West Side could get its own brewery

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GREEN TWP. – James Gunnarson said he's dreamed of opening his own
brewery for years.

The Bridgetown resident started brewing homemade beer in the 1990s,
perfecting recipes and dabbling in craft brewing long before the craft
beer market gained traction.

"Craft brewing wasn't as big back then as it is now," he said.

"I'm a handyman at heart and I like making things. I've always thought
it's interesting you can take all these ingredients and make something
drinkable. It's satisfying to enjoy the results."

Gunnarson, an Oak Hills High School alumnus who works as an
information technology professional by day, said although he would
have loved opening a brewery back then he just didn't have the time to
commit to such an endeavor.

Now that he's a little older and has a family, he decided it was time
to start pursuing his dream.

He and his wife, Heather Glenn-Gunnarson, are working to open
Bridgetown Brew Works, a family-owned craft brewery and taproom paying
homage to the West Side's German heritage and the region's brewing

"Cincinnati has a handful of craft beer options, but few really
represent our beer-loving legacy," he said. "By honoring our heritage,
we're bringing some West Side flavor to the local beer market and
giving the Queen City a new, authentically Cincinnati destination."

The husband and wife team has started an online fundraising campaign
and has been applying for business loans to get their brewery started,
and Gunnarson said he hopes to be able to open Bridgetown Brew Works
sometime later this year.

He said they've been eying sites and properties in the Cheviot and
Green Township areas for their venture, but they haven't yet settled
on a location.

Once it's up and running, he said Bridgetown Brew Works will feature a
taproom where customers can enjoy the brewery's in-house beer
varieties, along with other craft beers made in the area.

The brewery itself will be where Gunnarson brews and cans his own
craft beers. The in-house brews have names most West Siders will
recognize – Oak Hills Lager, Hairpin IPA, Muddy Creek Wheat and
Bridgetown Hefeweizen.

Gunnarson he's also developing a beer to represent Elder High School,
and they'll make root beer and other natural sodas, which will be
named Roland Sodas.

"We want to bring something special to our neighborhood," he said.
"Good, local, handcrafted beer made right here in our community,
Cincinnati's West Side."

As part of the community, he said they'll also be donating 5 percent
of their quarterly profits to area charities.

"We want to be more than a local microbrewery that makes great beer.
We want to be partners with our community," Gunnarson said.

Visit www.bridgetownbrewworks.com for more information about the
business. To learn more about contributing to the fundraising
campaign, go to www.fundable.com/bridgetown-brew-works.


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