Historic Germantown restaurant now brewing beer: ‘A new piece of history has been written’

The Florentine, which traces its history back more than two centuries, has opened its own craft brewery.

Located at 21 W. Market Street in Germantown, the restaurant has two beers on tap for customers to try.

Current owners Clay Alsip and Beth Vanden Berg purchased the restaurant in January 2018. They reopened the historic 7,000-square-foot restaurant to the public in March 2018 following kitchen renovations.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Alsip told Dayton.com that about a year and a half ago he and Beth were talking to a customer that brewed beer. He said by the end of the night, it seemed like the next step.

“The Florentine is the oldest tap house in the state of Ohio,” Alsip said. “It’s been serving draft beer since 1814. It never brewed its own beer.”

The restaurant has 16 rotating taps with four to six featuring Ohio breweries. The Florentine has two beers, but they hope to end up with two more by the end of this summer and a seasonal beer at least twice a year, Alsip said.

The two new beers on tap are the Heritage Brown and Old World IPA. Alsip said both beers were brewed in the same manner prior to prohibition.

He described the Heritage Brown as a very dark, light-tasting brown with under a six percent IPA. He said it looks heavier than it is. The Old World IPA is a typical light IPA.

Alsip said they were nervous to begin this new endeavor because of the restaurant’s legacy. The restaurant is located in Ohio’s second-oldest inn that dates back to 1814-1816. The Golden Lamb in Lebanon is the only inn that traces its lineage farther than The Florentine.

“A new piece of history has been written on a historic establishment,” Alsip said.

The craft beer will be exclusive to the restaurant. As for dining options, The Florentine is known for steaks, beer battered roasted orange roughy and comfort food.

“In the same building you can get good food, cold draft beer, local brews and top shelf bourbon,” Alsip said.

The Florentine is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.theflorentinerestaurant.com or the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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