The new Findlay Brewing Co. has a simple goal. "We just want to deliver good tasting beer to as many people as we can," co-owner and brewer Aaron Osborne said.
Findlay Brewing, a nanobrewery operating with a Brew-Magic system in — where else? — Findlay, recently received its brewing license from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control and started making its first beer, an English bitter named "American Bitter." (You can watch a video below from the brewery.)
The production brewery, housed in a storefront along North Main Street, hopes to start distributing the beer on draft in the next few weeks to area bars and restaurants. A tasting room where people can sample the brews and purchase growlers is planned down the road.
Findlay Brewing is the brainchild of six friends and relatives: Osborne, Alex Treece, Ben Walton, Josh Heitkamp, Steve Treece and Susan Treece. It’s an eclectic group. If you can’t tell by the last names, the Treeces are related — Alex is the son of Steve and Susan.
Steve is a civil engineer. Alex is a county prosecutor. Osborne and Walton work in marketing and video production at the University of Findlay. Heitkamp runs a construction company. Oh, and Susan, who's a professor at Tiffin University, doesn’t drink beer.
But they all enjoy homebrewing and realized a few years ago that there wasn’t a craft brewery in the Findlay area. In fact, Northwest Ohio was a black hole when it came to craft brewing back then. They embarked on a plan to launch the first.
"At the time we devised this evil plan, nobody was brewing in the area," Osborne said.
Since then, Alexandria’s opened in Findlay. But the craft beer bar, which also has a small upstairs bowling alley, rarely brews its own. Meanwhile, Flatrock Brewing opened in nearby Holgate. Great Black Swamp opened in Toledo, joining Maumee Bay Brewing. And there’s Father John’s and the Drunken Monk, a major brewpub and brew-on-premise operation, set to open in a former brick church in Bryan.
At first, Findlay Brewing will test the market with its American Bitter. Next up will be a yet-to-be-named stout.
"We started with the bitter first because it seemed more appropriate for summer," Osborne said. "But the stout will be our next to be offered through distribution. We haven’t named the stout yet. Been tossing around some ideas for that one."
Findlay Brewing wants to have a selection of four or five rotating beers available once its taproom opens, including a few "wacky" recipes.
"Our goal is to make more drinkable beers," Osborne said. "Microbreweries are opening up and they want to brew the 10 percents. Not that we won’t do that, but we want to brew a beer that’s drinkable. So the customer says, ‘I like this’ and ‘I want more of this.’ As opposed to the niche beer crowd. That’s what our rough target is."