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May 23, 2016
by Shayla Concannon

New MadTree brewery breaks ground

The Newer, Bigger MadTree is just one more addition to Oakley area.  This area of town just keeps getting better and better.


MadTree Brewing Co. hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Oakley location, “MadTree 2.0,” on Tuesday.

Construction officially kicked off a few weeks ago, when financing was finalized, co-owner Kenny McNutt said.

He said he expects the new brewery and taproom to open in early 2017.

The story below originally appeared on Jan. 7.

MadTree Brewing Co. is moving forward with plans to convert a former manufacturing facility in Oakley into its new home.

Co-owner Kenny McNutt said he expects the project to break ground in February and be complete by the fourth quarter of the year. The buildings on site comprise about 90,000 square feet, but demolition of some of them will result in about 50,000 square feet of usable space and a 10,000-square-foot beer garden for what the owners are calling “MadTree 2.0.”In early December, MadTree announced that it had identified the site as its preferred location for expansion.

The brewery’s owners, McNutt, Brady Duncan and Jeff Hunt, closed on the property Dec. 31 for $3.55 million, McNutt said.The brewery announced Wednesday that it will soon begin work on a new $18 million production brewery, tap room and event center in the former RockTenn paper manufacturing facility at 3301 Madison Road. That’s about a mile away from its current location, 5164 Kennedy Ave. in Columbia Township.

The new location will more than triple the size of MadTree’s tap room and allow the brewery to quadruple production.


With the expansion, the brewery will eliminate issues with the current tap room, including lack of restrooms and lack of parking, McNutt said. (When the Oakley brewery is finished, it will offer 242 parking spaces, triple the number in Columbia Township.)It will also allow the brewery to expand its capacity from the 25,000 barrels per year it can produce at its current location to between 30,000 and 35,000 barrels at its new one. And the new facility is primed for future growth: It will be large enough that additional tanks could take that capacity up to 180,000 barrels.

The new tap room will take its design cues from the current one.

“We want to transfer the look and feel of the current place but make it a little nicer,” McNutt said.

Expect to see wood and metal accents and reused items from the Oakley  site’s manufacturing days  doors that MadTree made into tables at its current brewery and gears, for example.

McNutt expects the additional space to allow MadTree to grow its barrel-aged beer offerings. In addition, a more automated brew system and an expanded laboratory program will allow it to improve quality and consistency, he said.The tap room will have a total of 64 taps, 32 mirrored indoors and outdoors on an uncovered patio complete with large trees and other greenery. As for the beers themselves, McNutt expects to have 24 to 28 different ones on tap at all times, up from the 17 (and a non-alcoholic option) available at its current tap room.

Catch-A-Fire Pizza, which operates out of MadTree’s current tap room, will have a larger space in the new one. Two private event spaces will also be offered.

“This was definitely not in our five-year plan,” he said. “Cincinnati really is a lot thirstier than we expected.  McNutt said he and his partners didn’t expect MadTree, which will celebrate its third anniversary later this month, to grow as fast as it has.

“It comes down to community support. Without community support, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Going forward, McNutt hopes the brewery will become an anchor for the north end of the Oakley business district.

“There’s been nothing right here to really tie the two ends of Madison together,” he said. “I think it will make this corridor safer for pedestrians and bikers, and economically improve Oakley.”

MadTree leases its Columbia Township facility. McNutt said he and the other owners are working to determine whether they’ll continue to use that space once the new brewery is complete.

When it opens, the new brewery will bring 50 jobs to the city of Cincinnati, and plans call for creating 40 more jobs during the next three years.

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