“The old fire station is a perfect place for a brewery,” he said. “It’s off of Broadway and it’s in the DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area).”
He and his partners asked for investors and had originally planned on going to a 3,000 square-foot commercial building and a 2,000 square-foot patio at 535 North Broadway. However, city officials worked out an agreement and cash considerations with Ridgley to give the 12,000 square-foot decommissioned fire station in exchange for the city acquiring the property at 535 North Broadway.
The property at 535 North Broadway has the interest of another investor group who wants to redevelop the property.
Ridgley, who is a Lebanon native, said his group has invested $1.3 million to transform the fire station into a taproom and a place for the community to hang out.
“The Lebanon Brewing Company is an exciting addition to Lebanon’s outstanding downtown, and is a great example of a public – private partnership that enhances the economic vitality of our Central Business District,” said City Manager Scott Brunka. “We are pleased to be able to work with this locally-owned business to bring a new food and entertainment venue for residents and visitors to enjoy.
For the past several days, the brewery has hosted a number of special events for its investors, club members, firefighters and other first responders to prepare for today’s grand opening. It’s Founders and Pub club memberships have sold out at 80 members total. However, Ridgley said they may add more club members next year.
The brewery is a seven barrel system that can make 210 gallons of beer in a single batch, Ridgley said. He said it can make 500 to 1,000 barrels in a year. Jake Borsvold is the brewer and a partner in the brewery. Ridgley said Borsvold “has done a great job in setting up the equipment to brew the craft beer.”
“We’ve always been craft beer fans,” said Ridgley, who got his start as a home brewer.
It also features televisions, a 40-foot full bar with 11 beers on tap and is planning to add more as they go. The brewery offers sandwiches and other appetizers made from scratch from the Ladder 41 Tapping Kitchen which is a separate business operated by Mark Knight. The kitchen’s name pays homage to the former home of LFD’s Ladder 41 and Station 41 past history.
Ridgley said they expect to have about two dozen employees and they still have bar and kitchen openings.
“I hope this becomes a community hub,” he said. “We want to be involved in the community and we want people to come out to a nice casual place to hang out at. It’s been a long time coming and I’m glad were opening.”
The brewery is open seven days a week. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and noon to midnight Friday and Saturday.
For more information, visit their website at https://www.restaurantji.com/oh/lebanon/lebanon-brewing-company-/.