Franklin Street Brewing Helps Revive Downtown
Story and Photo by Tim Rask Jeff Allen
Brothers Chad and Kyle Sands describe the lineup at their Franklin Street Brewery in Manchester.
up for a little whitewater kayaking followed by quaffing
a pint or two of fresh beer at a cozy local brewery? We realize
a long trek to Colorado, but found a place where
soon you will be able to enjoy that combination here in Eastern
The city of Manchester will debut its whitewater park on the
Maquoketa River next year, but you can get a head start and
enjoy the locally-made beer at Franklin Street Brewery now.
We headed up to the Delaware County seat to check out this
new brewery, which debuted earlier this year.
Manchester already is located among some great outdoor recreation sites. The popular Backbone State Park is a short drive
to the north, and the rejuvenated Lake Delhi sits just to the
south. Lake Delhi coming back, and the new whitewater
park, it just seemed like Manchester needed a says
Kyle Sands, brewer and co-owner.
Kyle and his brother, Chad, are following family tradition by
operating a business in downtown Manchester. Their grandfather, Melvin Paul Sands, operated Sands Royal Blue Grocery for
many years on the opposite side of Franklin Street where the
brewery now sits.
really proud to follow in our footsteps by
settling up in downtown says, Chad, we
think got the coolest building in
The longtime home of a local hardware store, the 1875
structure is one of the oldest in downtown Manchester. The
brothers purchased it from the local Masonic Lodge, which
still leases the upstairs for their meetings. just inquired
about the building to see if the Masons would be interested
in selling, and it turns out the lodge was considering moving
38 :: Harvest 2014 :: EdibleIowa.com
to a site with ground floor access to accommodate their older
says Kyle. Chad notes that, since the building had
housed a hardware store for almost 150 years, the downstairs
was full of vintage building materials.
were thinking of clearing everything says Chad,
fortunately our contractor talked us into saving all of that
old wood and maintaining as much as possible of the original
Much of the reclaimed wood was incorporated into
the tap trim, cabinets and columns. The bar also is constructed of bricks salvaged from an interior dividing wall. The
decor even features a pair of old shoes discovered in a hidden
passageway that was revealed during construction (if the Sands
know the answer to the mystery of the shoes, they telling, but every good tavern needs at least one wacky story).
The hard work of restoring the building definitely paid off. We
think the brothers have created one of the most inviting tasting
rooms in the state. The large bar provides a focal point with
several tables and couches offering more secluded seating.
The building faces west, so light pours in through the front windows, which also offer a nice view of the Maquoketa River.
have one TV but rarely says Kyle. rather have a
place where people can come and enjoy
Behind the cozy brick and wood of the tap room find
Franklin more modern brewing operation. The brewery
actually employs a twin set of brew kettles and mash tuns,
which can churn out a combined four barrels at a time. In
theory, the brothers could use the system to brew two different
beers at the same time, but for now kept to brewing a
single batch split between the two tanks.
The Sands have been home brewing for about fifteen years,
and had little trouble scaling up their collection of recipes for