If you keep an ear to the ground in the Cincinnati craft scene you are almost guaranteed to have heard about Municipal Brew Works opening up in Hamilton. It’s been an official project a few years in the making and details have been slowly trickling out over the past couple of years on their Facebook as well as local news outlets. Well I finally got the chance to check the place out as well as chat with Jim Goodman, one of the masterminds of the new brewery! Jim is from Hamilton and his partners in the brewery are Mark Jackson from Hamilton, their head brewer Sean Willingham who is from Cincinnati, and Aaron Holtz and David Frey who are from Wapakoneta.
As I walked up to the brewery located inside Heritage Hall I was met with a mixture of new construction/styling mixed with some old school art deco accents and beautiful carved stone on the 81 year old building. The old building used to be the Hamilton City Municipal building which housed city hall, the police station (complete with the jail and indoor firing range that are still in tact), a vault, and the fire station (where the brewery is located).
I think the greatest thing about Municipal Brew Works is the history behind it before they even open! Hamilton, Ohio actually has a rich brewing history that Jim took me through a bit as we walked through the brewery.
All of this history has laid dormant for 80 years until now. Municipal Brew Works is slated to open in the upcoming weeks with a 15bbl capacity. When they open they will have 20 taps that will be filled with their own brews as well as other local favorites.
How will all of that beer be brewed? In their brand new state of the art system made by Crawford Brewing Equipment in Iowa. It’s a 15bbl system as stated earlier and their brewer, Sean Willingham, worked with them to implement some designs that they are planning on using in other systems. They’ve added an upper row of rakes in the mash tun that eliminates dough balls and is like a snowplow when cleaning it out. Their brew kettle is also jacketed in 3 zones. Once they reach a boil they can turn off the upper and/or middle zone to properly control the boil and use less energy. They also have a 30-bbl HLT and (4) 30-bbl FV and a 30-bbl brite tank as well.
The other thing I really LOVE about Municipal Brew Works (other than it’s 2 min from my current day job) is the fact that it’s smack in the middle of downtown Hamilton. It’s right next to a few parks as well as Rivers Edge Amphitheater where summer concerts happen weekly. They do not plan to serve their own food, but they have a nice setup for welcoming food trucks into their outdoor area making getting some grub while enjoying a nice beer easy! All of that added to their awesome outdoor space and huge welcoming garage doors will be a recipe for success. I foresee Municipal Brew Works becoming the center of social life in Hamilton and the surrounding cities very easily.
One of my favorite things to talk about is beer…so why not talk about their beer! I think the crew over at Municipal Brew Works have some really cool ideas when it comes to the beers they will be producing. All of them are named with the history of Hamilton or the building in mind. Here are some of their first planned batches:
It has been really cool to check out Municipal Brew Works before they open their doors to the public. From talking to Jim I know that these guys are in the game to make amazing beer and become a part of the local Hamilton community above all else. Words can’t express my excitement for these guy’s to open up! Edit: They have announced their grand opening! They will be slinging beers for the first time on June 8th at 4pm! Be there or be square! Cheers all!