Black Cloister Brewing Co. is hoping to open early this summer in downtown Toledo. The founders will host a meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday (March 1) at the Threshold Church to update investors and others on the project.
"We’re getting closer now to an actual opening date," said co-founder Tom Schaeffer, pastor at Threshold Church. "We’ve secured our building. We’ve ordered our equipment. We want to take this opportunity to catch people up and remind them about what’s unique about us and the kind of beer we are going to make."
Schaeffer said he has a 20-minute presentation planned for the meeting. Black Cloister also will hand out T-shirts to generate some excitement in the community. Next week, the brewery is planning a second Kickstarter campaign, he said.
Black Cloister, if you're forgotten, has an inspirational bent given Schaeffer's job. (To read previous profiles in the Toledo Blade and Toledo Free Press, click here or here.)
Black Cloister will be a production brewery and tasting room focusing on draft beer to start. The brewery also will specialize in Belgian styles, although it won't make Belgians exclusively.
"Even with the brewers we have [in the Toledo area], it’ll set us apart a bit," Schaeffer said about the interest in Belgian styles. "We are really into using somewhat more traditional techniques and traditional ingredients but with our modern play on them."
Black Cloister will launch with a 17-barrel brewhouse that's now in operation at the Diamond Bear Brewing Co. in Little Rock, Ark. That brewery is upgrading its system. A Black Cloister brewer will head to Little Rock next month to train on the system before it's shipped to Toledo.
Schaeffer said the group is excited to join a growing craft beer movement in Toledo. Today, there are only two locally owned breweries in the immediate area -- Great Black Swamp and Maumee Bay. (Head out a little further and there's also Sugar Ridge in Bowling Green, Catawba Island in Catawba Island and the seasonal breweries on the Lake Erie Islands, Kelleys Island, Put-in-Bay, and St. Hazards Restaurant and Micro-Brewery.)
"The beer culture here is developing," Schaeffer said. "That’s the positive thing. There’s a lot more interest in craft beer both from consumers and restaurants and bars. We’re seeing a number of restaurants give attention to the idea of beer and food pairings."
For more details about Saturday's meeting, click here.