Fat Head’s Brewery opens in Middleburg Heights
MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio – Fat Head’s Brewery – all 75,000 square feet of its cavernous space in view of Interstate 71 – is open for business.
The owners of the massive beer production-brewpub-kitchen-gift shop held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting with dignitaries, friends, family and beer-thirsty patrons on Monday, Aug. 20. As soon as the ribbon was sliced the doors opened and the taps began flowing.
“It’s a hell of an accomplishment,” said Matt Cole, about an hour before he lined up with founder Glenn Benigni and others for the ceremony. “We still have a long way to go.”
Cole was referring to fine-tuning a few beers, but in reality it is a big deal – for the brewing community, for economic development in Middleburg Heights, and for tourism in Northeast Ohio.
Middleburg Heights Mayor Gary Starr, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Ohio Rep. Martin J. Sweeney were among those who attended Monday’s opening.
Starr credited the “dynamic experience” Fat Head’s brings to Middleburg Heights along with job creation. Budish echoed his sentiments.
“I don’t know much about beer – I don’t drink – but I do know about jobs,” he said, stressing Fat Head’s is “more than just a beer-manufacturing facility.”
With the opening, Fat Head’s remains in Middleburg Heights; its former taproom is on Sheldon Road. That will become the home to Rivals Brewing Co.
Fat Head’s patio is about three weeks from competition, Cole said, and a whole-hog, 100-percent fire, no-gas smoker is up and running. It can accommodate a 250-pound pig. Inside, self-guided tours are encouraged, with easy-to-understand signage explaining the brewing process.
In addition to its own beers, Fat Head’s is serving several guest taps, including Jackie O’s, MadTree, Willoughby Brewing and Noble Beast from Ohio and North Coast Brewing Co. of California, 3 Floyds of Indiana and Arsenal Cider of Pittsburgh.
Fat Head’s is at 17450 Engle Lake Dr., Middleburg Heights. Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday.
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