A new craft brewery with an uplifting name is coming to the heart of Copley township.
Brighten Brewing Company is presently under construction just north of the Copley Circle in Copley, Ohio. Its opening is planned for August. The name of the brewery reflects the attitude of founders Elliott Pickett, 35, and Tom Robbins, 34.
“It describes what I’d like to see for the industry — keep raising the bar and focus on quality,” said Robbins, who will serve as the brewer and manage the taproom.
The 7,200 sq. ft. brewery, which sits in the same small shopping plaza as Big Star Pizza on Cleveland Massillon Road, will feature a seven-barrel brewing system and tasting room. There won’t be a kitchen, but there will be an outdoor patio.
Robbins, who lives in Coventry Township, is an award-winning brewer who has taken home two medals at the Great American Beer Festival while brewing at Lager Heads Brewing in Medina. His wins were for an Oktoberfest and a smoked beer.
He plans to offer 10 to 12 beers on tap, including a green tea beer that he made during his homebrewing days.
Robbins, who also has brewed at Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron and Magic City Brewing in Akron, said Brighten will offer a variety of styles, including lagers, barley wines, imperial stouts, Belgians and barrel-aged beers. The beer will be available to-go in 32 oz. crowlers and cans.
Brighten will focus at first on serving its tasting room, but would like to expand into self-distribution and grow the business.
There will be a house-made root beer and ginger ale, too. The brewery also will seek a wine license.
Pickett, who lives in Akron, bought the building last year. He said he was approached by the township about opening a brewery and hooked up with longtime family friend Robbins.
Pickett’s family owns the nearby Walterville business complex and propane business.
The building, which once housed a Dollar General store that relocated, is now being renovated.
The site is ideal for a brewery, given the surrounding residential neighborhoods, proximity to the Montrose shopping area and access to Interstate 77, Pickett said.
“The community needs something like this,” he said.
The goal is also to bring a little life back to Copley Circle, he added.
“It’s part of the larger vision for what the circle could become,” Pickett said. ”[The township wants] lifestyle choices and things like that to come back to the circle.”
Brighten will join a bustling craft brewery scene in Summit County. There are 20 breweries in the county now, but Brighten will be the only one in the Copley, Fairlawn and Bath area.
It won’t be Copley’s first brewery, though. Thirsty Dog and the short-lived The Beer Factory once operated breweries in the community.