February 3, 2017
WEST CHESTER TWP. —
A new microbrewery and taproom plans to open in Butler County this fall.
Grainworks Brewing Company will occupy about 5,000 square feet in a 10,900-square-foot building at 7790 Service Center Dr. in West Chester Twp. with the possibility of further expansion in the facility, according to Steven Brock, head of daily operations and one of three West Chester residents who started the business.
“It’s been a kind of a passion traveling around the country and the world,” Brock said. “We’ve been to over 100 different breweries and … we just like the creativeness of it, the community part of it versus just going into your local corner bar. Breweries seem to have a different atmosphere.”
Brock and his two other partners in the business — the company’s head brewer and its chief financial officer — are not new to the industry.
“We’ve been doing home brew for well over 12 years now,” Brock said. “We’ve entered home brew competition and won awards and accolades … it wasn’t like this was just ‘Oh, I’ve home-brewed for a year. Let’s just try this.’”
Located between Interstate 75 and Cox Road just south of the Liberty Way exit, Grainworks Brewing Company will initially offer six beers when it launches operations, including IPA, Stout and Porter.
“We’re going to go middle of the road to begin with just because we know this area is in transition now,” Brock said. “I think the feel will be more session-type beers to start and then we’ll go into more specialty stuff and (get) more creative as we get a feel for what the patrons will respond to once we’re open.”
Brews likely to be featured shortly after opening could include sour beer, which has an intentionally acidic, tart or sour taste, and a saison, a pale ale that is highly carbonated, fruity, spicy and often bottle conditioned.
“It’ll be a pretty eclectic mix,” he said.
Grainworks Brewing Company’s partners are handling construction inside the facility themselves, aiming for an cozy, Old World, farming ambience inside the taproom, Brock said.
“That plays on our name of Grainworks with the brewing history of Cincinnati, in general, and then Butler County being the grain fields and hops field of the pre-prohibition breweries,” he said. “We’re taking pride that we’re on farmland used back in the day for growing grains used to produce beer.”
The 10-barrel brewhouse will include six 20-barrel fermenters able to generate “a pretty good amount of beer” when the company opens, Brock said.
“We plan to go bigger than what we initially thought,” he said. “We were going to go with five or seven (barrels) but we’ve seen everybody in the industry thus far that we’ve followed grows out of it so soon that they can’t keep up with production. We wanted to make it a little step above to keep up with demand and not have to brew two double brews five days a week.”
The company plans to hire an assistant brewer and four people to tend bar depending on how many shifts the business needs to fill in its taproom.
Brock said he hopes the combination of craft beer and a cozy place to meet will attract and retain customers.
“We want to be where neighbors meet,” he said.