Thanks to growing interest in micro-brewing and brew pubs across the country, a Rock Island company is going to expand and add jobs. Monday night, the city council approved incentives for the Crawford Company to buy a vacant warehouse on 31st Avenue.
Crawford co-owner Ian Frink says the company has been making brewing equipment for several years, but was running out of space at its headquarters on Mill Street.
"The idea was to expand the production end of things into this building and also have office space. And be able to have visitors from out of town come to that facility to have sales meetings and look at the production end of things in the shop."
Originally the company focused on heating, air conditioning, and plumbing, but then several years ago worked with Front Street Brewery in Davenport when it expanded. So it opened a new division, Crawford Brewery Equipment.
"We've done a lot of projects in a number of states, probably 75 to date. And we differentiate ourselves by having it made in the USA, doing everything turnkey - design, fabrication, and installation."
Frink says it's also a partner in the Crawford Brew Works that opened last weekend in Bettendorf - it's a brew pub but also will serve as a show room and training center for Crawford equipment.
Rock Island will contribute 40,000 dollars to help the company buy new equipment for its new division and new location, and Crawford plans to invest 530,000 dollars in the project and create 10 new jobs within the next three years.