Client Spotlight: Southern Ohio Brewing
When James Williams bought his first homebrewing beer kit five years ago, he never imagined that it would lead to his own taproom. Yet as he and his brother-in-law, Patrick Howard, began brewing larger and larger batches of beer, they realized they were on to something.
“We started visiting breweries and thinking, we could do this,” Williams said. “We purchased a pilot brewing system and began developing recipes for ‘someday.’”
That someday arrived when they found the perfect location for their future brewhouse: a 5,000 square foot facility on Factory Road next to the Miami Valley Bike Trails Creekside path in Beavercreek, Ohio. Built in 1960 to house the Beaver Valley Golf Center, the facility later became a putt-putt and game room. More recently, it served as a banquet center.
“Once we saw it, we knew that had to be it,” Williams said. “But the building was in pretty rough shape.”
“Trusted without question”
The owners connected with Miller-Valentine Construction based on a referral from a friend. The project team set to work rewiring, replumbing, and reinforcing the walls and foundation.
“We knew that it had structural challenges; you could see that from the outside,” Williams said. “But we didn’t realize how bad it was until we started demolition. It was a building that was in desperate need of care.”
The 1990’s-era drop-ceiling and carpet were removed, and windows and garage doors were installed to lighten the ambience. The team added trench drains and specialized flooring to support the brew tanks, which are the primary focal point of the facility. The team also discovered and preserved some quirky wall art that dates back to the facility’s days as a game room.
The steepest learning curve for the owners was the magnitude of processes and decisions that need to be made on a commercial construction project. Williams is an educator in a local school district and Howard is an engineer. This was the first commercial venture for both.
“The biggest challenge is that you don’t know what questions to ask,” Williams said. “But Miller-Valentine directed us and supported us along the way. We trusted without question. We couldn’t have done this without them.”
A destination for gathering with family and friends
Williams and Howard celebrated the grand opening of their 80-seat taproom, Southern Ohio Brewing, on July 4.
The owners have made the most of their site to create a destination for gathering safely during an era of social distancing. The taphouse sits on a one-acre lot, providing plenty of outdoor space for maintaining distance—and for kids to run around while their parents enjoy a lazy afternoon. The business does not offer a menu, but it regularly hosts food trucks. And the owners have created a reservation system on their website to limit how many people can gather inside.
According to Dave Dickerson, President – Midwest Business Development, “We were pleased to collaborate with James & Patrick in bringing their vision to reality. Guiding the creation of this new space for Southern Ohio Brewing was a challenging and rewarding project, and the results reflect a great space offering unique craft beer in a fun and comfortable environment”.
The brewery has only been open a few short months, but Williams said they have gotten plenty of positive feedback.
“It’s gratifying to hear people say they like our place and that Beavercreek really needed this,” Williams said. “I’m proud to say my town has this, and we couldn’t have done it without Miller-Valentine. I’m so happy with what we gained from our project team.”