Saucy Brew Works adding new brewpub, triple production

With property acquired this week, Saucy Brew Works hopes to
start construction this summer in Independence on its second
production facility and its sixth brewpub (Saucy Brew Works).

It’s been a banner couple of years for Saucy Brew Works and their founders, Brewmaster Eric Anderson and entrepreneur Brent Zimmerman. And the long-time craft beer fanatics are teaming up for their biggest expansion yet.

Earlier this week, they closed on a property deal in suburban Independence where they plan to build a new $15+ million brewpub and production facility that will allow them to more than triple their beer-making capabilities.

Located at 5810 Rockside Woods Boulevard, the site is a 3.2-acre parcel between the Embassy Suites by Hilton and the Topgolf Cleveland which opened a year ago. That location, above the ramps linking Interstate 77 and 480, is visible from one of Ohio’s busiest highway interchanges. It’s why Zimmerman wanted to build there.

The Independence Saucy Brew Works will measure about
25,000 square feet, making it the largest expansion by the
four-year-old, Cleveland-based brewpub chain (SBW).

“There’s 111 million cars pass that by that site each year,” he said. “It’s the highest traffic point in the state. Topgolf didn’t pick that site by chance. There’s also thousands of hotel rooms nearby and lots of businesses. It’s a pretty central location.”

From that location, Saucy expects to double its beer production activities and will enable the distribution of its product to three states, not just Ohio. The brewpub chain which is also noted for its pizza has grown from its first location it opened three years ago in the renovated Steelman Building, 2885 Detroit Ave. in the Hingetown section of Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.

It has since added taprooms at Pinecrest in Orange Village, the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse downtown, Columbus’ Victorian Village and will open in March in downtown Detroit. Independence will be the first new taproom since opening its flagship spot in Ohio City to include a production facility, creating more than 60 jobs in the proposed 25,000-square-foot building. Of that, about 11,000 square feet will be for production, Zimmerman said.

This is the ground-floor plan for Saucy Brew Works’
new Independence location. It will have a brewery
hall, lodge dining/lounge, two small ground-floor
event spaces and a large event space upstairs, a
store and several year-round outdoor patios as
well as a tripling of the brewpub chain’s pro-
duction and distribution capabilities (SBW).

“There will be no real changes to the existing (Ohio City) facility and no reduction of employment,” he said. “We will shift some production of beer to these larger facilities. We have 20 different beers available at our taprooms. So our core production will be in Independence while other beers will be brewed downtown (in Ohio City).”

Saucy Brew Works Independence LLC has already received city approvals to build. But since the City of Independence’s building permit requires construction to start within six months of issuance, Saucy will have to go through the approvals process again.

Zimmerman said he didn’t expect any hang-ups as Independence city officials reportedly support the project. Cuyahoga County also awarded a $1.5 million low-interest loan to aid in the project’s construction earlier this year. If city approvals are given this winter, Zimmerman said he hopes to break ground in late-Spring or early-Summer. Construction could take 12-15 months.

Site plan for Saucy Brew Works’ new Independence
location with nearby reference points added (SBW).

“We’ll certainly have our core menu at the new location, but with some nuances as it relates to a much larger lunch crowd,” he said. “There’s a bunch of other things we’re kicking around.”

Some of the planned features include an event space for meetings and weddings. There will be roughly 2,000 square feet devoted to E-sports gaming. And Zimmerman plans an active, heated, 20,000-square-foot outdoor area with a climbing wall, children’s playground, dog walk and a coffee shop.

According to its Web site, Saucy Brew Works has seen its beer production increase dramatically since it opened its Ohio City production facility in the summer of 2017. It grew from 799 barrels in its first year to 4,966 barrels last year. With the Independence production facility and the opening of new brewpubs, Zimmerman said production could grow to 15,000 barrels per year in a couple of years.


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