Being a small business owner is a tough job. That’s why we spotlight a different business each month to help you learn about unique businesses in your own back yard.
There’s a new business coming to Canal Winchester that has been generating excitement since it was announced last year. That’s when we learned the number one craft beer maker in the United Kingdom will construct its USA headquarters in Canal Winchester. While Brewdog’s new 40-acre campus is a few months from opening, we thought craft beer aficionados and small business enthusiasts would enjoy learning about another much anticipated local brewery prepping to open in the heart of Canal Winchester.
Nathan and Kelley Doerfler, owners of the Canal Winchester landmark Harvest Moon Craft Kitchen and the Garden Herb Shop, originally intended to expand Harvest Moon to a second location but plans changed when another opportunity presented itself. Approximately 18 months ago, the plans shifted toward building a brewery. In a whirlwind time period for the couple and with help from the Canal Banking Center, the perfect location – a former power substation for a rail line that ran until the early 1900s – was targeted and purchased.
Joined by business partners Jonathan Woodruff and Dennis Smalley, the newly minted “Loose Rail Brewing” operation began to take form. The building is located just walking distance from Harvest Moon in downtown Canal Winchester. What this means for the brewery is that while they won’t have a full kitchen and menu in the beginning, they will offer a food shuttle service from the Harvest Moon for limited menu items.
Loose Rail will be a seven barrel brew house, with four fermenters, a taproom, a patio, a bar, and first and second floor seating. Five beer recipes are being brewed – the craft brew standard India Pale Ale, a Session IPA, an Amber, a Pilsner, and a Stout. Nathan said it was important to offer something for everyone. Loose Rail hopes to separate itself by being created as a family-friendly space, in which families large and small can stop in to listen to live music on the weekends, host gatherings, and bring food in to sit outside on the patio to enjoy an evening open-air dining.
The excitement is growing and the promotion of the brewery is well underway. Buzz is growing on social media and merchandise and apparel are being printed and sold at Harvest Moon. They’ve already been featured in Columbus CEO magazine, The Dispatch, Columbus Underground, and Columbus Business Monthly. They also are being added to various Ohio beer trail maps and look forward to bridging the gap between Central Ohio breweries and the growing craft brew hotbed that is Southern and Southeastern Ohio.
The old railroad building at 37 Waterloo Street is really starting to take a life of its own as Loose Rail Brewing and though adding a brewery to their business portfolio has been an exciting process so far, it hasn’t all gone smoothly. Nathan says Loose Rail was originally targeted to open this summer but an overwhelming amount of nationwide permit requests within The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has caused the opening to be delayed. It’s now tentatively slated to open on Labor Day Weekend but, at this point, they are playing a waiting game as it’s out of their hands. The good news? There are a host of people anticipating the grand opening, anxiously awaiting the official announcement. “This community has been really supportive and there is a lot of excitement for this,” Nathan says. “We can’t wait to get going!”