This will likely not come as much of a shock to you – but Fifty West has been growing pretty quickly in the last couple of years. It should be noticeable if you’ve set foot in any reputable beer store or bar in that timeframe… suddenly we’ve been able to get there beer where and when we want it, instead of hunting for an elusive tap handle here and there.

In fact – the brewery is growing so quickly that they’ve added themselves to this years list of fastest growing small and independent craft breweries that is released by the Brewer’s Association.

Looking At Their Growth

To give you an idea of what we’re talking about, in 2017 Fifty produced around 2,500 barrels of beer at both of their locations. That number skyrocketed in 2018 up to around 6,500 barrels. As impressive as a stat as you’re looking at there, they still aren’t done. The brewery is still planning on growing their production numbers for 2019 up to around 9,000 barrels total.

These guys are long overdue for this.

Stepping Back

Don’t forget that Fifty West has been around since late 2012. That’s before things exploded here in town. Fifty West was before MadTree, they were open before Rhinegeist and Braxton. This city was different. Heck – beer in Ohio was different then.

As things have changed, Fifty West has changed with it, at a slow, steady pace… spending as much time figuring out who they were and how they fit into things here in Cincinnati as they did planning a growth strategy.

When timing was right, they added a canning line to Pro Works (their production facility) and started expanding to meet the demand that they had been methodically building for years in Cincinnati.

About The List

We probably shouldn’t give random lists a lot of weight unless we know how they’re figured, which is why I appreciate the Brewer’s Association going in to as much detail as they have in explaining the methodology behind this one. There are several factors to this:

  • These are only small, and independent breweries… craft breweries.
  • Growth is measured based on production at their own facilities.
  • To be considered, a brewery must have opened by 12/31/16 or earlier.
  • To be considered, a brewery must have reported their 2018 production numbers to the Brewer’s Association survey… they need to get their stats from somewhere!
  • The brewery must have also reported numbers for 2017 – again… gotta compare to something!

What’s Next For Fifty West?

I’m not big on throwing rumors out there unless someone is willing to talk ‘on the record’ about them… but let’s just say that expansion isn’t just planned for Cincinnati alone. Every time I go fishing for information on what might be in store from these guys the response is pretty much the same.

“We’ve got a lot of irons in a lot of fires”

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