Keg Grove Brewing Company Celebrates 5 Years!
Aug 8, 2023
Community First, Beer First
by Steph Mazanowski
Featured in B-N Sports Magazine
September 2023 Issue
What started out as a hobby, brewing beer at home has evolved into a small business that is already expanding to a second location (in Morris, Illinois) after only five short years in operation. Keg Grove Brewing Company brews and packages their beer here locally, but providing the community with great-tasting beer is just a piece of their overall mission. “As a business we are committed to the community, collaborating with other small businesses and non-profits, giving back on a regular basis,” says owner Jeff Mroz. “Although the beer is the center of our business, we place an equal importance in being involved with and giving back to the community.”Community is so important to Mroz that it's even in the business name. According to McLean County Historical Society, Keg Grove was the original name for the Bloomington/Normal area. Legend has it that back in the day, some trappers were passing through the area and they stashed a keg some place in the grove. No one knows for sure what was in the keg. Most speculate it was whiskey or rum, but Mroz likes to think it was full of a tasty American-made ale! Further, the legend is that after the keg was stashed, some curious Kickapoo Indians came across it. "Who can blame them? We would have been curious and sampled it ourselves!" Once they realized what was inside, they had a nice celebration enjoying the keg's contents. From that moment forward, the area was referred to as Keg Grove. As time passed and pioneers settled, they renamed the area Blooming Grove, then finally the current name Bloomington. Mroz has lived here in the Bloomington/Normal community for 25 years with his wife, Jennifer; son, James; and dog Walter. Loyal to the community and to the businesses in it, Jeff has made the effort to collaborate with others and give back as much as possible. It is not uncommon to see other brands throughout the brewery in the form of snacks, food trucks and sometimes even incorporated into their beer flavors. Mroz serves as a board member for Brightpoint (formerly Children’s Home and Aid) and for Make a Wish Illinois as well. They are also involved in supporting the West Bloomington Revitalization Project as beneficiary to their annual golf outing. The Keg Grove Brewing team invites you to come visit! Whether it be to hang with friends and enjoy some informal board games, attend a planned trivia night, or enjoy some live music on the patio, it’s just a great spot to hang with friends or hold an event. It’s just a short hop off the Constitution Trail as well, so next time you’re cruisin’ the trail, stop on in and hydrate. There’s something for everyone. “We strive to offer a diverse range of selections in our taproom. Most of our beer styles are designed to be approachable by the consumer, not too over the top and not too high in alcohol.” And if you’re not 21, well, they have water! They also serve soda and non-alcohol beer as well. “We are family friendly and our patio is pet friendly, so bring the whole family!” Many may wonder how they come up with some of their beer names, “We like to laugh as often as we can when working. A lot of our beer names have a story behind them, but most of those stories are locked in a vault somewhere!” I guess we may never know. Mroz is inspired by the people of Bloomington-Normal. “Our community is full of great people. It has been great developing relationships and building them through our product and our community involvement. Thank you! Thank you for being a part of the Keg Grove Community and thank you for your support! We wouldn’t be here without you! Cheers!”