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Double Barrel adds to growing Cincinnati brewery list

Double Barrel Brewery

The brewery boom continues in the Queen City as Cincinnati launches another production craft brewery, Double Barrel. Like the last few new breweries they reside on the east side of town, a.k.a. Little Over The Rhine. I mean seriously, soon Columbia Parkway could be renamed the Eerie Canal. West Side where ya at?? Anyways, I digress… Double Barrel has laid its foundation on Eastern Avenue just down the street from the famous Terry’s Turf Club in a no frills commercial space. After reviewing their website commentary I get the sense they are into brewing unpretentious, no-nonsense well crafted beers.

Good beer is about an attitude, not the number of ingredients you can throw into a brew. We thoroughly respect the art of brewing beer, but know that you are not looking for a art project.

Double Barrel consists of the complimentary partnership of Charles Boucher, a former home builder, and Sean Smith, a former insurance salesman, using their respective talents to manage the brewery. Charles runs the brewing operations while Sean takes care of the business side of the house. The two bring their unique skill sets and a shared love for brewing to make a perfect operational partnership. Greg Brown rounds out their brewery trifecta by providing much beloved capital and much valued marketing consultation. Like many fledgling breweries, the proposition of starting a brewery came up while drinking beers in someone’s basement. Charles and Sean originally met through their sons playing soccer together. After a number of years of brewing and drinking together in basements they decided that is was time to go pro with a commercial brewery.

As you can imagine, launching a new brewery poses a series of significant challenges. According to Sean, that challenges weren’t in making beer, but rather in construction and building compliance. “We found a great location on Eastern Avenue near Lunken airport that had been purchased by our landlord [Terry of Terry’s Turf Club] for employee and customer parking only. He had no plans for the building itself as it was in pretty bad shape. We decided on rehabbing the building ourselves and built our system relying heavily on some of Charles’ life experiences including that of a previous home builder, ” says Smith. They are currently putting the finishing touches on their building and have a tasting room space nearly at completion. The brewing equipment is all together and they just received their brewing license from the State of Ohio. They’re ready to go!

They plan to brew their flagship hopped Irish Red, Bad Tom Ale. The name stems from Sean’s notorius great, great Uncle Bad Tom Smith who was known for a series of feuds that led to murders and ultimately his own hanging death. I read through some of the story and in his case, Bad meant bad – not good. Beyond Bad Tom, they are planning to brew an Eastern Avenue IPA and then have another 25+ recipes that will find their way into seasonal and perhaps other standard offerings. Like many new breweries, they will begin self-distributing via kegs to local restaurant and bars. However, they are taking a hard look at canning their beer in early 2014.

Regarding the local brewing community, Sean says, “I think it’s great that the Cincinnati area is having this resurgence in the beer industry considering our storied brewing tradition. I think our timing is pretty good judging from the support by various bars and restaurants as well as the growing number of enthusiasts. We all can ride the wave!!”

I couldn’t agree more and I can’t wait to get my first taste of Bad Tom! You can stop by the brewery at 4720 Eastern Avenue. Find them online at or on Facebook at

Mike Stuart

Craft beer enthusiast and hombrew dabbler. Part-time writer, sometimes funny.

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