Nick Seagle has been home-brewing for just over six years, but he says the time has come to make the leap. He’ll be taking that jump with partner Tom Mitchell, when the pair opens Headtrip Brewery this summer on the Stow-Hudson border.
“I’m ready to take that next step,” says Seagle, who is sharing some of his latest creations with a small group of thirsty listeners. “I have been getting incredible feedback on my beers. I just needed that nudge.”
The Bainbridge and Cuyahoga Falls owners, both in their early 30s, are starting out small, both in terms of space and equipment. The 1,500-square-foot space in the Stow Hudson Towne Centre, a former Guava Juice Bar, will feature a small brewery and taproom. The operation will be open weekends only.
“We’re definitely nano,” Seagle says. “We are building a three-barrel system but will start with barrel-and-a-half batches.”
"Small brewery, big dreams," adds Mitchell.
The partners are doing everything themselves, from the property improvements to the fabrication of the direct-fire brewhouse. A selection of six draft beers, a few core flavors plus ever-changing varieties, will include Belgians, stouts, porters, wheats and tart, sour-like fruit beers. On tap during our discussion were a range of brews that included a smoked stout, peanut butter coffee stout, mild ale and Belgian rye IPA.
“We’ll have a couple of mainstays, but we’ll always change it up,” Seagle adds. “It’s fun when you go to a place and there’s something new to try.”
The guys says that as craft beer drinkers they grew tired of having no options in their own backyard. The closest brewery, MadCap Brew Co., is located 20 minutes away in Kent.
“This is a community that is starved for things to do,” Mitchell points out. “We have to drive to Akron or to Cuyahoga Falls or to Hudson.”
“As a craft beer consumer I pay attention to new breweries that are opening – and I know that I’m not alone,” adds Seagle. “You here that one is open and you want to go there. People are looking for these things, especially one where you don’t have to drive to.”
When it opens, the taproom will not serve food, but rather leverage the local options in the immediate area.