- Eric Schwartzberg Staff Writer
DogBerry Brewing, a West Chester Twp. business, is back in a new, larger location.
The new taproom, known as DB2, is at 9964 Crescent Park Drive, four miles away from the original location opened at 7865 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in January 2015 by co-owners Chris Frede and Tony Meyer, two former Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center research scientists
“The space we had was just way too small,” said co-owner Tony Meyer. “We had nine parking spots if everybody did it right and we were maxed out on floor space. The ergonomics of the place just didn’t work for what we were trying to do. Expanding in that location was just not an option.”
At 4,740 square feet, the new location is double the size of the original, offers 20 taps instead of 10, and has 72 parking spaces instead of nine.
Meyer and Frede teamed up to start the business in 2015 after homebrewing for a combined 20 years, initially running the operation using volunteer help from family and friends. Within the first six months, the two friends realized they had outgrown the space and needed not only part-time staffing, but also 10 times the production capacity.
“We had to do it to survive, to keep going,” Meyer said. “Where we were making 31 gallons at the old place, we’re making 310 gallons (at the new place).”
“In two-and-a-half years there (in the old place), we made 459 barrels. We’ll produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,200 barrels in our first year of production (in the new place),” he said.
More open space at DB2 allows the team to fit the equipment necessary to handle increased production. It also means the addition of a “cold room,” where beer can be both stored and served from. There’s also enough space to add fermentation vessels and conditioning tanks, when necessary.
The larger taproom maintains the same family-friendly vibe as the original location — with seating for 150 on both picnic tables and stools, air hockey and Skee-ball.
DogBerry recently hired a full-time staffer to take care of sales and distribution.
“This will give us an opportunity to get our product out to places where folks who have not had a chance or maybe didn’t hear of us to come to the taproom, now they’ll be able to get it at bars and restaurants,” Meyer said. “We’ll be able to participate in a lot of the beer festivals that, in the past, would have to say ‘no’ to because we sold 95 percent of our production at the old taproom.”
While a five or seven-barrel system was considered, the 10-barrel system made the most financial sense for the growing business, Meyer said.
The move expanded DogBerry Brewing’s production, but “it’s not anywhere near the size of production of a lot of the breweries in town,” he said.
That’s just fine with both business partners.
“If this business grows, it’s going to grow where it’s at now,” Meyer said. “We don’t have a desire to become a big, big brewery, by any means. This set up will give us the opportunity to run the business we always had, making the beer that we love, keeping it small, keeping it a nice, family-friendly feel.”
Keeping DogBerry Brewing in West Chester Twp. was important to Frede and Meyer.
“We felt like this was the neighborhood that gave us that organic growth and such tremendous support,” Meyer said. “We know there’s a new (brewery) coming online soon in West Chester, but we were the first one to open in West Chester and we wanted to make sure that we stayed there. It gives our good, regular, loyal customers an opportunity to see us just as often as they had in the past.”
In addition, “the demographics are right” in the area, with customers coming from Liberty Twp., Mason and Deerfield Twp.
“Folks have the income to play with to spend on a luxury item, such as craft beer,” Meyer said.