Closing of Middletown brewery at end of month ‘leaves an empty, gut punch feeling’

Rolling Mill Brewing Co. opened on First Avenue five years ago.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The long-term impact of COVID-19 and rising prices of products claimed the life of another Butler County business.

Rolling Mill Brewery Co., a family-owned business that opened five years ago, is closing at the end of the month, the owners posted on Facebook.

“We simply can no longer operate in this scenario,” the Facebook post read. “This is especially frustrating knowing the potential of what we have created if we had the right capital and investment.”

The owners, Joshua and Megan Laubach, also wrote their families are dealing with health issues and need their help.

“We are choosing to answer that call,” they wrote.

The last day of business will be Sept. 30. They wrote that closing the brewery at 916 1st Ave. “leaves an empty, gut punch feeling.”

The Laubachs wrote they started the business from scratch as a married couple in their 30s with three small children. With help from family and friends they spent one year renovating the 5,648-square-foot building that opened in December 2017.

“Since that time, it has been a roller coaster ride of emotions,” they wrote. “So many good and many not so great. However, we achieved making a great product that many people needed and loved. We will never regret what we have built and the accomplishments we have had.”

They are looking for a buyer of the business, they wrote.

Rolling Mill is Ohio’s only dedicated gluten-free brewery. In 2012, the Laubachs wanted to brew beer that was gluten-free since Josh Laubach was diagnosed with Celiac Disease the year before. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is triggered by the consumption of gluten. Later, his wife was diagnosed with major food allergies with wheat being one of them.

Rolling Mill is closing during the same month another Butler County brewery opened.

Moeller Brew Barn, 6550 Hamilton Lebanon Road in Monroe, opened last week. The taproom and beer garden are located in the former Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House that closed in February due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staffing issues and rising food costs.

The 25,875-square-foot brewing facility allows Moeller Brew Barn, founded in 2015, to expand the brand’s taproom and distribution presence to the Cincinnati region. The Monroe location marks the fourth taproom for Moeller Brew Barn, each one offering a unique environment and customer experience.

Rivertown, a $6 million facility, opened Jan. 20, 2017 and saw early success because of its location near a highly traveled roadway and being close to Cincinnati Premium Outlets, Miami Valley Gaming and two popular flea markets, Traders World and Treasure Aisles.

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