From left, The OBC Wine Project Tasting Room; closeup of The OBC Wine Project wine cans. / Photo courtesy of The OBC Wine Project
When Speciation Artisan Ales opened in early 2017, it was going to offer cider and wine along with the house-made beer, says founder Mitch Ermatinger. Delays put those plans on hold until a year later, when Native Species Winery finally opened. When it did, the company became another in a small handful of breweries that are entering the wine space, producing both under (or near) the same roof.
The idea of alcohol producers being known for just one item is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Beverage companies is the preferred term, and while breweries adding spirits, hard seltzer, soda and even coffee to their portfolios is more common, wine production has found a place as well.
“I had a natural interest in natural wine even before I was diagnosed with celiac disease,” says Ermatinger. “For us, adding a winery was not complicated. You go to breweries all the time and you’ll see red and white wines on the menu that are a total afterthought. I honestly do not understand why that is the case.”