E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: USA, OH: The Brew Kettle announces acquisition of Canton Brewing Co.

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E-Malt.com News article: USA, OH: The Brew Kettle announces acquisition of Canton Brewing Co.
Brewery news

The Brew Kettle is doubling down on its presence in Canton with the purchase of Canton Brewing Co., the Canton Repository reported on May 26.

The brewery — which was founded in 1995 and is known for beers such as White Rajah and Major Lager — has brewpub locations throughout Northeast Ohio and a production brewery in Strongsville. It also is opening a Brew Kettle site at the nearby Hall of Fame Village in Canton.

It paid $710,000 for the Canton Brewing building and business at 227 Market Ave. N, according to Stark County property records. The initial listing price was $1.45 million.

The Brew Kettle made the purchase with the limited liability company CBC Property Co. Owner Bryan Weber said he's familiar with the brewing system in the former Canton Brewing and intends to rebrand the brewery and restaurant, incorporating it into the revitalized downtown.

"We're making a large investment in Canton," he said.

The brewery sits next to Centennial Plaza, which has become the centerpiece for downtown events. The nearby Renkert Building also is being renovated into the Century Plaza Hotel, which will operate under the Marriott brand, and a building around the corner is being converted into market-rate apartments.

The Canton Brewing name and its historic beer brands such as Tuscora Pilsner will remain, but the concept will be entirely new. Weber said there'll be an 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen, an international restaurant brand known for using fresh ingredients and wood-fired ovens and rotisseries.

The Brew Kettle also will move its production of barrel-aged beer, including sours, to the downtown Canton building.

"For the next couple of months, we'll be renovating it and working with the economic development team there in Canton to do a new storefront, outside patio, and there's a lot of improvements that are going to be made in the interior and exterior of the building," Weber said.

Meanwhile, The Brew Kettle at the Hall of Fame Village will open to the public Saturday with a grand opening planned for Thursday. The brewpub is connected to the Topgolf Swing Suite, which includes six game simulators, in a 21,000-square-foot building at the Fan Engagement Zone.

The Topgolf Swing Suite will have six simulator bays with virtual games, including zombie dodgeball, baseball and football. The bays are available to rent for events by visiting hofvillage.com.

"I think it's a masterpiece that we put together there," Weber said.

There are two patios, one on each floor, that overlook Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Weber said there's also "a lot of history" to the table and bar tops, which were made with over 200-year-old wood saved from a Civil War captain's house ― a previous project for Weber.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame oversees programming at Centennial Plaza.

"Brew Kettle has built a solid reputation in Northeast Ohio, and to see them moving into both downtown Canton and the Hall of Fame Village is a positive sign for this community," said Rich Desrosiers, chief communications officer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "Their presence, along with others who believe in Canton’s city center, will help keep the downtown area vibrant."

Weber aims to have the downtown brewery and restaurant open by August. Canton Brewing employees who want to continue working at the business will have "every opportunity to do that," Weber said, but he's also hiring to bring the staff to about 35.

Chef Mike Longo will lead the restaurant. Master brewer Jack Kephart, who Weber described as an award-winning "mad scientist," will oversee brewing operations.

"I think it's important for people to know that the beer quality will be far above and beyond anything that you had experienced down there in the past," Weber said.

All Brew Kettle locations have 24 taps with half typically for the company's own beers and the other half for various craft beers from around the state. In addition to the brick-and-mortar restaurants, each Canton location will operate a food truck that also will be available to rent for private events.

The full-service restaurant will be open seven days a week on the first floor, and the basement "speakeasy" will be re-imagined as an additional seating and activity area. It also will be available for the public to rent.

Weber said the potential entertainment could include shuffleboard, cornhole, pool, pinball, sports simulators or duckpin bowling.

"It's one thing to go have dinner and a few drinks and leave. It's another thing to have a destination spot that you, with a group of people can spend three or four hours socializing and enjoying activities," he said. "So it'll be much more of an activity zone."

26 May, 2023

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