Middletown brewery sale will lead to expansion, more food options

FigLeaf Brewing Co. opened at 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Middletown this weekend with the capacity for 20 taps. Its first brews include a Basmati Cream Ale, a Red Saison, an American IPA and an Imperial Brown Porter.  ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF
Caption
FigLeaf Brewing Co. opened at 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Middletown this weekend with the capacity for 20 taps. Its first brews include a Basmati Cream Ale, a Red Saison, an American IPA and an Imperial Brown Porter. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF

Credit: Eric Schwartzberg

Credit: Eric Schwartzberg

A Middletown brewery’s acquisition will mean an expanded taproom and bar and a new kitchen delivering a more extensive menu.

FigLeaf Brewing Company is now owned by March First Manufacturing, the Sycamore Twp.-based parent company of March First Brewing and Sycamore Distilling, creator of Sycamore Whiskeys, Voltage Vodkas and Cooper Island Rums.

The announcement comes a few weeks before the third anniversary of FigLeaf Brewing, which opened Oct. 8, 2016, at 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road. The brewery will celebrate that anniversary Oct. 12.

Known for its Basmati Cream Ale and Blackberry Fizz offerings, FigLeaf distributes throughout 18 counties in Southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley as well as six counties in Northern Kentucky.

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“We are very excited about our future and feel like we are on a team that can help us accelerate the plans we have been developing for years. Not only are we keeping the current staff in place we are hiring bar, kitchen and cellar operations folks to support our next phase.” said Brian Yavorsky, FigLeaf’s general manager.

The addition of 3,000 square feet to the front of the taproom with a new facade aims to draw more interest from motorists passing on Cincinnati Dayton Road, company officials said. An artist's illustration of designs for the building show garage doors opening out to a patio to give patrons an outdoor area in which to drink.

FigLeaf Brewing Co., 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, Middletown, opened in October 2016. It was announced Sept. 19, 2019, that it was acquired by March First Manufacturing, the Sycamore Twp.-based parent company of March First Brewing and Sycamore Distilling. CONTRIBUTED
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FigLeaf Brewing Co., 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, Middletown, opened in October 2016. It was announced Sept. 19, 2019, that it was acquired by March First Manufacturing, the Sycamore Twp.-based parent company of March First Brewing and Sycamore Distilling. CONTRIBUTED

The brewery’s patio will be converted into a fully enclosed private event space, allowing guests to celebrate life events and milestones including “birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, graduations and everything in between,” company officials said.

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A bigger taproom also will allow for a bigger bar, one that will provide an addition 50 total feet of bar space. Also being added is a new 700-square-foot kitchen that will allow FigLeaf to deliver more menu items on a daily basis.

The taproom will remain open under its current operating hours throughout the expansion phase. New menu items will show up in a few weeks and more will be added when the final kitchen is completed.

March First Brewing touts itself as “Cincinnati’s only brewery, cidery and distillery.” It specializes in craft beer, cider and spirits, and brews, distill and bottles in Cincinnati. Founded in March 2016 in Sycamore Twp., its names pays homage to the founding of state of Ohio on March 1, 1803.

“We are thrilled to welcome the FigLeaf team, brand and product mix into our family,” said March First Manufacturing spokesman Josh Engel. “FigLeaf’s lineup is very complimentary to the other March First brands and has a wonderful and loyal following extending well into Monroe, Middletown, Trenton, Greater Miami Valley and metropolitan Dayton markets.”

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March First Manufacturing loves what the FigLeaf team has accomplished with its "world-class production facility, their fantastic selection of beers, fruit wines and other innovative products," according to Mark Stuhlreyer, the company's president.

“Joining forces with the FigLeaf team will make us smarter, better and stronger,” Stuhlreyer said. “These are outstanding operators that care deeply about their craft, their families and their community. Countless hours of labor, tremendous financial investment along with the love and passion of everyone involved were poured into FigLeaf shaping it into something truly amazing.

“We couldn’t be more honored to be a part of the future of FigLeaf Brewing. We move ahead mindful of the contributions of so many and in sincere appreciation, we will build on what they have achieved.”

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