Ohio Beer Blog

Greg Irving wins 2014 Bottle My Brew contest

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 9:32pm

Homebrewer Greg Irving made an experimental IPA earlier this year that didn't go over that well with his dad. His father tasted it and concluded, "This beer is awful." He wanted to dump it out.

On Friday night, (Oct. 31) that same beer was announced as the winner of the 2014 West Point Market Bottle My Brew Ohio Homebrew Challenge. Irving received $1,000 and his beer will be brewed commercially next year by Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron.

"Even though this was first, it doesn't win in my dad's book," Irving, of Strongsville, said with a laugh shortly after he was announced as the winner during the Best of Ohio craft beer tasting.

"The world doesn't need another IPA, but I'm honored," he added.

Irving's brew bested about 75 others entered in the competition.

His IPA was made with Comet hops. "I was looking for a big punch of hop aroma and flavor and I think I suceeded," Irving said. "It's a beer that's very approachable to a lot of drinkers."

It's the third year that West Point Market in Akron has held the contest. Irving finished second in the inaugural competition in 2012.

West Point owner Rick Vernon said it makes sense for the upscale grocery to hold the competition because of the artisinal approach of homebrewers and how well beer pairs with food.

Thirsty Dog co-owner John Najeway said he expects the beer will be brewed in March for an April release. It will be available in six-packs.

The other winners who finished in the top 10 were:

2. Paul Harden: Baltic porter.

3. Larry Reuter: American stout.

4. Keith McFarlane: Belgian-style pale ale.

5. Keith Kneisley: Porter

6. Tom Prochaska: Vanilla stout.

7. Donna Reuter: Brown Ale.

8. Joseph Karpinski: Stout

9. Nick Fantozzi: Watermelon wheat.

10. Scott Menicos: Stout.

Categories: Beer News

Black Rajah looks like a year-round hit

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 1:57pm

The Brew Kettle's White Rajah is one of the most popular IPAs in Ohio. The Black Rajah isn't doing too bad, either.

The Strongsville brewery decided to release Black Rajah, a black IPA, in bottles about a month ago, with the plan to offer it about four times a year. But it's selling so well, the brewery has decided to offer Black Rajah in bottles year-round, brewer Jack Kephart said this week.

"It seems to be a pretty big hit," he said. "We're the only black IPA made in Ohio [sold in bottles] as of now. That's kind of a niche that nobody's filled yet."

The beer, made with Citra hops, is 6.8 percent alcohol by volume. It's available in 12-ounce six-packs.

Categories: Beer News

Warped Wing, The Century Bar team up on barrel-aged stout

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 11:05am

Warped Wing Brewing Co. and The Century Bar have teamed up to produce a limited-release Russian imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels.

The Dayton brewery will host a release party for the new beer, called Whiskey Rebellion, at 5 p.m. Thursday. (Nov. 6)

It’s the first barrel-aged beer from Warped Wing, which opened earlier this year.

“It’s kind of a momentous occasion for us,” spokesman Nick Bowman said.

Brewmaster John Haggerty and The Century Bar’s Joe Head will be available to discuss the collaboration at the release party. The beer, which will be served in 11-ounce snifters and is available on draft only, clocks in at 11.2 percent alcohol by volume.

Haggerty, Head and Tim Fry of The Century Bar, which specializes in bourbons, developed the recipe and then aged the beer in barrels from Angel's Envy distillery in Louisville, Ky.

“The opportunity to take a trip to Bardstown, Ky., with Joe and Tim was too much to resist and working with guys that truly know bourbon was a real treat,” Haggerty said in a prepared statement. “I love the Century Bar and what they stand for – quality – and the opportunity to have them participate in our first barrel aged project was a true joy.”

Whiskey Rebellion is named after the whiskey tax protests in 1791. It also will be available at The Century Bar. The week after the official release, a limited amount will be distributed to bars and restaurants, Bowman said.


Categories: Beer News

Platform, Ferndock to release Sandusky Pale Ale

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 8:10am

Platform Beer Co. and Ferndock Brewing Co. will hold a special release party at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 for Sandusky Pale Ale -- the first beer made as part of Platform's incubator program that assists homebrewers interested in opening their own breweries.

Kyle Roth, who is co-launching Ferndock and going through the Cleveland brewery's program, brewed the beer on Platform's three-barrel system. He described it as a West Coast-style pale ale with Amarillo and Citra hops. It's nearly 6 percent alcohol by volume.

"I'm pretty excited about the whole process," Roth said about the upcoming release.

He noted that the beer has placed well in homebrewing competitions. It was originally called North Coast Pale Ale, but Roth and his partners opted to change the name after reaching out to the established North Coast Brewing Co. in Fort Bragg, Calif.

"They were nice about it but they recommended changing it," Roth said.

Platform and Ferndock -- technically the beer is under Platform's license -- are also taking Sandusky Pale Ale on the road with several tasting events in the Sandusky area. In addition to Platform, here's a rundown of where you can try the beer:

-- The Hearth Tavern in Sandusky at 7 p.m. Nov. 11.

-- The Historic Rieger Place in Sandusky at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 13.

-- The Volstead Bar in Sandusky at 8 p.m. Nov. 13.

-- Van Ness's Time Out Sports Bar in Fremont at 7 p.m. Nov. 14.

-- Small City Taphouse in Sandusky at 7 p.m. Nov. 15.

Roth will begin brewing a second beer at Platform next week. It's a Christmas ale with ginger, honey and cinammon that was designed by his brother Zac.

For more details on the incubator program, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Pav's teams up with Hoppin' Frog for Christmas beer ice cream

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 2:00pm

Pav’s Creamery is known for putting out some unusual and savory ice cream flavors.

There’s Kahlua/coffee toffee, German chocolate cake and pumpkin pecan pie.

Now the Coventry Township ice cream-maker is adding beer, specifically Christmas beer, to its long list of offerings. Pav’s has teamed up with Hoppin’ Frog Brewery in Akron and Acme Fresh Market to create Christmas Ale Ice Cream using the spiced Frosted Frog Christmas Ale.

“It’s just the most festive flavor,” Pav’s managing partner Nik Pappas said Thursday.

Hoppin’ Frog doesn’t hold back on flavor and neither does the ice cream, which includes malt sugar, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

“It resembles our beer quite well,” Hoppin’ Frog owner and brewer Fred Karm said.

He and Pav’s spent months tinkering with the recipe to get it just right. There’s no actual alcohol in the ice cream so it’s safe those under 21 to eat.

Pints — as in ice cream containers and not beer glasses — will be available exclusively starting Saturday (Nov. 1) at Acme stores and the Hoppin’ Frog Tasting Room. They will retail for $3.99.

The ice cream is a limited-edition flavor and will be sold only through December.

Pav’s and Hoppin’ Frog were quite familiar with each other before working on the beer ice cream. Pav’s makes the ice cream used in the beer shakes sold at the brewery, which also sells Pav’s ice cream cakes.

Christmas Ale Ice Cream isn’t the only beer ice cream around.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. and Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream in Cleveland have partnered for several years on Christmas Ale Ginger Snap ice cream.

Categories: Beer News

McNulty's Bier Markt to host special Stone tasting

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 12:25pm

McNulty's Bier Markt in Cleveland will host Bastard Night starting at 4:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 3).

The bar-restaurant will tap four different versions of Stone's Bastard beers: Arrogant Bastard, Double Bastard, Lucky Bastard and Whiskey Arrogant Bastard that was barrel-aged in Templeton Rye barrels.

Stone representatives will attend and Bastard flights will be available.

Categories: Beer News

D'Agnese's to host annual Christmas beer tasting

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 12:08pm

D'Agnese's at White Pond in Akron will hold its third annual 12 Beers of Christmas beer tasting from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3. (Yes, there's so much demand that the event is held two nights in a row.)

The tasting will feature: Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas, Fat Head's Holly Jolly, Southern Tier 2Xmas, Ommegang Adoration, Samuel Adams Merry Maker, SweetWater Festive Ale, Revolution Fistmas Ale, Deschutes Jubelale, Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, Heavy Seas Yule Tide and 21st Amendment Fireside Chat.

The evening includes appetizers.

Tickets are $35, plus tax and tip. Reservations are required.

Categories: Beer News

Learn to Homebrew Day is Saturday

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 11:35am

The 16th annual Learn to Homebrew Day is Saturday (Nov. 1) — and there are plenty of learning opportunities taking place around Ohio.

The day, sponsored by the American Homebrewers Association, allows homebrewers to show off the beer-making hobby. This year, more than 300 events are expected to take place at homes, homebrew shops, breweries and club gatherings, the association said.

“Homebrewing is at the very heart of the craft beer revolution,” association Director Gary Glass said in a prepared statement. “Learn to Homebrew Day encourages people everywhere to be a part of the ever-growing movement and become familiar with the brewing process — the basics of which are much simpler than many think.”

Here’s a quick rundown of the Ohio gatherings:

• BrewTensils in Dayton from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• The DOH! homebrewing club will be at Barley Hopsters in Delaware starting at 9 a.m. For details, click here.

• The SODZ homebrewing club will be at the Glass Rooster Cannery in Sunbury from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• The Winemaker’s Shop in Columbus will host the LTHD Sidewalk Brew Event from 3 to 7 p.m. For details, click here.

• The Mount Vernon Brew Club will be at the Village Inn in Gambier from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details, click here.

• The PumpHouse Homebrew Shop in Struthers will host brewing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• The Glass City Mashers Homebrew Club will be at Titgemeir's Feed and Garden Center in Toledo starting at 9 a.m.

• The SAAZ homebrewing club will be at the home of Larry and Donna Reuter, 581 Letchworth Drive, Akron, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Below is a homebrewing graphic put together by NowSourcing Inc. and appearing on Kegerator.com:

Categories: Beer News

Fresh Fest returns to MadTree on Saturday

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 8:30am

The second annual Fresh Fest -- a celebration of Cincinnati beer, live music and beer bloggers -- returns Saturday (Nov. 1) to MadTree Brewing Co. The free event, organized by Queen City Fresh, kicks off at 6 p.m.

MadTree will debut a new brown ale made with coffee, Espresso Self, during the event. Local beer bloggers also have teamed up with the brewery to design four versions of Lift infused with ingredients such as peppercorn, mint, hibiscus and peaches.

For all the details, including a more specific description of the beers and a rundown of the bands, click here.

Categories: Beer News

West Point hosts Best of Ohio craft beer tasting

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 9:56am

West Point Market in Akron will host its third annual Best of Ohio craft beer tasting and also crown the winner of its homebrew competition Friday. (Oct. 31)

The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the grocery store.

The tasting will feature beers from Fat Head’s, Elevator, Jackie O’s, Chagrin, Thirsty Dog, Hoppin’ Frog, Great Lakes and the Brew Kettle. Griffin Cider also will be there.

As for the 2014 Bottle My Brew Ohio Homebrew Challenge, the finalists have previously been announced.

The winner will be revealed Friday. His beer will be brewed commercially by Akron’s Thirsty Dog. The finalists also receive cash prizes.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. They include appetizers and live music.

For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Ravenwood Castle to host Great Lakes, Hoppin' Frog tasting weekend

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 8:22am

Great Lakes Brewing Co. and Hoppin' Frog Brewery will be the featured breweries at the latest Beer Tasting Weekend at Ravenwood Castle in New Plymouth. The two-day event runs Nov. 21-22.

Great Lakes will pour Eliot Ness, Commodore Perry, Christmas Ale and Blackout Stout on Friday night. Hoppin' Frog will bring Outta Kilter Scotch Red, Frosted Frog Christmas Ale, BORIS the Crusher and Karminator Imperial Dopplebock on Saturday.

Tickets are $75 and include dinner both Friday and Saturday. For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Rhinegeist to host double IPA festival

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 3:03pm

Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati will host its inaugural Hopgeist -- a beer festival devoted to double IPAs -- from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. (Nov. 1)

The lineup will feature plenty of breweries from Ohio: MadTree, Fifty West, Listermann, Blank Slate, Cellar Dweller, Seventh Son, North High, Actual, The Brew Kettle, Yellow Springs, Columbus, Fat Head's, Jackie O's, Warped Wing, Mt. Carmel and Christian Moerlein.

There will be plenty of other breweries as well: 3 Floyds, Three Weavers, 21st Amendment, Stone, Green Flash, Faction, Lagunitas, Magnolia, Cellarmaker, Golden Road, Faction, Dogfish Head, Sixpoint, Great Divide, Revolution, Founders, Bell's, Victory, Deschutes, Smuttynose, and Avery.

Rhinegeist also will release a homebrew collaboration called Homie!

Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. They include a sampling glass and 15 tasting tickets. For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Ohio boasts nation's first strip club brewery

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:08am

The bartender admits that it’s strange. Some men are ambling into the small, topless strip club next to an Ohio cornfield more interested in the craft beer selection than the dancers bathed in blue neon light.

Welcome to Pinups and Pints, the nation’s first strip club brewery.

“It’s kind of different to look out and see everybody drinking your beer instead of a Miller Lite or Bud Light,” the bartender says with a laugh.

Pinups and Pints opened this summer in Medway just outside Dayton, employing a one-barrel SABCO Brew-Magic system and offering a single house-made draft beer to start.

There are now more than 3,000 craft breweries in the U.S., and there's a trend toward themed breweries. But the Brewers Association, a Boulder, Colo.-based trade group for the craft beer industry, knows of no other strip club brewery. That feat, first chronicled in the Dayton City Paper, has garnered Pinups and Pints international attention, thanks in part to a photo of two clothed, yet buxom lasses standing next to the brewing system while sipping a beer. Pinups and Pints even landed on CNN.

 “Anything to put a positive spin on the adult industry … is outstanding,” co-owner and brewer Scott Conrad said. “It’s kind of different for me.”

The unusual concept grew out of necessity. The place was previously known as Baby Dolls, a fully nude joint with no alcohol. But it wasn’t doing so well.

“The only thing I could come up with to revamp it and give it a new life was a liquor license,” Conrad said, standing next to the brewing system in a small room behind the small bar. “But everybody has that. So let’s do something different.  And we came up with this idea to do a brew system. Not knowing it would take off in the beer industry so well.”

He figures he’s tapping two different markets: adult entertainment and the growing craft beer scene.

Pinups and Pints – which uses a 1950s style logo of pinup girls – is a typical strip club. It’s dark. There’s a bar and a stage. And a pole. And a rotating disco ball. And a cooler with chilled champagne. Oh, and half-naked women.

It offers more than just one craft beer. In addition to a Pinups and Pints Pale Ale, you can order a 21st Amendment or Founders.

Conrad is new to brewing. He started in January. His first few professional batches – a pale ale -- were well-received.

“It’s not bad,” a customer said while sipping on a pint. “It’s got a little bite.”

As soon as Conrad gets a little more seasoned, he said he might add a few other styles.

“I could just to have it have it, you know what I mean, and spread some crap just to have it on there and get by,” he said. “That’s not me. If I’m going to do it, I want to make it good. I’m having a hard time keeping up.”

Categories: Beer News

Fifty West brews up special Halloween beers

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 5:25pm

Fifty West Brewing Co. will host a special Witches Brew Dinner at 4 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 30) to support breast cancer awareness.

Four women working at the Cincinnati brewpub created two small-batch, Halloween-themed beers to serve at the four-course beer dinner: Badass WeatherWax Wheat and Rid the Beast Black, a pumpkin-spice-latte stout.

“The month of October is filled with buzz surrounding breast cancer awareness, and there has been a lot of buzz around the resurgence of craft beer in Cincinnati. We thought it would be fun to pair the two together and make something special happen,” general manager and Witches brewer Becca Bollinger said Monday (Oct. 27) in a news release. “We brewed a couple of beers that we like to drink during the fall, hoping to create a delicious harmony: a wicked wheat and a worthy stout.”

Ten percent of the proceeds will go to Making Strides.

To read the full news release, see below:



Ladies of Fifty West Brewing Company Brew Beer to Support Breast Cancer Awareness

CINCINNATI (October 27, 2014)—On Thursday, October 30, the ladies of Fifty West Brewing Companywill showcase their brewing skills at the Witches Brew Dinner at Fifty West in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Fifty West “witches” put on their brewing boots to create two small-batch, Halloween-themed beers. The beers will be paired with a 4-course dinner for $25 starting at 4pm on Thursday.

“The month of October is filled with buzz surrounding Breast Cancer Awareness, and there has been a lot of buzz around the resurgence of craft beer in Cincinnati.  We thought it would be fun to pair the two together and make something special happen,” said Becca Bollinger, General Manager and a Witches Brewer at Fifty West. “We brewed a couple of beers that we like to drink during the fall, hoping to create a delicious harmony: a wicked wheat and a worthy stout.”

The Witches Brew Dinner will feature the Halloween-themed beers as a duo­­­: a “Worthy Witch” beer and a “Wicked Witch” beer. The former is a wheat beer named Badass WeatherWax Wheat with hints of orange, lemon zest, clove, and golden wheat.  The latter is a pumpkin-spice-latte stout named Rid The Beast Black.

“The Fifty West ladies have created two great beers for the occasion and we are happy to support Breast Cancer Awareness,” said Fifty West Brewmaster Blake Horsburgh. “And I mean, how many people can say they have had a pumpkin spice latte beer?”

10% of the Witches Brew Dinner proceeds will go to Making Strides, an American Cancer Society organization for Breast Cancer Research and Awareness. The number of dinners available will be limited due to the amount of Witches Brew beer and will be presented as an option alongside the normal dinner menu.

The event will take place at Fifty West Brewing Company. For more information about Fifty West Brewing Company check out their Website or Facebook. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @FiftyWestBrew.


Fifty West Brewing Company

Fifty West Brewing Company out of Cincinnati, Ohio opened for business in November of 2012 at the old Heritage Restaurant located at 7668 Wooster Pike. The beers brewed at Fifty West Brewing Company are hand made in small batches with a focus on craftsmanship, tradition, innovation, and patience.

Categories: Beer News

Millersburg expanding distribution throughout Northeast Ohio

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 2:09pm

Millersburg Brewing Co. is expanding to the Akron, Cleveland and Youngstown markets.

The production brewery and tasting room in Holmes County announced it has inked a deal with Beverage Distributors Inc. in Cleveland to distribute three of its beers in Lorain, Cuyahoga, Lake, Ashtabula, Geauga, Medina, Ashland, Wayne, Summit, Stark, Portage, Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

Its Lot 21 Blonde, Panther Hollow Porter and French Ridge IPA will be available on draft. Lot 21 also will be sold in cans.

“This is a very exiting time for us as the company expands and grows into larger areas of Ohio,” owner Bill Baker said in a prepared statement. “To be represented in Cleveland will give us excellent exposure to those who have an understanding and respect for the craft industry. ​We hope to gain an even larger love for our hand-crafted beers and expect to grow significantly in the next year.”

The brewery said it selected Beverage Distributors “for a couple reasons: a family-owned business operating for over 75 years, their prolific sales in Northeast Ohio and the excellent reputation to boot.”

Categories: Beer News

JAFB Wooster, Phoenix IPAs win online voting

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:48am

Congratulations to JAFB Wooster Brewery’s JAF IPA and Phoenix Brewing Co.’s Redemption IPA.

Both beers are eligible to be crowned the King of Ohio IPA after finishing first and second, respectively, in an online poll trying to determine the best IPA made in the Akron-Canton-Mansfield-Youngstown region. The poll was open for two weeks on this blog.

There were 1,055 overall votes, with JAF IPA receiving 262 and Redemption IPA getting 233. (Check out all the results in the image below.)

Those beers will be part of a final tasting Saturday (Nov. 1) at Elevator Brewing Co. in Columbus, where a group of beer bloggers, including myself, will select the inaugural King of Ohio IPA in a blind taste test. (Want more background on the competition? Click here.)

In addition to the top vote-getters in five regions of the state, each blogger is able to bring one beer of his choice to the final table. I’ve selected Hoppin’ Frog Gangster Frog.

Want to know what else we’ll be tasting? Check out the other regional winners here:

Artful Pint

The Brew Crew Review

Pat’s Pints

Queen City Drinks

The overall winner will be announced Nov. 3.

So what does the ultimate winner receive? Our adulation, of course. The Ohio Taproom, a growler shop in Columbus, also has created a championship belt that the winning brewery can display for a year.

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:26am

Here are some interesting beer stories:

-- Ever wonder about the best rated beers made in Ohio? BeerAdvocate.com offers up a list of its top 50. Jackie O's Bourbon Barrel Black Maple is No. 1. The rest of the top five, in order, are: Columbus Bodhi, Fat Head's Hop JuJu, Fat Head's IBUsive and Columbus Creeper. To check out the entire list, click here.

-- Cleveland.com reports on the new Brick and Barrel brewery planning to open in the city. The brewery is set to open in mid-November. To read the report and watch a video, click here.

-- Crain's Cleveland Business reports on the Forest City Brewery that wants to open in Duck Island. The brewery will include a beer garden. To read the full story, click here.

-- Drink Up Columbus reports that Stone Brewing Co. will offer up Stone Gratitude IPA for its Columbus fans. The brewery chose not to build its new brewery in the community, but is making a special beer for Columbus that will be released Nov. 12. To read the full report, click here.

Categories: Beer News

JAFB Wooster wins Celebration of the Hop -- again

Sun, 10/26/2014 - 12:09pm

JAFB Wooster Brewery just keeps bringing home awards. The Wooster brewery took home the grand champion belt on Saturday at the Celebration of the Hop beer festival at Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon in North Olmsted.

The annual event features the best India pale ales and double IPAs pitted against each other in a judged tasting.

JAFB Wooster won for its New Stunt IPA, which was named the best IPA. It then was awarded the grand champion belt, as well.

The beer also won the people’s choice award.

“It’s awesome,” owner and brewer Paul Fryman said. “I was confident but there are so many good IPAs up there ... It was definitely stiff competition.”

It’s the second consecutive year that JAFB Wooster walked away with the Celebration of the Hop’s top prize — literally a prize fighter’s belt. Last year, it won for its JAF IPA.

The brewery also won a silver medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival for its Wooster New Stout.

Fryman had tapped the latest version of New Stunt on Friday and was concerned that it was too young for the competition. Apparently he had no reason to worry.

New Stunt, which is about 7.5 percent alcohol by volume, features newer hop varieties such as Mosaic, Citra, Galaxy and Sorachi Ace.

“It literally changes throughout the course that it’s on tap,” Fryman said about the flavor.

The other Celebration of the Hop winners, listed in order, were:

Double IPA: Columbus Bodhi DIPA, The Brew Kettle El Lupulo Libre DIPA and Jackie O’s Matriarch DIPA.

Other Hoppy Category: The Brew Kettle Black Rajah, The Brew Kettle Awesome IPL and Cleveland Brewing Fenway Harvest India Black Cream Ale.

IPA: JAFB Wooster New Stunt IPA, The Brew Kettle White Rajah IPA and Lavery Dulachan IPA.

Categories: Beer News

Old Firehouse to distribute in Cincy, Dayton markets

Sat, 10/25/2014 - 9:50am

The Old Firehouse Brewery will start distributing its draft beer next week throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton markets.

Old Firehouse, a production brewery and tasting room that opened in Williamsburg about six weeks ago, has inked a deal with Cavalier Distributing to handle its brands. It will be available in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Montgomery and Warren counties to start.

Co-owner Adam Cowan, a one-time firefighter/medical technician who now works as a purchasing manager for a mine, said the ultimate goal is to distribute statewide.

Old Firehouse – located in an old firehouse and thus the name -- will hold a keg tapping and launch party at 4 p.m. Monday (Oct. 27) at Arnold’s Bar & Grill in Cincinnati. There also are tap takeovers planned for Jimmie’s Ladder 11 in Dayton at 4 p.m. Tuesday and The Brass Tap in Cincinnati at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The brewery, which operates with a custom-made 15-barrel DME brewing system and 30-barrel fermenters, has started with five brands:

-- Pin-Up Girl, an American blonde ale.

-- Code 3, a red ale.

-- Flash Point, an East Coast-style IPA.

-- Probie Porter, a chocolate/coffee porter.

-- Hoser Gose, a wheat gose.

The initial offerings are intentionally on the lighter side of the styles because, as Cowan puts it, Old Firehouse is smack in the middle of Budweiser territory. That’s why they chose an East Coast-style IPA with only 50 IBUs and a bigger malt base. The brewery has to win over the local, rural community, he said.

He and his wife, Lori Ward, have made their tasting room kid-friendly and dog-friendly and hope they have created a place where the community can gather. The bar sits in the back and there are plenty of tables set on the concrete floor.

“This is your neighbor’s garage,” Cowan said.

They also are supporting local charities.

“I don’t know if I’m making money yet, but we’re giving a hell of it away,” Cowan said with a laugh.

The tasting room/brewery is decked out with firefighting flare. Coat hooks, with the names of the last firefighters who served at the station before it was relocated, line one of the walls. The helmet and gear once worn by former Fire Chief Richard Malott hangs from his hook.

There also are a ton of fire extinguishers, and a light bar on the ceiling. The giant garage doors once used by fire trucks remain at the front of the building. The bar back also is made up of the corrugated, shiny metal used on fire trucks.

Old Firehouse plans to build up the number of its beers. Cowan said there eventually will be 20 taps available.

Cowan and Ward tapped Ben Ramsey, who previously worked at Alltech/Kentucky Ale, as their brewer. Cowan, a homebrewer, admitted he wasn’t good enough to turn professional.

“When we decided to do this, I really hadn’t done a lot of homebrewing,” he said. “We approached this as a business. This is my retirement and I get to drink at work. It’s great.”

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Sat, 10/25/2014 - 8:16am

Here are some interesting beer stories:

-- The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Catch-A-Fire Pizza food truck is opening a permanent spot at MadTree Brewing Co. Owner Jeff Ledford tells the newspaper that he will incorporate MadTree beer into the food. To read the full story, click here.

-- The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the availability of some of the most popular Christmas beers made in the Cleveland area. To read the story, click here.

-- WCPO reports on a new head brewer at Mt. Carmel Brewing Co. Chris Kambouris arrives from The Brew Kettle in Strongsville. To read the full report, click here.

-- Business Insider put together a chart -- based on research by Team Marketing Report -- showing how much it'll cost you for a beer at NHL arenas this year. The Columbus Blue Jackets offer one of the best values at $5.50. To read the full report, click here.

-- WCPO reports on a beer trip to Dayton aboard Cincy Craft Connection. A group of beer bloggers stopped by Warped Wing, Yellow Springs, Dayton Beer and Eudora. To read about the visit, click here.

-- Tom Aguero of Queen City Drinks reports on the growth of MadTree Brewing Co. for CraftBeer.com. "With over 3,000 American craft breweries (100 in Ohio alone) it’s quickly becoming not enough for a brewery to just make amazing beer," he writes. "A lineup of great year-round beer and seasonal releases is only a starting point for today’s best breweries. MadTree has excelled in going above and beyond in two major ways: charity and creativity." To read the full story, click here.

-- Deadspin ranks 27 popular pumpkin beers and determines that Troegs Master of Pumpkins is the best. In an odd twist, the author apologizes for not including some beers, including Hoppin' Frog Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin, because they weren't available in his area. To read the full list, click here.

-- The Street reports on wet hop beers and recommends 18 of them to try. "Wet hop beers are somewhat of the moment right now and now is the time to try them because they're made only in the fall," Julia Herz of the Brewers Association says. To read the full report, click here.

Categories: Beer News