Saugatuck Brewing Co., an award-winning brewery in Michigan, is moving into northern Ohio next week. The production brewery and brewpub has inked deals with Beverage Distributors in Cleveland and Treu House of Munch in Toledo.
“We’re very excited about coming into, particularly, the Cleveland/Akron market,” said Kerry O’Donohue, brewery vice president. “Having looked into it as far as craft beer studies and demographics go, I hadn’t realized what a strong craft beer city or craft beer market that Cleveland/Akron is. We are very pumped up about coming into the market.”
Saugatuck, which opened in 2005, has expanded its brewhouse from a 10-barrel system to a 40-barrel system. That upgrade will allow the brewery to add Ohio and Minnesota, and produce an estimated 8,000 barrels this year.
“We’re growing like most microbreweries these days,” O’Donohue said. “We’re looking to go into additional states.”
The brewery is bringing both bottles and draft to Ohio, including its Bonfire Brown Ale, which won a gold medal at the recent World Beer Cup.
Other brands coming are: Neapolitan Milk Stout, Singapore IPA, Oval Beach Blonde, Hop in Yer Rye and Hop on a Blonde.
Saugatuck operates a production brewery, brewpub and brew-on-premise business in a 25,000-square-foot building in Douglas, Mich. O’Donohue described it as a resort community on Lake Michigan.
“It’s a tourist town,” he said. “Lots of fun. Lots going on, especially in the summer. We get visitors from all over the Midwest. A lot of Chicago people come up from Chicago and have summer homes here because we’re only a couple of hours from Chicago. We have visitors from Cleveland and all over Ohio, too.”
There are several events planned in the Cleveland area to welcome Saugatuck:
-- Tuesday (May 20) at 6 p.m.: A launch party and tap takeover at the Brew Garden in Middleburg Heights. Brewery representatives and brewers will be at the event.
-- Wednesday (May 21) at 6 p.m.: A tap takeover and meet-and-greet at the Tremont Taphouse in Cleveland.
-- Thursday (May 22) at 6 p.m.: A tap takeover and meet-and-greet at The Brew Kettle in Strongsville.