There’s no doubt about it, Daytonians love beer. Considering Dayton’s long history with beer, it’s no surprise we like to wet our whistles with the stuff. The brewing industry was booming in Dayton up until stupid Prohibition, and I like to imagine all of the great Dayton icons clinking together their mugs after a long day of inventing stuff. Luckily for us, Carillon Brewing Company will be giving us an opportunity to see what it was like to have a brewery in 1850’s Dayton. It’s kind of like going to an exhibit about brewing in the 19th Century and then getting to drink the beer, wine, and cider once they’re done… Come to think of it, that’s exactly what it is.
As you probably would imagine, creating an authentic 19th century experience in the 21st century is no easy task. But even before entering, the building’s brick exterior, hand-painted signage, and dozens of pastoral windows create an old-world atmosphere. When you pass through the giant wooden entrance doors, you see that brick paneling line the walls, and gigantic solid pieces of un-sanded timber wood provide the support to the wide-open, two story interior. The rustic wooden tables were hand-made by the staff, including Tanya Brock, the manager of Carillon Brewing, and Brady Kress, the President and CEO of Dayton History. The seasonal bier garden, which seats around 100 people, will feature an outdoor bar, and will be lit by live gas lanterns. To contrast the 1850’s atmosphere, behind-the-scenes areas are completely contemporary. The kitchen, for example, is full of pristine stainless steel. However, these modern amenities don’t take away from the experience of stepping into a 19th century brewpub.
The restaurant, which will be open for lunch and dinner, will feature dishes that are inspired mainly by German cuisine, but will also have influences of Irish and English fare. The inspiration for the menu comes from the fact that many of the early Dayton breweries were owned and operated by 1st or 2nd generation German families.
In the main dining area (which seats around 180 guests) sits the brewery, which is a two story, three-tiered brick oven. It will serve as both a functional brewery and an interactive exhibit; patrons will not only be able to sample the beer, but will get to aid in the brewing process. This alone makes Carillon Brewing Company a unique visit for Daytonians and tourists alike. Once the beer has finished fermenting and conditioning, it will be served out of taps in oak barrels. The brewing system will utilize good ol’ fashioned fire for heating, and gravity to move from the mash to the boil.
Closing a 164-year gap
It’s hard not to be excited about Dayton after visiting Carillon Brewing. As with the other exhibits at Carillon Park, they strive to make the experience as authentic as possible. It’s worth visiting for a number of amazing reasons, not the least of which is pre-prohibition beer.
They will be having a soft opening on Friday, August 22nd. The restaurant and brewery will be fully operational within a month. The hours will be Monday through Saturday 9:30 AM -10:00 PM and Sunday 11:00am- 10:00pm, with food service starting at 11:00am daily.