Henmick Farm & Brewery Combines an On-Site Production Facility, Taproom and Event Space
A look at Delaware County’s Henmick Farm & Brewery, which opened in July
For some young breweries in today’s crowded craft beer market, the biggest challenge may not be making good beer. Rather, it may be standing out and having a good story to tell. Henmick Farm & Brewery, with a bold logo that looks fit to slap on the side of a tractor, doesn’t have that problem.
Located on a 265-acre farm that’s been in owner Nick Sheets’ family since 1916, the new brewery and taproom is a scenic retreat that was inspired over the years by trips to wineries in Sonoma and rural breweries around New England. “They have these farm breweries out in the countryside. I just never understood why it hasn’t really caught on yet in Ohio,” Sheets says. The idea, he adds, “has been in my head for decades.”
Construction on the brewery began in 2019, and Sheets stepped away last year from his career with a global packaging manufacturer to focus full time on the brewery. He planned to open Henmick Farm & Brewery last fall, but the pandemic forced him to pause construction.
The indoor component of Henmick includes the on-site production facility, a taproom and a handsome event space encased in a reconstructed barn. There are no TVs, because Sheets says he wants visitors to talk and wander around the property. Live music and food trucks are on the agenda as well. “We wanted to build a space that makes your beer taste better when you’re in it,” he says.
Here are some of the details.
To run his 15-barrel brewhouse, Sheets hired Rockmill Brewery’s head brewer of five years, Zach Cline. He is a fitting hire because the Lancaster farm brewery is probably the region’s most comparable to Henmick. A brewer for 10 years, Cline is a Columbus native who started out as a keg washer at a Montana brewery. He was attracted to the fact that Henmick plans to focus on on-site consumption rather than distribution, something that Rockmill had ramped up in recent years. Henmick is slated to offer a wide variety of beer styles, but Cline has a particular affinity for session ales and saisons. “I enjoy the act of drinking beer,” Cline says. “So, for me, I like to keep [the ABV] lower so that I can have a few.”
The Henmick taproom seats approximately 100 guests, with about 10 seats at a copper-topped bar that Sheets hopes will age “like an old penny.” The taproom’s tables are custom-built by the locally owned company A Carpenter’s Son. The taproom has 20 taps; at the start, 10 of those will pour house brews and another five will be reserved for draft cocktails featuring local spirits. Eventually, Sheets plans to offer cider. Though Henmick has no plans to distribute, it will have some canned beers available in a cooler for carryout.
To create the brewery’s large event space located next to the taproom, Sheets says he “went barn shopping” in Lancaster. The result is a reconstructed 1860s barn featuring reclaimed hemlock barnwood and a large, Rumford-style fireplace. The barn opens onto a long porch and the brewery’s beer garden. Even when the barn is rented out for events, the taproom will remain open, Sheets says.
Henmick’s property backs up against Alum Creek, and one of its best attributes is ample outdoor space that features a beer garden and fire pits. “We have tons of space. We’ve got space for private events, indoor and out, and we’ll plan on having a lot of public events as well,” Sheets says.
Henmick Farm & Brewery
4380 N. Old State Road, Delaware