Plans For New Microbrewery Moving Forward

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Two friends who first met many years ago in the sixth grade at East Elementary School hope to have a new microbrewery in production in Athens a year from now.

Little Fish Brewing Co., to be located at Armitage Road on property that is being annexed into the city, is a project of Sean White and Jimmy Stockwell.

"We are excited to offer Athens some more local beer to consume, as well as another place to imbibe and socialize outside the Court Street area," White said in a news release announcing their plans.

In addition to the production facility, plans will include a small taproom.

The 2-acre site will have space for gardens to grow fruit and botanicals for use in the microbrewery.

Stockwell previously worked as a scientist for Diagnostic Hybrids Inc.

"Part of the long-term beer plan will be to put his microbiology skills to use to cultivate local microflora for use in some of the specialty beers and oak barrel aged sours," the news release states.

White previously brewed in Oregon for Alameda Brewing Co. and Cascade Brewing Co., and moved back to Athens in 2012 to work for Jackie O's as a pub brewer after their production facility expanded.

The business partners plan to specialize in farmhouse-style beers and oak-barrel aged sour beers, as well as more conventional ales and lagers.

"Our goal is to start producing beer in the late spring of 2015, and to have our grand opening during Ohio Brew Week in 2015," Stockwell said.

Also, they intend to partner with food trucks and local entrepreneurs to provide meals as demand dictates, according to the news release.

The plan is to have a "rural farmhouse atmosphere."

The property includes a 2,500-square-foot pole barn that will be remodeled inside and out for the brewery, White told The Messenger. A architect is working on the plans, and White said they plan to meet with Athens Code Director John Paszke soon to learn what permits will be needed from the city.

The property is under contract, contingent on the annexation going through, and White said they plan to close on the property in August after the annexation is complete.

The Messenger previously reported that Cameron Fuller intends to open a new microbrewery, Devil's Kettle Brewing, on Columbus Road, and that Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery plans on expanding its brew facility on Stimson Avenue.