They’ve been “around”. Actually… they’ve been around for a long time. When Mt. Carmel Brewing Company opened their doors selling growlers of their beers around town in 2005, I’m not sure that anyone could have imagined what Cincinnati’s beer scene would become 10 years down the road. But Mike and Kathleen Dewey had some kind of a vision, even if it’s managed to shift a bit through their history.
All of our brewery’s have managed to find their “spot” in this ever evolving beer world, and Mt. Carmel’s niche is a special one. Just a few minutes from the busy Eastgate corridor, and a little bit farther from the massive hub of downtown, as soon as you step onto the grounds of Cincinnati’s oldest continually running brewery you step into a different world. The sounds of car engines are replaced by the fountain in their pond which sits next to their massive stone fireplace. The weight of your work week is quickly replaced by the soft brush of what seems to be a “country breeze”. When they ask you to “come porch sit with us”, they really mean it.
The last year has seen the brewery make some massive leaps into embracing the taproom experience, and at the forefront of that has been their new taproom Manager, Roger. With a love for firkins, food trucks, and the beautiful patio that was added on at the end of last summer, things have never looked better at Mt. Carmel.
As far as bigger changes, I have one thing. I haven’t been able to get in touch with anyone from the brewery, so all of this comes from what I’ve heard over the last year or two at the brewery, and what I know from other sources.
Most people who know about Mt. Carmel aren’t really aware of how much space they really have at the brewery, after all… they have one of the smallest taprooms in the city (if you don’t include the other spaces inside and outside that you can drink) But the original lot that the brewery sits on is a 2 acre piece of land, that includes a pond, and a large wooded space as well.
This fantastic space leaves room for their big patio addition… a fairly decent parking lot, and still provides that perfect atmosphere that lends itself to the personality that makes the brewery really what it is… but as the brewery gained popularity, and the taproom opened, it started becoming evident that it all wasn’t going to be enough for the future.
So… in 2013 the Dewey’s made a bold move…timing worked out and the space down the street opened up for sale… they snatched this almost 3 acres up at an amazing price and then…did nothing. There was a piece of the puzzle that still hadn’t come together. Two years down the road the puzzle finally snapped into place. The Dewey’s finally closed on the connecting piece of land at the beginning of this month, and now Mt. Carmel has the ability to stretch it’s legs and become a true destination in the Cincinnati area.
This is the Mt. Carmel that we are going to come to know…love… and really brag about for years to come when we talk about Cincinnati’s beer. 7.037 acres of land are now able to become a “getaway”. The parking lot can be expanded, which for anyone who has been there on a busy weekend knows is desperately needed. They have talked about having walking trails, spots for a bonfire, “festival area” more room for food trucks. It’s going to be something even more special than it is now.
Do we have a chance that the taproom could see an expansion as well in the future? I’d love to see it. What we currently know as the Mt. Carmel pour house was added on to their existing building pretty quickly… they never really intended it to be used the way it is now. This might finally give them the opportunity to build on what they have and make it the way it should be.
The Party of the Decade
Here’s where things get more tangible. This Saturday marks their 10th anniversary party at the brewery. They’re calling the blowout a Firkin Fest and for very good reason it seems. On tap that night will be:
- Peanut Butter Nut Brown (also heard this might be a Marshmallow Peanut Butter Nut Brown)
- Mango Habanero IPA
- Grand Marnier infused Orange Chocolate Stout
- Lemon Ginger Wheat
The party starts at 1 with all the firkins being tapped at once, and music by Johnny Chapman, Jody Stapleton and Naked Lunch all night long.
There will be food prepared by Fristoe BBQ, Renegade Street Eats and Streetpops as well.
With the Beer-Bulance and a bottle kiosk making an appearance, they’re going to try to make the event as smooth as possible, but you can rest-assured that it’s going to be busy that night.