MadTree 2.0 close to completion, readying for grand opening

CINCINNATI -- Crews are putting the finishing touches on MadTree 2.0, the brewery's new $18 million facility in Oakley that's set to open Feb. 11 for the brewery's annual Winter Bonanza celebration.

“We already have 10 weddings pre-booked for our event space,” said Mike Stuart, the director of people and social strategy for MadTree Brewing Co.

That event space also will double as MadTree’s new barrel warehouse, where the brewery will be able to store wood barrels to age specialty beers.

For MadTree's Winter Bonanza, a stage will be set up for bands to play in the temperature-controlled warehouse, Stuart said. MadTree hosts the annual bonanza event to commemorate the opening of its original Columbia Township location in January 2013.

MadTree began remodeling its new 50,000-square-foot facility, a former World War II-era factory at 3301 Madison Road, in March 2016 after founders Kenny McNutt, Brady Duncan and Jeff Hunt said the brewery had outgrown its original space. 

Beyond the barrel warehouse, the new location will include a more-than-100-barrel-capacity brewhouse, 32-tap indoor taproom, a larger Catch-A-Fire Pizza cafe, a 120-person indoor event space and a 10,000-square-foot outdoor beer garden.

“The beer garden alone is roughly the size of the entire building we are in now,” Stuart said.

The beer garden will be equipped with space heaters, a partial overhead awning, full bar and 1960s-era chairs the brewery bought at an auction of former Cincinnati Music Hall inventory. A single “mad tree” will act as a centerpiece for the garden, Stuart said.

Several flat-panel televisions will be spread throughout the indoor tasting areas and the beer garden as well.

“We didn’t want the taproom to have a sports bar feel,” Stuart said.

The original taproom will serve its last beer on Feb. 4; the new taproom will open for business on Feb. 7, ahead of the grand opening.

Stuart said beer production at the new brewhouse, located inside an airplane hanger of the Oakley facility, will not begin until April. MadTree might continue some brewing at the old facility until the end of the year, he added.

Once fully operational, MadTree’s new brewhouse will let the company increase production from about 16,000 barrels of beer a year to up to 180,000 barrels a year. However, Stuart said there are no plans to max out that capacity in the near future. For 2017, MadTree hopes to increase production to slightly more than 20,000 barrels, he said.

“The system does put us at the largest-capacity barrel system for craft beer in Ohio,” he said.

MadTree also will be able to produce 300 cans of beer per minute with a new system being installed in the brewhouse, Stuart said.

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