Small Business Spotlight: Something's Brewing in Downtown Muncie

Blog Author: Ben Polk
August 15, 2022
Photo of Guardian Brewing Co. owners chatting

The Story of Jason Phillips and Bill Kerr 

Co-owners of Guardian Brewing Co. and the Heorot

Jason Phillips and Bill Kerr have made a name for themselves in the Delaware County community and beyond. With the launch of Guardian Brewing Company several years back and with the recent acquisition of the Heorot, the dynamic duo is moving and shaking the Muncie bar landscape in big ways.

About Jason Phillips: 

Jason primarily serves in the accounting of the businesses. With being a small business owner he is also adapt at wearing several different hats and jumping in where needed. Jason is a Southside High School graduate and earned his degree in Accounting from Ball State University in 2005. Upon graduating Jason served as a public accountant for a time before transitioning over to MAGNA Powertrain where we would serve in the roll of controller. This is where the idea behind the Guardian would be born. 

About Bill Kerr:

Bill was born and raised on the Southside of Muncie and graduated from Cowan High School. Bill prides himself on being the mechanical jack of all trades for both the Guardian and the Heorot. He got his background with mechanical work fixing heavy machinery, electronics, and more. Bill also worked at MAGNA Powertrain in the role of maintenance coordinator and  facilities where we would meet Jason and begin creating their big idea.

The Origins of Guardian

During their time at MAGNA Powertrain, Jason and Bill observed the brewing process first-hand while they helping out at the Heorot. While absorbing this knowledge, the two would spent their weekends trying the process for themselves. This entire operation started off using a 5 gallon turkey fryer in a garage. During this time the two would continue to scale and grow and would begin looking at what it would take to take their operation to the next level.  The understood the concept of "succeed cheap" or "fail cheap."

The origin of the name "Guardian" comes from the owner's names - which both mean protector.

Modern Day

The two understood that the operation could be successful when they began selling out of product each day at their initial White River Boulevard location. During this time both were still working at MAGNA. Upon moving the business to MADJAX, the pair would realize the potential of the business further when they had a larger space and installed  a much larger 15 barrel system that would enable them to dramatically ramp up their operation. Currently they have expanded to a total of 45 barrels across their operation. 

Currently Guardian has over 170 accounts they service and distribute to all across the state of Indiana. Practically every liquor store in Muncie carries their product at this point.  They pride themselves in having a dedicated staff who understands and appreciates the history of craft beer in Delaware County.

This year, the pair would acquire the Heorot after the previous long-term owner wanted to retire. They intend to honor the long-time history of the Heorot in Muncie while serving existing and new customers across the community. 

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