North High Brewing's house-made brews are getting too big for their britches... Or, at least for their brewing system.
From left: North High Brewing's Charlie Davis, Tim Ward and Gavin Meyers.
That's why Gavin Meyers and his North High Brewing cohorts are expanding to a second brewing location, upping their four keg operation to a 40 keg operation by June 2014.
"When we first put together our business plan, we never thought we'd need offsite brewing," Meyers said in a recent phone interview. "Just thinking we have to open a second brewing location to keep up with demand caught us completely off guard."
It's a beer gradient!
According to Meyers, since the inception of the Short North's brew pub, North High has operated on a two barrel system. If they had kept their beers within the confines of their tap room and s few select bars around town, this system would have been fine. The smaller system allowed the brewers to experiment and fine-tune different styles and brews. But popularity grew, and their system stayed the same, essentially forcing mass out-put from a test-kitchen. It became apparent to himself and his business associates, a second location was necessary.
"The resources for something like this aren't cheap, but I feel like we've already established a good product. Because we started out on the smaller brewing system, we had the chance to test a lot of different recipes until we nailed it," he said. "We got to test things out and find our voice. This second location sort of serves as a megaphone. We get to say what we want to say with our beer, only on a grander scale. I'm excited to work smarter, not harder."
North High Brewing's Gavin Meyers, Tim Ward and Charlie Davis.
Meyers hopes to expand the number of bars carrying North High taps from 40 to 400.
"Even though it seems like a ton of local breweries have been popping up, but with the size of Columbus, the community is still largely underserved. If you go to the suburbs, you won't find nearly as many local or craft beer taps at bars. We want to change that. I guess you could say we're on a craft beer crusade."
Even with a strong product and a loyal fanbase, Meyers isn't without his doubts.
"Any time you're investing your emotional and financial resources like this, if you're not terrified, you're sampling too much of the product."