When Sugar Creek Brewing opened in 2014, co-founder Eric Flanigan and his team planned to build a huge, double-decker deck off the front of the building.

But then, well, stuff happens. Stuff like spending tens of thousands of unexpected dollars in the brewhouse.

“Beer’s always going to come first,” said marketing manager Alicia Thomas.

But now Sugar Creek has a new outdoor space to go with the beer. The brewery’s brand new patio opens this weekend — just in time for patio season.

The 3,000 square-foot patio runs along the side of the building, filling a previously unused area. The space includes:

– A stage for live music at the back, on a raised section of the patio. The brewery will have live music Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

– Wooden picnic tables lining a newly-constructed fence, and four-top tables lining the other side of the patio.

– A full-service outdoor bar with six taps and food service. Sugar Creek now serves food — paninis, salads and charcuterie — seven days a week.

– The design mirrors the brewery’s interior, a style Flanigan calls “nautical steampunk.” The outdoor bar features the same subway tiles and reclaimed wood that’s used inside, and a huge silver pipe coming out of the wall brings the beer to the outdoor taps.

The ropes lining the front of the patio came from a Naval shipyard. (Co-owner Joe Vogelbacher is in the Navy reserves and Flanigan served in the Marine Corps.)

– The brewery will still have the private event patio in the front, which can be used by the public as long as no one has booked it. And here’s some other really good news: With the main patio area moved to the side of the brewery there’s more parking out front.

– Eventually there will be huge pieces of stainless steel art on the brick brewery wall and bocce ball courts toward the back of the patio. Expect more improvements throughout the spring and summer. “This is version 1.0,” Flanigan said.

This new patio might not be what LoSo/Queen Park/Lower South End (take your pick) brewery originally planned, but the beer still comes first.

“As long as the beer’s good, we’ve got a place for you to drink it,” Flanigan said.

Sugar Creek Brewing: 215 Southside Drive. 

Photos: Katie Coleman and Corey Inscoe

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