When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always 20 years behind the times. It’s a quote often attributed to Mark Twain, but it’s actually an old Bavarian standard (Cincinnati having a rich German, Over the Rhine heritage). Cincinnati is certainly 20 years behind when it comes to the craft beer movement, but the Queen City is catching up quickly.
Once known for its classic local brands Hudepohl and Christian Moerlein (the latter reborn as a craft brand), as well as being a Sam Adams brewing hub, Cincinnati has launched some awesome craft brands in recent years — Rhinegeist Brewery, Fifty West Brewing Co. and Rivertown Brewing Co. A personal favorite, MadTree Brewing Co., is getting ready to get even bigger and better. MadTree Brewing announced that it is beginning work on a new $18M production brewery, taproom and event center in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Oakley, about one mile away from its current location.
“It was extremely important for us to remain connected to the city and neighborhoods that have supported us since day one,” said Kenny McNutt, MadTree Brewing co-founder. “This is where we all live, work and play, and we didn’t want to abandon our home to save a few pennies. This expansion wouldn’t be possible without the support of our loyal customers, the City of Cincinnati and JobsOhio.”
MadTree will renovate the former RockTenn building, an obsolete brownfield manufacturing facility, located at 3301 Madison Avenue, allowing them to more than quadruple their production. The new brewery and taproom will serve as an anchor for the Oakley business district. According to the press release, the new MadTree Brewing Co. complex will immediately bring 50 jobs to the city with plans to create 40 more jobs over the next three years. The City of Cincinnati and JobsOhio are expected to provide assistance, which will be made public once a final agreement is executed.
“It’s been so exciting to see MadTree’s recent explosive growth,” said Kimm Coyner, managing director, projects team and JobsOhio, REDI Cincinnati. “We are glad this great brewer was able to find a space in our region to support its new brewery, taproom and event center.”
The expansion was also driven by demand for MadTree beers in fewer than three years of existence. The plans call for installation of a new American-made W.M. Sprinkman Corp. 100 barrel brewhouse, an expanded quality laboratory, a much larger taproom featuring 64 taps and a 10,000-square foot outdoor beer garden, an expanded Catch-A-Fire Pizza café, two private event spaces and office space for staff.
Not only will be production volume be scaled up but there will be an intensified focus on beer quality. MadTree was already one of the first small breweries to install an advanced quality laboratory at its original brewery and they will now install additional monitoring equipment, devices, and automation to drive quality.