Monday, April 19, 2010

With Moerlein move, OTR to see first brewing since 2005

Some of Christian Moerlein Brewing Company's line of beers will be brewed in Over-the-Rhine for the first time since the start of Prohibition, company president and CEO Greg Hardman said on Friday.

The company, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co., has signed a lease option to move its Middletown offices to a 125,000-square-foot building at 1621 Moore Street, just north of the intersection of Liberty and Vine streets in the neighborhood's Brewery District.

Minor renovations and cleanup will allow Moerlein to employ up to 25 people at the new plant in 2011.

Beer production will be phased in over the next couple of years, including both existing and new product lines. Some products will continue to be contract brewed at facilities in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Hardman said.

The building served as a malt and lager house for the former Kaufman Brewing Company from 1869 through 1919, but perhaps is better known for housing the Husman's Potato Chip plant until production was moved out of state in 2004.

Hardman credits the Over-the-Rhine Foundation and executive director Mike Morgan for helping to make the move happen by assisting in negotiations and handling a number of real estate issues.

"Through the OTR Foundation's efforts, it literally saved us time and resources we would have had to allocate otherwise," he said. "I'm not sure we would have moved along on this project without their assistance."

Hardman purchased the Moerlein brand in 2004, hoping to revive the local brewery heritage. He also plans a Moerlein Lager House for Cincinnati Riverfront Park.

"We are proud to be part of the continued renaissance and economic development of Over-the-Rhine," he said.

Beer has not been brewed in Over-the-Rhine since BarrelHouse Brewing Company vacated its 12th and Jackson facility and moved to the West End in 2005.

Previous reading on BC:
Cincinnati Riverfront Park receives $1M gift from Schmidlapp Trusts (4/12/10)
Project manager takes viewers on video tour of Cincinnati Riverfront Park (3/25/10)
Christian Moerlein fire photos by David J. Jones (1/11/10)
Prohibition Resistance Tour this weekend (3/5/08)
EXTRA: Cincinnati Beer Company's Elm Street buildings (2/27/08)