Little Mountain Brewing Co. is growing — and moving. The brew-on-premise and production brewery now located in a small strip mall in Kirtland will become a full-fledged, 100-seat brewpub later this summer when it relocates to Mentor across the street from the Great Lakes Mall.
The brewery is teaming up with chef Christopher Sotkovsky, who runs The Reserve House Catering & Service in Chardon, on the project, which includes Little Mountain adding food service, a new three-barrel brewing system and even wine-making.
Little Mountain, which opened in 2010, will appear before the Mentor City Council today (May 7) seeking a $4,000 economic development grant for the effort.
“We just ran out of capacity,” owner Bob Weber said about the move and expansion. “We worked to the point where we couldn’t make enough beer for everybody who wanted it.”
In addition to allowing people to come in and brew their own beer, Little Mountain also distributes its own brands to area bars and restaurants. Weber said it was clear that food service was needed not only for the people who spend hours brewing there, but also to attract non-brewers.
“People should expect really good things,” he said about Sotkovsky. “We’ve done some beer and food pairing events and we’ve done some beer and wine pairing events and his stuff was fabulous.”
The menu will feature locally grown produce, cheeses from neighboring Geauga County, breads and buns made with spent grains, salads, sandwiches, burgers and traditional entrees, Weber said.
The new building, located at 7621 Mentor Ave., is much bigger than the current 1,200-square-foot site, which is tucked into a strip mall and has a tiny bar. The new location is 7,200 square feet with dedicated parking for 100 cars.
The brewery also will expand into wine-making at its new location and produce wines under the brand Newell Creek Winery. That also should help draw people who don’t enjoy beer, Weber said.
Little Mountain will serve only its own beer and wine for now. Weber said he’d like to open in July or August.