The industrial Flats soon will be home to a new brewery called Brick & Barrel, launched by partners Karl Spiesman, Jason Henkel and Mike Dagiasis. Located at 1844 Columbus Road, the rough-and-ready space seems ideally suited to an upstart Cleveland brewery.
"Around the country, where I have worked and lived, the brewery spaces that have been really fun and successful have been in those industrial areas," explains Spiesman. "We love it down there."
Spiesman describes B&B as a "small European-style community brewery — not a universe brewery."
The team has been working on the space since January and brewing equipment is trickling in as we speak. Next comes water analysis and test batching, says Spiesman.
First up for the brewery will be a small, localized distribution to area bars and restaurants, which can happen as soon as June. A taproom will follow roughly a month later, where beer fans can come down and drink on site or purchase beer to go.
"It will be comfortable enough to watch an Indians game or listen to music and sample some beers."
As for the types of beers the team will be producing, Spiesman says, "I love every traditional style from Europe as well as what the Americans have been doing." That means everything from a classic Kolsch and Saison to a series of IPAs. In fall, drinkers might enjoy a porter aged in a bourbon barrel that once contained maple syrup.
Spiesman has a dozen years in the beer brewing and wine making industry. He has worked locally at Willoughby Brewing Co. and elsewhere at Harpoon and Full Sail. He also has held positions as a beer buyer and draft installation and maintenance guy. Unlike many other upstart brewers, however, he's managed to keep his plans largely under wraps.
"I've been so busy with my other jobs that I have to work to support me and my family that I haven't been able to sit down and draw up a logo or talk to the media," he says. "I'm a brewer and a winemaker — marketing isn't really my cup of tea."
Look for the first Brick & Barrel brews to hit the market this summer.