**UPDATE (Jan. 6, 2019)**
The Dayton area’s first craft brewery-distillery is now hiring and gearing up to open in the coming weeks just off of State Route 725 in Washington Twp.
Sojourners Brewstillery, at 8150 Washington Village Drive in the Yankee Business Center in Washington Twp., could open its doors to the public by the end of the month, if all goes well, according to brewery founder Jeff Marjamaa of Sugarcreek Twp.
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When it does open, Sojourners Brewstillery will seat about 80 in a space that will also accommodate several recreational activities, with ping-pong tables, cornhole-toss boards and a pool table, Marjamaa said.
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“Without having a patio space until we figure out a great plan for it, we decided to try to create a patio-like space and activities inside,” the business founder said.
The brewery-distillery will not have a kitchen. “We absolutely invite people to bring in food, Marjamaa said. “We will have menus of local restaurants that will deliver, and we hope to bring out food trucks as well.”
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The distillery portion of the business will focus on small-batch spirits, and the beers will be “light and clean,” Marjamaa said in July 2019, ranging from older European styles to West-coast IPAs. A barrel-aging program will be an integral part of both the beer and spirits lineups, he said.
Marjamaa has brewery experience. He is the co-founder and served as chief financial officer of two other breweries: Aegir Brewing Co. in Elk River, Minnesota, and JAKs Brewing Co. in Falcon, Colorado.
Sojourners is looking to hire four to six bartenders with knowledge and passion for craft beer, Marjamaa said. For more information, send an email to LauraM@sojournersbrewstillery.com.
**ORIGINAL STORY (July 9, 2019)**
The Dayton area’s newest craft brewery is in the works in Washington Twp. between Centerville and the Dayton Mall, and this one comes with a twist: it will include a small-batch distillery, too.
Sojourners Brewstillery, coming soon to 8150 Washington Village Drive in the Yankee Business Center in Washington Twp., is the brainchild of Jeff Marjamaa, who moved to Sugarcreek Twp. with his family last fall.
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Marjamaa has some brewery experience under his belt. He is the co-founder and served as chief financial officer of two other breweries: Aegir Brewing Co. in Elk River, Minnesota, and JAKs Brewing Co. in Falcon, Colorado.
“We want to put down roots here,” he said of the Dayton area.
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The 6,000-square-foot space will be split between a tap room and production facilities, and will seat about 100, Marjamaa said. The tap room will have the feel of a public house in England — “a community gathering place where everyone feels welcome, including those who don’t like to drink beer.”
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The distillery portion of the business will focus on small-batch spirits, and the beers will be “light and clean,” Marjamaa said, ranging from older European styles to West-coast IPAs. A barrel-aging program will be an integral part of both the beer and spirits lineups, he said.
Marjamaa said he signed a five-year lease for the space with options for two five-year extensions. He hopes to open Sojourners in late summer or early fall.
“We’re just starting the build-out now, but it should be minor,” the brewery founder said.
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Terry Baltes of Baltes Commercial Realty said he has received “very positive feedback” from other tenants of the Yankee Business Center about the addition of Sojourners Brewstillery.
“We are very excited to have him as a new tenant,” Baltes said. “This will be a real asset for that development.”
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Ryan Lee, development and zoning director for Washington Twp., told this news outlet that the township has approved the brewery’s planned usage of the space, which is zoned for commercial enterprises.
Sojourners Brewstillery will add to the craft-brewing renaissance that has swept across the Miami Valley in the last decade. More than 15 craft breweries have opened across the region in the last eight years, and to date, none of the breweries that are part of the most recent wave has shut its doors. Nearly all, in fact, have expanded, either adding new or moving to larger locations, or launching retail sales in cans and bottles, or both.
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