Doug is the honorary brewhouse dog of Switchyard.  Born south of town, Doug was the runt of his pack. What he lacks in size, he makes up in personality! When he isn't smiling and greeting everyone he meets, he can be found lounging around, sleeping the day away. 

At 11 years old, Doug has "helped" with every brew-day, but it's really the spent grain-peanut butter puppy biscuits that keep him a happy member of the team.