Breweries have been popping up all over the Tristate. One of the newest is Municipal Brew Works, which will be Hamilton’s first craft brewery since the 1930s. The brewery will be housed in Hamilton’s old municipal building at 20 High St.

Featuring plenty of Art Deco touches both inside and out, the building is currently being renovated to accommodate the brewing equipment, tasting room and meeting space. “It’s been 80 years since there’s been a craft brewery in Hamilton,” says Matt Munafo, one of Municipal Brew Works’ six co-founders. “We’re trying to pick up right where it left off—from the ambience to our facility to the design work.” The building, which used to house fire engines, will have indoor and outdoor seating and faces RiversEdge Amphitheater, giving summertime concert-goers the opportunity to stop by for a drink before or after the shows.

While a nod to the past is certainly appropriate, the founders want to be more modern with some of their offerings. “People’s taste buds are awakened, and they’re looking for specialty beers and crazy tastes,” says co-founder Jim Goodman, a longtime home brewer. “Yes, we’ll have our staple beers, and we hope you like them. But if you want to push the envelope and try something different, we’re going to offer that.”

All six partners bring something unique to the table, including logistics, finance and entrepreneurship. This professional diversity, according to Goodman, will be vital to the success of the brewery. “It has helped us ensure that our business model and our plans are comprehensive and detailed,” he says.

However, with everything that the founders bring to the table, only one will be Municipal Brew Works’ brewer. Sean Willingham has signed on to be their “chef,” as Goodman put it, and he’s excited about the project. “The brewing industry is a huge family,” says Willingham. When asked what one sentence he would use to advertise the brewery he said, “for the sense of neighborhood.”

And neighborhood really is important to the six Ohioans. Goodman and Munafo are both from Hamilton. Mark Jackson, another co-founder, lives in West Chester, and two other founding members, Aaron Holtz and Dave Frey, are from Wapakoneta. “It’s a place to gather,” says Goodman of Municipal Brew Works’ future. “It’s a place to do business. It’s a place to come and be a part of the community.”

To start, the brewery anticipates offering four to six year-round beers in addition to some special flavors. Goodman says that some of these seasonal or specialty beers may come from a guest brewing program, in which a representative from a local charitable organization would have the opportunity to work with Willingham to create their own beer. A portion of the proceeds for that beer would then go back to the organization.

Municipal Brew Works has also spoken with several local restaurants about brewing in-house beers for them. Munafo says that people should come to the brewery for “the experience of a lifetime.” And it sounds like that’s how the six co-founders feel about opening Municipal Brew Works, as well.

The founders hope to open the brewery by the end of the year.