ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- A vacant building in Rock Island is being re-purposed, thanks to the popularity of craft beer.
Crawford Company has purchased what once was Hughes Tire and Brake at the corner of 31st Avenue and 8th Street. Owner, Ian Frink, said they needed more space for their booming business making brewing equipment.
"The number of craft breweries goes up every year and we've seen an uptick in that and we've been able to build into that," said Frink.
Over on Mill Street, they've been building brewing essentials like fermenters and brew tanks, but in about a 4,000 sq. ft. space. The new building has about 20,000 sq. ft.
"It's kind of a win-win for Crawford, because we have this extra space but it's also good for the city because this is on a main corridor and this is an existing building," said Frink. "So we're renovating and repurposing a building that's been around for a long time."
Crawford Brewing Equipment has been installed in 75 breweries across the country, and four in the Quad Cities area.
"I think the Quad Cities has built itself as a little bit of a regional hub for micro-breweries," he said. "There are a lot of micro-brews here and then being able to be located here and centered here is great."
Frink said the company plans to start production at their new location this summer. They also plan to bring on a handful of welders to join their staff.