Carillon Brewing Co. celebrates one year of brewing

Carillon Brewing Co. invites you to celebrate one year of brewing on Wednesday, Nov. 4 with new brews, a preview of their new menu, live music, and fall-themed festivities for the whole family.

The 1850’s-era brewery gives visitors a glimpse into Dayton’s past through authentically prepared food and drink of the times. It’s the nation’s only brewery in a museum.

Carillon Brewing did this by re-creating 1850s Dayton life via presentations, brewing production, exhibits and a full-service restaurant. Theirs is a story of a developing Midwestern city in a growing nation.

Using replica equipment and traditional recipes, some original to Dayton, head Brewster Tanya Brock brews in mid-19th-century fashion.

(Photo provided by Dayton History)

On brick furnace 14-feet above, Brock draws water from a handmade copper kettle before beginning the process of mashing and lautering. At the foot of the furnace, assistant brewer Kyle Spears tends to the fire.

“Carillon Brewing Co. is the only museum with a licensed production brewery, and the only brewery in the U.S. replicating the historical process,” says Brock. “On the physical construction of the building, it was a matter of, ‘If we’re going to do this right, well, let’s truly be a museum and replicate everything.’”

(Photo provided by Dayton History)

Cooper-crafted wooden barrels line the lower floor of the brewery, each one capped by artful, educational panels detailing the history and science of brewing. In sourcing city directories, canal records, farmers’ reports and the like, Brock carefully analyzed the influences of breweries on the city’s evolution during the latter half of the 1800s.

“As brewing industries grew, so too did the agricultural support,” she explains. “So too did the transportation support, and other industries. Everything was growing at the same time.”

Plans for the brewing complex began in 2007 and Carillon Brewing Co. marked its grand opening in August 2014.

“We wanted to be the first museum in the country to actually have a full-scale production brewery where everybody’s in costume,” said Dayton History president and CEO Brady Kress. “It’s an educational experience. You see it from grinding the grain to filling your glass — a production brewery. People can taste it, people can buy it, people can take it home.”

Everything from the gas copper lanterns that light the walkway outside to the costumes worn by the staff is of the period. The smell of charcoal and wood fire, sugary wort and timber permeate the air.

“An addition to the building, out among the beer garden, will be a wine pressing house,” explains Kress. “We have the infrastructure to make distilled spirits as well, so that would bring us full circle. When we have a facility that is able to teach these historic processes of distilling, brewing and winemaking, the project will be complete.”

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