Taft’s is growing, which shouldn’t come as a massive surprise. Unlike the recent news of Fifty West and their expansion to Chilicothe, this move has little to do with branding, or the story of Taft’s and more to do with a bigger picture of the type of brewery Taft’s wants to be in this ever changing world of craft beer. I say it shouldn’t be a surprise to us because they were pretty vocal when they opened the Brewpourium and production facility in Spring Grove village that they were confident that it was an idea that could work in a much bigger scale with small brewpubs across the state (and even further). We’re now seeing the first piece of that puzzle.
I’m endlessly fascinated watching each brewery here in town expand, maybe even more so versus when they open. Everyone has a different plan, a different method, and it’s exciting to see how they’re all using different ways to achieve a goal and become what they envision for their respective breweries.
Taft’s opened up the Brewpourium and Production facility back in the fall of 2017. I say now that it’s the Production facility and Brewpourium because it’s become clear that they are different pieces of the same puzzle. As Taft’s moves to incorporate their brand into different communities they are doing so by adopting a model that Brewdog has proven successful across the world.
The Brewpourium concept isn’t a new brewery, it’s not even an expansion of the brewery that they already have – it’s a hub for people to gather and feel closer to Taft’s in their neighborhood. It’s a place to hang out, listen to live music or comedy, grab a beer and play a few games.
It became clear to the folks at Taft’s that as they’ve grown in Ohio, there is a love for their beer in Columbus, and this is a move to further strengthen that connection. Their new location won’t be tiny – it’s 5,800 square feet, with a “massive” outdoor patio. It will immediately feel familiar, with a bright airy space, the comfortable Taft’s vibe and that pizza that has got people talking since they brought it to Cincy in 2017.
They are going to be part of the new ‘Gravity’ development in the Franklinton neighborhood which will house other tenants like BARK, Cova Coworking space, Pelotonia and the Roosevelt Coffeehouse when Taft’s hopes to get their doors open in November of this year.
What This Is Not
This isn’t a brewery expansion. When Taft’s built the Brewpourium here in Cincinnati it became part of the Production facility, which is massive. The last time I was there I was talking with a friend trying to understand why if the rumors of a new Columbus brewpub were true – why the production facility was so expansive. It’s simple…. Columbus is not a brewery expansion.
You’ll read other people refer to this Columbus project as a new Taft’s Brewpub, and I can see the confusion. Keep in mind though, Taft’s isn’t going to be making beer in Columbus… the beer is made in Cincinnati. The Brewpourium idea itself isn’t about making beer – it’s about the “taproom” experience. The games… the live music… the pizza. The Brewpourium like I mentioned earlier is about a hub for you to hang out with your friends and family while drinking beer.
What Does This Mean Going Forward?
This is a bigger piece of the puzzle for the Company itself (and for folks who love the company and happen to live or be visiting Columbus) than it is for those of us who are here in Cincinnati drinking.
If this works as well as Taft’s (and I) think it will… it’s the start of a slow, methodical growth into different markets with the same (or similar) concepts. This isn’t a plot to brew beer all across America – it’s an idea to bring who you are to people who are ready to embrace that.