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

Andy Brownfield Reporter 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. VIEW SLIDESHOW 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 workshops.
"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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