Hairless Hare craft brewery in Vandalia has added lunch, including this Orzo Mediterranean Salad lunch special, and will soon add a meadery to its brewery.
Photo: Contributed
Photo: Contributed

Vandalia craft brewery now serving lunch, gearing up to add meadery

Hairless Hare hopes to have expansion project complete by end of year, co-founder says

Hairless Hare Brewery in Vandalia has completed the first stage of its aggressive expansion project and is now serving lunch, and the brewery will now turn its attention to expanding its taproom and adding a meadery.

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The brewery at 738 W. National Road took over the lease of an adjacent tenant, adding more than 3,000 square feet and more than doubling its footprint, Hairless Hare’s owners have said.

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Here’s an update on the expansion project from Hairless Hare co-founder Mike Legg:

“Stage one of the project is complete, and stage two is getting there,” Legg said. “Stage one was getting our kitchen moved from inside the brewery area and into the new space next door. We knocked a hole in the wall and finished that project in July and began operating our lunch every day of the week at 11 a.m. in the beginning of August. We do a weekly lunch special and offer our full menu for lunch.”

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The second stage of the project will include the addition of a meadery and expansion of the taproom, Legg said.

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“We have all of the meadery equipment in-house and are in the final stages of drawing and permit approval with the city (of Vandalia),” Legg said. “We have sent our applications of expansion and winery-permit approvals to both the state and the feds and are waiting on approval. Most of the demolition on the new side is complete, so we will begin construction as soon as we receive approvals and permits from the city.” 

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The brewery does not have a target completion date yet, but Legg said, “We are working hard to have the whole thing operational by the end of 2019.”

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***PREVIOUS STORY (March 8, 2009)***

Hairless Hare Brewery in Vandalia has unveiled an aggressive expansion project that will double seating, expand its restaurant taproom hours and add meads to its beer lineup. 

The brewery at 738 W. National Road has taken over the lease of an adjacent tenant in the retail center and will add 3,300 square feet, more than doubling its footprint to 5,700 square feet, its owners said.

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“As many of our patrons know, this growth has been a long time coming, as we are often at maximum capacity on our busy days and evenings,” co-founder Mike Legg said.

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Here are just some of the brewery’s plans that the additional space will accommodate:

  • The brewery’s taproom and patio will double overall seating capacity.
  • The brewery and kitchen will be separated, and the brewery portion will expand, allowing for increased beer production . 
  • The upgraded kitchen will allow the taproom to be open for lunch seven days a week. The menu will expand over time, but will retain the current favorite dishes.
  • The brewery will team up with Dave Smart, an award-winning home mead maker, to introduce mead production under the “Blackbird Meadery” label. Meads will be available in the taproom and in limited-edition bottles.
Hairless Hare will celebrate its fifth anniversary Nov. 10, 2018. Staff file photo by Jim Witmer

The extra space also will allow for expansion of the brewery’s barrel-aging program, Legg said.

EARLIER COVERAGE: Local brewery targets historic Fairborn firehouse for 2nd location

In 2017, Hairless Hare announced initial plans for a second location in a historic firehouse in Fairborn, but canceled those plans in late 2017, citing the potential renovation and construction costs.

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