Olentangy River Brewing Company is set to open later this year and I had the opportunity to talk with owners Scott Schweitzer and Ryan Wilkins, along with head brewer Quique, about their journey.
Closest Watering Hole? It started as a simple thought of visiting a nearby brewery for beers. The only problem? There was no brewery close to Lewis Center that was open. The discussion quickly turned to the idea of opening a brewery in Lewis Center, because obviously, there was a need! Thankfully the conversation didn’t end that night, as Scott was convinced that a brewery in Lewis Center would work. He wrote up a business plan to support the discussion that he, his wife Bethany, along with Ryan and his wife Sarah, all had two days prior. The families sat and discussed the possibility and decided to make it happen!
Brewery Location After missing out on three other locations (including an old car wash) the fourth ended up being the roughly 10,000 square foot building located at 303 Green Meadows Dr in Lewis Center. Although the building was a cubicle farm and needed a ton of work, it was the perfect space and exactly what they envisioned for the brewery.
The Outside A unique feature of Olentangy River Brewing Company will be the two patio spaces they have on site. One will be at the side of the building and feature outdoor seating to enjoy the great outdoors. The other will be an “adults only” cigar patio.
The Inside The reclaimed barn wood mixed with subway tile welcomes you as you enter the brewery. There will be 16 taps, 10 of which will be brewed by Olentangy River Brewing Company at the opening. With a 10 barrel system, the hope is to eventually have all 15 taps filled with house beer. There will be a private room that will have a TV and barn doors that allow separation from the main taproom.
The Coffee Wait, what? Yes, another unique aspect will be the partnership with Roosevelt Coffee Roasters and the addition of a Modbar espresso machine! The brewery plans to be open early for coffee and remain open throughout the day. Roosevelt Coffee Roasters is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on clean water, fighting hunger, and fighting human trafficking and will provide the morning lift you need to get you through the day.
Snacks on Snacks Pattycake Bakery has partnered with ORBC and will be providing local baked goods that will be available morning, noon, and night. I hear they pair well with coffee AND stouts.
The Beer The beer will be brewed by a duo of brewers, Quique and Josh. Quique, whose name is actually Enrique Iglesias, owned a brewery in Puerto Rico before moving to Central Ohio. The two brewers each have a unique style, so it will allow ORBC to have varying styles on tap and a little something for everyone.
If you follow Olentangy River Brewing on social media - they’ve already introduced a few of their beers - but Ryan let me in on a few names they have for some other brews.
Sofia - an Ohiorician IPA
Hero, by Enrique Iglesias – a Red Ale
I Can’t Feel My Pants - a Russian Imperial Stout (has a great backstory - but must be told over a beer or two!)
Hey Mom - a hoppy pils
For additional insight on how the brewery is coming together - follow Olentangy River Brewing Company on Facebook.