Next spring, Newport will once again be home to the Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co.
, which closed and moved to Evansville, Ind., in 1983. But local Jon Newberry is bringing the brand back to Northern Kentucky, and will operate out of a 10,000-square-foot space in WaterTower Square.
“I want to bring some of the good times people remember back to the area,” Newberry says. “There’s more nightlife in Newport, we want to add to it, and bring people from Ohio here, expanding the brewery trail development that’s going on over there.”
George Wiedemann founded the brewery in 1870, and under his direction it grew to be the largest in Kentucky. Heilemann Brewing, a Wisconsin company, purchased Wiedemann in 1967, and operated the brewery in Newport until 1983.
At the time, Heilemann was purchasing a number of regional breweries, and decided to move Wiedemann to the old Sterling Brewery in Evansville, but it shut down in the 1990s. Pittsburgh Brewing then acquired the rights to the Wiedemann brand and made the beer until 2006, when they filed for bankruptcy.
The trademark rights to Wiedemann had expired, so Newberry applied for the rights. When he brought the brand back, he introduced a new beer, Wiedemann Special Lager. Wiedemann is currently available in stores and restaurants throughout the Greater Cincinnati area, including Pompilio’s in Newport and Mecklenburg Gardens.
The new brewery will have a large taproom with about 12 Wiedemann beers on tap, and will serve food as well. Newberry also wants to offer tours and host beer-related events. There will also be an outdoor biergarten with a bar that will be set up in the building’s existing courtyard.
“This will be the third brewery in Newport, and people have been really encouraging and are excited to have some Newport pride back,” Newberry says.
Plans are still in the works, but Newberry hopes to have construction underway by next month.