New brewery with Dayton ties coming to Middletown

A new brewery called FigLeaf Brewing Company could open as early as this fall in Middletown, and it has ties to a couple of Dayton-area craft breweries.

Jeff Fortney — the head brewer at Warped Wing Brewing Company in downtown Dayton, where he serves as second-in-command on the production side to brewmaster John Haggerty — is co-founder of the new venture, as is Brian Yavorsky, who was one of the original co-founders of Star City Brewing in Miamisburg.

FigLeaf Brewing will be located at 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, just north of Monroe. Fortney, Yavorsky and three other partners have leased an 8,400-square-foot building that is still under construction.

In an interview, Fortney said the new brewery’s proximity to I-75, the Miami Valley Gaming racino, and other retail development, including Cincinnati Premium Outlets, made it an attractive location.

Seating capacity hasn’t been determined yet. The brewery will employ about 10 when it opens, Fortney said.

The brewery will not have in-house food service because of space constraints, but, “We intend on embracing food truck culture as well as supporting delivery from local restaurants and carry-in options,” Fortney said.

FigLeaf — known in its early stages as Unbridled Brewing Company, which is the name of its parent corporation — will offer a broad range of styles from its 20-barrel brewhouse. “We’ll have a little bit of everything,” Fortney said. Plans call for off-site distribution, in kegs only, for the first year.

Rick Pearce, president and CEO of The Chamber of Commerce, Serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton, welcomed the development.

“It’s a positive sign of an improving local economy when outside investors have identified your city or area as a wise investment,” Pearce said. “Middletown, as with many other areas across this state and country, has struggled with development over the years, and it’s good to see this growth.”

Middletown Economic Development Director Jennifer Ekey said, “Craft brewing is on the rise, and we are excited to welcome FigLeaf Brewing Company to the Middletown community. This gives our residents another local option for enjoying craft beer and will also serve as a destination for those who follow craft beer.”

Fortney, who has worked at Warped Wing for more than two years, said his Warped Wing colleagues have been very supportive.

“When I sat down with John (Haggerty) for my job interview, he said to me, “I know you’re going to open your own brewery someday,’” Fortney said.

• Staff writer Mike Rutledge contributed to this report.

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