A Middletown brewery has moved into a large building that it shares with a new wood-fired pizza restaurant.
N.E.W. Ales Brewing, which operated at 1521 First Ave., for several years, has increased its seating capacity by renovating a building at 1330 Manchester Ave., said Wes Heupel, one of the three owners.
Heupel said his good friend Jeremy Loukinas will operate Steel City Pizza, named in honor of Armco, in the same building.
N.E.W. Ales Brewing “outgrew” its First Avenue location after the first month, Heupel said. He and his partners, his wife, Nicole, and Elizabeth O’Harra, have been searching for another, larger downtown location.
The 5,000-square-foot space provides seating for 80 customers, 72 more than the First Avenue location. He called the Manchester Avenue building “quite the improvement,” though he will miss the outdoor beer garden on First Avenue.
The brewery will feature 12 taps, said Heupel, who added he hopes to start beer distribution again.
The building, vacant for years, was “bleeding water” through the roof and some of the drywall needed to be replaced. he said. The interior has “a very nature vibe” due to the plants and hanging baskets, he said.
“It feels homey,” Heupel said. “Very inviting atmosphere.”
Loukinas said he was a regular at N.E.W. Ales and every time he was there, customers asked about food options. There were none.
Then when Heupel told Loukinas about the new, larger location, Loukinas pitched the idea for a pizza oven. He said the pizza is made from scratch.
The restaurant’s logo looks similar to Armco’s. Loukinas said the logo’s patent expired in 2007, and since he’s “a history nerd,” he decided to pay homage to the Middletown steel plant.
Loukinas believes the brewery and pizza restaurant can bring “viability to that end of town” because the vacant and boarded up building has been “brought back to life.”
HOW TO GO
WHAT: N.E.W. Ales Brewing and Steel City Pizza
WHERE: 1330 Manchester Ave., Middletown
HOURS: 4-9 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday
PHONE: N.E.W. Ales, 513-915-7023; Steel City Pizza, 513-817-1625
WEB SITE: www.newalesbrewing.com