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South Bend Brew Werks celebrates two years downtown

This weekend, South Bend Brew Werks is celebrating two years of business.

“It feels more like 10 years than two years,” the owner, Drew Elegante said.

The successful downtown business has had a major impact on the community through donations and celebrations, becoming a staple of downtown.

“I just saw a lot of potential in this city,” Elegante said.

That’s potential Elegante may never have realized if not for school.

In 2012, Elegante came to South Bend to get his MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

After graduating, he turned down all other options to stay in town.

“It was a somewhat easy decision to make to turn down that six-figure job in Seattle to stay here in South Bend,” Elegante said.

He opened South Bend Brew Werks, which gives back proceeds of every beer sold to Michiana nonprofits.

When not at work, Elegante plans events with other city leaders on a regular basis.

“The community partners is a huge part of why I actually started this business,” Elegante said.

The local entrepreneur says he’s not the first, and won’t be the last student to stay in town, and make an impact in Michiana.

“You are seeing a lot of people start to stay,” Elegante said.

After starting a successful downtown business and raising more than $50,000 for local non-profits, Elegante recommends other students to step off campus, and see what downtown has to offer.

“They’re bringing with them different ideas and perspectives from wherever they have been,” Elegante said..

After all, the next South Bend entrepreneur could be walking around campus right now.

“It’s exciting and you would be silly not to stick around,” Elegante said.

South Bend Brew Werks birthday celebrations continue all weekend.

The brewery now allows pets, and has added 10 taps to their selection.

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