Wooly Pig Farm Brewery is Small Business of the Year

Wooly Pig Farm Brewery is Small Business of the Year
Dave Mast

Wooly Pig Farm Brewery co-owners Kevin Ely and Jael Malenke, with award, are joined by staff and Coshocton County Port Authority members Tiffany Swigert and Hannah Gallagher in celebration of the brewery being tabbed this year’s Eastern Ohio Development Alliance’s Small Business of the Year.


Recently, Wooly Pig Farm Brewery was honored as the 2024 recipient of the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance’s Small Business of the Year.

Husband and wife team Kevin Ely and Jael Malenke were on hand with several of their employees at Carlisle Village Inn at Walnut Creek on April 26 to accept the EODA award.

The award was presented by Tiffany Swigert and Hannah Gallagher of the Coshocton Port Authority, who praised the ownership team at Wooly Pig for their time and investment into building up the brewery and farm into something Coshocton County can be proud to call its own.

Offering food, entertainment and craft beer, Wooly Pig attracts both locals and tourists to its facility.

“Wooly Pig Farm Brewery has become a remarkable establishment right in the heart of Coshocton County that is not only brewing traditional craft beer, but it has also become a catalyst for economic development and building community vibrancy,” Swigert said.

She called the establishment so much more than a brewery, noting that since its inception, it has been both innovative and sustainable, seemingly entwining agriculture and brewery into the fabric of the community.

“They are leaving a lasting impression on our community,” Swigert said.

Gallagher continued to heap praise on the business and its ownership, calling it a driving force in the resurgence of the Coshocton County economy by attracting people from outside the county to visit and enjoy not only the establishment, but also many of Coshocton County’s offerings.

“The Wooly Pig has boosted the vitality of the county, boosting tourism and providing vital support to other area businesses,” Gallagher said. “Their commitment to producing high-quality craft beer put our area on the map for craft beer enthusiasts far and wide.”

She said the business is a hub of community activity, a place for locals and visitors to relax and enjoy entertainment.

She said the Wooly Pig also has loyally donated to several local nonprofits, supporting the community in that fashion.

“The Wooly Pig is a testament to what can be achieved when passion, innovation and community spirit come together,” Gallagher said.

When brewmaster Kevin Ely thought about what he wanted to create in a brewery, everything about the Wooly Pig Farm Brewery fit perfectly into his vision.

The Wooly Pig Farm Brewery includes an old, converted barn. Where once were tractors and plows are now a brewhouse filled with craft brews sourced from the same natural spring that nourished the former owner’s family, their animals and their crops for generations.

Between the brewery and the old farmhouse, there are 12 varieties of hops climbing 20-foot-tall trellises. There is a tasting room that maintains that natural country appeal, complete with rustic planks and hand-hewn beams rescued from a collapsed outbuilding.

And part of the allure is the curly-haired Mangalitsa pigs roaming the nearby field, where they forage for walnuts on the farm’s hillsides and contribute to the brewery by consuming the spent grain. The family remains committed to sustainable farming practices, preserving the farm’s natural resources and minimizing the brewery’s footprint.

After thanking EODA for the recognition, Ely also paid homage to the port authority for its effort to promote the county.

“This community has been amazing, and the support has been overwhelming,” Ely said.

He said visitors from many different areas have stopped to enjoy the pigs, sip on a craft beer and have a conversation with friends or with the staff.

He also said the pigs are an integral part of the process, helping to eat up what would otherwise be waste.

Malenke said being self-sustaining and environmentally aware has always been a big part of their vision and mission.

Ely also has served as a spokesman for the entire county, sharing its beauty with people as he travels the nation.

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