MadTree Brewing begins work on new $18 million Oakley brewery/taproom

CINCINNATI – The demolition is almost done and now the real work is starting on MadTree Brewing's new $18 million brewery, taproom and event center in Oakley.

On Tuesday, MadTree's three founders stood alongside city officials and developers inside the former RockTenn building at 3301 Madison Road to discuss progress on their new location.

The new facility will include a 100-barrel brewhouse, 64-tap taproom, 10,000-square-foot beer garden, a larger Catch-A-Fire Pizza cafe and two private event spaces.

"We want to be a pillar in the community," said co-owner Kenny McNutt.

MadTree plans to relocate from its current Columbia Township location to its new facility by late 2016 or early 2017. That date depends on how quickly work on the World War II-era factory in Oakley progresses. The facility is located across the street from Crossroads Church and retail development Oakley Station.

Co-owner Brady Duncan said the company's explosive growth since its opening in 2013 prompted the relocation. MadTree currently sells to 48 counties in Ohio and three counties in Kentucky. During initial talks with Cincinnati city officials, the owners said demand was surpassing their production, and the expansion would allow them to expand distribution into a multi-state region.

“We’ve been struggling to keep up with demand locally and this expansion will allow us to catch up. Plus, we can begin sharing MadTree in other parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana,” said Duncan. “It’s still a bit surreal to think how far we’ve come in less than three years.”

The owners also said they planned to increase their focus on quality. Part of the renovations to the Oakley facility include installing an "advanced quality laboratory” and additional monitoring equipment beyond what the current location allows.

“The new brewhouse and related equipment will allow us to scale up our production rapidly with an extreme focus on quality and consistency of the beer,” said MadTree co-founder Jeff Hunt. “We will have all of the latest and best brewing equipment at our disposal.”

McNutt also joked that the new MadTree will have plenty of restrooms, compared to the two small bathrooms at its current location.

During the groundbreaking, Cincinnati Councilman Chris Seelbach said MadTree is a perfect example of the ongoing revitalization of many of the city's 52 neighborhoods. The expansion will create 40 new jobs over the next three years, in addition to the 50 jobs moving to Oakley. The city and JobsOhio assisted the brewery in its relocation efforts with tax and redevelopment incentives.

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