McArthur's Brew House is looking to expand.

The Cuyahoga Falls nanobrewery is scouting properties to open a separate, larger production brewery, tasting room and restaurant.

"We need something a little bit bigger so we can keep up with demand," co-founder and brewer Kevin McArthur said. "We are barely keeping up now."

McArthur and his wife, Abbey, launched their 2½-barrel brewery in early 2017 in a storefront at 2721 Front St. It's a popular destination, but open only limited hours Thursday through Sunday because McArthur can't produce enough beer on the small system to be open more often.

The McArthurs want the new location to be quite different and are hoping to find at least 10 acres that they can build on — as opposed to renovating and retrofitting an existing space. They also want the site to have a scenic view.

"We're looking for some property to make it a destination spot," McArthur said about the search process. "We're looking to have the feel of being in your own backyard, you know?

"We'd like to be able to walk around the property and have a campfire," he added. "We also are looking to possibly grow some of our hops and raise some bees."

The McArthurs aren't limiting the search to any particular city, but are primarily interested in the Greater Akron area. A couple of potential sites in Hudson and Bath have fallen through.

The new space would have a 10-barrel brewing system. The current location would remain open, with the nano-system serving up small test and experimental batches.

The McArthurs aren't in a rush to find a new home. But they also don't want the search to drag on.

McArthur, who also works as a full-time firefighter, said he would like to have a site picked out, architectural drawings done and possibly construction started later this year with opening targeted for next year.

"It's just time to take the next step," he said.

 

Don't forget: Part I

The fifth annual Rubber City Beer Fest takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Lock 3 in downtown Akron.

The event, organized by the Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ) homebrewing club, focuses on regional craft breweries. Tickets are $40 at the door. For details and a list of the participating breweries, go to www.facebook.com/rubbercitybeerfest.

 

Don't forget: Part II

The 2019 Medina Beer Fest runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at Williams on the Lake, 787 Lafayette Road, Medina.

Tickets are $35, $45 for VIP. For details and a list of participating breweries, go to www.mainstreetmedina.com/beer-fest.html.

 

Hop growing class

Vine N Hop — a homebrewing, distilling and winemaking shop in Brunswick — will host a “Hop Growing in Ohio” class.

Jenny and Mike Napier of Barn Talk Hops in Wadsworth will discuss the history of hops, future of hop growing in the state, and how people can grow their own. The class runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the shop, 1327 N. Carpenter Road.

The cost is $25. All attendees must be 21 or older.

Vine N Hop also will host a “Big Brew Day” with the Brewing Ring In Medina (BRIM) homebrewing club from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 4. The club will provide brewing demonstrations. The event is free to attend.

 

Beer growth

The U.S. craft brewing industry grew 4 percent last year and increased its share of the overall beer market to 13.2 percent, the Brewers Association said.

The growth was down slightly from the 5 percent the previous year, while the market share climbed from 12.7 percent.

The Boulder, Colo.-based association said that U.S. craft brewers produced 25.9 million barrels, with a retail dollar value estimated at $27.6 billion. The dollar value represents a 24.1 percent market share and 7 percent growth over the previous year, the group said.

The Brewers Association noted that the growth last year for small and independent brewers occurred at the same time that production for the overall beer market fell 1 percent.

“Craft maintained a fairly stable growth rate in 2018 and continued to gain share in the beer market,” association chief economist Bart Watson said in a prepared statement. “Small and independent brewers continue to serve as job creators, strong economic contributors, and community beacons.”

Overall, there were 4,521 microbreweries, 2,594 brewpubs, and 231 regional craft breweries operating last year for a total of 7,346. The association noted that 1,049 breweries opened while 219 closed.

 

Happy birthday

Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon, 24581 Lorain Road, North Olmsted, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week.

 

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his daily beer blog at www.ohio.com/beer. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.