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Christian Moerlein to move brewing operations back to Over-the-Rhine's historic Brewery District

Just months after announcing his intention to open the Moerlein Lager House in 2011 at the Cincinnati Riverfront Park, Christian Moerlein President and CEO Greg Hardman has made another huge step in solidifying the Moerlein legacy.

On April 16th, Hardman announced that Moerlein will bring back brewing operations to Cincinnatiís historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District.  Although the company had yet to establish its own facility - Moerlein contract brews its brands at Lion Brewery in Wilkes Barre, PA -  since the April 2007 launch of OTR Ale the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company has helped open eyes to the importance of local, craft beer in Cincinnati.

"We are proud to be part of the continued renaissance and economic development of Over-the-Rhine," said Hardman.

Just blocks from the site of the original Christain Moerlein Brewery on northern Elm Street near Findlay Market, the new production facility will be housed in a building that most recently was the Husman Potato Chip plant located at 1621 Moore Street (map) just north of Liberty Street and east of Vine Street.

The company has entered into a lease agreement with an option to buy the former pre-prohibition malt and lager house for the Kaufman Brewery, and plans to bring nearly 25 percent of its "high-end" beer production to the 125,000 square-foot facility by spring of 2011.

Steve Hampton, President of the OTR Brewery District, could not be happier.

"The announcement of the new Christian Moerlein brewery in Over-the-Rhine is a big step not only for Greg, but for the neighborhood as a whole.  He has worked very hard and very diligently to grow not only his brands, but also the Brewery District," explained Hampton.  "Greg gets the "big picture" that success breeds success, and has been committed to being a part of redeveloping Over-the-Rhine.  While there are challenges to working in Over-the-Rhine, there are also greater rewards possible by being part of the history and future of a great neighborhood."

With the recent introduction of locally based Rivertown Brewing, the expansion of Mt. Carmelís brewing facility and the recent accolades for Cincinnati Rock Bottomís Brewmaster Mitchell Dougherty, coupled with multiple local micro-brewery projects on the horizon, Cincinnati is poised to reestablish itself as a brewing center once again.

Writer: Bryon Martin
Photography by TIffani FIsher
Stay connected by following Bryon on Twitter @BryonMartin
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