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Inside Look - Municipal Brew Works

I’m always looking for hidden gems or unique experiences around the county. Recently, I hit a craft beer lover’s jackpot. A brewery in Hamilton is bringing new life to an 80-year-old former city building with delicious drinks and a relaxing atmosphere. Ever since opening in the summer of 2016, the five gents behind Municipal Brew Works have introduced amazing tastes and a fun family-friendly space with a unique historical charm.

MBW Sign

Photo: Instagram @ dmtrombone


Recently, I got the opportunity to speak with one of the owners of Municipal Brew Works to ask about their unique location, fascinating history, and love for the city of Hamilton. Here are 10 interesting and unknown facts I learned from Jim Goodman, the CEO and Co-Founder of MBW.


 1. All five of the MBW owners have kept their day jobs

This gives the owners a unique business perspective and helps MBW run more smoothly!

MBW Patio

Photo: Instagram @ municipalbrewworks


2. The Municipal building is both a unique challenge and a great asset

Much of their operation is in the former Fire Station #2 building. The former police detective office acts as their cold storage area. What was previously the city vault now houses their grain storage and mill. The former police firing range in their basement holds the boiler used to heat the entire brewhouse.


3. Jim says the drink that is most fun to brew is their Approachable Blonde Ale, and it’s their #1 seller!

The creation has earned MBW some great reviews. Another little-known fact is that this brew also provides the base for their Woltermelon Blonde Ale.

 MBW Beer

Photo: Instagram @ municipalbrewworks


4. If Jim could have a drink with any famous person it would be Benjamin Franklin

Jim chose Benjamin because he was a brewer, writer, inventor, founding father, and diplomat among many other things.


5. The secret to their amazing hand-crafted beers may be in the water they use?

We think there’s a little more to the story and the recipe, but these brews are created with some of the best tasting water on the planet; Hamilton won the Berkley Springs world water competition for the world’s best tasting tap water – twice!

MBW Brew

Photo: Facebook @ Municipal Brew Works


6. You don’t have to be 21+ to visit their patio

MBW loves seeing people of all ages visit their vast patio. They often see families bring their kids for board games, corn hole, and they continuously rotate food trucks so there are different bites to eat.

Little Girl at MBW

Photo: Instagram @ rachelduerksen


7. Jim’s current favorite craft beer trend is the various infusions created with stouts and porters

Some of his favorites are barrel aged or have cinnamon, vanilla, coffee, or even a fruit like raspberries. MBW embraced this trend when creating their Duelist Belgian Stout with beautiful layers of flavors you’ll have to taste for yourself!

Drink at MBW

Photo: Instagram @ municipalbrewworks


8. Most of their beer names have an interesting background story

  • Dark Shell Black IPA – refers to their architect’s description of the building prior to construction.
  • Irish Stout called Laoch – they brewed it with the members of the Hamilton Fire Department for -St. Patrick’s Day, and Laoch is celtic for “hero”.
  • Courageous IPA – a tribute to the personal journeys of the police and fire personal that previously served in the building they occupy.

Feel free to ask when you’re in the taproom about the stories behind the other beers.

Beers at MBW

Photo: Facebook @ Municipal Brew Works


9. If Jim could create any brew with no consideration of cost or production it would be a Kentucky Bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout

He would also add tastes of vanilla and coffee to the mix. Jim even had a name picked out! He knows however, that the cost for such a creation would be staggering, and it would also require an area to age which is hard with their limited space. A guy can dream though – maybe one day!


10. Within their first 16 months and with limited capacity, they created over 20 different styles of brew

…and they are still continuing to grow their repertoire. They are hoping in the next few years to expand their fermentation capacity which will allow them to dig into their recipe books and create a wider range of brews.

Girl at MBW

Photo: Instagram @ mfranchock


To experience the magic in person check out Municipal Brew Works at 20 High St, Hamilton, Ohio.