The Rest Of Brink Brewing’s Story
Hopefully you read my last post about the Grand Opening of Brink Brewing. If you are in the Cincinnati area, this is a neighborhood brewery you should visit as soon as possible. They have created a great space with great beer and great people.
But let’s be real, a brewery grand opening is barely news anymore. So why should anyone care about Brink Brewing?
Here’s the rest of the story and why a neighborhood brewery like Brink Brewing is something to be excited about.
The Queen City and Mile High Connection
Cincinnati has great beer – no, we have amazing beer! By the end of 2017, we will have over 40 breweries in the area. So there is a brewery for every type of craft beer lover. However, I can’t help but be a little envious of other great beer cities.
Denver would be one of those cities. Hopefully I will get to visit some day but if not, Brink Brewing is bringing some of Denver to Cincinnati. Two owners of Brink Brewing (John and Sarah McGarry) are Denver residents. They know the craft beer scene of both areas and have created a space that embraces both.
The large community table that is made from Cincinnati Walnut and Denver Beetle Kill Pine is just one way that they are symbolically bringing these two cities together. But more importantly, they are embracing the brewery business model that is very popular in Denver – the neighborhood brewery.
The Neighborhood Brewery
One of the aspects that I love about craft beer is the varying types of breweries. Some specialize in specific types of beer while others make every style. Some are very small while others have nationwide distribution.
As the industry matures, I foresee a future where it is very hard for a brewery to become a large regional or national player. So instead, there will be an explosion of small to midsize breweries. Small breweries will focus on the local community and sell the vast majority of their beer in their taproom. They are the neighborhood brewery.
They will find success by connecting to the local economy. Of course, every brewery wants to increase production, add distribution, and sell more beer to more people; but those goals are secondary. Selling their craft beer locally is the primary goal.
Why College Hill?
When I first met Brink, it was to tour their taproom during construction. John McGarry, Andrew McCleese and Mark Landers showed me around the space. They spoke of all of the details they were incorporating into the space like the exposed brink, the restored tile ceiling, and the huge Scrabble board. There is a lot of love and attention that went into building this space. But the conversation quickly changed to why they had picked College Hill.
Most of you reading this won’t know much about College Hill. This area dates back to the early 1800’s and was a vibrant part of Cincinnati. Today, there is a movement to drive new businesses to the main business corridor along Hamilton Ave. For the companies currently occupying these older buildings, renovations are needed to improve the look of the area. The College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation or CHCURC is helping with new developments and improvements to current structures.
Brink could have opened their brewery in any neighborhood in Cincinnati but they choose College Hill. They wanted to bring a brewery into a community that didn’t have one yet. Being an intricate part of a business district was important to them. This area offers a wide variety of shops and restaurants within walking distance. Brink joins these other companies and attract visitors seeking a neighborhood brewery.
They will give College Hill a connection into the craft beer scene and spur on economic growth. College Hill now has their own brewery that will connect the community and attract visitors from across the city.
Taprooms Of The Future Build Community
All of these points lead me to this one; it’s all about community. It is something I say all the time and Brink’s taproom is another example.
Their taproom will be the community hub in College Hill. But this is not what many of us think about when we talk about a craft brewery because so many have grown so fast. But in Cincinnati and other cities, this is a business model that can be very successful.
Brink Brewing is possible because of their passion. The craft beer movement began with passion and will move forward because great beer builds strong communities. College Hill needs Brink just as much as Brink needs College Hill. This dependence on each other will be key to their success.
Brink Brewing desired to open a brewery in a community that was on the verge of a rebirth; it is evident that College Hill is the right community for them. And it is evident that the neighborhood brewery is not a trend that is going away.
Do you have a neighborhood brewery close to where you live?