Indiana Can’t Contain Books & Brews – An Oxford, Ohio Franchise is On The Way

Indiana Can’t Contain Books & Brews – An Oxford, Ohio Franchise is On The Way

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

The Books & Brews empire is expanding again, this time to a neighboring state. The former site of Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub in Oxford, OH is being repurposed as a taproom and kitchen by Books & Brews franchisees Ann and Neil Kamphaus. Being the site a former brewpub in a college town, the 107 Church Street location has a leg up on many new enterprises because drinkers are already used to showing up there. Now they just have to wait until late June or July to resume their visits.

Books & Brews was started by owner Jason Wuerfel in 2014 as a brewery and used bookstore. The enterprise quickly became known as “the place for people without a place,” holding book readings, movie nights, open mic nights, and many game nights for RPG and other entertainments. Ann said, “We franchised because we loved the concept,” said Kamphaus. “As a lifelong Oxford resident, I knew we need a bookstore, a community space, and a place to unplug from technology and reconnect with friends and family. Books & Brews is that place.”

Franchisees Ann and Neil Kamphaus. image credit: Oxford Observer

As the Books & Brews press release concerning the Oxford location states, “All used books at Books & Brews are sold for just $3 and there will be a small selection of new books sold at list price. The used book selection is based on donations from the community and 10% of the revenue goes to local adult and family literary programs. If you don’t have cash, Books & Brews also operates as a free book exchange – you can bring in a book and swap it free any time you want. This ensures that anyone with one book at home has access to free books for life whenever you’re near a Books & Brews.

“Our interests lie in great books, beer, food, and entertainment,” said Jason Wuerfel, CEO and Founder of Books & Brews, “but the heart of the business lies in, as our mission states, providing a place for people without a place; where all are accepted, appreciated, and encouraged to be themselves. From the products we offer to the events we run to the free book exchange policy, we’re always look for ways to connect and add value to the local community.”

The new location presents a new challenge to Books & Brews as the beer from Indianapolis will now have to be shipped across state lines. This demands that a distributor be used as a middle man for the beer transfer, but Jason said, “We’ve had that set up for a while since we signed the franchise agreement for Oxford back in February of 2018, but it’s taken them until now to find a space. Oxford is a great town but space is very limited. They found the perfect location in the end so it’s very exciting.”

image credit: Books & Brews

This is the first out of state location for Books & Brews, as a previous franchise sold to a couple in Colorado had issues with the building for which they had signed a lease and have since sold that franchise to a group in Fort Wayne who are currently looking for a location in that growing craft beer market. It is possible that the Colorado franchise will be revived but Oxford will definitely come on line first, making it the first extra-Indiana site and the tenth Books & Brews overall.

The Ohio location is being staffed as we speak, including with people in the Books & Brews main offices to provide guidance from afar was they get their feet on the ground. Jason told me, “It’ll definitely be a stretch in the beginning but ultimately it will just be part of the loop as we continue to add more locations into Ohio.” Books & Brews has also started reaching out to their Ohio craft beer kin to help become them become a valuable part of that community and their local neighborhood.

We look forward to getting Books & Brews products as travel through Ohio on our beer jaunts. Oxford will enjoy the concepts that surround Books & Brews and this should be a tremendous asset for the University of Miami and city communities.

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