Burger, fries and beer at Bell Tower Brewing Co. in Kent (photo by Jessa Hendershot)

5 Ohio Breweries Built in Former Churches

These beer-makers have given these beautiful properties a second life as places for friends and family to gather and raise a pint.

Bell Tower Brewing Co., Kent: This college-town spot named for the original bell tower of the built-in-1858 church it occupies, opened its doors with the goal of bringing fresh, local beer to Kent. The brewery has up to 18 different varieties on tap at a time, and serves cocktails handcrafted with house-made juices and syrups. Visitors can also enjoy a stay at Hop House, an Airbnb located in a historic, 1,400-square-foot home next-door to the church. belltowerbrewing.com

Father John’s Microbrewery, Bryan; 
Inspired by the philosophies of St. Francis of Assisi, John Trippy opened his microbrewery in a 19th-century former church, preserving touches like the sanctuary and original pipe organ. Several of the brewery’s rooms are themed around places Trippy has visited, such as Italy and Nepal, and even contain bits of history themselves, like a 600-year-old camel wagon turned table. The brewery serves a diverse range of food, including bison meat from Trippy’s buffalo preserve in Indiana. facebook.com/fatherjohns

Beer at Noble Creature Wild Ales and Lagers in Youngstown (photo courtesy of Noble Creature Wild Ales and Lagers)
Noble Creature Wild Ales & Lagers, Youngstown: This 19th-century former church in Youngstown’s Smoky Hollow neighborhood found new life as a brewery that makes fruited sours, German-inspired pilsners and Belgian lambic-inspired drinks. During the building’s transformation, many historic elements were preserved, including its stained-glass windows, while the pews were repurposed into cozy booth seating. The food menu is based in Belgian and German gastropub fare, offering house-made bratwurst, smoked kielbasas and currywurst. noblecreaturebeer.com

Holy Moley Brewing Co., Dennison: After homebrewing for over 25 years, Gary McCullough turned his passion into a full-time business when he founded this brewery in a former Methodist church. Wood from the renovation was repurposed to build the bar and pew backs are now used as tabletops for taproom seating. McCullough also makes a lineup of wines, and pizza can be ordered from a place down the street. Special-event nights include live music, trivia and more. facebook.com/holymoleybrewing 

Urban Artifact, Cincinnati: Since 2015, Urban Artifact has been brewing its sought-after, fruit-based beers from the former St. Patrick’s Church in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood. The building’s exterior was registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1978, but many of the building’s interior elements were taken out in the 1990s. Urban Artifact’s beer menu features tart fruit flavors, from the strawberry-flavored Squeezebox to the more tropical Teak to the award-winning mixed-berry-flavored Gadget. artifactbeer.com