Greg Hardman is on a crusade. Lucky for us, his crusade involves a lowercase “c” and tons of good, local beer instead of…well, you know. In 2004, Hardman stepped down as President and CEO of Warsteiner Importers Agency because he was called upon to purchase the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company. He wasn’t called by craft beer opportunism; he wasn’t even called by phone. He was called by a sense of duty. “I told my family ‘I’m going to leave my job and restore Cincinnati’s brewing tradition. I feel like if I don’t do this, it won’t happen.’ Then I told them the plan,” Hardman recalls.
Ten years later, his plan can be found in the stores and streets of Cincinnati. Hardman has resurrected the Hudepohl, Little Kings, and Burger Beer brands, opened the Moerlein Lager House, and established a world-class brewery in the original Kauffman Brewery building in OTR. He’s also the President of the Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation, in case ceaseless progress wasn’t impressive enough.
“I want to spread Cincinnati’s beer throughout the country and around the world,” Hardman proclaims. “Boston has The Freedom Trail, Kentucky has the Bourbon Trail, why can’t Cincinnati have a Brewery Heritage Trail?”
Once more, Greg has a good point.