“West Side, Best Side”
As someone who lives… not on the West Side, I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand or appreciate the culture of the West Side the way that those of you who do live there might. The West Side itself is a massive part of what West Side Brewery uses to define its brewery, taproom, and personality. Three of the brewery’s founders are from the neighborhood and knew the area was desperate for a craft brewery.
The fourth founder? Joe Mumper? He’s a little different in that regard. He’s from Norwood, lives in NKY, and has a story that shows a whole other side of West Side’s personality. This part of the brewery’s personality hides away sometimes, overshadowed by the ‘West Side’ part of it all. It’s also the backdrop for a whole new side of West Side Brewing as they move to help open a new spot… Gilligans on the Green.
Martin Gilligan influenced Cincinnati beer, but it was in a much different way than some other immigrants you’re probably more familiar with. Unlike Christian Moerlein, George Wiedemann, or Louis Hudepohl, Gilligan came from Ireland instead of Germany, fleeing his home country during the potato famine.
He ended up here in Cincinnati, working for Christian Moerlein himself as a head gardener. The life that Gilligan built here in the United States might not make as great of a story as Moerlein’s does. Still, it resonates deeply with many folks, especially those of Irish descent or with similar family stories.
That’s where West Side comes into this story. Martin Gilligan’s Great Grandson is Joe Mumper.
The Irish Side of West Side
Some of the pieces of West Side will probably start to make a little more sense, now. Their Gilligan’s Foreign Extra Stout, maybe? Even their German, Irish Lager – nicknamed ‘Gil’ takes on a whole new personality when you start to understand the Gilligan tie. Martin Gilligan (and his kids and grandkids) have a legacy that leads us right to the doorstep of West Side Brewing.
It’s always been in front of us, but Gilligan’s is finally getting space to live and breathe as part of West Side’s story.
Wyoming, Ohio And A New Brewpub
400 Wyoming Ave started as a fire station before eventually becoming Sturkey’s, a few other concepts, and finally, Station Barbecue in recent years. The space is a central piece of downtown Wyoming, and right next to the Village Green, which is due to get a massive redevelopment. As the developers were looking for a tenant to come into the space, they knew they needed someone to do things right.
That’s when West Side Brewing and EP Investment Group (the folks behind Ivory House, W Bar & Bistro, and the upcoming places in the former funeral home next to West Side) came into the picture. Both companies have perfectly integrated themselves into the neighborhood in Westwood, which is what Wyoming has been looking for.
Together, the companies have created a concept that will beautifully mesh together to create something downtown Wyoming needs – a brewpub.
Gilligan’s On The Green
The 30ish taps at Gilligan’s will feature new Gilligan’s beers right alongside taps from West Side Brewing that you already know and love. The small brewhouse will make beer right on site, a fact that the brewery was insistent on instead of just operating a taproom-only concept.
The food concept will be built from the ground up to compliment the beer that is flowing… think of an upscale, but casual spot. There will be relaxed dining, an outdoor space, a bar area… it’s the type of space you’ll want to visit with family, for a date night, or grab a few beers with friends after work.
The new Village Green space will perfectly complement Gilligan’s, too. The brewery will have a walk-up service window, for folks in the park (yes, there’s a DORA), and the increased activities in the park, like concerts and events, will lead to plenty of folks hanging out and looking for something tasty.
It feels like everyone involved with the project wants Gilligans on the Green to become more than a place just to grab dinner – they want it to become a hub for the community around them. I love when a brewery concept is built for their community, instead of hoping that things just kind of fill in around them. This is something that I have loved about both West Side Brewing, as well as EP Investment Group. They’ve done great with it over on the West Side, and I know they’ll do great with it over in Wyoming!
The brewery hopes to be up and running this fall… but if you want the latest news about them, I encourage you to make sure you’re following them on Facebook, or Instagram for the latest news. Of course… I’ll try to keep you up-to-date right here on the blog, too!