You might be a little more familiar with Urban Artifact being called Grayscale Cincinnati, which is still them, sort of. Really, Grayscale is only one part of the bigger picture that Urban Artifact has envisioned for their project, but we’ll get to that in a minute. We need to first explain who they are for all the newcomers who might know about them yet.


Urban Artifact is a brewery/music venue/art gallery/beer garden/restaurant complex of sorts… it’s difficult to really put it into one descriptor, so let me walk you through the “complex” itself.Urban Artifact is located in The Historic St. Patrick’s Church, at 1662 Blue Rock St in Northside. Moving from the troubled Jackson Brewery building in OTR to Northside is a brilliant move in my opinion, with Northside being prime for a brewery to spawn growth in the neighborhood. Northside is home to a large population of artists, and young professionals. The “complex” as I’m calling it, consists of three different buildings and one outdoor green space, and will fit in with this neighborhood wonderfully.

The artists tend to contact booking agencies to prearrange such venues for their live concerts. The reason is these booking agencies are very prying on marketing and cultivating relationships. Since such venues might not be readily available to managers, booking agents play an important role in establishing relationships with locations (their owners) to secure gigs for their artists. If interested, you can Click here to learn more about the work of booking agencies and how you can get started with one if you want to get into that business.

UATaproomThe Space

Building 1 – This is the old church building.

  • The bottom floor of this building will be the Taproom/Lounge. The brewery expects to have around 10 beers on tap here and the space will have room for around 200 people. They hope to have music from Thursday-Sunday in this smaller of the two performance venues in Urban Artifact. Because this is also their taproom space, these shows won’t have cover charges.
  • Upstairs in the church building is the former sanctuary. This is the larger of the two performace spaces, and will open further down the line in what they are calling “phase 2”, which is expected to be complete in “about a year”. The sanctuary will be able to house somewhere around 500 people and will be a place for larger, ticketed events and concerts.

Building 2 – This is the old gymnasium, behind the church.

  • This is where the Urban Artifact brewery lives. The actual brewery will not be a public space, although they will offer tours of the space. The last month has been exciting on social media with their brew house being delivered and installed, if you aren’t already, you need to follow them on Facebook for updates on this and all their progress.

Building 3 – The Rectory

  • This space will hopefully have a restaurant in the lower level, although they are currently still in negotiations with this.
  • The upper floors will house offices for environmental nonprofit Groundwork Cincinnati and another business to be determined.

The Green Space

  • This is an area that is between the rectory (Restaurant) and the Church (Taproom), and will become an outdoor beer garden.

This…in a nutshell is Urban Artifact. They are taking over a historic building, and trying to keep as much of it’s soul alive in the new space, saving and re-purposing as much of the architectural details as they can. It’s all important to the vision they are creating.

The Idea

I mentioned before how the name Grayscale Cincinnati is still factoring into their large, ambitious business plan. It’s now their digital distribution service that they are running. Urban Artifact has plans to bring many different types of people together into the same space, for very different purposes. They plan on giving musicians a place to distribute not only their albums digitally, but shows that are recorded live at the venue will be available on the Grayscale site as well. (www.grayscalecincinnati.com) Urban Artifact is setting itself up to be a hub for the people that live in their community…artists and musicians. It’s doing what all breweries should do in my opinion, and that is establish themselves in their communities as a place for people to gather, and a place to help spawn growth of the community itself.

The Progress

You may have noticed that with the change to Urban Artifact came a new website (ArtifactBeer.com) and a new look for the project. The new design was created by local designer Jason Snell of We Have Become Vikings who designed the “Cincinnati Strongman” mural in OTR, and helped with the creation of Lumenocity. The new logo draws inspiration on the architecture of the church that Urban Artifact now calls home.

On another note… I had this entire post written and ready to post, when this little gem popped up on my twitter feed:

So…what can you look forward to in the near future? Looks like with brewing commencing this week, you can look forward to hearing about opening dates soon enough, keep your eyes peeled to this blog and their Facebook page. They hinted at a collaboration of sorts with FUNKe FIRED ARTS, but have yet to explain what that might be. I can guess beer mugs of some sort…but we will see in time. I think it’s a bigger sign of some great local collaboration and support of local artists and businesses that we have to look forward to from Urban Artifact.

Something else new? The news just started rolling last night that the brewery is now hiring… so if you’ve got a hankering to get your feet wet in this world of craft beer, head on over to their website and see what you can come up with. It’s not really work if you love what you’re doing.

It’s only a matter of time before the construction is done…stools are in, and beer is flowing from their taps! The timeline looks to be “Spring” as of right now, so stay tuned!

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