Brewery holds closed to public trial run with friends and family before official soft open
Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Dave Bertolotti was running on fumes. Truth be told, the entire ownership group could probably say the same. Bertolotti, one of the four main partners in the new Missing Mountain Brewing Company, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio’s third brewery, literally was coming off two hours of sleep the night before. He had been up late kegging beers for a private party that kind of came together at the eleventh hour, and this was the third event for him of the day. Earlier in the day he had been pouring at the re-opening of Front Street, an event forty years in the making, and there was another event earlier in the morning before that.
The brewery, located at 2811 Front Street, has been several years in the making, and which had hoped to have opened back in December, has been set back numerous times by many things out of their control. Some issues which have plagued them and delayed their planned openings are still hanging out there, and will hopefully be fully and finally resolved this week, but late this week they were at least able to obtain a temporary occupancy permit to allow them to have a trial run. I was lucky enough to receive one of the last minute invites.
“We literally on boarded our team on Thursday,” said Amanda Kephart, wife of partner Dan Kephart. “We brought them in, did all the hiring paperwork, training. Every single person we hired showed up, early in fact, and ready to get started, and then told them we didn’t know when we’d have work for them. As soon as we got the permit we decided to throw this together, called all our employees, and on short notice, every single one of them said they could be there the next day.” Kephart was effusive in her praise of the team, which is loaded with industry vets and passionate beer people, including a former taproom manager from Hoppin Frog Brewery. The praise is warranted. They didn’t miss a beat and operated like a well oiled machine.
Brewmaster Keith McFarlane and brewer Bertolotti had nine taps queued up and ready to go. They had placed their beers publicly as recently as two months ago, with Morning Star, a Pale Ale, first flowing out of the taps at Taco Tanto’s restaurant in downtown Kent. Accounts soon followed at Pizza 216 in Cleveland (which had their Orangier Orange Cream Ale), Barrel Room Wine and Beer Bar in North Canton, Jen’s Craft Beer Tasting Room in Massillon, Clubhouse in Cuyahoga Falls, and more. But this was the first time beer would flow through their own taps. In addition to Morning Star and Orangier Orange, they featured Daddy Issues, a kolsch, Checking Boxes, a Blonde Ale, Prince Juice, a cream ale with lactose, conditioned on 180lbs of raspberry purée, Zwickel Trickle, a hazy pale ale, Meat Helmet, a Belgian Pale Ale that drinks similar to a Belgian Dubbel, Electric Boots and Mohair Suits, a Porter, and Maddy, an Imperial Stout. There will eventually be at least sixteen taps. A barrel aged program is already planned.
The real lure of Missing Mountain, despite solid beers with recipes honed over the last seven plus years of home brewing together, is a spectacular patio that overlooks the Cuyahoga River. This is a great setting in which to kick back and enjoy a few drinks and some food with friends. They also have a “three seasons” open air room off the main taproom. There is also an upstairs area which they hope to open eventually, which will have additional seating and some rooms for private parties.
Missing Mountain will soft open Thursday June 7th, from 4pm til 11pm, then they will be closed Friday for another private party. They will Grand Open Saturday at 11am and will be open til Midnight, and Sunday from 11am til 8pm. After that, maybe Bertolotti, McFarlane, The Kepharts, and fourth partner Danny Yaegerz can get some rest for a few days. Although that’s not likely. “I’m exhausted,” Bertolotti said. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m living the dream right now.”