Who is your local brewery? I don’t mean which one do you hang out at most frequently – I mean… who are they. Call it branding if you want, call it their “story” – what I’m talking about is the feeling you get when you crack open a beer, walk into a taproom, or talk to your buddy who has never heard of them before.

We’ve got some really amazing places to grab a beer in Cincinnati. Our brewery community is stronger than ever, and we’re entering a new era of what it all means. The breweries that you’ve come to love are stretching their wings, taking a step back and exploring what it means – who they are. Fifty West is one of my favorite examples of a place that is constantly defining their brand or their story.

They are standing up, looking all of us in the eye and telling us that it’s not just about the beer in your glass – it’s about who you’re with, what you’re doing, and where you’re doing it.

It’s not about the destination – it’s about the Journey.

I’ve talked a little bit about this idea before – and clearly it’s more important to understand now then ever before. Fifty West is growing quickly. I mean, you read the news the other day about how quickly, right? As things start firing on all cylinders it’s extremely important to keep who you are in mind.

Actually – before I get too lost in all this… let’s get to the bigger point at hand. Let’s talk about that growth, shall we?

Fifty… East?

I’ve been hearing stories about this expansion for a long time now… and that I now get to finally share it with you guys is pretty freaking exciting. Fifty West is expanding their brewing operations by way of a new brewpub in Chilicothe, Ohio. The location is right on Rt 50 (of course) and is slated for an opening late this year, or early next year. The building on Paint Street in the heart of downtown Chilicothe is fantastic… and the brewery is going to push 2 million dollars into the project that will also bring up to 30 more jobs to the area.

But… why? Well… you can take the quote from the press release from Bobby Slattery:

Route 50 spans across the heart of the country from Ocean City, MD to Sacramento, CA. Our travels on this road gave us a sense of how America evolved and was built from coast to coast. We had a dream that one day we could expand the Fifty West experience. This brewpub is the next step in bringing that vision to life.

That gives you a little peek at it. But I think it’s easy to miss something else. Sure – Fifty West has the ability as a brand to become a centerpiece to communities all across the country. This brewpub idea could work from coast to coast extremely well. But the story, the brand – who they are.

It’s about the Journey. It’s about the stories around the beer. It’s about the people, the places, the experiences. While Cincinnati is fantastic, and full of more than it’s fair share of experiences. A brand like Fifty West is prime to explore – prime to ‘journey’. What experiences are waiting to be discovered in eastern Ohio?

Fifty West, while they have a home base here in Cincinnati is a brand that is ready to road trip. They’ve never been a “Cincinnati” brewery… and I don’t mean that in that they don’t belong here. I mean that who they are is much bigger than one space… or one collection of stories and experiences.

This opens the door to a future where Fifty West can grow into something that I don’t think any of them anticipated when they opened their doors… yet makes so much sense today. I can’t wait to watch them grow into something unlike anything Cincinnati has seen to date.

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