Tableside: Steve Shaw Brews Up Wiedemann Beer

Illustration by Chris Danger

It’s not easy to reinvent a brand with more than 140 years of history, but that’s exactly what the brewmaster at Wiedemann Brewing Co. has in mind.

What’s your brewing background? I started as a home brewer about 20 years ago. I brewed professionally at Valley Vineyards’s Cellar Dweller in Morrow, and I started there seven years ago.

How did you come to work for Wiedemann? I was contracted to brew owner Jon Newberry’s beer at Cellar Dweller for a couple of years. It just kind of evolved into coming here.

How early did you learn about the brewery’s development? About three years ago. It was just in the building stages. I started here October of last year and was involved with the complete build-out.

How do you take inspiration from Wiedemann’s original recipe? The only thing we take into consideration from the old recipe is the style. We know that the original Wiedemann was a Bohemian-style pilsner. We’re calling it the Wiedemann’s Bohemian Special Brew. It’s the same style, but as far as the recipe goes its all-new development. We’re a true craft brewery now. You come in, and there’ll be 15–20 beers on tap at any given time when you come into our taproom.

Are there plans to distribute beyond the taproom? Yes, we will distribute. We’re looking to hire a salesperson now. We are ready to distribute draft products, and packaged products should be ready in the next four to six weeks.

Do you have more plans for future recipes? We have a lot more plans. We’ll probably have four to six beers that stay consistent, but other than that, everything will be changed and rotated.

What do you think sets Wiedemann apart? The building and the location, for sure. We have a totally different atmosphere than most other breweries, plus we have 140 years of history with the brand.

What are your long-term goals? Bring Wiedemann back with a whole different outlook, show Wiedemann’s true craft beer and its quality product, increase distribution, and bring the packaged product back with more than just the Wiedemann’s Special Brew.

Wiedemann Brewing Co., 4811 Vine St., Carthage, (513) 482-6970, wiedemannsfinebeer.com

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