Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Local couple 'hoptimistic' about brewery

By Kathy Thompson

Nick Moeller stands in front of a sign marking the location of a microbrewery he. . .

MARIA STEIN - Nick Moeller and several friends started brewing their own beer while living in San Diego in 2008.
He and his wife, Monica, hope to put that knowledge and experience to use at a microbrewery they plan to open this spring in the Maria Stein Industrial Park.
"I think every community should have a brewery," Nick Moeller said. "It's the way it was before Prohibition and I think this market is blowing up."
The new business will open in the former Goodman Pool barn at 8016 Marion Drive.
Moeller graduated from Marion Local, attended Ohio State University and then moved to San Diego in 2002. While living in California, he experimented with various beer recipes and visited breweries along the coast.
"It's a big deal out there right now," he said. "It's becoming a big business all over."
Moeller's 15-barrel brewhouse will begin producing eight varieties of American and European ales and German lagers in March. Moeller said he eventually hopes to expand production to 12 styles of beer.
"I won't limit myself to one particular style," he said. "I've already been contacted by a fund-raising group that wants a certain brew. I'll be able to do that for whatever groups want to contact me. That's what makes this so exciting right now. People have been very receptive and are very encouraging."
A tasting room will open in April with room for 70 customers seeking to purchase sample pours or half-gallon growlers, Moeller said. Beer also will be available in one-sixth or half-barrel keg sizes, based on a 31-gallon keg.
Moeller said he also has talked to catering companies about providing snacks for customers.
He hopes to hire four employees within two years and have five full-time employees by the fourth year, he said.
The company received part of its financing from a Midwest Electric Revolving Loan.
Matt Berry of Midwest Electric said the loan criteria include a solid business plan leading to job creation and retention.
"That's the most important thing, the job creation and retention," he said.
Loan officials were impressed with Moeller's business plan and liked the project, he added.
"Small micros are a fast-growing segment of small businesses," Berry said. "We welcome him to the community."
Moeller said when the brewery is up and running the hours will be 3-8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays.
"We're very excited about being back in the community and getting started," he said.
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