Fretboard Brewing and Public House Brings Gastropub Dishes and Craft Beer to Hamilton

The west side pub serves as the brewery’s research-and-development hub with small-batch experimental beers.
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Photograph by Paisley Stone

On the banks of the Great Miami River on Main Street in Hamilton, a historic building now houses Fretboard Brewing and Public House, a collaboration between Looking Glass Hospitality Group and Fretboard Brewing Company. The bottom floor is a high-ceiling taproom with a bar and visible brewing equipment; on the second floor is a dining room with more seating, and the rooftop patio with a riverfront view will offer first-come, first-served seating in the warmer months.

Photograph by Paisley Stone

“The beer and food here are equal stars,” says Scott Schmidt, owner and founder of Looking Glass Hospitality Group. “You can use the downstairs as a tasting room with a full menu. Upstairs, reservations are available and it’s much quieter, a traditional restaurant. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure.”

The public house menu satisfies a variety of palates and occasions, from a refined blackened salmon in citrus beurre blanc to bar favorites like the burger and handmade jalapeño poppers.

Photograph by Paisley Stone

Fretboard’s menu offers many dietary restriction–friendly dishes, from gluten-free fish and chips to multiple vegan and vegetarian dishes. Fretboard also fills 14 taps with many of the fan favorites from their Blue Ash location, but the onsite five-barrel system will eventually brew small-batch experimental beers.

“We’re really excited to get a research and development brewery,” says Kevin Moreland, an experienced brewer and business partner at Fretboard Brewing Company. “There are so many trends in craft beer, from low-calorie craft beer to hazy IPAs. We want to play around with some new yeasts and test some new products.”

Photograph by Paisley Stone

The brewery and public house collaboration has arrived during a revitalization period in downtown Hamilton, with many new shops and restaurants popping up. The restaurant is located within Hamilton’s Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), where alcoholic drinks purchased in a designated DORA cup can be consumed outdoors.

“We’re excited for Spring,” Schmidt says. “People can walk through the shops, get a beer, walk across the river. The city has invested so much time and energy. We’re glad to be part of Hamilton.”

Fretboard Brewing & Public House, 103 Main Street, Hamilton, (513) 737-1111

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