An architect and a musician want to turn a historic, but dilapidated former brewery in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood into a thriving performing arts theater and craft brewery.
Scott Hand, an architect specializing in performing arts and architectural acoustics, and Dominic Marino, a professor with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, have launched a fundraising effort on the website indiegogo to help raise $105,000 toward the project, called Grayscale Cincinnati. They want to restore the vacant Jackson Brewery, which was built in 1859. The brewery went out of business in 1941. It was used by a variety of businesses since, but has sat vacant for years.
The ambitious Grayscale venture includes a music venue, theater, brewery and full bar. They estimate that interior renovations alone will cost about $900,000.
"The facility will have a full-service bar in the lobby, as well as designated tasting room for the brewery," Hand said in an email. "The tasting room will operate more typical ‘bar hours’ and focus on the on-site beer while the lobby bar will generally be open during events.
"With no hiccups, we are scheduling a spring 2014 opening."
The brewing portion of the project is still taking shape. Hand and Marino are partnering with an experienced brewer. "We are working on all the details of the brewery setup now," Hand said.
"The brewery will have its own name," he added. "The building itself will likely be rebranded to match the new brewery."
The plan is to run a 15-barrel brewhouse with some fermenters in the old lagering tunnels beneath the facility.
Over-the-Rhine served as a major brewing district before Prohibition. Seventeen breweries pumped out beer in the Over-the-Rhine and West End neighborhoods between 1875 and 1900, according to the Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. Today, the area is home to Christian Moerlein, Samuel Adams and Rhinegeist.
As of Monday morning, Grayscale’s indiegogo effort had raised $4,168.
For more details about the project, click here.