Pete Hilgeman isn’t sure whether he’s lucky or prescient.
Either way, Hilgeman is thrilled to see all of the development plans within a few blocks of his Dayton Beer Company beer hall, tap room and production brewery, which is scheduled to open next week at 41 Madison St. just east of downtown Dayton.
“I’m extremely excited about what’s going on, not only as a business owner, but also as a lifetime Dayton resident,” Hilgeman said during a “sneak peek” tour of the facility this afternoon. “There’s so much positive movement going on right now, and lately, it’s all been centered around this Webster Station area. I don’t know if we’re just lucky or we helped trigger it.”
Economic development projects in proximity to the new brewery include the $45 million Water Street commercial/residential project and a proposal by Charles Simms Development to build a $4.5 million townhouse development, all near the Dayton Dragons’ Fifth Third Field.
Hilgeman leased 8,050 square feet of the Weiler Welding building and has transformed the space into a 4,000-square-foot beer hall and tap room and a 4,000-square-foot production brewery. The brewery, which is scheduled to open Thursday, April 23, also has a 1,000-square-foot patio.
The tap room features 36 craft-draft taps, all of which will be devoted to Ohio beers, many from Dayton-area breweries, Hilgeman said.
“A lot of great beer is made in Ohio,” Hilgeman said. “We don’t need to go outside the state to showcase great beer. I’m a big proponent of local, and it doesn’t get any more local than this.”
Six Dayton Beer Company beers will be part of the craft draft selection, although that number will grow to as many as 18 in the months ahead as the DBC’s brewery ramps up, Hilgeman said.
Long-term plans call for DBC to build its own kitchen, but for now, Hilgeman said he has food trucks scheduled to serve outside the beer hall and tap room every day it’s open through July.
In the coming weeks, Dayton Beer Company will begin canning and bottling its beers in 12-ounce cans and in 12-ounce and 22-ounce “bomber” bottles, to distribute to retailers and taverns first in Dayton, then to Columbus and Cincinnati and beyond, Hilgeman said.
Dayton Beer Company will open with nine employees, but Hilgeman said he’ll be adding a half-dozen more over the next two months to work on the distribution end of the brewery.
After opening day on April 23, Dayton Beer Company’s hours will be 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. It will be closed on Mondays unless the Dayton Dragons have a home game, when the tap room will open, Hilgemann said.
The current Dayton Beer Company microbrewery and tasting room at 912 E. Dorothy Lane in Kettering, which opened in 2012, will remain open, and plans call for expanding its brewing capacity and reconfiguring its tasting room.