Updated Wed, Feb 1, 2012 1:16 pm
Known for their locally-crafted beer in Athens, Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery will soon expand its brewery operations. The move comes after space limitations made it obvious expansion was necessary.
The pub’s brewing machinery is currently located at the pub's West Union Street location, but renovation is underway at a larger site on Stimson Avenue.
“The new building was originally built to produce cheese. Cheese making and dairy handling are very similar [to beer handling],” said Brad Clark, Brew Master. “Also it’s located on a series of highways that go north, south, east and west which is great to bring in shipments of things.”
The new $250,000 machinery will begin manufacturing this summer.
Once the system is operational, beer kegs will be sold in areas such as Marietta, Logan and Columbus. Clark says if the demand for Jackie O's beer continues to increase, then distribution will stretch to Cincinnati and Dayton.
Jackie O’s will also start making its own honey, which is often used for beer production and in the restaurant's kitchen.
“We have an opportunity to put in a number of hives,” said Clark. “We have a farm on Angel Ridge Road where we grow a lot of the things for our kitchen.”
Clark says Jackie O’s popularity and production are gaining momentum. Their beer production increased from 550 barrels in 2010 to 725 barrels in 2011. And this year, the brewery was voted the 56th Best Beer Brewery in a list of 100 breweries in the world by RateBeer.com.
“We never imagined that it would get to this level, especially in six years,” said Clark. “We have the community to thank for supporting us and for making this a successful venture.”