Brink Brewing is poised to be the first brand new brewery to open in Cincinnati in 2017 right at 5905 Hamilton Ave. in the College Hill Neighborhood. They were aiming to open their doors in 2016, but sadly they hit a few speed bumps as do many new breweries do when they are preparing to bring their brews to market. I’ve been following their project since I met the crew at Darkness Brewing down in Bellevue during Alexandria Brewing’s Kickstarter party and have been excited for them for quite a while. We are on the verge of their grand opening so I decided to shoot Brink President Andrew McCleese an email to see if I could come in and grab a sneak peek of their space to share with you. The Brink family welcomed me with open arms last week and I am so delighted to share their space and their dream with you all.
I felt right at home walking through the front door with the modern styling of their taproom. It’s a mixture of warm woods, exposed brick and industrial accents. Pretty much everything is reclaimed in the space from the wood, to the table legs, to the trash cans. It really feels like you just walked into the neighborhood bar where everyone knows your name. There is plenty of seating all around with half garage doors that will allow people sitting at the front to see directly out to the street when they are enjoying a beer. As you walk further back there is more table space. The very back of the taproom hosts a big garage door that welcomes you to a back patio area that is sure to be a huge hit in the upcoming spring. Expect some food truck action for sure!
The taproom was designed by co-owner and marketing director Sarah McGarry who is an interior designer by trade. She’s no stranger to designing taprooms as she’s won awards for her design of Molson Coors HQ taproom. Sarah and her husband John McGarry who is the CEO are based out of Denver Colorado. John’s brother Kelly Motgomery is the head brewer and co-owner, Andrew McCleese as I mentioned before is the president of the company and co-owner and Mark Landers is a brewer all of whom call Cincinnati Home. I actually found out Mark used to live down the street from me. Small world!
The taproom features 20 taps that Brink hopes to keep supplied with their different beers at all times. With a 7 barrel system they may not be able to fill them up on day one, but in time they will all be flowing with award winning goodness. Award winning? Why yes! Kelly and Mark have already been winning medals in home brew competitions and plan on bringing their award winning recipes to life on a larger scale at Brink.
Brink is rocking a 7 barrel brewing system which they plan on keeping running as much as possible churning out 700 barrels in 2017! I was lucky enough to catch Kelly and Mark working hard on a brew day preparing for the grand opening this weekend.
When your hop sock gets stuck in the drain you gotta go on a little adventure! Kelly and Mark have been home brewing for years and have worked on larger systems as well. This is their first time as full time brewers on a system like Brink’s. Their passion for brewing is huge and they love what they do. Many sleepless brewing nights were had getting their beers ready for the world.
So what beers should you be expecting at the grand opening? They are planning on having their Broken Sprocket Red IPA, Brink Brown, Debbie Jean Blonde and a Citra Mosaic IPA ready to rock on day one. While I was there they were brewing an Old Ale which will probably make its way into some barrels before hitting the taps. Who’s excited?! They plan on selling most of their beer in the taproom and will start to move out with keg sales to local bars shortly after opening. Brink doesn’t have plan to can or bottle on a large scale, but you may see some hand bottled barrel aged goodness in the future.
There’s something special that I have to bring up about the taproom. When you enter either bathroom you are met with walls covered from floor to ceiling with hundreds of beer labels. They just aren’t any beer labels though. Kelly’s Uncle sparked his interest in beer years ago which lead him to start home brewing and now he’s elevated his passion to the brewery level. The labels on the wall were collected for countless years by his uncle. You’ll find new and old labels alike. I stood in the bathroom as Kelly pointed out specific labels that he remembered drinking with him back in the day and told me stories of their good times together. It was touching listening to Kelly tell stories about them drinking beer and kicking back. So when you hit the bathroom take a little time to enjoy the walls, there is a lot of history there.
So when will you get to enjoy this beautiful brewery? Very soon my friends. Brink will hold their grand opening this Sunday, the 19th from 12-9pm! Hit up their Facebook Page for the details. The people behind Brink are dedicated to the craft and are excited to unleash their brewery into the Cincinnati craft beer world. Join me in welcoming them into the family!