Third Eye Brewing location in Hamilton to help with space issues

The art deco façade of the former Pepsi bottling building on Ohio 4 couldn't be saved as Third Eye Brewing works to convert the building into the brewery's second location. It's expected to open in 2023. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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The art deco façade of the former Pepsi bottling building on Ohio 4 couldn't be saved as Third Eye Brewing works to convert the building into the brewery's second location. It's expected to open in 2023. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Third Eye Brewing owners plan a ‘23 opening, but want to open ‘as soon as absolutely possible.’

Third Eye Brewing co-owner Tom Collins said while the target is to open the Hamilton location in 2023, they want to open “as soon as absolutely possible.”

The need for the second location is because they’re running out of space at their Sharonville location on Chester Road, he said.

“For us, there’s a lot of demand, and we don’t have a lot of supply, so as soon as we can get up and start producing in a larger production facility, the better it is for us,” said Collins, but acknowledges the realities of the market with supply chain and labor issues.

It was announced at the annual State of the City Address in May that Third Eye Brewing, a popular brewery in Northern Cincinnati, chose to open a second location in Hamilton. It adds to a growing industry in Butler County’s capital city.

“We were looking all around at some different places, but Hamilton specifically, there’s a lot of energy and a lot of interesting things going on,” Collins said.

He said the community of businesses ― including the breweries and bars like Municipal Brew Works, Fretboard and Casual Pint, and the megacomplex of Spooky Nook at Champion Mill ― sold them on the location.

“For us, it was kind of a good location. We’re still close to here (in Sharonville) but far enough away,” Collins said.

Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller said during the State of the City Address earlier this year that Third Eye Brewing’s increase in barrel production, along with offering craft beer and food (a sous chef from Sharonville will lead the kitchen in Hamilton), “adds another chapter to Hamilton’s rich brewing and entertainment history. Making great beer is part of the history of Hamilton.”

Collins and his co-owner Thomas Schaefer said they plan to keep the “groovy, psychedelic kinda vibe” Third Eye is known for, but as a second location, the Hamilton building “needs to have its own unique character.”

And the building, a former Pepsi bottling plant, already lends itself to having lots of character. However, Collins said, they were not able to keep the art deco façade because it was structurally unsound and was never going to be allowed to stay.

Removing an art deco façade wasn’t ideal, but “we’ve tried to keep as much of the building that’s structurally sound as possible.”

Collins said one of the biggest draws to expanding into the former Pepsi plant was seeing the place.

“We’re a bit out of space, especially for a production facility,” he said. “We were looking for a building that had a lot more capacity for us from a production point of view. That was a primary driver in general.”

The new 21,000-square-foot facility will give Third Eye Brewing around 10,000 square feet for an expanded production facility, Hamilton officials said. This space will not only increase production but allows for growth.

The new brewery will have a covered outdoor patio and full kitchen and have space for private events.

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