For the owners of Ill Mannered Brewing Co., their first year in business was a year worth toasting.

For the owners of Ill Mannered Brewing Co., their first year in business was a year worth toasting.

Four friends -- Tom Ayers of Dublin, Ryan Romer-Jordan of Hilliard and Greg Dannemiller and Brian Mathias of Columbus -- opened the brewery the first week of September 2015. At the time, Ayers said they chose to locate in Powell because no craft breweries existed between Worthington and Delaware.

Turns out, the decision to move into an empty storefront on Grace Drive was a good one.

"We exceeded pretty much everything we expected," Ayers said. "The response from the community's been great. The taproom's been packed all the time."

About four months ago, the business purchased two large fermenters that tripled the brewery's capacity.

"For a while, when we were brewing with just the smaller fermenters, we were actually having trouble keeping up with the demand from the taproom and the local restaurants," Ayers said.

After increasing capacity, the brewery continued to supply local restaurants, including Kraft House No. 5, Local Roots and Gallo's Tap Room, which recently opened across the street from Ill Mannered Brewing Co.

When the brewery opened, all four co-owners had full-time jobs. About the same time Ill Mannered added its new fermenters, Ayers and Dannemiller started working full time at the brewery.

"When knew eventually that would happen, but we didn't think it would happen (that fast)," he said.

The brewery produced more than two dozen different varieties of beer in its first year of operation.

Ayers said adding capacity and full-time employees has allowed the brewery to experiment more frequently with new types of beer.

"That's what's great about having a small brewery," he said. "You can do a lot of experimental stuff and if it doesn't go over well, you're not going to go out of business."

While the brewers are experimenting more, Ill Mannered has continued to produce customers' early favorites such as Powell! Right in the Kisser, an India pale ale.

Ayers said the brewery's co-owners likely will look for room to expand before the business' second anniversary. He said the hope is the business will find additional space to grow within the city.

"We plan on staying," he said.

Even with the brewery's early success, Ayers said he still thinks business has a good chance to increase in its second year.

"It's been a great response and I still feel like half of Powell doesn't know we're here," he said. "Once the word spreads, it's going to be great."

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@TWGallick