PLAIN CITY, Ohio (WCMH) — It takes people with a clear vision and a steady nerve to plan the opening in 2021 of a restaurant and beer garden, as they watch so many small businesses close.
But Ben King, and Thomas Garbe co-founded 1487 Brewery in Plain City, bootstrapping the business from a small-scale, test-batch brewery in 2016, to a full-scale restaurant, brewery, and beer garden — now in its soft opening for on-site and to-go beer sales.
King pitched the idea of a German brewery and beer garden when he was an innovation executive for Bosch. “My then-boss, Thomas Garbe, became my co-founder, and we completely bootstrapped 1487 Brewery on a small scale. Because we were able to show market validation, we went through and got SBA loans for getting this site up and running.”
They transformed a former auto parts warehouse on Industrial Parkway in Plain City into a restaurant, brewery, and garden — while it seemed that everyone was folding around them.
“We do have investors,” King said. “We have taken on additional investors because of the construction delays mostly due to COVID-19, but also the Sahara dust storm wound up shutting down some supplies that we were getting for our build out from Texas.
“The riots were a big one. We couldn’t get wood for a while. Our pavillion was supposed to be made out of cedar, but we had to pivot because supply chains were so disrupted by COVID-19 and the other variables that happened in 2020.”
King fell in love with the beer garden concept when he went on business trips to Bavaria and saw children, parents, and grandparents all socializing with each other. “The kids are running around, there’s playgrounds in them, the parents are enjoying the time, and then their parents are enjoying each other’s company,” he said.
While King dreams of one day winning a German award for his beer, he’s putting together plans for the space to officially get up and running in 2021. 1487 Brewery will offer a space for families to socialize once the pandemic no longer a threat, and Ohio is open again.