Jon Newberry, owner of the Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co.
, is taking another shot at opening a brewery in the Cincinnati area. Financing fell through on a leased space in WaterTower Square in Newport
, but now he’s working on a location in St. Bernard.
“In a way, St. Bernard chose this venture,” he says. “After Newport fell through, I thought about looking for a space in Covington, but I figured if I was going to look outside of Newport I might as well look in Ohio too. My wife and I live in St. Bernard, and after talking to a neighbor I went to the City to see what I could do about a property.”
By partnering with the City of St. Bernard
, Newberry was essentially given the property at 4811 Vine St. in exchange for his investment in the community and bringing jobs to the area. (Other deals like this have brought businesses like Streetpops
and Woodstone Creek Winery & Distillery
The four-story, 16,000 square foot building along Vine is a former funeral home, which Newberry plans to turn into a large taproom and tavern-like beer hall. Due to the ceiling height in the building, there are plans to build a two-story addition onto the back of the building for the beer tanks and other brewing equipment.
Newberry also envisions a deck to one side of the building with a beer garden below butting up to a city-owned lot located at the former site of the Miami-Erie Canal. The old canal wall is still visible, and Newberry says there are plans for a bike path along the canalway connecting St. Bernard to the Mill Creek Trail.
Wiedemann’s taproom will also offer food, but those plans are still up in the air. Newberry is thinking of partnering with an outside food source that would lease kitchen space or creating a small, manageable menu he could do himself.
Phase II of the development project might include renovating the two upper floors, which house two apartments and office space, into offices for Wiedemann and a meeting or banquet space. The basement will be used for cold storage, kegging and bottling.
Newberry hopes that construction will begin on the brewery in the next few months, with a potential opening date of February or early March of next year.
Newport was home for Wiedemann until 1983, when brewing operations were moved to Evansville, Ind. Newberry says that a future expansion could include another location in Newport, with continued operations in St. Bernard.