BrewDog intends to break ground in Canal Winchester next week on the site of their U.S. brewing operation with hopes of having the brewery up and running by next summer, a construction timeline as ambitious as the site selection timeline.
“Around March 2015 we didn’t even have plans to open a U.S. brewery, and here we are today, hoping to move on-site in about a week or so,” said Keith Bennet, Special Projects lead for BrewDog, at an event held at Market District in Grandview last night. “It’s incredible the pace this company moves at and we’re just excited about it.”
Bennet said the brewery was nudged toward evaluating Columbus by Stone Brewing Co., which chose last year to open its east coast brewery in Richmond after also considering Columbus.
“[Columbus] is a great place in terms reaching the US population – almost half of the united States population lies within 500 miles, which is great,” said Bennet. “But the real reason we’re here is the people of Columbus, and I really mean that. It’s a fantastic city and when I touched down here, I was overwhelmed by the love that we got.”
Bennet said the proximity of the city of Canal Winchester to the city of Columbus is similar to that of Ellon, the brewery’s suburban Scottish home, to the nearby major city of Aberdeen. When the $30 million facility opens on Gender Road next summer, BrewDog will be one of the largest breweries in the state of Ohio.
“We’re going to brew at least 85,000 barrels in our first year probably get up to 150,000 within a couple years, so we’ll be the size of Great Lakes within a couple years if you want to make a comparison,” said Katie Murphy, the brewery’s Expansion Matriarch. “We’re really looking to shake things up.”
In addition to the production brewery, the 100,000 square foot facility will house a taproom and full restaurant. While the renderings all show plain white walls, Murphy said they are planning to get graffiti artists in to “BrewDog it up a bit.”
“[There will be] garage doors that open into the restaurant and then you can see into the brewery,” said Murphy. “It’s all glass on the mezzanine so you’ll be able to see into the brewery and packaging. It’s just going to be totally kick ass.”
BrewDog also intends to open a bar in or near downtown Columbus, an urban tie to the suburban brewery. It’s possible the bar may actually be open before the brewery is, according to Murphy. BrewDog operates over 30 bars internationally, though a Columbus location would be its first U.S. brewery unless they launch another first – BrewDog shared plans earlier this year to open five bars in the United States soon.
The brewery is currently hiring for a CEO and VP of Sales. Additional positions in brewing, packaging, maintenance, quality, logistics, operations, marketing, sales, finance, HR, warehouse and taproom will open over the next 9-12 months. Zarah Prior, Director of People for BrewDog, said the brewery plans to find and apply a US equivalent for the “Living Wage” standard they pay their UK employees, which is about 20-25% above minimum wage. Anyone interested in applying can send an email to USAjobs@brewdog.com to be added to a mailing list and notified as positions become available.
renderings courtesy BrewDog