Long-standing central Ohio brewery going to auction; but operators hope to keep brand alive

Jack McLaughlin

The ever-popular Rockmill Brewing property is going to foreclosure auction. While this might seem like bad news for Austin Caulk and Taylor Scribner, the brewery’s new operators who took over from founder Mathew Barbee in 2023, it may not be after all.

The duo believe they’ll be able to purchase the property at auction, Caulk told 614Now. If they do, the two plan to continue running Rockmill as is. The auction will take place on March 25 at 7 p.m.

Before Caulk and Scribner took over, the property had been rezoned as a planned unit development, which states that, to operate as a brewery, an owner needs to control 20 contiguous acres of land.

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The Rockmill house and farm property currently up for auction—for the price of $2.4 million—includes the building housing the current Rockmill taproom and brewery, in addition to 11.6 acres, but does not include any of the brewery’s equipment, furniture, or other wares.

Caulk told 614Now that he and Scribner control additional acreage adjacent to the brewery, plus another, smaller on-site building and parking lot. This would make the duo’s combined holdings more than the 20 acres needed to operate Rockmill as a brewery, should they be able to purchase the property at auction.

This also means that, if another entity were to purchase the Rockmill building and its acreage alone, it would not be able to use the space commercially.

“It would seem like a pretty crazy thing to do, because anyone who would want to buy it couldn’t operate it as a brewery,” Caulk said. “Our long term plans are to continue to run Rockmill Brewery, and we hope it will be a seamless transition.”

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