Hoster Gold Top to go? Coming right up.

Hoster Gold Top to go? Coming right up.

The city's most famous lager will return in six-packs before the Fourth of July, as the reenergized L. Hoster Brewing Company boosts production and looks to expand its brand.

In addition to releasing Gold Top in bottles, co-owners Daniel Meyers and Victor Ecimovich said they plan to increase the beer's availability on draft and brew other selections under the Hoster name later this year.

"Over time now, as we're able to secure more production, we can add some other items," said Meyers, the man behind the revival of Frostop root beer. "Since Gold Top is the flagship beer, it's the one we're bottling first."

Gold Top hasn't appeared in bottles since the days of the Hoster Brewing Company, a brewpub that operated at 550 S. High St. from 1989 to 2001. The business was named after (but not connected to) the historic brewery founded in 1836 by German immigrant Louis Hoster.

Meyers purchased the brewpub's assets in 2004 and recruited Ecimovich, a former brewmaster there. Together they reintroduced the first keg of Gold Top in February 2005.

The company currently brews Gold Top through contracts with several facilities in the region, which limits availability to taps at a small number of loyal local bars.

"We've kept things scaled back to make sure that the good customers always had product," Ecimovich said.

Yet a recent agreement with their top Ohio contractor will give Hoster resources to produce more Gold Top and reintroduce other beers once popular at the brewpub, Meyers said. The contractor also has a bottling facility.

Eventually, Meyers and Ecimovich hope to brew their beers in Columbus.

Earlier this week, Meyers moved his beer and soft-drink operations into a 26,000-square-foot facility on Alum Creek Drive on the Near East Side. He said he's making facility improvements, raising capital and purchasing equipment that will allow him to put in full-production brewery.

"That's terrific, because Gold Top's a really old brand name," said Jay Hoster, the great-great-grandson of Louis Hoster. "In the 1910s until Prohibition, it was the major Hoster brand."

Photo Courtesty Ohio Historical Society/OhioPix