Ohio Beer Blog

Busy weekend for beer in Ohio

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 12:56pm

It’s going to be a busy craft beer weekend in Ohio, specifically in Northeast Ohio.

There are two new breweries opening — one in suburban Canton/Akron and the other in suburban Columbus. There also are two big beer festivals — one in Akron and one in Cleveland.

Here’s the rundown:

-- Royal Docks Brewing Co. opens at 5 p.m. Saturday in Jackson Township. The seven-barrel brewpub, named after the Docklands area of London, will launch with at least five beers on draft. They are: Prodigal Sun American IPA, Docklands Coffee Porter, Docklands Porter, Sezon Farmhouse Ale and 67 Alaska Kolsch. For more details, click here.

-- Ill-Mannered Brewing Co. opens at 5 p.m. Friday in Powell. The three-barrel brewery and tasting room will launch with Rye One On Belgian Rye, Powell Right in the Kisser IPA, License to Ill West Coast Amber and The Nice Vice Breakfast Stout. For more details, click here.

-- The 2015 Ballpark Festival of Beers, hosted by the Akron RubberDucks and presented by Goose Island, runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Canal Park in downtown Akron. The event will showcase more than 150 local, regional, and domestic beers. For more details, click here.

-- The four-day Cleveland Oktoberfest — billed as Northeast Ohio’s largest outdoor festival — kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday. The event, held at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds features a craft beer competition and tasting. For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Iron Maiden Trooper beer featured at Ohio listening events

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 1:27pm

Run to the hills, Iron Maiden fans.

The British heavy metal band is releasing its 16th studio album on Friday (Sept. 4), and it's holding special advance listening parties -- complete with the Iron Maiden-created beer Trooper -- at bars and restaurants around the country on Thursday. There also will be parties at retail stores -- minus the beer, of course.

Four Ohio locations are hosting events Thursday for fans to listen to "The Book of Souls" in its entirety:

-- 7 p.m. at Tim Owens' Traveler's Tavern in Akron.

-- 8:30 p.m. at Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood.

-- 10 p.m. at North Side Yacht Club in Cincinnati.

-- 6:15 p.m. at Culture Clash in Toledo. (No beer at this one.)

Trooper is a British beer created by singer Bruce Dickinson and produced at Robinsons Brewery in Stockport, England. For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Wolf's Ridge to host spiced beer dinner

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 1:14pm

Wolf's Ridge Brewing Co. will host a four-course beer dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 3) with North Market Spices Ltd.

The Columbus brewpub worked with North Market Spices to infuse the food -- and its beers -- with special spice blends. The dinner will feature Beyond Measure Belgian Wit paired with watermelon slices and Wholly Molly salt; Earthrise IPA with tropical fruit ceviche, scallops, shrimp, served with mango, honey, lemon, featuring a white pepper and habanero spice blend; Dire Wolf Imperial Stout infused with figs and peppercorns and paired with barbecue ribs; and Creamsicle Cream Ale infused with vanilla & orange served with orange vanilla ice cream with a sugar-rimmed glass.

"It's a wonderful collaboration and showcase of Wolf's Ridge's cutting edge view on food and beer," brewer Chris Davison said in an email.

Tickets are $58 and include both tax and tip. For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 12:02pm

Here are some interesting Ohio beer stories:

-- Paste Magazine held a blind-tasting of 115 double India pale ales, with two Ohio breweries making it into the top 30. Columbus Bodhi finished second, while Warped Wing Mr. Mean was 13th, Columbus Creeper crept in at 23rd and Fat Head's Hop JuJu finished 28th. (Interestingly, Bodhi won a bronze medal last year in the regular 'ole American-style IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival.) Grimm Artisanal Ales Lambo Door finished first. To read the full list, click here.

-- Cincinnati.com reports that Braxton Brewing Co. -- located in Covington, Ky. -- is expanding distribution into Ohio. “We’re unbelievably excited to finally be on both sides of the river,” co-founder Jake Rouse says. “But we’re never going to forget our Northern Kentucky roots.” To read the full story, click here.

-- Cleveland.com reports on Cleveland showing up the Beer Artisan's list of underrated beer cities. To read the full story, click here.

-- Pat's Pints sits down with Actual Brewing Co. to talk about light lagers. Actual released its Photon Light Lager in cans this week. "Lagers account for 70 percent of all beer sales, but only 6 percent of craft breweries have a lager in their portfolio," Actual co-founder Fred Lee says. "When you look at that math it seems like a no brainer." To read a Q&A, click here.

-- Cincinnati.com reports that Kroger is adding more growler stations to its grocery stores. “Wine and growler bars are a natural evolution for our adult beverage departments – by adding growlers, we are able to introduce our customers to new and emerging breweries that are only available on draft,” Kroger national brand coordinator Jason Milburn says. To read the full story, click here.

-- WCPO reports on Urban Artifact's latest beer -- Hearth Wild Dark Ale. We used a hefty amount of oats, a heavy hand of roasted malt and then some English base malt as well to give it a really nice, full, silky body and then hit it with some Belgian and wild yeasts," head brewer Bret Kollman Baker says. To read the full story, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Akron Zoo hosts football-themed beer tasting

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 10:20am

The Akron Zoo will host a football tailgate-themed Brew at the Zoo from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 9. Visitors are being encouraged to wear their favorite team jersey to the event.

The beer tasting, the third in a series of four at the zoo this year, will showcase 14 breweries: Thirsty Dog, Ohio, Elevator, Black Box, The Brew Kettle, Fat Head’s, Green Flash, Hoppin’ Frog, Lagunitas, Mucky Duck, R. Shea, Southern Tier, Weyerbacher and Left Hand.

Brew at the Zoo also will feature food trucks Pig Lickin’ Good BBQ and Fire Truck Pizza, fashion truck rockEVERYwear and music by Cold Blue Steele.

Tickets are $25 for zoo members and $31 for nonmembers. Attendees will receive six beer samples; and full-sized beers will be available for $4. Additional tasting cards are available for $10.

For more details or to register, call 330-375-2550 ext. 7251 or click here. Only guests 21 and older are permitted.

Categories: Beer News

Lizardville to host Columbus Brewing tap takeover

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 3:37pm

The Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar in Bedford Heights will host a tap takover with Columbus Brewing Co. starting at 4 p.m. Thursday. (Sept. 3)

The award-winning Columbus brewery said it will be sharing Bodhi, Creeper, Uncle Rusty, Lucy, ThunderLips, Dalton, Festbier and SFW.

For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Canton Rotary Club to host inaugural Oktoberfest

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 12:05pm

The Rotary Club of Canton will host its inaugural Oktoberfest from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 17 on Market Avenue North in downtown Canton.

The Canton Brewing Co. is producing a special beer -- Rotary Centennial Pale Ale -- for the event, which also will feature the BrickOven, Scenic, Lager Heads, Millersburg, Thirsty Dog, R. Shea and Willoughby breweries. There also will be food and music.

Pre-sale tickets are $30 and include 10 three-ounce samples and a souvenir tasting glass. Tickets are $40 at the door. The proceeds benefit the Canton Rotary Foundation.

For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Old Firehouse expands distribution across Ohio

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 8:46am

Old Firehouse Brewery is expanding statewide. The Williamsburg production brewery and tasting room has hooked up with Cavalier Distributing and will release its beer across Ohio starting Tuesday. (Sept. 1)

“We’re excited to increase our distribution map,” Old Firehouse co-owner Adam Cowan said in a prepared statement. “Cavalier has done a great job of getting us into the Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Toledo markets. It’s clear that there is a passion for craft beer, and the demand for our offerings has steadily grown. This comes just as we’re celebrating our first anniversary, and we feel we’ve come a long way in a very short period of time.”

Cavalier will distribute: Pin-Up Girl American Blonde Ale, Code 3 Red Ale, Flash Point East Coast-Style IPA, Probie Porter and Hoser Gose.

Old Firehouse also is releasing seasonal and limited edition beers.

“OFB’s dedication to brewing high-quality, exceptional beers has earned it a strong reputation in the current markets,” Cavalier state sales manager Aaron Spoores said in a prepared statement. “Building on this initial success, we’re confident that OFB’s offerings will be widely accepted throughout Ohio, as we roll out this extended distribution.”

Categories: Beer News

Five questions with ... Josh Jones

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 8:09am

Josh Jones is the head brewer at Hofbrauhaus Cleveland, which is part of the international Hofbrauhaus brand. Hofbrauhaus focuses on German beer and is well known for its beer halls and party atmosphere in the evenings. Before joining Hofbrauhaus, he worked at Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I definitely did not set out to become a brewer after college. I was working for a large oil company on the East Coast in a refinery and was growing tired of the industry in general. It was a random trip one weekend to the original Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pa., that did it for me. The stained glass windows and copper kettles. They had just opened up the old caverns where they used to ferment the lagers in wooden tanks. It was like walking through a beer history book.

I thought to myself this seems a whole lot cooler than making gasoline. My parents were not too happy when I told them I was moving back to Cleveland and wanted to work for Great Lakes Brewing Co. They have since changed their minds and take pride in all the beers I have brewed there and at Hofbrauhaus.

Q: Hofbrauhaus is a worldwide brand that focuses exclusively on German styles. What's it like working at a brewery that specializes like that?

A: Germans take their bier quite seriously. The Reinheitsgebot or Bavarian Purity Law is not a mere suggestion here at HB. The law says that a brewer of bier can only use the four main ingredients of water, barley, hops and yeast. That means no adjuncts like sugars or spices. It also means something like bottled oxygen, and even bottled carbon dioxide is not permitted to be pumped into the bier. To that extent, I have to use sterilized air and only the naturally produced CO2 from fermentation.

I truly believe this law does produce cleaner, smoother tasting biers. Hofbrauhaus Cleveland might as well be in Germany, since I am held to those same standards. It took some getting used to at first, along with having inspections completed on a regular basis by a German brewmaster. I enjoy the styles of bier I brew here. They are definitely on the sessionable side of the beer spectrum. Germans and Americans and everyone inbetween love bier gardens. It’s a great atmosphere here.

Q: What advice can you give future brewers to be successful?

A: I always wondered where I would be if I knew that becoming a brewmaster was in the cards earlier in life. I’m happy where I’m at. Follow your gut feelings. Don’t ever stop asking questions and learning. Do the little things that are hard and not expected. It will make you stand out among the crowd. Don’t burn your bridges. Take pride in everything and respect the beer.

Brewing is 50 percent cleaning and 50 percent brewing. Don’t expect it to be all standing around and enjoying drinking beer. There’s plenty of time for that when everything is done.

Q: What’s your best-selling beer and why do you think it’s so popular?

A: Premium Lager is usually the most popular. Although there are weekends when Hefeweizen and even Dunkel will outsell the others. Oktoberfest is coming and will outsell everything for awhile.

Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/invented/brewed and why?

A: I’m going to cheat and mention two. It took one sip of a Two Hearted by Bell’s to really start that love for fresh IPAs. I really love the Oktoberfest at Great Lakes. I never get tired of trying new beers, but those are my favorites besides the Dunkel I brew here at HB Cleveland.

Categories: Beer News

BrewDog to sit down with public to talk about Ohio brewery

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 6:16pm

BrewDog is ready to sit down with Ohio beer lovers and reveal some new details about its U.S. brewery being built in Canal Winchester.

The Scottish brewery, which markets itself as making “hardcore beers for punks,” has scheduled two town hall meetings next month — 6 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Canal Winchester Community Center and 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at Market District-Grandview Yard in Columbus.

“We have experienced overwhelming outreach from the Columbus region and throughout the U.S. from folks asking about the project. Who we are. How they can help. And when we will start hiring,” Katie Murphy Hamilton, whose BrewDog title is expansion matriarch, said in an email. “The warm welcome we have received from the industry and the community has been amazing. So, we thought we would start with a couple of events in response to this outreach.”

The Canal Winchester community also has raised some questions about the 100,000-square-foot facility, which will house a visitors center, taproom and restaurant.

“Another purpose of the meetings is to alleviate these concerns, which we’re confident we can do, and reassure the community that we will be a great neighbor,” said Hamilton, who was the first U.S. employee hired by BrewDog. “Many of the concerns raised are easily quelled, so the event will provide an opportunity for us to state the reasons why residents need not worry, and we’ll also be presenting some killer sustainable solutions which prove our commitment to making our Ohio brewery the best it can possibly be.”

As for those details being revealed, she said they will include construction plans, a timeline and jobs available. There also will be a question-and-answer period.

Zarah Prior, gatekeeper at BrewDog and head of human resources; Lucas Haire, Canal Winchester development director; and construction partner EXXCEL Project Management also will attend.

The most-asked question right now is an obvious one: When is BrewDog hiring?

“The answer is, now,” said Hamilton, who grew up in Granville, graduated from the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and previously worked as a project manager for Columbus 2020. “Recruitment has begun for the key senior positions of USA chief executive officer, USA chief financial officer, vice president of sales and brewmaster. Additional recruitment will follow in the first quarter of 2016.”

Hamilton said BrewDog is excited to get going.

“The response from our fellow craft brewers in the area as well as the general public has been outstandingly positive,” she said. “Folks can’t wait to get their hands on our beer and we couldn’t be more excited to introduce our craft beer to the American people!”

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 8:53am

Here are some interesting beer stories:

-- Columbus Business First reports on how the Buckeye Lake Brewery is surviving repairs to Buckeye Lake. "We couldn't rely on that summer boating crowd coming to town," owner Rich Hennosy says. "We had to get more beer out to the people." To read the full story, click here.

-- The Toledo Blade profiles the new Bowling Green Beer Works. “I was expelled from boarding school and prep school for making apple cider under the sink when I was in seventh grade. So, it goes back a long ways,” co-owner Justin Marx says. “It was apple juice concentrate, Red Star Yeast, and some sugar, I think. It was my first experience with fermentation." To read the full story, click here.

-- Cleveland.com reports that Great Lakes Brewing Co. will debut a new session IPA called Steady Rollin' at the Burning River Fest this year. To read the full story, click here.

-- MarketWatch recommends 10 fall non-pumpkin beers, including Great Lakes Oktoberfest. "There’s a lot of craft beer in this country with the Oktoberfest label, but this is one of the few that hews closely to Bavarian tradition," the site says about Great Lakes. To read the full story, click here.

-- Drink Up Columbus reports that Smokehouse Brewing Co. will release a gruit on Friday. “To experience a gruit is to experience an example of what beer was before hops started being used in beer,” owner Lenny Kolada says. “This is what beer was from the dawn of civilization up to the 13th century.” To read the full story, click here.

-- CNN profiles Cleveland and any visit to Cleveland must include a stop at Great Lakes Brewing Co. To watch the video, click here.

-- The website 365cincinnati.com takes a look at Taft's Ale House. "And while its completely stunning interior draws you in today, you wouldn't have been quite so ready to enjoy a meal here just a few years ago," the site says. To read the full story, click here.

-- Cincinnati.com reports on Bad Tom Smith Brewing reopening its taproom. "At the end of the day, we want the focus to be on our beers and a simple, nice atmosphere to get away and enjoy time relaxing with friends and a beer," co-owner John Vojtush says. To read the full story, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Legends to host 3 Floyds dinner

Thu, 08/27/2015 - 8:29am

Chef Dick Kanatzar and Legends Sports Pub & Grille will host a beer pairing dinner at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24 and Sept. 25 with 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Called the "1 Chef/2 Nights/3 Floyds beer dinner," the event will feature five courses: devils on horseback, scotch egg salad, sliders, braised beef shin and marrow, and bloody doughnuts.

Each meal will be paired with a 3 Floyds beer, including Zombie Dust, Yum Yum and Alpha King. The final two beers will be announced on the night.

“3 Floyds is a legendary brewery so it only seems right to have the event at Legends Sports Bar.” Kanatzar said in a prepared statement. “Personally, they’re one of my favorite breweries so when the opportunity came to host an event such as this, it was a no brainer."

Tickets are $55 on Sept. 24 and $65 on Sept. 25th.

For reservations or more details, click here or call 330-896-4433.

Categories: Beer News

Actual Brewing set to release first can

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 5:57pm

Actual Brewing Co. is ready to release its first canned beer. The Columbus brewery will release six-packs of Photon Light Lager in the Columbus market starting Sept. 1

"Light lager is the most popular beer style in America but there aren't a lot of craft-brewed light lagers," co-owner and brewer Fred Lee said in an email.

Photon, which is not made with rice or corn, is a mere 96 calories. 

Categories: Beer News

Tap & Screw honors homebrewers with inaugural TapFest

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 9:09am

Tap & Screw Brewery co-owner Tom Lorenz noticed something interesting about beer festivals. They’re all starting to feel and look the same, he says.

So when the Cincinnati brewpub decided to put on its own event, Lorenz wanted it to stand out from the beer crowd. Piggybacking off the popularity of the Blotarian Brewing League’s Beer & Sweat festival, Tap & Screw decided to honor homebrewers.

On Nov. 14, the brewery will host its inaugural TapFest -- an event devoted exclusively to homebrews.

"We wanted to do something really fun and engage the community," Lorenz says.

The event will feature 10 winners from this year’s Beer & Sweat competition, which was held Aug. 22. Tap & Screw sponsored the specialty, stout, porter, IPA, English brown ale, Belgian, people’s choice, German wheat, fruit beer and Scottish ale categories at Beer & Sweat and is giving those style winners the opportunity to brew their beers on the brewery’s pilot system.

Each winner’s beer will be showcased in Tap & Screw’s taproom at a “Home Brew Debut Night” every Wednesday starting Sept. 16 through Nov. 4. Then on Nov. 14, the brewery will host TapFest when all the winners’ beers will be on draft.

During TapFest, a group of judges will select a winner who will receive a kit that can upgrade a propane brewing system to a basic all-electric system. The value of the prize is about $2,500. There also will be a people’s choice award.

TapFest tickets are limited to 600. They are $15 and people will receive 10 beer samples. The doors will open at 11 a.m., with the winners being announced at 5 p.m.

For more details or to buy tickets, click here.

In other Tap & Screw news, Lorenz said the brewery has signed on with Premium Beverage Supply to distribute its beers statewide.

Categories: Beer News

Akron RubberDucks announce brewery list

Wed, 08/26/2015 - 8:04am

The Akron RubberDucks on Tuesday announced the brewery list for its 2015 Ballpark Festival of Beers, a beer tasting held on the field at Canal Park in downtown Akron.

The event -- set for 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 5 and sponsored by Goose Island -- will showcase more than 150 beers and ciders from 56 breweries and cider-makers, including 15 from Ohio.

Here's the rundown: 21st Amendment, Alltech, Anderson Valley, Aqueduct, Blue Point, Boulder Dam, Boulevard, Breckenridge, Brick, Brooklyn, Cameron's, Cider Brothers, Day of the Dead, Deschutes, Destihl, DuClaw, Elevator, Fat Head's, Flying Monkeys, Four String, Goose Island, Grand River, Great Lakes, Griffin Cider Works, Heavy Seas, Homestead, Hoppin’ Frog, Jackie O’s, Kona, Lager Heads, Left Hand, Leinenkugel’s, McKenzie’s Hard Cider, Millersburg, Mt. Carmel, New Belgium, Newcastle, North Country, Ommegang, Paulaner, Redhook, Rivertowne, Samuel Adams, Saugatuck, Shiner, Spaten, Spider Monkey, Spindoktor, Strongbow, Summit, SweetWater, Thirsty Dog, Traveler, Victory, Widmer Brothers and Yuengling.

Tickets are $30 in advance, and $35 at the gate. People receive a commemorative sampling glass.

The RubberDucks - the AA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians - are offering an interesting option with tickets. People can choose 15 tickets that provide five-ounce samples or 25 tickets that allow for three-ounce samples.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the Canal Park box office during business hours (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday), by calling the box office at 330-253-5153, or at www.akronrubberducks.com.

Categories: Beer News

Royal Docks Brewing set to open Sept. 5

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 8:03am

Stark County’s newest brewpub is ready to open its doors.

Royal Docks Brewing Co., located in the Marketplace at Nobles Pond development in Jackson Township, will hold a ribbon cutting and ceremonial keg tapping at 5 p.m. Sept. 5.

“It’s great to deal with the beer side instead of the build-out and construction,” co-owner John Bikis said.

The goal is to help put Stark County on Ohio’s beer map, he added.

Royal Docks, named after the Docklands area of London, will launch with five and possibly six beers on draft. They include Prodigal Sun American IPA, Docklands Coffee Porter, Docklands Porter, Sezon Farmhouse Ale and 67 Alaska Kolsch.

There also are a scotch ale, holiday ale, Russian imperial stout and pumpkin ale coming.

The seven-barrel brewery and tasting room will serve small-plate foods such as flatbread pizzas and also bigger plates such as bangers and mash and fish and chips.

The plates are designed to be shared, Bikis said.

With the opening of Royal Docks, Stark County will be home to four breweries. The others are Canton Brewing Co. in downtown Canton, Maize Valley Winery in Marlboro Township and Scenic Brewing Co. in Jackson Township.

Shale Brewing Co., which will be located in Canton, also has a brewing permit pending with the state.

Categories: Beer News

Aqueduct Brewing to offer beer-making classes

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 4:26pm

Aqueduct Brewing Co. is launching beer-making classes.

“It’s always been about trying to bring craft beer to the masses,” co-owner and brewer Robert Hernandez said. “I would like craft beer to take over the brewing industry.”

The Akron brewery will offer three levels of classes: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

The beginner class, which costs $50 and includes a T-shirt and beer, begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday. (Aug. 26)

The first intermediate class, which costs $100, is set for noon Sept. 6. It involves all-grain brewing and will include a five-gallon keg or two cases of bottled beer to take home.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 330-606-6583. For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Dayton Beer Co. cans hit shelves today

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 9:07am

The Java Man Cometh today. So does Oregon Alley IPA.

The Dayton Beer Co., which opened a second, larger production brewery and tasting room earlier this year in Dayton, is releasing 12-ounce cans of its Java Man Cometh and Oregon Alley IPA starting today. (Aug. 24)

The brewery reports that the cans will be available in Montgomery and surrounding counties only. The release coincides with Dayton Beer Week, which is under way now.

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 8:43am

Here are some interesting beer stories:

-- The Dayton Daily News reports on the sixth annual Dayton Beer Week, which kicked off on Friday. To read a quick rundown of activities, click here.

-- The Canton Repository reports on the growth of hop farms in Ohio, focusing on Second Sons Hopyard in Marlboro Township. “This is a hobby gone awry,” co-owner Mike Schiltz jokes. To read the full story, click here.

-- WCPO reports that Crooked Handle Brewing Co. hopes to open in November in Springboro. “We plan to ‘bridge the gap’ with our style of ales," co-owner Jeff Pedro Jr. says. "Whether someone in new to craft beer or a seasoned taster, we have a variety of recipes that will appeal to all." To read the full story, click here.

-- The Associated Press reports that Budweiser is upset that a California brewery is looking to trademark the phrase "Queen of Beer." She Beverage Co. is targeting beer to women. To read the full story, click here.

-- CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, which operates Gordon Biersch, Rock Bottom and other brands, announced that it has refinanced $172.5 million of its existing senior debt facility. "With a solid financial foundation based on this refinancing and continuous improvement in system-wide sales growth, we are excited about the development opportunities that lie ahead for all of the CraftWorks brands," CEO Srinivas Kumar said in a news release. "We are projecting 10 percent unit growth over the next several years, expanding our national presence and building on the momentum within the craft beer industry." To read the full news release, click here.

-- Cleveland.com reports that Ohio State University will start selling beer on a limited basis at football games. "The Ohio State athletic department announced Friday a pilot program to sell beer and wine to the 4,370 fans who sit in suites and club seats," the newspaper says. "The more than 100,000 fans in other sections won't have that option yet." To read the full story, click here.

-- The Houston Chronicle reports on Bud Light releasing NFL team-themed cans. "This year we want to make sure we become as locally relevant as we possibly can," Bud Light Vice President Alexander Lambrecht says. "Unlike other years, we went a little bit more local with the design. Every piece of creative will be geared toward a specific region and demographic group." To read the full story, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Five questions with ... Joshua Bringman

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 12:59pm

Joshua Bringman is the co-owner and brewer at the Brick Oven Brewpub, a nanobrewery and specialty pizzeria in Akron's Ellet neighborhood. The brewery opened in January.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: Just as I was getting into craft beer in the late 90's, I watched an episode of Good Eats, the Alton Brown show on Food Network. He did a show on beer and made a pale ale. I thought, "I need to try that." I went to Barnes and Noble, bought a couple of magazines, and bought a brown ale kit from the Grape and Granary. After that, I was hooked. I started building my own equipment and entering a couple competitions. I did not win, but got really good marks. Then after a trip to New York City, my wife built a brick oven in the back yard since there was nowhere to get brick oven pizza around here. Then we thought, why not us? We should just go for it.

Q: There’s a concern that the craft beer industry – thanks to the phenomenal growth over the last few years – is reaching a saturation point, particularly in some areas of Ohio. Are there too many breweries here? If yes, why? If no, why not?

A: I don't think there are too many ... at least not yet. Everything has a saturation point, but ultimately, customers decide how many can survive. For instance, we are so small, we are just kind of like Ellet's personal pub. Kind of like going back to pre-Prohibition when almost every neighborhood had its own brewery/brewpub. I mean, if we are all doing something well, but different, I think there could be even more. Almost like restaurants.

Q: What advice can you give future brewers to be successful?

A: No matter how much you plan, it will take twice that amount in time, money, and paperwork. But, if it is what you really want, I think it is worth all the work. I mean, I have my dream job! And, you have to believe in your product. There will always be people that say good and bad things about you.

Q: What’s your best-selling beer and why do you think it’s so popular?

A: Cream Ale. I call it my gateway beer. Whether you love craft beer, or have never tried one, most seem to like it. Lighter, like a lager, but still with some sweetness. It is my personal favorite as well.

Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/invented/brewed and why?

A: Most of the time I will say Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It is one of the first true craft beers ever. However, since it is Oktoberfest time, right now my favorite beer on the planet comes out. Ayinger Oktoberfest. Malty, sweet, good amount of body. I just love it.

Editor's note: The Five questions with ... feature appears every Friday on the Ohio Beer Blog. If you are an Ohio brewer and want to participate -- or you want to recommend someone to participate -- email me at rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.

Categories: Beer News