The Dayton Beer Co. is ready to grow again. The production brewery and tasting room in Kettering opened with a nano system in May 2012, but quickly upgraded to a seven-barrel brewhouse to keep up with demand.
Now, owner/brewer Pete Hilgeman is making the leap to a 15-barrel brewhouse — and downtown Dayton. He says Dayton Beer will open a new production brewery with the larger system and a tasting room downtown.
He’s scouting possible locations and even talking with some restaurants about partnering to provide food at the new site.
“We really like the market that the downtown is going to provide,” Hilgeman said. “There’s a lot of foot traffic around it. It’ll be nice to have the Dayton Beer Co. based in downtown Dayton.”
The goal is to open in the first quarter of next year.
Dayton Beer won’t abandon its current suburban location, which is in a small strip mall. It will continue to use its pilot system there to test brews and offer a tasting room in Kettering. Hilgeman envisions the suburban site offering some different beers than the downtown tasting room — or at least the first taste of some. (The plan is to sell the seven-barrel system.)
“Kettering loves having us here and we don’t want to leave and abandon the area where we’re in,” Hilgeman said.
The Kettering site, though, isn’t large enough to handle a bigger brewing system, which is needed to help serve not only the tasting room but about 14 or 15 off-premise accounts. One of the initial brewery goals also was to bottle and there isn’t enough space in the current site, Hilgeman said.
“Our first year came and went and it went faster than we thought,” he said. “It went really, really well and we’re excited to grow and expand and get our beer out in more places and finally tap into a larger market that we can’t really service with our little brewhouse right now.
“It’s been really great and Dayton has really kind of embraced us from the first day we opened our doors through now,” he added, reflecting on the first year and a half in business. “Dayton has been a very good beer city and it looks like it’s going to continue to grow with all these other guys coming in here. It’s really pretty exciting times around here.”