In addition, Kohnen and his brother and co-founder Brian have applied for a distillery license to produce a specialty spirit made from malt and hops. Both applications have been filed with the Ohio Department of Commerce Divison of Liquor Control.
“We believe that there is a niche market for small-batch, alternative whiskeys in the area,” Kohnen said. “A number of very good micro-distilleries have opened in the past couple years in our area. It is not our intent to make the mainstream spirits and compete with them.
“Our plan is to distill whiskeys and moonshine with malt and hop as ingredients, which differ greatly from that which is on the local market. … Basically we make a brew and ferment a beer and then distill it to increase the alcohol content, making it a spirit — something that is right in line with our brewery operations and core business.”
It is still early in the licensing/permit process, which is lengthy and can involve federal, state and city regulations. There is no timetable, Kohnen said.
The Peerless Mill restaurant served meals to generations of Miami Valley residents, operating for nearly eight decades before closing in 2008.
Star City has seven varieties of beers on tap, and within the next couple of weeks, will offer brewery-made non-alcoholic sodas, including one called “Butter Beer” of Harry Potter fame.
A second brewery, Lucky Star, opened earlier this year less than a block away in Miamisburg.