Municipal Brew works has ceremonial first pour in Hamilton


  • Unbridled Brewery plans to open in Middletown at 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road
  • Municipal Brew Works plans to open in Hamilton in 2016 at 20 High St.
  • Rivertown Brewing plans to build and open a brewery in Monroe by 2017 off Ohio 63
  • DogBerry Brewing opened in 2015 at 7865 Cincinnati Dayton Rd., West Chester Twp.
  • Quarter Barrel Brewery + Pub at 107 E. Church St., Oxford
  • MillerCoors operates a brewery in St. Clair Twp. on more than 1,000-acres along Wayne Madison Road.

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Not since places like the Eagle Brewery, Water Street Brewing, Martin Mason Brewing Company and Peter Schwab’s Pure Gold beer, have Hamiltonians been able to claim some homemade brew.

That will change this week.

The ceremonial first pour took place Friday afternoon at Municipal Brew Works, the city’s first brewery in 80 years.

Located in the former Municipal Building at 20 High St., the micro-brewery's grand opening is set for June 8.

“We’re excited to reignite craft brewing in Hamilton — and we appreciate the tremendous opportunity to introduce Municipal Brew Works to Hamilton and the region,” said Jim Goodman, one of the brewery’s founders and a Hamilton native.

“This has been a long time coming,” he said. “We want to give you a place to be proud of.”

Municipal Brew Works was formed by five founding partners, two of whom live or were raised in Hamilton. Between them they constitute nearly 50 years of collective brewing experience, according to the city.

The new brewery joins several others that have recently opened or are in the works in Butler County.

There's also the massive MillerCoors outside of Trenton.

Rivertown Brewing Co. announced late last year plans to build and open an approximately $5 million production, restaurant and bar space in Monroe near the intersection of Ohio 63 and Salzman Road. Rivertown is set to become fully operational in 2017.

Started in 2009, Rivertown, known for its sour beers, has outgrown its existing space in Lockland faster than anticipated, Roeper said.

"We're making a huge investment," Jason Roeper, Rivertown's founder and leader, previously told this news outlet. "We're calling it our forever brewery."

Unbridled Brewery plans to open a beermaking, tasting and sales operation in Middletown. Earlier this year the property owner said said Unbridled had leased about 8,400 square feet of space at 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road.

Additionally, there are plans to open a distillery called Liberty Spirits to make bourbon whiskey, rye whiskey, moonshine, vodka and gin.

Middletown City Council approved a 10-year, 100-percent abatement for the startup to open at 1357 Central Ave.

A state law passed in 2013 cut start-up costs for micro-breweries and made it easier for a growing number of craft distilleries and brewers to sell to the public, helping trigger growth and expansion of the emerging industry in Ohio.

Sean Willingham, the head brewer at Municipal Brew Works, was serving up Approachable Blonde Ale and Courageous Wheat IPA during Friday’s tapping ceremony.

“It has been a long road and a dream come true,” he said.

Hamilton officials believe the micro-brewery can be a further catalyst for redevelopment of the city's downtown, particularly along High and Main streets.

“This is great and another place to go to in Hamilton,” Mayor Pat Moeller said. “It is a destination location and it ties in so well with our riverfront and downtown. It is all part of our downtown renaissance and it means a lot to us.”

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