Beer, tortilla chips and guacamole at Dayton’s Fifth Street Brewpub (photo courtesy of Fifth Street Brewpub)
Food + Drink

Fifth Street Brewpub, Dayton

This neighborhood gathering spot in Dayton operates as a co-op and offers a lineup of beers that can only be enjoyed at its cozy taproom.

St. Anne’s Hill is a small neighborhood on the east side of downtown Dayton, and while it might not seem like much of a hill, its slight elevation kept it above the floodwaters that devastated the city in 1913. That protected the area’s architecture, and the neighborhood has many of Dayton’s oldest homes and buildings. One of them houses Fifth Street Brewpub, one of the nation’s only co-op-owned breweries.

Fifth Street Brewpub owes its existence in part to its storied structure, which was built in 1856. The building was at risk of demolition until members of the neighborhood banded together to save it and open a brewpub. The effort celebrated its 10th anniversary in summer 2022, and there are now more than 3,000 co-op members.

That community involvement was enticing for the brewpub’s brewmaster and general manager Jon Naghski, who moved to Dayton in 2021 after many years as head brewer at a Goose Island brewpub in Chicago.

“I knew this was heavily supported by the neighborhood, being started by folks within walking distance,” says Naghski. “But I am continually surprised by the love and attention and care they give to their small neighborhood pub.”

Fifth Street Brewpub doesn’t package or distribute its beer, so the brews Naghski labors over are all consumed in the small, cozy taproom or on the comfy patio. Classics like Icebreaker IPA and Ramona Brown Ale share space on the tap list with experiments like Waxed Wings Hazy IPA and Pulp & Peel, a rotating line of fruited sours. Naghski’s favorite is St. Anne’s Pils, a lager he created shortly after his arrival. Thoughtful wine and cocktail lists have options for those who don’t drink beer. The brewpub also offers a food menu with hearty options like the Chevre Burger or the Salmon B.E.L.T. sandwich, as well as dinner salads and appetizers.

The brewpub has fostered the atmosphere of a true neighborhood gathering place, with regulars outnumbering newcomers at any given time, while still maintaining a welcoming atmosphere for everyone.

“That speaks to us being not just a brewery,” says Naghski, “but to the co-op being rooted in the neighborhood.”

1600 E. Fifth St., Dayton 45403, 937/443-0919,