Ohio Beer Blog

Maize Valley expanding brewing capacity

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 12:11pm

Maize Valley Winery is graduating from a nanobrewery.

The winery-brewery located just outside Hartville is ditching its half-barrel brewing system and investing in a 15-barrel Deutsche Beverage brewhouse. The new system is expected to arrive in November or December, and be pumping out beer either at the end of this year or beginning of next year.

The reason for the jump in size is simple.

“We just can’t keep up with production,” owner Bill Bakan said. “We’re constantly running out of beer here.”

Maize Valley launched its brewery last year, intentionally starting out small to see if the demand was there.

The brewery has eight draft handles, but during the heavier summer months, there are only about five beers on draft because more visitors are drinking more beer, Bakan said. They even tried to bump up production to have some beer in reserve but “darn it, wouldn’t you know that people bought more,” he said.

Maize Valley saw a 30 percent increase in customers last fall – an increase that Bakan attributes partly to providing beer. The winery-brewery also hosts many well-attended fall events, including a corn maze and hot air balloon launch. As Bakan put it, Maize Valley is “no longer a rinky dink roadside stand.”

The larger system will allow Maize Valley to distribute its beers on draft to area bars and restaurants – a demand they can’t really fill now, Bakan said.

The brewery also will have some limited release beers available in 22-ounce bottles. And it is looking into canning its beers.

But the extent of the bottling and canning isn’t known quite yet, as Bakan wants to see how the demand for draft beer goes first.

Categories: Beer News

Five questions with ... Fred Lee

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 6:24am

Fred Lee is the co-owner and brewer at Actual Brewing Co., a production brewery and tasting room in Columbus. Actual also provides laboratory services and is a coffee roaster.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I started a brewery because I didn't like what I was doing with my life. I respect the business of beer. I wanted to take ownership of my future and sail my own ship, so to speak. I had a million dumb schemes to change my life, but a brewery sounded the most fun and awesome and possible to actually manifest. It turns out that it might have been impossible to manifest, except I was lucky enough to get a lot of help and advice from great people.

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: Ohio needs more breweries! There's plenty more room for growth during this market correction. Decentralization of the largest breweries is creating an enormous opportunity for us. I think what's about to happen is consumers are going to expect that local brands dominate their grocery shelves. Microbreweries aren't a fad, they're part of a shift that affects everything from bread to electronics. Localization is good for the long-term health of the industry and community. But it's going to require innovation. Beer will change, suppliers will change, processes will change, and business intelligence will become more important as this quick growth matures.

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

A: There's a big difference between brewing and beer business. You can't do both well. If you're in charge, hire better people than you. If you're brewing, brew more.

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

A: Photon Light Lager sells the fastest, probably because it's real damn drinkable and doesn't treat you like you're stupid. No corn or rice or racecar babes in there.

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

A: This is a tough question to answer. Everybody loves a Westy Twelve, but I think beer tastes best when it's local and fresh. I'm very partial to the beers that Hoof Hearted is brewing, Musk of the Minotaur is amazing. Sideswipe's Pixelated Sun is also exceptional. But the best beer I've had in a long time is Lucy by Columbus Brewing Co. The complexity, those flavors made me feel things.

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

Studio 35 pairs Barley's tasting with Monty Python

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 6:59am

It's time to break out your favorite lines from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse in Columbus will host a beer tasting with Barley's Brewing Co. paired with a screening of the famous comedy starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. (Aug. 2) The movie begins at 4 p.m.

Tickets are $25.

So .... "Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who."

Categories: Beer News

Blues and Brews celebrates 11th year in Akron

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 7:10am

The 11th annual Blues and Brews beer tasting returns Saturday (Aug. 1) to Lock 3 in downtown Akron.

The festival -- which runs from 1 to 5 p.m. -- will showcase about 275 beers and 100 breweries, including 35 from Ohio.

"It's really cool to be in the 11th year," organizer and Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. co-owner John Najeway said. "We've gone from 400 people that first year to 2,300 people. And the volume of beers to select from is amazing now."

This year will feature more draft beer than ever, including Deschutes Brewery's Big Woody. Other highlights include Thirsty Dog again offering 10 fruit-infused beers in firkins; special barrel-aged brews like MadTree's Happy Amber; and Pittsburgh illustrator Mark Brewer signing copies of his new book Brewology: An Illustrated Dictionary for Beer Lovers.

The event also features food trucks and live music.

Presale tickets are $40, while VIP tickets are $60. The VIP ticket gets you into the event at noon and includes lunch by the Winking Lizard Tavern.

For more details, including a rundown of the participating breweries and beers, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Report: Beer provides $10.8 billion economic impact in Ohio

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 4:06pm

Beer is an economic juggernaut in Ohio.

The alcoholic beverage generated $10.8 billion in economic activity in the state last year, ranking fifth nationwide. It also supported more than 41,700 jobs, a new study says.

The Beer Serves America report – produced by the Beer Institute and National Beer Wholesalers Association – analyzed the direct and indirect economic impact of beer throughout the country.

Nationwide, the report says, beer produced nearly $253 billion in economic activity, generated $48.5 billion in tax revenue and supported 1.7 million jobs.

“Beer is more than our nation’s favorite adult drink – it is a powerhouse in job creation, commercial activity and tax revenue,” Beer Institute President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McGreevy said.

The biennial report says the beer industry contributed $4.6 billion directly to the Ohio economy through brewing, distributing and retailers, and another $6.2 billion indirectly. Two years ago, the overall impact was estimated at nearly $10 billion.

The state’s beer industry also generated $1.7 billion in federal, state and local taxes, including business, personal and consumption taxes. The groups estimated that for every $2 spent on a beer in Ohio, 75 cents is paid to the government through taxes.

Eric Bean, owner-brewer at Columbus Brewing Co. and president of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, wasn’t surprised by the findings.

“We’ve known all along that Ohio is a significant player in the beer industry in the country and a driver of the state economy,” he said.

Ohio ranked behind only California ($32.8 billion), Texas ($19.1 billion), New York ($15.5 billion) and Florida ($14 billion) in total economic impact. It ranked fifth in total jobs and eighth in tax revenue.

The state’s high ranking certainly results from national brewers Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors operating breweries in Columbus and Trenton, respectively. But Ohio also is home to two of the largest craft brewers in the country, Samuel Adams in Cincinnati and Great Lakes in Cleveland.

“And we are now home to more than 130 small to mid-sized craft breweries,” said Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. “The craft brewers of Ohio make a significant impact in their respective communities through involvement, investment and job creation. We look forward to both that number and that impact growing along with our state’s expanding craft beer industry.”

Dave Esber, owner of Esber Beverage Co. in Canton, whose company has been focused on bringing Canadian craft beers such as Flying Monkeys into the U.S., credited craft brewers for bringing excitement to the industry by producing more flavorful and high quality beers.

“They are putting fun back into beer,” he said.

The online Beer Serves America report is interactive, allowing people to see the impact in every state and even congressional and state legislative districts. To read the full report, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 8:29am

Here are some interesting beer stories:

-- The website Thrillist reports on the best breweries in each state. The winner in Ohio? Hoppin' Frog Brewery in Akron. "Great Lakes, with its Christmas Ale and Eliot Ness, might be Ohio’s most iconic brewery, but down the road in Akron, Hoppin’ Frog’s clandestinely brewing up the state’s best beer in what appears to be a storage unit," the site says. To read the full list, click here.

-- The website Priceonomics reports that Ohio's favorite beer is .... Yuengling. The beer is on 51 percent of menus, the site says. "We analyzed the beer listings of 6,000 bars and restaurants across all 50 states to find out exactly which beers predominate menus in which states," authors Daniel Kopf and Rosie Cima write. "Although the macro brews Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light still rule much of the country, according to our dataset, there are many states and cities where the most available beer is one of the plucky underdogs." To read the full story, click here.

-- The CNW Group reports that Angelina Jolie will direct an adaption of the book First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. The story is a memoir by Loung Ung, one of the owners of Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland. To read the full story, click here.

-- Columbus Business First reports that World of Beer is getting into the food business. "Beer is better with food,” operator Darren Greene says. "We didn’t have any issues here at Easton because of our (food) partners here, but other franchisees, that wasn’t necessarily the case." To read the full story, click here.

-- WCPO reports that Rhinegeist Brewery is expanding into cider-making. "We’ve been enjoying this refreshing beverage as an added flavor profile that allows us to play in a lighter and drier zone that beer is unable to achieve, more akin to white wine and refreshing in a uniquely fruity way," the brewery says. To read the full story, click here.

-- WCPO reports that the Cincy Brew Ha-Ha has announced its headliners this year. The three-day event will feature Adam Ferrara, David Koechner and Brandon T. Jackson. To read the full story, click here.

-- Columbus Crave reports that Gallerie Bar & Bistro chef Bill Glover is taking some Ohio beer to New York City when he takes over the Beard House kitchen for a six-course dinner. Seventh Son Brewing Co. is making some special beer for the occasion. To read the full story, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Craft beer industry posts more gains

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 11:11am

The U.S. craft beer industry saw production volume jump 16 percent in the first half of the year, the Brewers Association reported Monday.

Craft brewers sold 12.2 million barrels, up from 10.6 million during the first half of last year.

The Boulder, Colo.-based trade group also reported that there are now 3,739 breweries operating in the country, an increase of 699 from the same period last year. That number will continue to grow, as the association says there are 1,755 breweries in planning.

“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,” Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson said in a news release. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world class high quality beer is more important than ever.”

To read the full news release, see below:


Brewers Association Reports Big Gains

for Small and Independent Brewers

Mid-Year Measurement Reveals Sustained Craft Brewing Industry Growth

Boulder, CO • July 27, 2015—The craft brewing industry has continued a strong pace of growth in the first half of 2015, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers.American craft beer production volume increased 16 percent during the first half of the year.

From January through the end of June 2015, approximately 12.2 million barrels of beer were sold by craft brewers, up from 10.6 million barrels during the first half of 2014.

“Industry growth is occurring in all regions and stemming from a mix of sources including various retail settings and a variety of unique brewery business models,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “The continued growth of small and independent brewers illustrates that additional market opportunities and demand are prevalent, although competition in the sector is certainly growing and the need for brewers to differentiate and produce world class high quality beer is more important than ever.”

As of June 30, 2015, 3,739 breweries were operating in the U.S, an increase of 699 breweries over the same time period of the previous year. Additionally, there were 1,755 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 115,469 full-time and part-time workers, many of which are manufacturing jobs, contributing significantly to the U.S. economy.

“More and more Americans are discovering the joys of enjoying fresh beer produced by their neighborhood brewery. By supporting local, small and independent craft breweries, beer lovers are gradually returning the United States to the system of localized beer production that existed for much of our nation’s history,” added Watson.

Craft brewer definition: An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

# # #

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the Great American Beer Festival®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, National Homebrew Competition and The New Brewer magazine and its CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’sTwitter.


The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.

Categories: Beer News

It's Just Another Craft Beer Festival

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 7:52am

The inaugural Ohio Craft Beer Expo in Mason is no longer called the Ohio Craft Beer Expo. It’s now just another craft beer festival – as in that’s the name: Just Another Craft Beer Festival.

“It's not that we are JUST another, but that there are so many out there,” Contessa Carrara, one of the organizers, said in an email.

The event runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 2) at Thirsty’s Oasis. It will feature about 25 local breweries and 75 beers. There also will be a pig roast by Luigi’s Olde World Market and local vendors such as Hopwater, Ohio Valley Hops and Cincy Brew Bus.

Proceeds benefit ArtsWave, a Cincinnati community arts agency.

Presale general admission tickets are $45 and include 10 five-ounce sampling tickets and a pig roast meal. VIP tickets are $55 and get you in an hour earlier and a shot at rare beers.

Tickets are $55 the day of the event.

For more details, including the beer list, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Winning homebrew on sale this week at West Point

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 7:21am

Comet IPA, the winning brew from the 2014 Bottle My Brew Ohio Homebrew Challenge, goes on sale Thursday (July 30) at West Point Market in Akron.

The dry-hopped beer, designed by homebrewer Greg Irving of Strongsville, was brewed by Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. for commercial release. As the name indicates, it features Comet hops.

Comet IPA will retail for $10.99 a six-pack.

The brew also might be the final winner of the final homebrew competition. West Point has announced that's closing and the contest wasn't held this year. Thirsty Dog co-owner John Najeway says he's trying to find another local business to sponsor the competition in the future.

Categories: Beer News

National Hamburger Festival to feature craft beer tasting

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 2:40pm

The National Hamburger Festival will feature a craft beer tasting this year. The event -- which runs Aug. 8-9 in downtown Akron -- is all about ... duh ... hamburgers.

The event will showcase the Buckeye, Canton, Christian Moerlein, Lager Heads, Mt. Carmel and Thirsty Dog breweries. The festival also will include a new Indie Music Showcase and Akron RubberDucks 5k race.

Organizers plan to announce specific details Wednesday. (July 29)

Categories: Beer News

Five questions with ... Cody Cantrell

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 9:38am

Cody Cantrell is the brewer at the Nauti Vine Winery, which celebrates its second anniversary today. (July 24) The winery, located on the Portage Lakes in Green, operates a nanobrewery and serves beer under the brand Mucky Duck Brewing Co.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: Never in a million years did I think I would ever be a brewer.  But, an opportunity arose and it kind of just happened. Next thing I knew, I found the love of craft brewing.

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 believe in healthy competition, so, no. I don't think the industry is oversaturated. There is always the next big thing in the brewing industry. I think everyone is just looking to make good beer with a twist.

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

A: Learn as much as you can. Brewing good beer is dependent on what you know. Between cleaning, temperature control, and different ingredients, the possibilities are endless. Knowledge is key in staying ahead of the competition.

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

A: Our best-selling beer currently is Schmuckster, our honey lager. I think it is because not many people have stumbled onto a honey-based beer yet. This is half the fun of craft brewing - always finding something new.

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

A: If I could have invented any beer in the world, it would have to be Dogfish Head Brewery's 90 Minute IPA. It is not a super-hoppy, bitter beer. In my opinion it is so good because of the balance of sweetness and hop flavor. It's an all-around great beer. But, boy, do I love some WTM (Mucky Duck's Irish Red Ale), for which I CAN take credit.

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

Indigo Imp Brewery closing

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 8:38am

Indigo Imp Brewery is closing -- the first Ohio brewery to shut down in several years.

Owners Matt and Kathy Chappel made the announcement in a lengthy email Friday and posted an open letter on their website.

"After months of analysis and discussions, we have decided to close Indigo Imp Brewery manufacturing facility and tasting room," they wrote. "As many fans have noticed, bottles of Indigo Imp have been difficult to find the last few months. As you may know, Indigo Imp Brewery has been run mainly by us, the sole owners, over its lifetime with some help from part-time employee and family members. We have determined the personal effort and investment required to sustain and grow the business is increasingly in conflict with our family life and personal goals."

Indigo Imp, which used an open fermentation process, was launched in 2008 with a custom-made seven-barrel system in the massive Tyler Village complex just outside downtown Cleveland. It was known for brands such as Blonde Bombshell, Jester and Gatekeeper.

The brewery's tasting room will remain open on Fridays through the summer as the equipment is liquidated. Matt Chappel said he expects the tasting room to close sometime in September -- or earlier, depending on how quickly Indigo Imp runs through the remaining beer in stock. He said he has several special casks that he made for the summer and some beer that has been aging that will be available.

"Hopefully there are a few fans out there who will miss the beer," Matt Chappel said. (You can read a "Five questions with ..." feature with him in 2012 by clicking here.)

The news may come as a shock to the beer community, he said, but he and his wife had been thinking about it for months. The family-run brewery had plateaued in terms of size -- and was quite time-consuming. They realized that they weren't that interested in growing the business, he said.

"I don’t feel bad about it," Matt Chappel said. "I’m glad I tried it. We’re ready to move on."

The brewery's beers were not widely distributed, and were available mainly in the Cleveland market. Indigo Imp had been distributed by House of LaRose for awhile but the brewery and distributor parted ways a while ago.

Since Indigo Imp opened, the craft beer industry in Ohio has exploded. There are now about 130 breweries in the state, compared to less than 50 just three years ago. It's rare to see a brewery close in the state in recent years. But it happens. Wooden Shoe, the Cleveland ChopHouse and Neil House have been shuttered since 2012.

To read the full letter, see below:


After months of analysis and discussions, we have decided to close Indigo Imp Brewery manufacturing facility and tasting room. As many fans have noticed, bottles of Indigo Imp have been difficult to find the last few months. As you may know, Indigo Imp Brewery has been run mainly by us, the sole owners, over its lifetime with some help from part-time employee and family members. We have determined the personal effort and investment required to sustain and grow the business is increasingly in conflict with our family life and personal goals.

Planning, starting up and operating Indigo Imp Brewery over the last eight years, we have experienced tremendous growth, flexibility, excitement and also disappointment. We don't regret starting the business and ultimately we achieved what we set out to do, bottle a superb niche product and make it available to the Cleveland area. We felt at the time of planning, and still feel, that a major goal in starting a new brewery should be to provide the public with something that is not already being produced locally. We believe Indigo Imp Brewery accomplished that with its open fermentation process and naturally carbonated bottled and draft beer. We produced beer that could only have the taste it did due to its unique location in Cleveland.

We are, of course, thankful for all the supporters of Indigo Imp Brewery and Cleveland craft beer in general. Despite the state of the economy at the end of 2008 when we opened our doors, the interest and support we received was overwhelming. We are grateful for all the people we have met over the years and new friendships formed.

A surprising benefit of starting Indigo Imp Brewery has been learning of all the other small business people in the Cleveland area that have been here and will continue to arrive on the scene. At the time, it felt like we have discovered another side of Cleveland.

In the near future, it will be nice to have more time to spend with family and friends who graciously understood our crazy schedule and the long hours we needed to dedicate to starting and operating Indigo Imp Brewery. As for future plans, who knows what kind of ideas are fermenting and waiting to be tapped down the road...


Matt & Kathy

Indigo Imp Brewery, Ltd. 3615 Superior Ave. Suite 4201B Cleveland, Oh. 44114

P.S. - The Indigo Imp Real Ale Room will remain open through the summer as the assets are liquidated. Regular hours are Friday noon - 7 pm, except as noted on the website and occasional Facebook posts.

Categories: Beer News

Fifty West to host inaugural homebrewing competition

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 8:04am

Fifty West Brewing Co. will host its first homebrew competition as part of the Fifty Fest celebration this year.

"We know so many passionate homebrewers and are excited to see what they bring to the table," Fifty West brewmaster Blake Horsburgh said in a prepared statement. "Innovation is one the pillars of our brewery was founded on, and nothing says innovation like partnering with homebrewers across the city we brew for."

The Cincinnati brewery will accept beers for the Fifty Fest Brewmaster’s Choice contest from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4. The beers will be judged by industry experts, including Horsburgh, Kevin Moreland of Taft’s Ale House, Ryan Blevins of MadTree, Scott LaFollette of Blank Slate and Adam Herrold of Rivertown.

The winners will be announced at the third annual Fifty Fest, which takes place Sept. 19. The Best of Show winner will be able to brew his or her beer at Fifty West. It also will be poured at the 2016 Fifty Fest and be entered into the Great American Beer Festival's Pro-Am competition.

Sanctioned by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and the American Homebrewers Association, the Fifty Fest Brewmaster's Choice is open to all homebrewers. For entry details and registration forms, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Great Lakes Dortmunder becomes a mustard

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 1:18pm

Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard is getting a whole lot tastier. Or maybe it's Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager getting tastier.

The two Cleveland institutions announced Wednesday that they are teaming up to produce a beer-infused mustard called Bertman Original Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager Beer Mustard. It will go on sale in early August.

Like the name says, the mustard is made with Dortmunder Gold Lager. The Cleveland brewery said in a news release that it "has a tangy kick, and is perfect for cooking, dipping, or as a spread on any sandwich."

"As experts in the mustard industry, we’ve joined forces with Great Lakes to provide consumers a taste of the best flavors Cleveland has to offer," Bertman spokeswoman Melissa Adell said in a prepared statement.

The mustard will be sold in 9-ounce bottles at retailers throughout Northeast Ohio and the larger metropolitan markets in Ohio. It also will be available at the brewery starting Aug. 10. It will retail for $2.49 to $2.99.

Categories: Beer News

Rivertown to release blues band-inspired dubbel

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 9:36am

Rivertown Brewing Co. will host a special tapping and performance by The Whiskey Shambles on July 30 to celebrate the release of its new blues band-inspired Shamble On-Dubbel Barrel Blues.

The beer, a Belgian-style dubbel fermented with whiskey-infused wood chips, will be tapped at 5:30 p.m., with a performance by The Whiskey Shambles at 6 p.m.

The show is free and open to the public.

It's the second collaboration between the Lockland brewery and The Whiskey Shambles. They released Shambling Southward last fall.

Shamble On was developed by pilot brewer Rob Westendorf, who worked on the recipe with his wife Roxanne and band member Brother James.

"We've always described The Shambles sound as a loud, belligerent style of demonic hill-stomp blues that almost ... but not quite ... betrays an air of subtle sophistication lingering just around the edges," Brother James said in a prepared statement. "This brew combines an exciting wallop from the whiskey with the gentler refinement of the Belgian style, making it a perfect pairing with the band: an even more potent blast of what we're calling, Dubbel Barrel Blues."

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 9:01am

Here are some interesting beer stories:

-- WCPO reports that Mt. Carmel Brewing Co. co-owner Kathleen Dewey introduced Ohio Gov. John Kasich as he made his bid for president. “Because my husband and I are among the many people in our state who have been able to push their dreams forward not just because of our hard work and the work of our employees, but because of John Kasich’s ideas and hard work too," Dewey says. To read the full story, click here.

-- Cleveland.com profiles the new sports-themed Pigskin Brewing Co. in Gahanna. "Sports bars obviously are common. But their cookie-cutter stylings and pedestrian lager drafts make them feel the same," Marc Bona writes. "But what [Tarry] Summers and his four partners wanted to create was a specific, sports-themed craft brewery." To read the full story, click here.

-- Cincinnati.com reports on Rhinegeist Brewery's first collaboration beer. Rhinegeist paired up with Sun King Brewery to create Emergency Hop Kit IPA. To read the full story, click here.

-- WCPO reports on Rhinegeist Brewery creating a special beer for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Glow LumenoCity Pale Ale will be released starting Monday. To read the full story, click here.

-- The National Beer Wholesalers Association spotlights Michelle Graef of Cavalier Distributing. "She radiates positivity and exudes high energy to all her colleagues," Cavalier founder/owner George Fisher says. To read the short report, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Great Lakes tossing Christmas Ale party

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 3:22pm

Break out the ugly Christmas sweaters.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. will host a Christmas in July party starting at 4 p.m. Thursday (July 23) when it will tap a fresh batch of its wildly popular Christmas Ale.

The event will feature holiday music, a Santa limbo contest and Christmas Ale donuts from Brewnuts. The Cleveland brewery is asking people to wear ugly Christmas sweaters and bring a donation for Malachi House, a nonprofit that serves the terminally ill.

The party is free and open to the public.

Great Lakes won’t be serving Christmas Ale at the Burning River Fest this year (don't worry there will be another special beer that the brewery hasn't announced yet), so the brewery stressed that the party is the only place to taste fresh Christmas Ale. It will be available on draft only. No bottles. The brewery also won't sell growlers.

Great Lakes spokeswoman Marissa DeSantis wasn't sure how long Christmas Ale will be available.

"We can never say how long it will last because we truly don’t know, and we haven’t had a Christmas in July party for several years," she said.

For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Crave to host Summit beer dinner

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 9:14am

Crave in Akron will host a five-course beer-barbecue dinner with Summit Brewing Co. at 6 p.m. Monday. (July 27)

The dinner will feature Summit Summer Ale paired with smoked fried chicken, Maibock Ale with smoked pork ribs, Saga IPA with Korean barbecued octopus, Great Northern Porter with smoked brisket and Hopvale Organic Ale with banana pudding.

Tickets are $50 plus tax and tip. Reservations can be made by calling 330-253-1234.

Categories: Beer News

Ohio Craft Brewers Association updates brand identity

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 1:59pm

Out with the old. In with the new.

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association unveiled a new brand identity and two logos Monday.

“This new brand identity will help unite and propel Ohio craft beer and the state’s individual brewers as we continue to grow regionally and nationally,” association president and owner and brewer of Columbus Brewing Co. Eric Bean said in a prepared statement. “We’re proud to have been part of the process, and look forward to continuing to watch Ohio evolve into a key player in the craft beer industry.”

The association had been using the old logo — which featured a pint glass over the outline of Ohio and the initials OCBA — for years. It was something that was slapped together quickly for the then-loose group by a former brewer. But since then, the association has gotten much more organized and hired a full-time executive director. It needed a more professional image.

“There was a lot of thought that went into the new one,” said John Najeway, co-owner of the Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron and one of the association’s original members.

The new logos use the words Ohio and Craft Beer, and still incorporate an outline of the state.

Columbus-based agency Fahlgren Mortine assisted the association, which wants to raise the profile of the brewers guild and Ohio-made beer. The group plans to use the new logos on its website, social media accounts, and organizational materials and publications. They also will be available to be used on breweries’ labels and packaging.

Najeway said that Thirsty Dog will be adding the logo to its some packaging.

“We are thrilled with the distinctive new logo produced by Fahlgren Mortine,” OCBA Executive Director Mary MacDonald said. “The bold design has an arts and crafts aura befitting our handmade beer and incorporates symbolic grains and hops, key ingredients to Ohio’s craft brewers. The logo, combined with the compelling new platform, gives us the tools to communicate the contributions of Ohio’s craft brewers locally, regionally and nationally.”

The number of craft breweries has skyrocketed in recent years in Ohio. There were 47 in 2011. Today, the association estimates that there are 130 breweries — that includes some craft brewers more than once if they hold separate brewing licenses.

The association has 88 member breweries, along with 13 breweries in planning and 67 allied members.

For more details about the association, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Cambridge Main Street Brew-BQ returns Sept. 19

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 1:01pm

The fourth annual Cambridge Main Street Brew-BQ will return Sept. 19 to downtown Cambridge.

The event, which runs from 1 to 6 p.m., benefits Cambridge Main Street, a nonprofit that promotes historic preservation and business growth. The group is still putting together the list of participating breweries, but Weasel Boy, Marietta, Millersburg, Buckeye Lake and Homestead already are scheduled to attend.

Tickets are $30 and include tasting tickets, a souvenir glass, barbecue dinner and live music.

For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News