The Akron Zoo will host its fourth and final Brew at the Zoo beer tasting this year from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 1.
The event will feature an Oktoberfest theme and showcase the following breweries: Alltech, Black Box, Brasserie d'Achouffe, The Brew Kettle, Fat Head's, Hoppin' Frog, Ohio, MadCap and Thirsty Dog. Tramonte Distributing also will participate.
Tickets are $17 for zoo members, and $23 for nonmembers.
Reservations are required. For more details or tickets, click here.
Here are some interesting beer stories:
-- The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Wiedemann plans to bring production of the famous brand back to Newport, Ky. "Our goal from the beginning was to bring production back to Newport," Jon Newberry said. "We've been overwhelmed by the positive response we've gotten from everyone here – consumers, bar and restaurant owners, city officials." To read the full story, click here.
-- The Columbus Dispatch reports on the ongoing battle to allow more alcohol in beer in Ohio, saying that the 12 percent cap is discouraging Stone Brewing Co. from building its second brewery in the state. “I don’t see any reason for a cap,” North High Brewing Co. brewer Jason McKibben says. “There is no modern-day significance to having a limit on beer when wine and liquor is clearly over that limit.” To read the full story, click here.
-- The Youngstown Vindicator reports on the second annual Youngstown BeerFest, which was held Saturday. To read the full story, click here.
-- The blog Love Beer, Love Food urges beer drinkers to stop using the term hoppy when describing their beer. "Firstly, hoppy does very little to actually describe a beer," Lindsay Bohanske writes. To read the full post, click here.
-- The Music Times reports that Starbucks has developed a latte that tastes like Guinness. Dark Barrel Latte is available in select markets such as Columbus. To read the full story, click here.
-- Canada requires bars and restaurants to provide 20 ounces of beer if they advertise selling a pint. But many are coming up short, a Toronto Star investigation has found. One place provided only 14 ounces. To read the full story, click here.
-- The New York Times reports that Pabst Blue Ribbon has been sold to a Russian company. “Pabst Blue Ribbon is the quintessential American brand – it represents individualism, egalitarianism and freedom of expression – all the things that make this country great,” Eugene Kashper, the chairman of Oasis Beverages, says. To read the full story, click here.
UPDATED: GQ Magazine turned to the owner of a Cincinnati brewery to help recommend "The 50 Best Craft Beers Every Man Must Try." Bryant Goulding, co-founder of Rhinegeist Brewery, offers up five suggestions in the "Best Stein Filling Quenchers" category.
He recommends Sierra Nevada Summerfest, Weihenstephaner Pilsner, Three Floyds Gumballhead, Double Mountain Vaporizer and Moonlight Reality Czech Pilsner.
In its brief write-up, the magazine says: "A veteran of LA's Golden Road, [Goulding] knows summer-friendly beer — now in Cincinnati, he runs Rhinegeist, making German-inspired craft beer in the hulking 1885 brick home of the biggest pre-prohibition brewer in the city."
Goulding said in an email that he had worked with author William Bostwick, who put together the article, while in San Francisco. "I gave William my thoughts on those light quenchers last summer and they just got published today!" Goulding wrote. "We worked together on a few projects years ago when I was in SF and have stayed in touch since. I love those light & bright refreshing summertime brews so choosing a few of my favorites was no problem at all. I just wish I was more familiar with Ohio brews at the time to mention one of ours brewed here - next time!"
The magazine's list has another Ohio connection. Expert Greg Engert of Churchkey recommends cask aged cinnamon Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald in the "Best Cask Beers" category.
To see the entire rundown, click here.
Zaftig Brewing Co. in Columbus will host its Too Cans Extravaganza from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. (Sept. 20)
The event will showcase five wood-aged varieties of Too Cans IPA. There will be live music and food. The nanobrewery, which opened earlier this year and specializes in high-alcohol brews, also will introduce its new brewmaster, Dan Griffin.
Looking for a big beer festival to attend this weekend in Ohio? You're in luck. There are at least seven to choose from, including two brand new events in Akron and Portsmouth. Here's a quick rundown of what's coming:
-- The Zoo Brew is from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday at the Toledo Zoo. The tasting will feature more than 30 breweries. General admission tickets are $45, with VIP tickets costing $80. For more details, click here.
-- The inaugural Ballpark Festival of Beers is from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Canal Park in downtown Akron. It will feature about 60 breweries and 140 beers. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the gate. For more details, click here.
-- The second annual Youngstown BeerFest is from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Covelli Centre in downtown Youngstown. It will feature more than 100 breweries and 300 beers and ciders. General admission tickets are $35, with VIP tickets costing $55. For more details, click here.
-- The third annual Cambridge Main Street Brew B-BQ is from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday in downtown Cambridge. It will feature beer from Buckeye Lake, Weasel Boy, Homestead, Marietta and Millersburg. Tickets are $30. For more details, click here.
The dinner will pair Dortmunder Gold with salad, Commodore Perry IPA with smoked chicken wings, Oktoberfest with pork loin, Nosferatu with pot roast and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter with cake and ice cream.
Tickets are $40. Reservations are required and seats are limited.
For more details or to make a reservation, call 330-666-7777.
Here are some interesting beer stories:
-- Beermumbo.com provides an update to the new Braxton Brewing Co. coming to Covington, Ky. "Construction will begin very soon," the website says. "They have decided to go with a 20 BBL 4 Vessel brewhouse that can grow with the brewery. The brewing system is 100% customized and will be supplied by Quality Tank Solutions ... The construction is scheduled to be completed no later than January 1, 2015 with hopes of having beer at Cincy Winter Beerfest." To read the full story, click here.
-- The website Marketplace offers an interesting graphic that answers the question: "Who makes your favorite beer?" It's likely one of five companies. The website explores the big brewers such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller and Heineken. To see the graphic, click here.
-- DRAFT magazine reports on the best beer options in each Big Ten community. For Columbus, the magazine recommends Pigskin Brewing. (Ooops, it hasn't opened yet!) It also mentions North High Brewing, The Crafty Pint and Ohio Taproom. To read the full story, click here.
-- WCPO offers up a rundown of the top Oktoberfests available at this weekend's Oktoberfest Zincinnati. The recommendations include Christian Moerlein Fifth and Vine Oktoberfest and Great Lakes Oktoberfest. To read the full story, click here.
-- Business Insider reports on what a beer will cost you at NFL stadiums. The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns are at the low end at $5. The most expensive is $10.75 at an Oakland Raiders game. To see a graphic with all the teams, click here.
-- All About Beer Magazine, considered the first and best-selling consumer beer magazine in the U.S., has been sold. The new owner plans to retain its headquarters in Durham, N.C., and maintain editorial offices in New York and San Francisco. To read a news release on Brewbound, click here.
-- Great Lakes Echo reports that barley production is increasing in Michigan to support the craft beer industry there. “The number of breweries is growing, the amount of beer they are producing is growing and the amount of barley they use is proportional to that,” Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild, says. “There is interest for it in Michigan and I’ve been working to encourage the reemergence of that as a viable business. There has not been much barley production in Michigan since the mid-eighties.” To read the full story, click here.
-- KCRG reports that a state archaelogist has determined that there are as many as 14 beer caves underneath Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They were once used by the Magnus Eagle Brewery, which was built in 1857 and demolished in 1937. To read the full story, click here.
-- GQ magazine has named Chicago as the "Greatest Drinking City in America." "Look, we know: Chicagoans have been drinking—and drinking like champs—for generations. (See: The Blues Brothers, Polish immigration, winter, et al.) But the Second City has hit its boozy stride," the magazine says. To read the full story, click here.
-- USA Today reports that Princess Cruises is launching its own craft beer: Seawitch West Coast IPA. The cruise line is celebrating its 50th anniversary. "The Seawitch West Coast IPA not only commemorates our milestone anniversary, but is also meant to inspire our guests to celebrate their sea journeys with Princess," food and beverage vice president Jonathan Wilson says. To read the full story, click here.
The Winking Lizard Tavern in Lakewood will host a special guest from Belgium on Friday. (Sept. 19) Chris Bauweraerts, founder of the Brasserie D'Achouffe, will lead the "World's Biggest Smallest Toast" at 7:30 p.m.
The toast will be streamed live to all 17 Winking Lizard locations. The chain will hand out free little Chouffe mugs filled with Houblon Chouffe to each customer for the event.
John Lane, co-owner of the Winking Lizard who has been knighted by the Belgian Brewers guild and the Mashstaff of the Knights, called Bauweraerts an icon in Belgium.
“Chris Bauweraerts, founder of the A’Chouffe brewery, invented the 'hoppy beer' for the people of Belgium, with his introduction of Houblon Chouffe,” he said Wednesday in a news release.
From 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lakewood restaurant, Bauweraerts also will sign his book My Chouffe Story for the first 100 World Tour of Beer participants present.
To read the full news release, see below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —World’s Biggest, Smallest Toast
Chris Bauweraerts, Founder of the Brasserie D’Achouffe brewery, will be at Lakewood Winking Lizard this Friday night, September 19. His arrival and this event will make history.
Chris is an icon in the beer world. “Chris Bauweraerts, founder of the A’Chouffe brewery, invented the “hoppy beer” for the people of Belgium, with his introduction of Houblon Chouffe,” according to John Lane, the Winking Lizard Beermeister,
Lakewood Winking Lizard is going to host the World’s Biggest Smallest Toast. They will toast with little Chouffe mugs filled with the beer Houblon Chouffe (provided free for each customer). There will also be gnome hats for every customer. The toast takes place at 7:30 p.m.
“In Belgium they call Houblon Chouffe the “American Beer”, so it is just awesome that we have him Chris in Cleveland as an ambassador for the A’Chouffe portfolio of beers”, says Lane.
We will be streaming video of Chris to all 17 Winking Lizard locations in live time. This allows the coordination of the toast, including all customers with their little mugs of the beer and gnome hats. This will be the BIGGEST smallest toast ever to be done with the beer.
Matt Rhode, Duvel Moortgat Marketing Manager for Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky says this will be an event you do not want to miss. “This will certainly be the largest customer interaction event in the U.S., and it will be really exciting to have all Winking Lizard locations join in on the fun.”
Chris will also be at Lakewood Winking Lizard, from 6-9p.m. signing his book, “My Chouffe Story”, for the first 100 World Tour of Beer tourists present.
“Chris has stayed connected to the fun and enjoyment of the beer community through the playful spirit found in every one of the Chouffe beers”, Rhode states.
Winking Lizard Tavern Group is headquartered in Bedford Heights, Ohio. Winking Lizard Tavern owns and operates 17 Winking Lizard Tavern’s, three Lizardvilles and two Winks Bar and Grille’s.
25380 Miles Rd. Bedford Heights, OH 44146. Ph: 216.831.0505. www.winkinglizard.com
The festival -- held in the stadium outfield -- will feature about 60 breweries and more than 140 beers. A food court will be set up around the infield, and there will be live music.
Tickets for the event, sponsored by Goose Island Beer Co., are $30 in advance or $35 at the gate. They include what the RubberDucks describe as "a sweet commemorative sampling glass" and 15 drink tickets. For tickets, click here.
Here's a rundown of the participating breweries:
Day of the Dead
Great Black Swamp
Lake of Bays
McKenzie's Hard Cider
New Albion Ale is making another comeback. New Albion Brewing Co. announced today (Sept. 17) that it's teaming up with Platform Beer Co. in Cleveland to re-release the American pale ale for the sixth annual Cleveland Beer Week.
It's the first time the beer will be available since early 2013 when the Boston Beer Co. released New Albion Ale in bottles. New Albion was founded in 1976 in Sonoma, Calif., by Jack McAuliffe and is considered the first microbrewery in the U.S. It went out of business in 1982 but has been credited with helping launch the craft beer industry and serving as an inspiration for generations of craft brewers, including Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman.
A special launch party is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at Platform. McAuliffe will attend. His daughter Renee DeLuca, who lives in the Cleveland area and is the president of the new New Albion Brewing Co., is hoping to revive the brand.
“I get messages across the New Albion social media pages and our website, from people who are hoping to see this delicious, drinkable ale at their local tap house again," DeLuca said in a news release. "We’re starting out small — like Jack did back in the early days of New Albion in Sonoma, California. We hope to grow, and with the support of the team at Platform Beer here in Cleveland, we feel the brand is sustainable and we look forward to continuing production,”
The beer will be available on draft only and -- at least for right now -- only at Platform.
"But I hope to distribute it further," DeLuca said in a telephone interview. "We hope to continue brewing with Platform. That's the plan."
To read the full news release, see below:
For Immediate Release: September 17, 2014
New Albion Brewing Company Revives First American Pale Ale with Platform Beer Company for Cleveland Beer Week (October 10-18th)
Cleveland, Ohio—The first U.S. post-Prohibition microbrewery, New Albion Brewing Company (newalbionbrewing.com), is pleased to announce its collaboration with Cleveland’s Platform Beer Company (platformbeerco.com), re-releasing New Albion Ale for the first time since its early 2013 release with the Boston Beer Company. The Sam Adams/New Albion bottles were on store shelves across the country for about six months. The re-launch will take place on Friday, Oct. 17 at 6:00 p.m. at the Platform Brewhouse, 4125 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland during Cleveland Beer Week.
New Albion President Renée DeLuca, daughter of New Albion founder Jack McAuliffe, said she is thrilled to have the original craft beer available and back in the hands of fans. “Cleveland Beer Week is the perfect time to re-release this historic American pale ale. We are proud to collaborate with the Platform Beer Company, an exciting new addition to the Northeast Ohio brew scene. Founders Paul Benner and Justin Carson are cut from the same cloth as my father, Jack, as a home brewer and meticulous craftsman. Head Brewer Shaun Yasaki came from the award-winning Fat Head’s Brewing Company before joining Platform, and he is getting great reviews for the beers he’s brewing there. I’m proud to be associated with the Platform team.”
Platform Beer Company is not only a brewery and tap room, but an incubator for new brewing talent, taking selected home brewers through a 12-week professional program. This unique model is the first of its kind in the country. Benner is also looking forward to having New Albion Ale on tap at his establishment. “To me it is sort of like a time machine in a bottle. This is what craft beer was like long before decades of experimentation, collaboration and growth,” Benner said.
Fans of New Albion from years past and the more recent release have been clamoring to see the delicious brew back in their glass, according to DeLuca. “I get messages across the New Albion social media pages and our website, from people who are hoping to see this delicious, drinkable ale at their local tap house again. We’re starting out small—like Jack did back in the early days of New Albion in Sonoma, California. We hope to grow, and with the support of the team at Platform Beer here in Cleveland, we feel the brand is sustainable and we look forward to continuing production,” DeLuca said.
Those who attend the New Albion release party at Platform Beer will be greeted by the craft beer movement founder himself, Jack McAuliffe. “My father will be coming to spend some time with me over Cleveland Beer Week, and we are excited to have him at our re-launch. Jack loves to tell the story of the early days of craft beer, and if you’d like to meet him, be sure to stop in and enjoy the original beer that started it all,” said DeLuca. “Jack tells a good story, especially over a good beer.”
MadTree and Rhinegeist had previously been announced, but Warped Wing is a new addition.
“Our friends from Sun King were in a few weeks ago to check out our can line and extended us an invitation to the event,” said Nick Bowman, one of the co-founders of Warped Wing. “Indy’s not too far from Dayton and we’ve had people come out and visit our brewery so we hope the added exposure will bring more visitors to check out the Dayton beer scene.”
Warped Wing will pour three of its canned beers; Ermal’s Belgian Style Cream Ale, Flyin’ Rye IPA and 10 Ton Oatmeal Stout.
The CANvitational is considered the Midwest’s largest beer festival devoted to craft breweries that can. For more details about the event, click here.
Yellow Springs Brewery is having a busy September. In honor of the Autumn Equinox, the brewery is hosting two beer dinners and a pottery exhibit.
The Nature's Bounty pottery exhibit, which benefits local studio John Bryan Community Pottery, begins Wednesday (Sept. 17) and runs through Sept. 30.
Meanwhile, the brewery will welcome Harvest Mobile Cuisine, the first-place winner of the Springfield food truck rally, for a beer pairing dinner from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 23.
The brewery also will host local vegan chefs Chris and Andrea Hutson of Harvest Moon Creations from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 30. They will serve tapas and brewer Jeffrey McElfresh will discuss the beer.
For full details, check out the news release below:
Yellow Springs Brewery Hosts Fall Events
Lovingly Prepared Food and Beer Pairings Enhance Handcrafted Pottery Exhibit
Yellow Springs, OH • 9/15/14 — Yellow Springs Brewery is honoring the Autumn Equinox with several fall themed events this month including two beer dinners and a Nature’s Bounty pottery exhibit that benefits John Bryan Community Pottery, a ceramics studio in Yellow Springs.
Harvest Mobile Cuisine, first-place winner of the Springfield food truck rally, will prepare a beer dinner on Tuesday, September 23, 6:30-9 pm. This multi-course, sit-down formal dinner by chef Patrick Sartin focuses on locally harvested produce from Patchwork Gardens and Hill Family Farms. Courses will be served with the brewery’s handcrafted beer along with an explanation of each pairing.
Local vegan chefs Chris and Andrea Hutson of Harvest Moon Creations will be serving vegan tapas on Tuesday, September 30, 7-9 pm. An informal setting, this event will also focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Lead Brewer Jeffrey McElfresh will enhance the beer and food pairings as he discusses each course.
Lovingly prepared food from nature’s bounty goes hand-in-hand with beautifully handcrafted dinnerware. A short pop-up Pottery Art Show and Sale will be on display from September 17-30. This exhibit includes many accomplished and a few emerging potters who have connections to John Bryan Community Pottery studio including Naysan McIlhargey, Jane Hockensmith-Reich, Michael Jones and Bruce Grimes, among others. A percentage of each sale will be donated to the studio. It is a great opportunity to see this group of work in one location.
The Pottery Art Show and Sale is open for viewing during regular taproom/gallery hours Wednesday through Friday, 3-10 pm, Saturday, 1-10 pm and Sunday, 1-6 pm. Reservations are required for each dinner; you may do so by visiting the taproom at 305 North Walnut Street, Yellow Springs or by calling Yellow Springs Brewery at 767-0222.
Yellow Springs Brewery opened in April, 2013 and has hosted a number of artist exhibitions in their family-friendly taproom. Games and cards are provided for customer’s enjoyment while sipping on fresh-brewed craft beer. Yellow Springs Brewery offers a rotating flight of approximately 20 different beers ranging in style from English Mild to Saison to IPA.
They won a silver medal in the Smoked Beer Category for their Smokin’ Handsome American Brown Ale at the Great American Beer Festival®,the world’s largest commercial beer competion, in Denver, Colorado, hosted by the Brewer’s Association. Smokin’ Handsome was created and brewed by Lead Brewer Jeffrey McElfresh. Yellow Springs Brewery is owned and operated by husband and wife, Nate Cornett and Lisa Wolters.
For more information about John Bryan Community Pottery, visit http://www.communitypottery.com. For more information about Yellow Springs Brewery, visit www.yellowspringsbrewery.com or contact Lisa Wolters at 937-416-2496.
# # #
Columbus Brewing Co. isn’t the only brewery on the move in the state capital. Four String Brewing Co. is scouting the community for a new production facility.
Owner Dan Cochran said he hopes to be renovating a new building by the beginning of next year and making beer there sometime next year. Four String also wants to upgrade from its current 10-barrel brewing system to a 30-barrel brewhouse because of demand for its brands, which include Brass Knuckle American Pale Ale and Big Star White IPA.
“We can’t short ourselves in this next step or we’ll be talking about [upgrading] again in three years,” Cochran said.
Four String opened last year.
Cochran is looking at 20,000- to 30,000-square-foot buildings throughout Columbus.
He added that there are no plans to abandon the current taproom on West Sixth Avenue. He envisions enlarging that space and having a pilot system there in the future.
“That’s going to stay as the hub for the public,” he said.
Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati will host its second annual Franztoberfest from noon to close on Saturday. (Sept. 20)
There will be live music by Lagnappe, G. Burton and Pete Dressman; an inflatable joust and gourmet bratwursts.
Great Lakes Brewing Co. is featured in a new web series called Microbrew Madness on TravelChannel.com. The online series, launched today (Sept. 15), showcases 16 of the best craft breweries in the nation in six-minute webisodes.
The website also has launched on online poll asking readers to vote for their favorite craft brewery among those featured. The winner will be announced Oct. 5.
In the Great Lakes webisode, host Ewan Porter, an Australian professional golfer and commentator, leads viewers on a tour of the Cleveland brewery. “Coming to Great Lakes is a little like taking a tour of Cleveland history,” he says.
The other 15 breweries featured:
• 5 Seasons in Atlanta.
• Cigar City in Tampa, Fla.
• Foothills in Winston-Salem, N.C.
• Yazoo in Nashville, Tenn.
• Avery in Boulder, Colo.
• Square One in St. Louis.
• Surly in Minneapolis, Minn.
• Verboten in Loveland, Colo.
• Founders in Grand Rapids, Mich.
• Goose Island in Chicago.
• Southern Tier in Lakewood, N.Y.
• Four Peaks in Tempe, Ariz.
• Freetail in San Antonio, Texas.
• Hopworks Urban in Portland, Ore.
• The Brewery at Abigaile in Hermosa Beach, Calif.
For more details or to watch all the webisodes, click here. The Great Lakes video is below.
The Lizardville Beer Store & Whiskey Bar in Bedford Heights has been recognized as one of the best craft beer bars in Northeast Ohio since it opened in 2011.
Now it’s being honored as one of the 25 best in the country.
CraftBeer.com -- the consumer website for the Brewers Association, a Boulder, Colo.-based trade group -- today (Sept. 15) announced the winners of its annual Great American Beer Bars competition.
“We are very proud of our staff and our guests in making us a top 25 craft bar in the nation,” Lizardville co-owner John Lane said in a prepared statement. “The pride and passion for beer service that our staff displays every day, coupled with the passion from our guests to learn about beer, makes for a winning combination.”
Lizardville, a Winking Lizard Tavern brand, offers 800 bottled beers and over 200 whiskeys. They also have eight rotating draft beers. (In addition to the original location in Bedford Heights, there are Lizardvilles in Copley Township and Lakewood.)
The Brewers Association noted that there were more than 19,000 craft beer fans who cast over 3,400 nominations this year in the online competition. Those bars were whittled down to 10 in five regions of the country and people could vote for their favorites. The top five in each region were honored.
Lizardville was among the top five vote-getters in the North Central region. The other regional winners were: Ashley’s in Ann Arbor, Mich.; HopCat in Grand Rapids, Mich.; The Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, Ill.; and The Cellar Peanut Pub in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
HopCat got the most votes in the North Central region.
“This year’s Great American Beer Bars competition truly shows the advancement and popularity of craft beer throughout the country,” Julia Herz, publisher of CraftBeer.com and craft beer program director of the Brewers Association, said in a prepared statement. “Each region has so many dedicated beer bars, which lead to our decision to honor the top five establishments of each. Their hard work and commitment has helped shape and advance the craft beer culture in our country — and that is something to toast and celebrate.”
Here’s a look at the other regional winners:
• Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe, Denver.
• Falling Rock Tap House, Denver.
• Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids, Longmont, Colo.
• The Attic, Phoenix.
• The Mayor of Old Town, Fort Collins, Colo.
• Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, Pa.
• Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell, N.J.
• Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe, Nanuet, N.Y.
• The Farmhouse Tap & Grill, Burlington, Vermont.
• The Ruck, Troy, N.Y.
• 38 Degrees Ale House & Bar, Alhambra, Calif.
• APEX Bar, Portland, Ore.
• Beer Stein Bottle Shop & Pub, Eugene, Ore.
• Prospectors Pizzeria & Alehouse, Denali National Park, Alaska.
• The Pine Box, Seattle, Wash.
• Blue 5 Restaurant, Roanoke, Va.
• Mekong Restaurant, Richmond, Va.
• The Birch Bar, Norfolk, Va.
• The Porter Beer Bar, Atlanta.
• The Thirsty Monk, Asheville, N.C.
The bars receiving the most votes in the other regions were: Beer Stein Bottle Shop & Pub, Cloverleaf Tavern, Falling Rock Tap House and Mekong Restaurant.
The Ohio Craft Brew Fest attracted big crowds last weekend to the North Market in Columbus. The final totals aren’t in yet, but the estimate is that about 7,000 people visited during the festival’s three-day run.
Here are few fun highlights from my visit:
1. North High Brewing Co. co-owner Gavin Meyers had to be the most animated brewer/brewery owner at the festival. Wearing mirrored sunglasses right out of the late 1970s TV show CHiPS, Meyers was whooping it up and high-fiving beer drinkers Saturday.
He even had a comical back-and-forth with a woman who had come in with her husband to brew at North High, which offers a brew-on-premise experience. She raved about her time there and said she was coming back. But as she talked more, Meyers recognized her as giving the brewery only 3 out of 5 stars on a Yelp review and complaining online that they didn’t get a free T-shirt. The critical review called the owners cheap. (To read the short review, click here.)
“These are expensive T-shirts,” Meyers said with a laugh.
The woman admitted her husband is a Yelp fiend. She appeared embarrassed and said she didn’t realize that he had smacked North High online.
“I want you to know we like you,” she said.
“We give 5-star service and some people don’t see it that way,” responded Meyers, who kept a sense of humor throughout the conversation.
“I feel I need to make this up to you,” she said. “I feel so bad.”
2. The beer that created the biggest buzz was Barley’s Bourbon Meyer Buckeye Stout, a bourbon barrel stout aged with peanut butter and chocolate and served out of a firkin.
At one point, a worker at Columbus Brewing Co. jokingly complained to Barley’s brewmaster Angelo Signorino Jr. that Bourbon Meyer — an obvious nod to Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer — was overshadowing Columbus Bodhi, a beer with no shortage of rabid fans.
3. Homebrewer Ryan McQuillen won the inaugural Battle of the Brews, a homebrew competition that I helped judge. His beer, an oatmeal stout, will be brewed at Seventh Son Brewing Co. Expect to see it on tap around late November or early December at Seventh Son, Matt the Miller’s and Crest Gastropub.
Second place went to F Duncan for his rhubarb wit. (Yes, that’s his first name. F, no period. He said that was the abbreviated, non-offensive version of what his parents were thinking when they learned his mom was pregnant.) Peter Torgersen took third place for a Belgian-style trippel.
Besides Seventh Son brewer Colin Vent and owner Collin Castore, the judging panel also included Channel 6 meteorologist Marshall McPeek.
Here are some interesting beer stories:
-- The Sandusky Register reports on the sixth annual Brew Ha-Ha set Saturday (Sept. 20) at The Milan Museum in Milan. “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, so we hope a lot of people will come out and support the museum,” Ann Basilone-Jones, executive director of The Milan Museum, says. To read the full story, click here.
-- The voting is continuing in the Ohio Beercast's annual Fantasty Ohio Beer League contest, which pits Ohio beers against each other until there is one ultimate winner. The second week of voting is under way. To vote or see results, click here.
-- The Denver Post reports that sales of sampler packs are up. The newspaper says sales of variety packs grew 19 percent last year and the category accounted for 7.7 percent of dollar sales in the craft beer market segment, according to the market research firm IRI.To read the full story, click here.
-- Investor's Business Daily reports how Mexican beer sales are boosting Constellation Brands. Experts say Mexican beer is growing in popularity among younger non-Latino drinkers, including millennials, the website says. To read the full story, click here.
Shhhh. Don’t tell anybody but the Butcher and the Brewer – Cleveland’s newest brewpub – is up and running. The brewery, located on the city’s fashionable East Fourth Street, quietly opened a few weeks ago without any fanfare or even a public announcement.
Heck, there isn’t even a sign out front letting you know that it’s a brewery – although the giant wall of growlers in one of the front windows sort of gives it away.
“It’s already so busy,” brewer Eric Anderson said Thursday. (Sept. 11) “You can’t fit in here. If it ever slows down, we might have an official opening.”
The Butcher and the Brewer, which features a 10-barrel brewhouse, is offering nine house beers and a slew of guest brews right now. Anderson wants to bump up the local offerings to 15.
Right now, the options include a hefeweizen called Hasselhefe (“They love him in Germany,” Anderson jokes, alluding to actor/singer/talent show host David Hasselhoff.) and two saisons, a kolsch, session IPA, milk stout and American IPA. There’s also a collaboration beer with Lagunitas called Fusion 23 and a raspberry wheat called Framboyzee.
What's up with the Framboyzee? Anderson, who previously brewed at Buckeye Brewing Co. and tended bar at the Tremont Taphouse, said he kept hearing customers butcher the word frambroise. They called it fram-boy-zee. So that’s what he named the beer.
Anderson is really looking to get creative with his brews.
One of those saisons isn’t your typical saison. Femme Blonde is made with basil and peaches. The basil hits you right in the nose and taste buds.
There's a pumpkin saison nearly ready for serving and today, he’s brewing a wet-hopped black cream ale.
Anderson also is working on a barrel aging program. On Thursday, he was adding freshly chopped mango and pineapple -- with the help of his father Dave -- to the milk stout in a Wild Turkey barrel. It should be ready in three months.
“I’m really excited about this beer,” Anderson said, as he invited the kitchen staff to smell the intense aroma spilling out of the barrel.
There’s also a barrel of Stuffed French Toast – the milk stout aged with Ohio maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. And he’s working on some sour beers.
“I try to find inspiration wherever I can,” Anderson said.
As the Butcher and the Brewer name implies, there is a butcher component at the business. Rex Workman will operate a butcher shop at the site and he also prepares the meats. The shop isn’t quite up and running. Anderson estimated that it would be a couple of weeks.
The menu ranges from a hand-ground burger for $12 to seared octopus for $12 to a daily butcher's cut of steak at market price.
The brewpub features a long bar with slate, allowing customers to get creative. Cups filled with pieces of colored chalk are put out on the bar top so people can draw or doodle. (I drew a horse.) There are many communal tables for eatings, along with smaller tables.
The stainless steel brewhouse gleams in the back of the brewery, which is technically named the Cleveland Brewing Co. The fermenters and bright tanks are all downstairs. Speaking of stairs, the wide stairwell leading up or down, depending on which way you're going, has an old-time subway station feel.
The bathrooms also are worth mentioning. There is a communal area to wash hands and private stalls on both sides of the sink for men and women -- in other words, there's no private men's vs. women's room. Also, it's kind of a hoot to enter a stall to use a urinal.
The Butcher and the Brewer -- which is owned by the same guys behind the Tremont Taphouse -- opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday It's open until 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. (Editor's note: There was an obvious mistake earlier that said it closed at 2 p.m.) It’s closed now on Sundays, but there are plans to be open soon for brunch and lunch.
Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland has announced the lineup for its third annual Pumpkin Beer Fest, which takes place at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 9.
The event will showcase Market Garden Franklin Castle Pumpkin Ale (served out of a pumpkin firkin), Fat Head's Spooky Tooth, The Brew Kettle's Strangeville, Thirsty Dog Pumpkin Ale in a firkin, Hoppin' Frog Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale, Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale, Epic Imperial Pumpkin Porter, Southern Tier Pumpking, Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, Ace Pumpkin Cider, Traveler Jack-o-Traveler Pumpkin Shandy and New Belgium Pumpkick.
The event is free to attend. You just pay for the beer you drink.