MONTVILLE TWP. — The new Blue Heron Brewery is ready for its debut.
Blue Heron, located inside the former and posh three-story Blue Heron Golf Club clubhouse in Montville Township, isn't brewing its own beer just yet, but will open its restaurant to the public Tuesday.
"We decided to pull the trigger as a craft beer bar until we can swap out the taps with our own," partner and brewer Mike Piazza said Friday.
The Blue Heron Brewery and Event Center, 3227 Blue Heron Trace, is hosting a soft, invitation-only opening this weekend.
"I'm glad they did this," Paul Consiglio of North Royalton said Friday afternoon. "It's a beautiful spot."
He and his wife, Priscilla, who enjoy visiting area breweries, were the first customers. They were especially interested in checking out the brewpub because their son Paul Louis Consiglio is getting married next year and the reception is in the Event Center. They expect guests to filter into the brewery afterward.
Blue Heron right now is offering only one of its beer recipes on draft — a cream ale that eventually will be called Matrimony Ale. It was brewed at Akronym Brewing in Akron. Blue Heron is still waiting for its state brewing permit and that's why it hasn't been able to brew on its 10-barrel system yet.
Piazza said he's looking forward to filling up the 16 taps with his beers. For now, the brewpub will offer a range of craft beer on draft and in cans and bottles — everything from Akronym West Coast IPA to Jackie O's Dark Apparition to MadTree Lift. It also will offer wine, liquor and specialty cocktails.
The food menu will feature shareable salads, flatbreads, burgers, nachos and other items.
"It's a very approachable menu," Piazza said.
Blue Heron originally hoped to open in the spring of 2018.
"It's been a long project," Piazza said. "We're stoked. We are really excited to get this going."
Piazza, Ben Erjavec and other partners are hoping to create a destination brewery-restaurant in Medina County, similar to what Gervasi Vineyard has done in Stark County.
Blue Heron joins five other craft breweries in Medina County: Jilbert in Valley City, Lager Heads in Medina, Vine n Hop in Brunswick, Wadsworth in Wadsworth and Wrecking Crew in Medina. Planted Flag Brewing also is opening in Medina Township.
The Blue Heron Golf Club was hailed as one of the best new public courses when it opened in 2005, but the 27-hole course closed after the 2011 season, with many golfers complaining that it was too difficult. The clubhouse, surrounded by high-priced homes, had sat vacant for years, while the 252-acre course has been turned into the township-owned Austin Badger Park, complete with walking trails and a mountain bike trail.
Blue Heron Brewery will be open from 3 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
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