Moerlein venue on track

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Greg Hardman watches the steel beams and cinder block rise along the
river and sees a Cincinnati icon in the making.

“It’s going to be the greatest lager house and beer garden in the
world,” says Hardman, president and CEO of Christian Moerlein Brewing
Co.

His $4 million Moerlein Lager House will open this fall despite delays
from record spring rains, latest timetables show. The two-story
restaurant will feature a 6,500-square-foot microbrewery, two outdoor
beer gardens, a hops garden and room for more than 1,100 diners and
drinkers.

“I envision everyone saying: ‘You have to go to Moerlein Lager House.
They have every single brand of beer that was brewed in Cincinnati,’ ”
Hardman says.

Since acquiring Christian Moerlein in 2004, Hardman has resurrected a
collection of more than 60 beer brands original to Cincinnati.

The effort has returned labels including Burger, Hudepohl, Hudy
Delight, Little Kings, Top Hat and Windisch-Mulhauser to beer taps,
restaurants and store shelves. Many brands date back to the 19th
century when Over-the-Rhine and Cincinnati was a beer brewing Mecca in
the United States.

While the beers are brewed in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania today,
Hardman’s working to return brewing to Cincinnati.

This year he opened a brewery in Over-the-Rhine where his firm began
brewing small, pilot batches in the former Husman’s potato chip plant
on Moore Street. It was the first time since prohibition in 1919 that
Christian Moerlein beer had been brewed in Cincinnati.

“No city in America that I know of is rescuing their brewing heritage
and history quite like what we are here today,” Hardman says. “We want
these Cincinnati brands to come back bigger and better than ever.”

At the Lager House, Hardman will help with brewery tours, mug clubs
and regular inductions to a Beer Barons Hall of Fame.

“We’re doing all of this as a tribute to Cincinnati’s grand brewing
heritage,” he says.

Rain has created challenges
 
By August, contractors with West Chester Township-based Schumacher
Dugan? hope to complete the roof for the Lager House, which was
designed by Mt. Adams-based Tilsley + Associates.

Contractors are working overtime to make up for the rain delays.
They’re homing in on early November for completion – but no firm date
has been set.

“This rain is playing havoc on brewing plans,” Hardman says. “Our
biggest challenge is pinpointing the exact date of the opening.”

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He wants just the right brew on tap for the season when the first
guests file in. He’ll need up to two months notice ahead of Opening
Day to perfect the beer, he says.

“I can’t just snap my fingers and there’s the beer,” Hardman says.
“Just a few weeks delay could be the difference between an Oktoberfest
beer or a holiday beer. It’s a very long, thought-out process because
you want to make sure you have a great line-up of beer.”

He expects to soon announce the naming of a world-renowned brew master
to help deliver top-notch brands.

“We had resumes from Germany, Asia, all over Europe and the U.S,” he
says. “The guy we picked is like the beer rock star. He’ll be in
charge of everything from the ingredients coming into the door to the
beer flowing into the glass.”

The brew master will be able to select offerings from 67 Cincinnati
beer recipes. He also will be free to craft and create new
Moerlein-owned lagers. Additionally, the brew master will have a hand
in selecting at least 100 other beers from across the world that will
be available at the Lager House.

“Our intention is to have relationships with other brewers from around
the world and do some world-class things that have never been done in
Cincinnati before,” Hardman says.

As Hardman focuses on the beer and microbrewery, the Cunningham
Restaurant Group is focued on the restaurant side. The Avon,
Ind.,-based group operates Stone Creek Dining Co. restaurants in
Montgomery and West Chester Township.

The team is working to fine-tune the Lager House menu, which will
feature dishes unique to 19th century Cincinnati.

In the coming months, top management and an executive chef will be
finalized, says Tom Cunningham, a partner in the restaurant group.

“We anticipate peaking with about 250 employees by next spring,”
Cunningham says.
Already, dozens of requests have come in from local residents hoping
to book events and wedding receptions at the Lager House.

Cunningham says he’s working with Cincinnati’s parks division to
consider whether weddings can be held at the recently finished
Schmidlapp Event Lawn at the newly named Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront
Park – which sits right at Lager’s House back patio.

“We know there will be days that will be busier than others, but at
the end of the day we believe Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky
residents will support us,” Cunningham says.

Strategizing with Holy Grail
 
For a glimpse at the potential welcoming the Lager House might
receive, Hardman and Cunningham can look just a block north to the
Holy Grail bar and restaurant at The Banks.

Since its opening in March, the locally owned venue has hosted
countless standing-room-only crowds after Reds games and on weekends.

“It has been fantastic,” says Jim Moehring, a co-owner of the
restaurant.
The Holy Grail has been so successful that it’s expanding by 700
square feet in coming weeks. The extra space will allow the addition
of outdoor restrooms, a walk-up bar and more seating.

In recent months owners of Holy Grail and Moerlein Lager House have
been sharing updates on construction and brainstorming about
strategies in the months ahead.

If all goes as planned both venues will be among a mix of seven
restaurants and bars to be open at The Banks and Smale Park by the end
of the year.

Setting the Lager House apart from the other incoming venues is its
dedication to Cincinnati’s past, says Willie Carden, city parks
director.

“The greatest thing about history is that if you really pay attention
to it, you can expand and celebrate what was once so successful in the
past,” Cardin says. “That’s what’s so exciting about what’s happening
here.”

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20110626/BIZ01/306260005/
Re: Moerlein venue on track
On 6/26/2011 11:05 AM, Garrison Hilliard quoted a Cincinnati.com article:

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Huh?  Hudepohl resurrected and brewed the Christian Moerlein brand in
the early '80's, re-launching the brand in the Sept. 1981 (the author
should check their own newspaper's 09-15-81 issue)

And it was brewed at the Cincinnati Schoenling facility after the
Hudepohl-Schoenling merger in the late 1980's and the Hudepohl brewery
was subsequently closed (1986 or so).

Re: Moerlein venue on track
On Jun 26, 8:31pm, jesskid...@LYC0S.C0M wrote:
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As the Hudepohl "Christian Moerlein" was one of my fave brews
(actually, the "Christian Moerlein Honey Almond" was a wonderful brew
that I favored more), I do think you're correct about the writer's
mistake.

Re: Moerlein venue on track
On Jun 26, 8:31pm, jesskid...@LYC0S.C0M wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Alright, I decided to hang with this... I spoke with Robert Pohl (the
old hrad of Hudepohl) and he said that ncw Kenny (the Schoenling guy)
got hold of the brand, it was over. CM is doing better now, but they
were
screwed by H-S.

p.s. I remember now the Karen Lightendahl babe I did! God bless H-S,
now
known as "Boston Beer" brewery, eh, "Tradewinds Tea" guy?

p.s. Beer is where the cash is made... if you wimped out, you wimped
out.

Re: Moerlein venue on track
On 7/2/2011 8:59 PM, Garrison wrote:
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It was still listed in industry publications as a Hudepohl-Schoenling
brand into at least 1990, 4 years after the merger and 2 years after H-S
shut down the former Hudepohl brewery.

Still the main point is that the current version is hardly the "...first
time since prohibition in 1919 that Christian Moerlein beer had been
brewed in Cincinnati."


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I thought the brewery itself, now owned by BBC, goes by the name "Samuel
Adams (Cincinnati) Brewery"?  (Just as their PA plant is called "The
Samuel Adams Pennsylvania Brewery").  Either way, though they had a
business relationship (contract brewing for each other, depending on
which owned the brewery itself) BBC and H-S were always separate companies.

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  Wasn't "Tradewinds" the Hudepohl-Schoenling brand of non-alcoholic
teas and juice (competitor with the "Arizona" and other such brands)-
BBC's "tea" is the alcoholic "Twisted Tea".

Re: Moerlein venue on track
On Jul 3, 6:46am, jesskid...@LYC0S.C0M wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

True, but that's how BBC kicked HS out of HS's brewery.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

"Tradewinds" was the HS brand of tea, yes, and may still survive
today...
it became HS's major brand after Lichtendahl and HS were kicked out of
Cincinnati and moved to the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash for business
dealings.

But I'm not even mentioning thr Snyder/Frederick/Wild Goose shit screw
up,
am I? :-)

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