Toledo, Ohio’s Earnest Brew Works (ebw) opened up its new downtown small-batch facility and taproom last week. Instead of a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz stopped by to tap a large cask of beer for the grand opening. The tapping was broadcast on the brewery’s Facebook Live.
“Right from the get-go we’ve always wanted to be a community-focused brewery that brews things that people want,” said Keefe Snyder, co-founder. “We didn’t get in it to make beers that we just wanted to drink. It’s been a great thing to have you all here in whatever small way. Y’all have been a great importance to make it all happen.”
The brewery began work on the downtown Toledo taproom and small-batch facility at 25 S. St. Clair St., one block away from Fifth Third Field, in February. The downtown facility will brew beers on a two-barrel system, creating small-batch experimental and limited-release products while the taproom will serve those beers along with core products for on-site consumption, to-go DORA cups and six-packs to go.
The event highlighted just how engrained ebw is in this community.
“It’s just so amazing to have seen it in the basement [of Scot’s house] before the dream took off [about 10 years ago]. Now, this is the next chapter in this business’ evolution, which on a personal level it’s just wonderful to see the entrepreneurial spirit and someone’s dream becomes an important fabric of our city,” said Wade Kapszukiewicz, Toledo Mayor. “Toledo’s biggest business is small business, and small businesses like this are why we’re winning awards, frankly, for our economic development. It’s really the earnest brew works of the world, sprinkled all throughout the city driving that profit line every day.”
The downtown taproom will be similar to the original location, creating fresh, on-site brewed beer, carry-in food allowed with great barkeeps, and a wonderful, casual atmosphere. Earnest Downtown will be open 4-10 p.m. Thursdays, 2-11 p.m. Fridays, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays along with opening on days the Toledo Mud Hens baseball and Toledo Walleye hockey teams play at home. The location will also open for special events that are scheduled for downtown to fully embrace being a part of the downtown community.
In 2020, ebw hit max capacity in its current home with 2,100 barrels of beer produced, which is why the South Toledo brewery has also begun renovations for a production brewery and taproom at 1415 Byrne Rd., the former Kroger location in the Southland Shopping Center, with plans to open in 2022. The new facility is set to be equipped with a 20-barrel brewhouse and will be able to produce almost five times as much beer as ebw does now, with the ability to create up to 10,000 barrels per year in the future. In total, the brewery plans to create 25 new jobs in the expansion, with a mix of full and part-time positions.