CINCINNATI — Running out of room is a good problem to have for Nine Giant Brewery and Kitchen in Pleasant Ridge. The brewpub now has its eyes on opening a second location on Ridge Avenue, just a block away from its flagship location, called the Fermentorium.
Around Pleasant Ridge, the word “momentum” is thrown around often, because for the past decade, businesses have been growing — even during the pandemic.
That’s why a busy Friday night comes as no surprise to Nine Giant co-owner Brandon Hughes.
“We dramatically underestimated how great this community was going to be for us,” he told WCPO.
He says his business is tapped in, and Pleasant Ridge has become home.
“I think we knew starting Nine Giant, this was an area with a lot of promise,” he said.
Locals come to support -- chowing down and drinking up -- so there’s hardly an empty table inside. That creates a unique problem.
“A couple years ago, we just couldn’t fit people in the building anymore,” Hughes said. “On a Friday or Saturday, there’s just no room.”
The next logical step for Hughes was to think outside the box -- and beyond the four walls of the brewpub.
“We take on projects, and whatever seems interesting to us, whatever is passionate about, is what we go with. That’s how we’ve been for five years now, and we’re pushing forward.”
That’s where the Fermentorium comes in, built in what was once a post office. Nine Giant plans to use the 2,500 square-foot first floor to accommodate 60 guests at adequate social distance.
In the basement, barrels of rye, gin, peach brandy, neutral oak, and red and white wine will sit to age -- with more to come.
Thirty taps will hold barrel-aged brews. Also on the menu: non-barrel-aged beers, cocktails and wine.
The Fermentorium is set to open in three to six weeks, even in the midst of a pandemic. Hughes said he’s up for the challenge.
“I think if anything, it makes me sharpen my pencil more and be a lot more thoughtful about what we’re doing, making sure we’re breaking up all the stops -- doing nothing that’s not amazing,” he said.
Hughes knows the Pleasant Ridge’s growth is only good news for businesses moving forward.
“Everything that has opened since then has just made it better. We never saw a dip in sales when GoodFellas opened, Casa Figueros -- it just made us busier. It’s only drawing more eyes over here, and more and more people. It’s been awesome. I don’t think there’s any end in sight for the growth in this business district. A lot of smart operators here -- and hopefully more to come.”