Stein Brewing opens in historic Mt. Vernon building

Written by on October 1, 2018 in Beer, Taprooms - 1 Comment

Stein Brewing Company is now open in Mt. Vernon in the the Woodward Opera House building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as America’s oldest still-standing authentic 19th century theater.

The four-story brick building was erected in 1851 with retail establishments on the ground floor, professional and commercial businesses on the second floor, and a 500+ seat theater on the third and fourth floors. The vision was to have rental income from the first two floors to support the performing arts center. Alas, time and changing trends took their toll and the building fell empty. Now after several decades of work and restoration, the Woodward Opera House building is returning to life with it’s first tenant, the Stein Brewing Company.

Owner Dave Stein will actually occupy two venues in the building: the brewery, located at 10 W. Vine Street, which opened on September 9, and a restaurant around the corner at 109 S. Main Street which Stein is opening in the next few weeks with Executive Chef Erin Williams at the helm.

Stein is utilizing a SmartBrew system, an automated, small-footprint, low-cost brewing system that was developed by New Zealand brewer Brian Watson. With the SmartBrew system, the wort is produced and purchased from SmartBrew and then the brewery adds yeast, hops and any adjunts. The elimination of the front end of the brewing process allows for reduced cost and reduced labor. With three 10-bbl fermenters, Stein’s brewer Robb Shipp will be able to produce approximately 500 barrels annually.

Stein’s taproom features a long L-shaped granite bar with enough tables and chairs to accommodate 50 guests. Behind the bar are 24 taps which will ultimately pour 12 house beers and 12 guest beers. Four additional taps pour wines, two red and two white. The opening beer offering at Stein included a pair of IPAs, a Pale Ale, a Pumpkin Ale and three Kolsch style ales, one with Cherries and one with Blueberries, alongside guest beers from from Elevator, North High, Seventh Son, Granville, Avery, and Bell’s and more. Thirsty? Order up a Beer Tube, a portable beer dispenser brought to your table and filled with a gallon of your favorite draft to get eight pints for the price of seven.

When the restaurant — which is across the hall from the taproom — opens, food will be available at the brewery. Stein believes that food is a vital part of the experience and intends to blend the two together.

Stein Brewing Company is located 45 minutes northeast of Columbus in Mt. Vernon’s downtown district. Hours for the taproom are Monday-Thursday from 3-11pm, Friday-Saturday from 11am-1pm, and Sunday from 11am-11pm. Renovations on the 500-seat Opera House should be completed yet this fall, and will make the trip to Mt. Vernon doubly worthwhile.

About the Author

Bill Babbitt is a retired engineer, beer lover, and freelance writer for Beer Advocate Magazine.

One Comment on "Stein Brewing opens in historic Mt. Vernon building"

  1. Ann Stokman October 16, 2018 at 12:39 PM · Reply

    Can not wait to tour this one.

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