Something is brewing at 1288 North High Street. Yes, we’re talking about yet another beer-brewing business in the works, but this one has a couple of unique twists. BRU is the name of the new venture from co-founders Tim Ward and Gavin Meyers, which will become the region’s first “brew-on-premises” concept.
“There’s probably 8,000 to 10,000 home brewers in Columbus and many other people who would like to home brew but probably don’t know how,” explains Meyers. “It can be intimidating, expensive, messy, and time consuming.”
This is where BRU comes in. Their facility will provide eight 15-gallon brew kettles that customers can rent to take their hobby to the next level. BRU also houses a fermentation room (dubbed “the beer nursery”) where the beer can complete its transformational process before being bottled on-site and sent home with the customer.
“The whole process takes two to three weeks and yields around 140 12-ounce bottles or 70 to 80 22-ounce bomber bottles,” says Meyers. “So it’s almost a keg of beer produced out of a single batch.”
Customers can be provided workshop-like supervision along the way from an on-site professional brewmaster, or can opt out if they’re already an intermediate home brewer who would prefer a more casual environment to hang out with friends while cooking up a batch of beer.
“At launch we hope to have around 30 different base types of beers that people can come in and make,” says Ward. “Eventually we want to have over 100 recipes that people can choose from.”
Ward and Meyers aren’t worried about competing with other local microbreweries that are coming online in 2012, as they see their business selling an experience that is just as important as the final product — which Meyers compares more to The Candle Lab, the local candle company where you can blend and pour your own candles.
“What you’re buying there is the experience, the ability to customize, and the ability to say that you made your own product,” he explains. “So we’re kind of like Candle Lab, but with beer. We’re targeting beer aficionados who want to have an experience centered around high quality craft beer.”
In addition to the on-site brewing facility, BRU will operate a full service bar and a home brew supply shop in the same space. The bar will have a full liquor license and will feature 31 beers on tap with half of the handles being beers brewed in-house, and the other half being a collection of favorite beers from around the country.
“We’ll be the most accessible home supply store in the region, because if you’re brewing late and run out of hops at 9pm, there’s no where you can currently go,” says Meyers. “But if our bar is open, then you can come in and buy a bag of hops.”
So essentially, 1288 North High Street will house multiple businesses under one roof, and BRU’s business partners couldn’t be more excited about becoming a part of the neighborhood.
“We looked at other areas, but were drawn to the Short North,” says Ward. “It’s going to keep growing north and campus is going to keep growing south.”
“It’s a very symbiotic neighborhood with Middle West Spirits and Brothers Drake right behind us,” adds Meyers. “We hope to serve their products in our bar, as well as beers from Four Strings, Born Brewing and others.”
BRU aims to be open sometime in July or August of 2012.