You can thank Westerville, Ohio for the fact that at one point in our country’s history, we decided to ban booze. The leading lobbyists for prohibition, the Anti-Saloon League, were headquartered in Westerville, as well as The American Issue Publishing Company, the publishing arm of the League. In fact, they printed so many damn leaflets – pouring out 40 tons of anti-alcohol material monthly – that the small town of Westerville was one of the first to get a first class post office.
A few decades later, Westerville is getting a brewery. Take that, Eighteenth Amendment.
“That we are doing a brewery in the capital of prohibition is awesome,” said Toni Cabilovski, owner of Temperance Row Brewing Company and Uptown Deli, in which Temperance Row will be based. “Literally behind us there’s a street that the leaders of the Anti-Saloon League lived on, and its nickname is Temperance Row, so we’re calling it Temperance Row Brewery as a nod to the history of the area.”
Cabilovski tapped Scott Francis as the brewmaster for Temperance Row. One might look to Francis as the godfather of brewing in Central Ohio; after launching a successful homebrew supply shop in the 1970s, Francis was hired as the first brewmaster at Columbus Brewing Company, and then brought on by Lenny Kolada to brew at Barley’s Ale House. He’s also helped set up five other area breweries: Barley’s Smokehouse (now Smokehouse Brewing), New Albany Country Club, Medallion Country Club, Atwood Lodge and Hide Away Hills.
The new Westerville brewery has a 10 bbl brewhouse and four fermenters, which Francis says they’ll use to have 3-4 beers initially, starting with a pale ale for sure with the rest depending on customer feedback.
While the beers will be branded Temperance Row, “Temperance Row” is not the name you will see on the store front: the brewery will be housed in the back of another new business, Uptown Deli, which Cabilovski describes as a European slash New York style deli, serving corned beef and pastrami alongside prosciutto and sopressata. The deli will also act as a market for Westerville residents.
“We don’t really have anywhere here within walking distance to get some milk or eggs so we’re hoping that we turn into the mini town store and deli so you can pick up a pound of ham for home and also grab a pint of milk – or beer,” said Cabilovski.
Walking past the meats and cheeses, you’ll enter into the bar area. A massive concrete-topped which will seat about 25 people faces a row of windows putting the brewing equipment on prime display. A garage door opens to a spacious patio, which will be designed like a European alley and will include a small hop crop.
The bar itself will feature twelve taps, alloting any handles not occupied by Temperance Row for other Ohio and Columbus brews. The full bar will also feature prohibition-era cocktails to tie in with the name and theme.
Cabilovski hopes to have the bar and deli opened by August, with the brewery operational shortly thereafter.