On Jan. 8, West Chester nanobrewery DogBerry celebrated its one-year anniversary, a large feat for the small operation.
The 2,400-square-foot space at 7865 Cincinnati-Dayton Road is still the only brewery in West Chester. Homebrewers Tony Meyer and Chris Frede started the brewery for fun, but it has since turned into much more for the former scientists.
“It has definitely become more than just a hobby,” Meyer said. “Part of us developing the business side of things is so we can continue to grow the business without it taking over our personal lives, and keeping family first.”
When they aren’t running the brewery, the men are stay-at-home dads.
“I still need to be there to take the kids to school and pick them up,” Frede said. “I am usually the one who directs the kids to do chores.”
“I have more flexibility as my kids are older,” Meyer said. “This allows me to be at the brewery more frequently.”
Their goal was to brew 220 barrels of beer during their first year in business, and they produced 184 barrels. They said they went into the experience not knowing what to expect, but so far have been able to offer a “no-pretension, laid-back and true neighborhood brewery” and share beers they love with the public.
“We are happy to be in business for one year and are proud of what has been accomplished,” Meyer said. “We expected to pay our bills, make the beer we like, but we couldn't predict how it would be received. We have been overwhelmed with the positive support from our customers.”
For its anniversary party, DogBerry brewed a special version of its brown ale, Bray’s Brown, that had more hop additions up front and infused its SuperNova Double Chocolate Stout with flavors such as cherries, coffee, oranges and chili peppers. In the past year, DogBerry has brewed 34 types of recipes, including the popular Wildfire IPA, Nat’s Nightcap Stout and Sir Griff’s Extra IPA. Their beers can be found outside of the taproom at the Growler House in East Walnut Hills, Thirsty’s Oasis in Mason and Main St. Social in Monroe.
Since opening last year, the brewers have hired part-time staffers and added more taproom hours. Going into year two, though, they still want to keep things at a “family business” level. Among their new goals: possibly collaborate with a local brewery, continue to grow the business and — of course — make more beer.
“We are currently coming up with a plan for the best way to expand our brewery,” Meyer said. “We see the advantages of making more beer at one time, and anything bigger would still be small in the grand scope of breweries.”
7865 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, West Chester
Hours: 4-8 p.m. Thursday, 4-9 p.m. Friday, noon-9 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday