On Thursday, Tap & Screw Brewery, formerly located on the westside of Cincinnati, opened the doors to their new location at 4721 Red Bank Rd. in Madisonville. The brewery will hold an official grand opening on July 6th.
Yesterday, I swung by to check out their new spot. I knew the new location was in Madisonville but I didn’t have an address. I ventured over to what I considered the heart of Madisonville where a lot of the revitalization efforts are focused. No Tap & Screw. After consulting Siri, I made a u-turn and headed back in the right location. The location is hidden off Red Bank but I spotted a few signs that the brewery put up that morning which guided me to my final destination.
Although in a bit of a difficult spot to find, its surrounded by MedPace and two new hotels which should be opening soon. Plus, more development including mixed use retail and apartments are in the planning. They will be in a prime spot to capture those crowds.
I spotted Tom Lorenz, father of Adam who is the co-owner and head brewer sitting at the bar. I didn’t notice his son Adam sitting right next to him; who had a much different look from when I last saw him quite some time ago. Full beard, longer hair, its seems he’s embraced the brewers’ culture.
Unfortunately, the taproom was nearly empty around 4pm. The beautiful weather probably had a lot to do with that. Both Thursday and Friday was a much different story according to Tom.
After finishing up a Dr. Kool IPA, Adam kindly offered to show me around the new space and it’s a big space. The taproom which seats about 100 is about 1,500 sq. ft, certainly ample space for a good size crowd. Behind the bar the space opens up to another 5,500 sq. ft. which houses the brewery.
Tap & Screw brought over all the equipment from their former location. As of now, it only takes up a fraction of the space. There’s plenty of room for a canning line, planned for later this summer, and lots of new tanks once they ramp up distribution. They are also using the big open space for patrons to play cornhole and mill around. Adam mentioned the possibility of a pool table.
The space has tall 20 ft. ceilings and two docks which Adam was clearly delighted about. The former space, while a large building, had just 600 ft. for the brewing space and no dock space. They haven’t started brewing yet at the new location but that should start very soon. Adam was in the process of running the glycol lines when I visited.
I returned to the taproom to have one last beer before I headed out. The taproom itself is very clean and modern with a huge brewing mural by artist John Vosel. There is plenty of space at the bar and 15 taps to serve up the 8 beers they had on tap that day. I finished with the Belgian Dubbel. The tables were sharp, handcrafted using maple and Purpleheart wood.
I spotted a Dr. Kool can near the register. Adam let me check it out. It’s a shrink wrapped label with a tanish-brown background and some cool steampunk art on the back. Whether or not its the final design, I don’t know but it looked pretty cool.
Unlike the former space, there is no food onsite. BrewRiver will provide a limited menu of its Cajun offerings. Like most breweries, they will work with local eateries and possible some food trucks. Mazunte is just around the corner and would be a delicious option to enjoy before, during or after a trip to Tap & Screw.
In addition, to the new location in Madisonville, Tap & Screw has plans to open a brewpub/tasting room in Oakley right across from 21st Century Theatre. That space will have a full kitchen operated by BrewRiver and space for a small brewing system that will allow them to play with test batches and smaller run speciality brews. Unfortunately, they’ve ran into permit delays and opening date is not set. Stay tuned.
All in all, I had a good visit. The beer was decent. It seemed better than what I remembered from my past experiences. I only sampled two beers but I look forward to going back in a few months to sample many more. By then, they will be brewing on the system at their new location and hopefully have some partnerships in place with the local eateries to deliver food up to the taproom.
Go pay them a visit. I’d love to hear what you think.