By David Fong
CINCINNATI —David Williams knows a little bit about pouring beer — but he knows a whole lot about pouring out generosity.
For the past 14 years, Williams — a 1972 Troy High School graduate — has given freely to The Glyn and Gladys Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has distributed roughly $70,000 in scholarship money to 50 Troy High School graduates. This Saturday, Taft’s Brewing Company — Williams is a managing partner of the Cincinnati-based brewery and restaurant — will be holding a pair of events in Troy to help give even more to the scholarship fund.
Taft’s Brewing Company beer will be sold from 5-8 p.m. at both Kroger and Buffalo Wild Wings in Troy, with a portion of the proceeds from every six pack, pint or growler sold to benefit The Glyn and Gladys Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund. Three of the company’s signature brews — Skronk Juice, Nellie’s Key Lime and Gavel Banger — will be on tap at both locations.
“Troy means a lot to me,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of history there. My dad was a top executive who started with Hobart in 1936. We had family there for 60-plus years. I have a lot of great memories of Troy. When my parents passed away, I wanted to do something special at the high school to honor their memory. I also want to teach the young people of Troy the importance of giving back.”
Taft’s Ale House opened in April 2015 in, of all places, an abandoned church. Originally built in 1850, St. Paul’s Evangelical Church once was the oldest Protestant church in Cincinnati. It has since blossomed into a successful brewery and restaurant. As the business has continued to grow, Williams said, it is now looking to put its beers into retail stores and supermarkets through Heidelberg Distributing Company in Dayton.
Kroger will continue to sale Taft’s beers following Saturday’s event and Williams said he hopes to continue to expand north, particularly in his old hometown.
“I’ve been in the investment business for 40 years,” Williams said. “I was never looking to get into the restaurant business. I didn’t know a thing about brewing beer — I just knew that I liked to drink it from time to time. A few years ago, one of my friends came to me with a business idea. It was very, very informal at first. I still had a lot of friends and family in the Cincinnati area — I’m a (University of Cincinnati) graduate and I saw this as an opportunity to rehabilitate an unbelievably old building.
“We opened Taft’s Ale House and it was very successful. We won several awards. Subsequently we purchased a full-production brewery and eventually opened a tasting room, The Brewporium. We are now distributing our beer in Northern Kentucky and looking to expand further north into southern Ohio.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong