How to Brew a Family

Jason and Michelle are passionate about their family.

They are also passionate about brewing, but it wasn't always this way. Long before Michelle was Mrs. Warren, Jason's passion for brewing was palpable. In high school, he began brewing beer in his mother's closet. Then he met Michelle, a girl from the grade above in high school. She would become a partner encouraging him to follow his dreams.

And so over the past few years, Michelle has become a passionate brewer herself; co-owning the brewery with her husband and will become head of the Columbus/South Eastern Ohio chapter of the Pink Boots Society, a group that advocates for women in brewing. The Warrens are learning the challenges of running a small brewery business while brewing a family of their own.

Jason, Brice and Michelle (from left to right) pose for a portrait in Nelsonville, Ohio, during Multiple Brew's reopening on March 23, 2018.

It ain't easy

The Warrens are always busy doing something whether helping with their communities or caring for one another. They both work two jobs, Jason as a security guard and Michelle at a thrift store, as well as home-schooling their 11-year-old son Brice. This helps them get by as their brewery, Multiple Brewing, finds its feet as a business in Nelsonville, Ohio. Michelle runs the business, Jason does the late-night brewing, and Brice helps his parents and learns along the way.

Jason and Michelle are frequently involved in the brewing community in the Nelsonville area. This year Jason participated as a judge in The Athens Home Brew Competition where the winner's beer will be brewed commercially with Multiple Brewing. Michelle took part in International Women’s Brewing Day with the Pink Boots Society, an organization that advocates for women in brewing. Michelle will soon become the head of a new chapter of the Pink Boots Society in the Columbus/Southeastern Ohio area.

“My grandfather opened up the Dairy Queen in Nelsonville in 1952, and with the bypass and a lot of my family still here [in Nelsonville], we wanted to bring business back to Nelsonville.” – Jason

Photographic and Industrial History of New Straitsville Ohio 1907 – Page 29 Hocking Valley Brewery

The history of Brewing in the Nelsonville area goes back over 100 years! The first brewery in Nelsonville was initially called Hock-Hocking Brew and they went into business on Jan 17th, 1906. They were an extreme success in the area as there were over 35 saloons in the area, and most of the saloons in the area sold Hock-Hocking brew exclusively. Business was so good for the brewery that by 1907, they had built additions to their building and an Ice plant that is now a separate bar called “The Ice House”.

During Prohibition the Brewery changed their name to “The Hocking Valley Cereal Beverage Company" in hopes of staying in business. They made new drinks such as a Coke-Cola imitation called “Hock-Ola” and a root beer called “near-beer”. The new drinks never caught on as widely as their brews, and they filed for bankruptcy in December of 1939 and eventually closed their doors for good 10 years later because of a lawsuit ordering liquidation of the building for insufficient payment of debt on the building.

Today the building no longer exists. However, Jason and Michelle decided to start a new chapter of Nelsonville's brewing history.

Looking Forward

Now that Multiple Brewing is open again for the season, Jason and Michelle are working on growing their business. With Brice and Michelle by his side, Jason has plans for expanding their futures.