Olentangy River Brewing Company opening this weekend

Written by on November 14, 2018 in Bars, Beer, Taprooms - 1 Comment

Lewis Center will get its first craft brewery this weekend when Olentangy River Brewing Company opens in a renovated warehouse near the corner of Route 23 and Powell Road.

Friends Sarah Wilkins, Ryan Wilkins, Scott Schweitzer, Bethany Schweitzer, Darci Henry and Jed Henry are the partners behind the new brewery, which they expect to open this Saturday, November 17 pending the anticipated approval of their liquor license. (UPDATE: the brewery has received approval and the opening is confirmed.)

“We’re all from the Lewis Center area and felt like we had to travel pretty far to go to breweries, so we decided we needed something here,” said Sarah Wilkins. “We have a heart for our community and we have a heart for a gathering place.”

A conversation over beers led to the creation of a business plan, and development of the brewery began.

“The hardest thing was finding a building,” said Wilkins. “We went through probably ten different buildings in this area. It took us about a year to find this place.”

The 3,500 square foot taproom can accomodate around 100 guests between bar seating, tables, a cozy lounge area, and a private community room that can be rented for meetings and events. A 1,000 square foot patio and outdoor space with a firepit will be finalized by spring in front of the brewery, and a smaller outdoor area in the back will be designated as a cigar patio.

To head the brewing operation, the team hired Josh Vogel and Enrique Iglesias (no, not that Enrique Iglesias — this one goes by Quique), the latter of whom formerly owned a brewery in Puerto Rico.

“They both bring such unique strengths to the table,” said Wilkins. “Josh is a genius with beer and Quique has the background of owning a brewery and understanding the equipment.”

The 7,000 square foot brewery space behind the taproom houses a 10 barrel brewhouse with five fermenters and offers plenty of room to grow if needed.

“We have what we need to sustain our taproom and that’s really our business model, to focus on our taproom and community,” said Wilkins. “We like the idea of starting small and thinking about expanding and distribution down the road.”

Olentangy River Brewing Company will have ten beers on tap for the opening: I Can’t Feel My Pants Russian Imperian Stout (both on and off nitro), Alum Creek Beach Blonde blonde ale, OH! Let’s Go amber ale, Let’s Drink Smore toasted marshmallow and graham cracker amber ale, Sofia “Ohiorrican” IPA, Two Things coffee and vanilla IPA, Arrowhead Double IPA, and Snow Pants Russian Imperial Stout.

More than beer will be pouring at Olentangy River Brewing Company: the brewery has partnered with Roosevelt Coffeehouse to have their space also function as a coffeehouse for the community.

“We already had the connection with Roosevelt Coffee and that just felt like such an easy pairing as Roosevelt is a non-profit and social justice-minded and that’s where a lot of our backgrounds come from,” said Wilkins.

Though it does not have a kitchen, the taproom will regularly feature food trucks in addition to offering baked goods from Pattycake Bakery.

The opening celebration will kick off at 5pm this Saturday, November 17 with a ribbon cutting. The Chicky Chicky Waffle food truck will be serving.

The Olentangy River Brewing Company is located at 303 Green Meadows Drive South in Lewis Center. Hours are still being finalized, but the taproom will most likely be open weekdays from 7am-10pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 7am-11pm, and Sundays from 12pm-8pm.

About the Author

Cheryl Harrison. Editor of Drink Up Columbus. Co-Founder of the Columbus Ale Trail.

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