MadTree Brewing has always had a special place in my heart as it was the first craft brewery I ever stepped foot in years ago. They were the ones who shaped me into my beer loving self that I am today. I can remember when they only had a couple of fermenters way in the back of their building. I can remember drinking the first big batch of Axis Mundi and Sol Drifter (they weren’t happy with the amount of strawberries so they served them with strawberries right in the glass, so good!) the day that they finished them, and I can remember when the taproom wouldn’t be filled to the brim with people on the weekend. Today their brewery is stacked to the limit with brewing equipment and on the weekends people are overflowing everywhere. While it may not be a bad problem to have, MadTree announced back in January of 2016 that they would be embarking on a journey of building a $18 million new home with way more space. We got to see updates through the entire process from MadTree which made my excitement grow over time, but with such a huge project time would go by rather slow over the next year. 2.0 was always in the back of my mind, but when I got the email about their grand opening on Feb 11 the excitement came rushing back once again. I was honored to be invited to check out their new space last week and I am so happy to be sharing my experience with you!
Upon arriving to MadTree 2.0 I was awestruck by the size of the place. If space was an issue at the original location there’s no way it would be an issue here. As I entered the taproom I was met with something that reminded me of their first place, MadTree painted on the concrete floor right as you come in the door. It told me that MadTree was all about remembering their roots not so far from the new space.
The taproom is wide open and inviting. There’s tons of space at the bar and plenty of seating throughout the rest of the area. Everywhere you look there are garage doors that lead outside or to other places within the brewery. I can only imagine how awesome it’s going to be during the spring and summer with them swung wide open to let the fresh air into the taproom. Just like MadTree 1.0 the new location is very heavy on the industrial feel, but the warm wood accents throughout the space gives it a nice and homey feel.
The bar features 32 taps that will be flowing with MadTree brews at all times. One of my favorite things about going to MadTree is trying out all their crazy one off experimental beers. It’s exciting to go to a taproom and always have something you’ve never had before. More tap space hopefully means a lot more surprises every time I find myself here.
Off the side of the main taproom across from the new Catch-A-Fire Pizza is a small event space that can hold around 60-80 people. You can close off the room from the taproom with the garage doors and there are more doors leading to the 10,000 square foot outside beer garden. When this space isn’t being rented out it adds capacity to the already expansive taproom.
Next, we walked out of the doors from the small event area to check out the beer garden. The bar is huge and the 32 taps from the inside are mirrored on the outside. Once the cold weather lifts MadTree 2.0 will be sporting one of the largest outdoor drinking areas of any brewery in the city. If you want to enjoy it earlier they have huge heaters built into the roof over the covered area.
In addition to a huge bar on the outside there will be no shortage of tables and chairs ready to handle any size crowd. If we luck out on their opening on Feb 11 and have good weather I will definitely be taking advantage of this enormous outdoor area.
MadTree 2.0 has an all new merchandise and to-go beer area in the works as well. The corner closest to the brewery features a taproom cooler which will double as six-pack storage for when you want to get in and out quick. This area will also feature MadTree’s apparel line such as shirts, hoodies, hats, etc.
What you see above is going to be their MASSIVE barrel room which means we should be seeing a lot more barrel aged projects coming from MadTree in the future. More innovation and higher barrel aged production capacity makes me extremely excited. This room will also double as MadTree 2.0’s main event space that will be able to host hundreds of people for anything from parties, wedding receptions, corporate events and more. Sadly this space won’t be open to the public on a daily basis. It’s going to be similar to the current MadTree annex at their current location. This space will be where all of the guest beers will be released on their grand opening day on Feb 11 so you’ll get to see it in all it’s glory.
Feast your eyes on where the magic will be happening at 2.0. This colossal room is their new brewery. It’s still very much under construction and there will be a lot more equipment coming in here in the next couple of weeks. In the end they will have a 100 barrel brew house with so much more room to grow. They should be brewing within a month or so after moving into the new space. For now production will remain at 1.0.
But what about being able to check out the brewery space when you’re visiting the taproom like at 1.0? Don’t you worry. There is a public observation area right as you walk into the brewery production area and there are even stairs to take you up to a small platform so that you can bask in the stainless steel awesomeness of MadTree 2.0.
Now this area might not get you excited in its current unfinished state, but when I heard what it was for I was a little impressed. This immense room will be MadTree’s new dedicated hop cold storage. All of their hop supply will now be kept at the optimal temperature at all times meaning way better and fresh beer for all.
With MadTree 2.0 comes even more upgrades. Most of the brewing process will be controlled by computers (the control room is located on the top left of this photo). With a more automated brewing process MadTree will be able to be more consistent than they have ever had been able to do in the past. The bottom door to the left is the opening to their new lab. They’ll be able to monitor the beer right next to where it’s being made.
In 2017 MadTree plans to put out about 36,000 barrels of beer and expanding production to 50,000 in 2018. This will allow them to expand distribution to all of Ohio and Kentucky. When I asked if they planned on taking distribution further than that they said that it wasn’t in their plans to become a national brewery any time soon. They want to focus on being a respectable regional brewery first and will see where it goes beyond that. Theoretically they could ramp up their capacity to 150,000 to 180,000 a year if they needed to and they have the space to expand even further. MadTree 2.0 is a beast of a brewery.
Of course we can’t forget our friends Catch-A-Fire Pizza! With the huge new space they have tripled the size of their kitchen. They now feature 3 ovens and new cook tops which means they will be able to offer more than just pizza now. They’ll be offering appetizers, soups, sandwiches, and the works. No word on the official menu yet, but the selection that they had at the event I attended was solid.
MadTree still has a lot of work to do before their grand opening/Winter Bonanza party, but they have a solid team working their butts off to get it done. I am excited to see the finished building in all its glory very soon. I know they’re all super excited to share their new home with all of us. I hope I see you all out at MadTree 2.0 on Feb 11 at 3301 Madison Road in Oakley for the big party!