If you live in or near Anderson you’ll be happy to hear that Big Ash Brewing held a groundbreaking ceremony this week to get construction on their new brewpub underway. The brewery will be joining Paradise in a busy part of town that might be a little underserved as of yet, and they’re going to do it with a business model that is little different than anything we’ve seen in Cincinnati as of yet.

The Particulars

Before we dig into what makes this place a little different – let’s take a look at the particulars. Big Ash is going to be brewing on a 7bbl brewhouse in a space that is going to be pretty sweet. The building that they are in used to be a Mexican restaurant, and features a ton of taproom space, a fireplace, a patio… it’s going to be comfortable and nicely sized.

They’ll also have food so you can hang out a while. It won’t be a massive menu though – with just pizza and some quality “bar food” to go along with it. They partnered up with Charlotte based Zablong Pizza to open up the chain’s second Cincinnati location. If you haven’t had their Neapolitan-style pizza yet, it’s safe for me to tell you that you’ll want to stop in just for some food.

What Makes Big Ash Different

Big Ash is looking to open a concept that doesn’t just put beer in your hands, but to put the taps in your hands as well. The showcase of the taproom will be their self serving tap handles that will allow you to pour your own draft beer as you please.

Walking into the taproom you’ll set up a ‘Digital Tab’ that is linked to your payment method. You’ll then receive a key card that can be used to unlock the tap before you pour. This system enables you to grab not just any amount of beer you want – but to do so without having to wait in long lines for the bartenders attention.

Another thing that makes them a little different is the origin of the idea. Big Ash is an outgrowth of a home-brewing co-op that some friends started back in 2011. The idea flourished, and grew and Big Ash Brewing now has more than 80 people involved in the taproom project.

Personal Attention

One of the strongest complaints that I’ve heard people talk about with this project is the fear of a lack of personal attention when a potential customer heads into the brewpub for the first time. The brewery has said that this isn’t a concern. They plan on having beermeisters there to explain how the tap wall works, how to pour beer and to educate anyone in need of what the different styles are all about.

They don’t want this to be the place where you walk in and are left with an “all on your own” experience. There will be plenty of guidance around you to help manage it.

The Progress

Like I mentioned, they held their groundbreaking ceremony yesterday to mark the start of construction on their new space. While we know with any brewery project timelines are a dangerous thing to predict – they’re hoping to have a Grand Opening later this summer.

Stay Tuned… I’ll definitely have more on these folks as time goes on!

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