Noble Creature Brewery Targets Early October Opening

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Brewing should begin in the next few days at the new Noble Creature Cask House, which the owners expect to open in late September or early October.

Ira and Marcie Gerhart were among the featured speakers at last night’s meeting of the Downtown Youngstown Partnership, which was held at A&C Beverage.

“We’re pretty close. I’m hoping to start brewing either this weekend or next week,” Ira Gerhart told members of the group and guests.

The Gerharts are renovating the former Butler Memorial Presbyterian Church in Smoky Hollow, which they are leasing from its owners.

“We looked at multiple spaces on the outskirts of downtown for the past two to three years to find something that was in our budget and that you could actually make beer, since it’s technically light manufacturing,” Ira Gerhart said.

When the couple appeared before the city’s Design Review Committee last December, they had anticipated a June opening, but the work has taken longer than expected.

“It’s been a struggle. There’s lots of obstacles to overcome,” largely owing to the age of the building, Gerhart said. “The biggest hurdle was getting the brewhouse done. We needed to tear up the floors and pour concrete.”

Pictured: Ira and Marcy Gerhart, owners of Noble Creature Cask House.

There isn’t “a whole lot left to do” on the taproom, mainly drywall and other finishing work, as well as the kitchen, he said. The objective once they get the brewhouse operating is to brew enough beer to open in the next four to six weeks as well as to distribute kegs to other establishments to sell while the Gerharts complete renovations.

“We definitely must have enough beer to open,” Gerhart said.

During the meeting, Michael McGiffin, downtown events coordinator, provided updates on construction projects and upcoming events. The Central Square road project, which got underway last week, has a reopen date of Aug. 26 but McGiffin said he expects it to be completed sooner.

“Central Square is totally on track. They’re pouring curbs now,” he said. “That project is going really well.”

In addition, electrical infrastructure upgrades associated with the year-long Wick Avenue project and lighting is going up soon. A mid-September opening is expected for the downtown corridor, he said.

Dirt also is being moved at the site of the amphitheater and riverfront park, McGiffin added. “They need to lift that floor two feet in order to get it from industrial code to residential park,” he reported. The next step will be to rebuild the 84-inch sewer linen that crosses the property.

Legislation to authorize bids for way-finding signage is expected to go before City Council next week. Funds from various area foundations will pay for the signage. “We’re targeting winter as the final install,” he said.

The city is preparing for several major events downtown over the next week or so, including the Zac Brown Band concert at Stambaugh Stadium and the annual Panerathon. McGiffin said he anticipates parking for the show will spill over into the downtown area and arrangements are being made for shuttles to take people from downtown to YSU for the concert.

“It’s going to be a monster event,” he remarked.

Phil Kidd, associate director Youngstown CityScape, also provided an update on plans to install pole-mounted boxes for collecting cigarette buts, which can then be recycled into pallets. DYP has committed to purchasing six of the boxes, which the city has agreed to mount, and is asking downtown businesses to match them. Two businesses — The Federal, a downtown restaurant, and Jet Creative, a Boardman marketing firm whose president, Sarra Mohn, is one of DYP’s founders — have committed to sponsoring two of the boxes.

DYP’s focus is primarily to provide a venue for downtown businesses, civic leaders and other stakeholders to come together for economic development and to provide a voice for them, said Ellie Platt, owner of Platt Insurance Group and a DYP founder.

“We don’t have plans for big projects. We’re looking at filling the gaps and finding small, manageable projects where we feel we can have success,” she said.

Pictured: The former Butler Memorial Presbyterian Church in Smoky Hollow is being renovated and turned into the Noble Creature Cask House. 

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