Cuyahoga County is considering a $1.5 million loan to Saucy Brew Works for a new brewpub and production facility in Independence.
The Cuyahoga County Community Improvement Corporation, which reviews proposed economic development projects, has recommended the county award the loan, pending approval by County Council.
The loan would be used for equipment at the to-be-constructed, 25,000 sq. ft. facility on Rockside Woods Boulevard near the new Topgolf driving range complex, said co-founder and CEO Brent Zimmerman.
Zimmerman anticipates the facility opening by late 2020 or early 2021.
Meeting the Demand
Saucy Brew Works currently operates at a Detroit Avenue facility in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.
“We’re running out of space and capacity in Cleveland to meet demand,” Zimmerman said. “That little part of the world [in Independence] is the highest trafficked part of Ohio, and we think we’ll bring a nice entertainment addition to the area.”
The Detroit Avenue location will continue to operate as a taproom and brewpub, but will limit its production there to specialty and seasonal brews. The Independence location will become the brewery’s main production facility.
The new complex will include a brewpub and event space along with a production plant and distribution facility. Also planned is a 16,000 sq. ft. outdoor area, with a pub, coffee shop, children’s playground, and heaters to keep visitors warm in the off-season.
Expanded production capacity will allow the brewery to serve the entire state, as well as a Detroit brewpub expected to open this summer, Zimmerman said. Expansion into other states could happen down the road, he said.
Saucy Brew Works currently employs 30 people in Ohio City. The new facility is expected to add 60 new jobs to Cuyahoga County, a county news release says.
“Our investments in development projects, like the new Saucy Brew Works facility adjacent to the new Top Golf complex and the Embassy Suites Hotel in Independence, are key in helping companies continue to stay, grow and thrive in our region,” County Executive Armond Budish said in the release. He said the county’s investment would build Independence’s workforce and support the city’s hotel industry.
Saucy Brew Works opened its doors in Hingetown in 2017, with the help of a $480,000 county loan. It unveiled a brewpub inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in February 2019, and has plans for a brewpub and coffeehouse in Columbus’s Short North neighborhood.
The brewery is also opening new taprooms at Pinecrest in Orange Village and in Columbus this April.