I can’t say that I’m particularly surprised to see this news from DogBerry, It’s sort of been their destiny from the get go that they’d be forced to grow. It’s their fans that do their damndest every week to drink the brewery dry, after all. If you look back to their opening weekend in early 2015, you’ll remember that they were forced to change their hours after we all drank so much beer when their doors opened.
No… Wait. In my excitement to write about this, I might be getting ahead of myself. I think to really get your head into this we might need to go back even farther than their opening weekend.
Why Is This Happening!?!
When they were still getting things ready, brewing beer, making what would one day became West Chester’s neighborhood brewery, they were also building an idea. This idea is sort of an ethos that their diehard fan base has really come to live by. There are reasons that today when you pull up a stool at DogBerry, you feel Iike you’re drinking with friends, neighbors or family – even if you don’t know a soul in the room.
The time leading up to the opening of the brewery was different than any other brewery I have seen opening in this area – poke your head back to any given weekend leading up to that grand opening. The scene was much the same week to week, owners Tony and Chris working their butts off to make this dream a reality. But then there would be people… They’d see a car at the brewery they’d had their eye on for a few months, and they’d pull off of busy Cincinnati Dayton Rd, and into the tiny little parking lot, they’d walk up to the doors to the small taproom – they’d poke their head in and ask the question that any brewery looking to open gets sick of…
“Are you guys open yet?”
But the difference was the answer- “No, but come have a seat. We’ll sell you a couple beers since you’re here”. As soon as they had occupancy on the building and the ability to make a sale, they started the ball rolling on building their fan base. They used that period of time as a sort of “soft opening”, but it had the unintentional effect of turning some people into lifelong fans. So… Is their need to grow and move something that they had planned from the beginning? No… I think we all caught them a little off guard. If you look at it the way I do, though, It’s all the reasons that DogBerry can exist as a successful nano-brewery that makes it unable to exist as a nano-brewery forever.
It’s not easy to keep up with the demand of having so many brew days in a week to keep the taps full in the taproom. When you’re in that position, you can’t even start thinking about sending out beer to all the restaurants around town that would LOVE to have your beer on tap. Exhausting? I’m sure… But there’s only one way to beat all of us thirsty Butler County drinkers at our own game – You make more beer by growing bigger… A lot bigger.
DogBerry Won’t Be Nano Anymore.
Don’t worry… The sadness of realizing that I won’t be able to use the #NanoLove tag for the brewery was short lived. This is really exciting growth. They’re expanding their brewing capability 10x. That’s right, they’re moving up to a 10bbl brewhouse with a few 10bbl fermenters and brite, as well as a 10bbl cold crashing tank.
The other problems with DogBerry have been the lack of parking, the lack of bathrooms… Space, space, space. Not to mention that this brewhouse ain’t gonna fit in their taproom now… So they’re also moving. Don’t worry, it’s only about 5 miles south, though. They’ll be close to Union Center, close to 275, closer to Me!!!!
The new location is at 9964 Crescent Park Drive, and they still have some work to do, not to mention get their brew system in. They’re hoping to be in by the end of the year… Maybe early 2017, but you know how all that goes – ish… Always ish. You can look forward to a much BIGGER taproom experience though, with an outdoor space (finally!) and plenty of things to do in the taproom to keep you and all your friends that you’ll be able to bring now busy.
How Do You Grow So Much, and Still Stay The Same?
I think it’s important to keep in mind, that you don’t want them to stay exactly the same… That’s the purpose of growth like this. You want to grab tight onto the things the work, and then let go of all the stuff that doesn’t work.
There is a feeling in DogBerry’s taproom that they’re going to strive to carry on to the new space – a sort of “neighbors basement” camaraderie. Picnic tables, the bottle collection (the deer heads?) I think you’ll see all of this come along to the new taproom… Just more of it all. Speaking of bottles… A new, bigger, system will finally allow the guys to start exploring some limited released beers in some large format bombers. In addition they’ll be able to start talking about more packaging in the future. The biggest reason that I know they won’t have any trouble staying the “same”? The biggest reason that they became who they’ve become automatically comes with them…
The People. Some things can’t be duplicated, or imitated, or recreated. These are honest, good people… Maybe a little stubborn, but that’s what makes them who they are. They make good beer for the right reasons, and as long as they keep doing that, there is no brew system big enough for DogBerry.
We’ll keep drinking them dry, or trying to!