Fifth Street Brewpub - Dayton, Ohio, USA

Dayton, Ohio, USA has some breweries with unusual concepts. My next featured brewery is Fifth Street Brewpub, which operates with a co-op model. Customers do not need to join the co-op, but if they do, they become member-owners with a share of the business for only $125. My friend Shelly and I don't live in Dayton, so we chose not to join, but we did enjoy our visit to the brewery.


Fifth Street Brewpub (the smaller brew house is on the left)


You couldn't fit many kegs in here, but it must be great for zipping around town

Atmosphere

Driving up to Fifth Street, the brewery is easy to find. It's a set of two green buildings on a street corner in the St. Anne's Hill neighborhood. The main building might have been a house or a corner store when it was new; it contains the bar, the dining room and the kitchen. The smaller building is the brewhouse, and in between the two buildings is a beer garden that would have been a wonderful setting for sipping beer had the weather been warmer on our visit. It was too cold to drink outside, so Shelly and I sat down at the bar and were greeted by Mary.


Not even all the taps

The first thing I noticed was that Fifth Street has a lot of beer to choose from. There were nine or ten house taps, and a couple guest taps to fill the 12 tap system. We knew we would try a flight, but it was hard to pick just five; we ended up with an extra sampler and tried six beers total, selecting from a wide variety of beer styles. Fifth Street had a little bit of everything. Shelly's favorites were Ludwig's, a kölsch and Lisa's Luck red ale. For me, it was a three-way tie between Jo Jo's Midnight stout (with coffee notes), the Icebreaker IPA and the smooth Bière de Garde. I enjoyed being able to try the brewery's version of popular beer styles as well as the harder-to-find styles like the saison and the bière de garde.


Ludwig's kölsch, Saison 484, Lisa's Luck red ale, Bière de Garde, Jo Jo's Midnight stout

The brewpub atmosphere was rustic and cozy, with a lot of exposed wood. It was Saturday, so members and visitors were watching college football in the dining room. Because Fifth Street has a full restaurant, the brewpub is kid-friendly. We didn't dine there, but I could have easily found something to my liking on the menu, which I would classify as elevated pub fare.


The dining room

Community Concept

Mary explained how Fifth Street Brewpub came to be only the second co-op brewery in the US. In 2010 the St. Anne's Hill neighborhood was undergoing a revitalization and a small group of investors decided to buy the property that would later become Fifth Street. They didn't have a business concept at the time; they just knew that they wanted to restore that property. Eventually, the idea came to launch a brewery, but to do it as a co-op. The brewpub opened in 2013 as a bar, and served their first house brews in 2014. It now has over 3,500 member-owners. Members get perks such as discounts on beer and food, birthday specials, member-only events, and the opportunity to join a home-brew competition.


One of the t-shirts for sale

It's all about community

Fifth Street is an integral part of the community. Spent grain from the brewing process is donated to the Mission of Mary farm to be used as fertilizer. Charity involvement also includes offering local non-profits the opportunity to guest-bartend every other Sunday and on Mondays. The charity takes home a percentage of sales and all tips earned. Wednesdays are special for two reasons. This is the one day of the week that dogs are allowed on the patio for Yappy Hour. There is also a weekly Wednesday night fun run after which runners get half off a beer.


The beer garden, home of Wednesday Yappy Hour

Sponsored bricks on the patio

Toward the end of our sampler, general manager Tanya Brock arrived to tell us a little more. She said that the team at Fifth Street prides themselves on getting to know the members, and even non-member regulars by name. Shelly and I certainly felt welcome as we were given a brief tour of the brewhouse building. There is a seven barrel system with four fermenters and five brite tanks (where carbonation occurs). Members can sponsor a tank, which then bears their name. Members and guests may also purchase a brick in the beer garden for $75; many people do this as part of a special event, such as a wedding party.


The separate Brew House building

Sponsored brite tanks

Visit

Fifth Street Brewpub is open seven days a week: Sunday 10 AM to 10 PM, Monday-Thursday 4-11 PM, Friday 11 AM to 12 AM, Saturday 10 AM to 12 AM.  A brunch menu is available on weekends. There are 12 taps, which are mostly filled by house beers, with a couple guest brews. Guest cans and bottles, as well as wine and cocktails are available. You can carry out a growler to enjoy the Fifth Street brews at home. Fifth Street is kid-friendly and dog-friendly during Wednesday Yappy Hour. Check them out and consider joining the co-op at fifthstreetbrewpub.coop or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Awesome concept, great writeup! I will have to find my way out to Dayton sometime for a visit.

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    Replies
    1. I hear the food is great too. I'll need to try it on my next visit.

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