From college roommates to business partners— why Ivanhoe Park Brewing has our hearts

Posted by JoEl LaBorde | August 24, 2019

A group of friends gathered on a porchOur owner, Bill Weinaug, and his long-time friend, Russ Heiken, first met at Penn State University while getting their Architectural Engineering Degrees.

Bill strategically transformed the basement of his rental home on Beaver Ave to a bar which included beer on tap.  And so it began … the birth of Bill’s passion for FUN.  

Upon graduating in 1981, Bill and Russ chose to accept engineering positions at the Architecture Engineering Firm of Reynolds Smith & Hills.  Against Russ’ better judgment, he accepted Bill’s offer to become roommates there in Jacksonville, Florida.  After a short period of time in a pretty standard apartment complex, they decided to rent a majestic home up on a small hill overlooking Strawberry Creek.  They reengineered the 5-acre outdoor Olympic size swimming pool area, created a bar in the carport, and added a newly purchased pool table.  Needless to say… the FUN continued.  

After a few years, both Bill and Russ where promoted to head up RS&H’s engineering operations in Orlando and North Carolina, respectively.  Russ joined other good friends at GRG Consulting Engineers in the late 80’s.  He convinced Bill to join him, Bill Beckman and Ken Rigby a few years later.   They all became business partners in what is today called exp.  Throughout that time, Bill never gave up his passion for creating some FUN for the people around him.  Many yearly activities included his “Shoes under the Lights” parties and Super Bowl extravaganzas. 

About 11 years ago, Bill’s passion for serving his friends FUN was formalized.  He purchased the old Wekiwa Marina and morphed it into what is now known as the Wekiva Island .  About that time, Russ retired from engineering.  Bill convinced him, Bill (Beckman), Ken and a few others to “take on” the New Smyrna Marina with Outriggers Bar and Grille in New Smyrna Beach.  Early in 2018, Russ got even more serious about this “beer thing” and invested in the Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company.

On September 11, 2019, Bill and Russ will be “back at it again”, to celebrate Russ’ Ivanhoe Park Brewing craft beer in Bill’s Tooting Otter Craft Beer Lounge at the Wekiva Island.  Six of Russ’ favorites will be paired with great food from “Without a Paddle Café” at Bill’s Island.  The FUN starts at 6PM.  Get your tickets now!

Come join us!

Bill & Russ