Greater Cincinnati’s newest brewery is the brainchild of industry vets: PHOTOS

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Andy Brownfield
Cincinnati Business Courier

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A new Greater Cincinnati brewery opening this weekend was founded by
veterans of the industry who are hoping to bridge two Ohio beer towns.

FigLeaf Brewing Co. is hosting its grand opening at 3387
Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Middletown on Oct. 8. The brewery is three
years in the works, starting with a former police officer and the
founder of a Miamisburg brewery. Click through the photos below to
take a look inside of the brewery in advance of its opening.

 FigLeaf Brewing in Middleton was chosen because of its proximity to
both Cincinnati and Dayton.
15 photos

FigLeaf Brewing in Middleton was chosen because of its proximity to
both Cincinnati and… more

Andy Allgeyer worked in a retail bottle shop in the '90s that got into
craft beer well before the current boom in the industry hit. He also
homebrewed on the side. As craft brewing wasn't nearly the industry it
is today, Allgeyer kept it a hobby and joined the Ohio State Highway
Patrol. But three years ago, after losing friends on the force, he
decided to go back to his passion of brewing.

Brian Yavorsky is a longtime homebrewing hobbyist who co-founded and
opened Star City Brewing Co. in Miamisburg in 2012. While his
co-founders were content with the small three-barrel system they were
brewing on, Yavorsky had ambitions of something bigger and departed
that brewery.

Allgeyer and Yavorsky were introduced through a mutual friend and
started talking about what it would take to do a big brewing venture.
They hooked up with Jeff Fortney, who had worked in Cincinnati-area
breweries in the past, most recently at Warped Wing in Dayton. Rich
and Tasha Brown rounded out the founding team. The Browns had been
looking to open a craft brewing franchise, stumbled onto what would
become FigLeaf and joined the team.

The original working name for the brewery was Unbridled, but it didn't
stick once the team got together, so they went through some branding

"For some reason, we were talking about cardinal virtues and the Bodhi
tree under which Buddha found enlightenment came up. That was a fig
tree," Yavorsky told me. "We're a bit smarter and wiser because of our
experience and our pasts, and we want to bring a product to market
that may just be discovering craft beer or may not be enlightened."

FigLeaf was created to do a variety of styles, not just a handful of
flagships, he said. The first four beers available at its grand
opening are an Imperial Brown Porter Yavorsky describes as having bold
flavors but comes off as smooth; an American IPA made with
experimental hops that give it a bright citrus flavor; a Red Saison
made with a proprietary yeast that gives it Belgian and farmhouse
flavors, and a Basmati Cream Ale made with Royal brand basmati rice
that provides aromatics in the cream ale and pours clean and bright.

"We talked about doing European-style beers in a traditional but
high-quality way. We talked about exploring ciders and meads and sours
and barrel aging," Yavorsky said. "We don't want to be defined by any
one thing."

When deciding where to locate the brewery, the founders looked
everywhere from West Carrolton to Loveland. They decided to locate in
Middletown because it was located between Cincinnati and Dayton and is
a fast-growing area that not only attracts shoppers and tourists going
to places like Kings Island and the Renaissance Festival but also has
a large population that commutes to either big city.

Yavorsky said the brewery wants to bridge those two beer towns. The
ultimate goal is to host a festival that brings together breweries
from both Cincinnati and Dayton.

FigLeaf's grand opening will take place noon-midnight on Oct. 8.

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