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Loose Rail Brewing Building Canal Winchester Taproom

Rebecca Wagner Rebecca Wagner Loose Rail Brewing Building Canal Winchester TaproomPhoto by Rebecca Wagner.
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Canal Winchester will be be gaining a new craft microbrewery this spring.

Loose Rail Brewing Company is the third project from the owners of Harvest Moon Craft Kitchen and The Garden Herb Shop, just a block away from the new brewery’s location at 37 W. Waterloo Street.

Husband-wife duo Nathan and Kelley Doerfler bought Harvest Moon Craft Kitchen six years ago, with intentions of adding more space to their health store, The Garden Herb Shop. They transitioned the space into a successful adjoining restaurant, and decided to keep expanding their business. After plotting brewery plans for eight months, the Doerflers collaborated with Jon Woodruff and Dennis Smalley to create the Loose Rail Brewing Company team. All are Canal Winchester natives, with close-knit ties to the affable community.

“We were raised in this area, we love the feel,” said Kelley Doerfler. “We wanted to stay small community rather than go into the city.”

They’ll take official possession of the building in January, and begin a full renovation of their space, the old Ohio Midland Electric Company building. The team conducted an environmental site assessment for the property, and ending up finding a few old historical maps. The 1920s-era maps showed that the property was an old electric substation, one of the power transmission buildings for the historical train systems that went out of commission in 1900. It housed the train’s third rail, a fact that inspired part of the brewery’s name.

The 3,000 square-foot space will house brewing equipment on one side, and a community taproom on the other that will seat an estimated 75. The team plans to build out a patio for additional seating.

A tentative list of their beers include a session IPA, core IPA, stout or brown, a pilsner-esque light beer, and malt-based beer. As of now, they plan to open with at least five beers on tap.

“We know so many people in the area already, and you can see how much of a pull there is for craft beer,” said Woodruff.

Loose Rail won’t include a kitchen, but will have a limited Harvest Moon menu. Food will be delivered from the restaurant to the brewery. The team is looking to form a natural marriage between Loose Rail and Harvest Moon, matching food, beer and palates.

“The support and excitement we’ve gotten from the local community is really exciting. It’s humbling too, seeing how excited they are for us,” said Kelley Doerfler.

The brewery is aiming for a mid-May opening, hopefully on Mother’s Day weekend to coincide with the Canal Winchester art walk.

For more information, visit www.hm-cafe.com.

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