One of Dayton’s beer kings gives taste of what’s to come with new cocktail and coffee venture

Operating Manager/Master Brewer Pete Hilgeman stands on the deck of the patio of the Dayton Beer Company in Dayton. JIM WITMER/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Operating Manager/Master Brewer Pete Hilgeman stands on the deck of the patio of the Dayton Beer Company in Dayton. JIM WITMER/STAFF FILE PHOTO

Credit: Jim Witmer

Credit: Jim Witmer

A popular downtown destination for local brews will soon be able to cater to coffee connoisseurs and cocktail fans.

The brand new Dayton Beer Company cocktail and coffee bar will have its soft opening happening Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. The official grand opening will take place on Oct. 2-3.

The new operation is a part of DBC’s Dayton Barrel Works Artisan Distillery that has been in the works for more than a year. It is adjacent to the craft brewery’s taproom at 324 E. Second St. in downtown Dayton.

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The opening of the new operation will roll-out in phases, DBC owner Pete Hilgeman explained.

“Distillery has been in production mode for about a month,” Hilgeman said. “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to have our spirits available because by state law, we have to wait a little bit.”

The bar will offer a full menu of cocktails, however, DBC distillery spirits will not be available until Nov. 1. Coffee service will also not begin until a few weeks after the grand opening, sometime into October, Hilgeman said.

Cocktail bar hours will be 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Coffee hours, once opened, will be Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., then shut down for about four hours before it “flips back over to cocktails.”

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“We’ve got a pretty interesting cocktail menu that we’ve created,” Hilgeman said. “It’s just kind of getting it open and seeing how people like the space and like the drinks and then we’ll go from there. There’s so much we want to do, but we just got to get it open.”

Eight new employees have been hired by DBC for the new operation, and Hilgeman expects a handful more to be hired in the coming months.

The distillery’s coffee shop has partnered with Audacity Coffee of Kettering for a private-label coffee brand and will be serving Audacity’s coffee in the bar. “We will have all the regular coffee drinks and a few signatures,” Hilgeman said.

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Once opened, Audacity and DBC will offer two signature, private-label coffee blends — a breakfast and an espresso.

The 7,500-square-foot “Dayton Barrel Works Artisan Distillery” will produce a variety of spirits, including bourbon, vodka, gin, and a rotating list of experimental spirits, Hilgeman told this news outlet when the project was unveiled.

The expansion includes a private event space on the second floor above what is currently the brewery’s offices and kitchen, Hilgeman said.

“It’s been really neat and fun to have our customers every day ask us how progress is going and when they can start getting over there. ... It’s been really neat to experience that since we’ve been around for a while,” he said.

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