MadTree Brewing Co. doesn’t have any plans to can its popular Dreamsicle – a vanilla-orange kolsch that tastes like the childhood summer treat that it’s named after.
But fan Adam Marcum is determined to change the Cincinnati brewery’s mind.
The Fort Wright, Ky., resident has launched a Change.org petition urging MadTree to release Dreamsicle in cans. It's available now only on draft.
His online petition had 156 supporters, as of early Tuesday morning.
“Dreamsicle is that one light beer that just makes sense,” Marcum said when asked why he’s so interested in the beer being canned. “It's lighter than most, super sessionable, and tastes like summer. If I'm taking friends who don't normally drink craft beer, I suggest that first and it's a hit. It's also a hit with veteran beer drinkers as well.
"There is something really complex and ingenious about this beer. The sad thing is they don't distribute it out to restaurants or can it for retail. I made jokes on a national message board telling people it's ‘the beer they don't want to share with you.’”
MadTree played a cruel joke on Dreamsicle fans on April Fool’s Day when the brewery posted a photo of Dreamsicle in a can with the phrase “Coming soon” on its Facebook page. (See it above.)
“Folks freaked out,” brewery co-founder Brady Duncan said in an email. “Many knew the joke. Many did not and were pissed.”
Now, he said, the brewery gets requests daily from its passionate fan base.
Duncan noted that Dreamsicle is the top-seller right on draft now at the brewery tasting room. But there still are no plans to distribute it in cans.
If you're interested in signing the Change.org petition and supporting Marcum's effort, click here.
Here’s another installment of Dear Rick ... You ask questions and I offer answers. This feature appears every Monday and will continue as long as the questions keep coming. If your question hasn’t been answered yet, it’s likely that I’m still researching it. You can hit me up by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.
DEAR RICK: What’s the law/rule for using your own growlers, 64 or 32-ounce sizes, at breweries for carry-out/take home? Does it vary any between locales or counties in Ohio, or is there a statewide law that governs the use of personally owned growlers? Thanks! – Robert W. Brown II, Colonel, US Army, Retired
Dear Col. Brown: A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about some confusion over growlers. Basically, there were – maybe there still are – some breweries insisting that it was state law that you buy their growler instead of one that you hauled into the brewery or growler shop. In other words, if you brought a growler from Brewery X into Brewery Y, Brewery X wouldn’t fill it.
As I wrote then, that’s baloney. There is no such state law.
I did follow up with Col. Brown to find out if that’s what he was referring to. It turns out he had an additional issue.
“I was at two different places in NW Ohio last weekend and wasn’t sure what’s allowable,” he wrote back. “My nephew had two growlers we took back to one of the establishments. I thought for sure they would be swapped-out for clean or sterilized ones. Instead they were rinsed with water, refilled and given back to him. Then I said, well I can clean my own one better at home, which got the discussion started about using your own containers.”
I’m not aware of any breweries that swap out a used growler for a new growler. (If there are, somebody let me know and I’ll update this post.)
Now to your point about cleaniness. I always clean out my growlers before bringing them in to be filled. It’s not that I don’t trust the brewery or growler shop. It’s just that, as you mentioned, I know I do a better cleaning job.
Yard House, which has locations in Cleveland and Cincinnati, is launching its Great American Beer Festival Giveaway today. (June 27)
The bar-restaurant chain is giving away a trip for two to the festival, which runs Oct. 7-9 in Denver. The winner will be selected at random and receive roundtrip airfare, a two-night stay at the Sheraton Downtown Denver, a $200 Yard House gift card, a pair of tickets to Saturday’s GABF session and $500 in spending money.
Yard House also is giving away 10 $50 Yard House gift cards each week. People can enter once a day at www.yardhousesweeps.com through Aug. 7.
“We love the event and love having the opportunity to mingle with our guests there,” Yard House beverage manager Gregory Howard said in a news release. “This really is the mother of all U.S. beer festivals and, while it certainly appeals to enthusiasts, it’s just a good time all around.”
For official rules, visit www.yardhousesweeps.com.
The judged tasting, set up like the NCAA March Madness tournament, features 32 beers pitted against each other in rounds until a champion is declared. The final four and championship will be held July 22.
Two Ohio beers are entered this year: North High Grapefruit Walleye from Columbus and Great Lakes Steady Rollin' from Cleveland. (The Fat Head's brewpub in Portland, Ore., also entered Grapefruit Goggle Fogger.)
To see all the enteries and follow along, click here.
Mike Zoscak is the brewer at Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon brewpub in North Olmsted. Fat Head's -- the most award-winning brewery in Ohio when it comes to the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup since it opened -- also operates a production brewery in Middleburg Heights, a brewpub in Portland, Ore., and a restaurant in Pittsburgh.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: I was always the guy bringing the "strange" six-pack of beer to the party, craft beer before I knew what that really meant. I enjoyed everything about those beers, flavor/aroma, that the macro swill around me was lacking. At the time, I was a mechanical engineering student so my chemistry and physics background fueled my interest in the production of these tasty libations.
Q: Fat Head's has had a remarkable run winning medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup since the brewery first opened in 2009. (Twenty medals, including one for the Portland brewpub.) Explain the brewery's success.
A: Attention to detail, sound practices, passion, hard work, the little things that matter. It starts with our brewmaster Matt Cole and his obsession with putting out the perfect pint and that trickles down to all our staff. We enjoy trying to keep up our standards. We constantly work on developing and bettering our styles, especially our competition stand-bys. Research, tasting other outstanding examples of these styles and communicating with brewers outside of your own company is imperative. Good recipe formulation, a well executed brew, healthy fermentation and everyone from the brewer to the cellarman to the bottler need to be on the same page for things to work. It's been an awesome run and we hope to continue the success.
Q: What advice can you give future brewers to be successful?
A: Most importantly work your way up. Experience every aspect of the process, learn about your equipment and ingredients, educate yourself, communicate with fellow brewers. Too many aspiring brewers want to jump right into a head position without any experience in a professional environment and you can usually tell the difference. There will be plenty of speed-bumps but always keep plugging away.
Q: What's your best-selling beer and why do you think it's so popular?
A: Head Hunter IPA simply because it's just a damn good example of a West Coast-style American IPA! Bumbleberry, our blueberry ale, isn't very far behind due to its approachability for newer craft drinkers.
Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/invented/brewed and why?
A: Being an IPA lover I'd probably have to say Russian River Pliny the Elder. To be one of the successful originators and promoters of this West Coast, hop-forward staple IPA and to be able to use some of our favorite hop varieties while they were being developed would have been an awesome experience. To create a beer that many have based their finest masterpieces off of would be pretty neat. Plus I would get the satisfaction of being able to see my beer hit the #1 spot every year on the most of the Top Beers in America lists!
Mucky Duck, which operates a brewpub in Green, won the People's Choice Award for overall favorite brewery. The Judges' Award went to Fruli Strawberry Beer, which is distributed locally by Esber Beverage.
The Arc also gave out a new honor -- the Golden Plate Award -- for the best food vendor at the event, which was held at the Cultural Center for the Arts in downtown Canton. The winner was Smoke the Burger Joint for its quartered burgers, seasoned kettle chips and smokehouse wings.
The two-day festival -- which runs Aug. 26-27 at the Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island in Cleveland -- will feature headliner Moon Taxi. The full lineup is available at burningriverfest.org.
To read the full news release, see below:
Great Lakes Brewing Co., in Partnership with the Burning River Foundation, Announces 2016 Burning River Fest Band Lineup
Cleveland, Ohio Jun 23, 2016 - Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) and the Burning River Foundation are excited to announce the band and chef lineup for the 15th annual Burning River Fest August 26-27 at the historic Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island in Cleveland, Ohio.
Fresh off of appearances at Coachella and Hangout Music Festival, Nashville-based band Moon Taxi top the bill Friday night while Cleveland favorites Seafair headline Saturday. With 17 bands on two stages, Burning River Fest is ready to kick out the jams at one of the most beautiful sites the Cleveland waterfront has to offer. The full band lineup is now available on burningriverfest.org.
Also returning is the fan favorite Chef Demo Stage presented by Edible Cleveland, where some of Northeast Ohio’s most creative chefs will showcase their culinary talents. A number of food trucks will be on-site as well.
Of course, no Burning River Fest is complete without GLBC beer. Cleveland’s original craft brewery will offer an expanded selection including Dortmunder Gold Lager, Commodore Perry IPA, Burning River Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, and Lawn Seat Kolsch.
All Burning River Fest proceeds benefit the Burning River Foundation, a local non-profit dedicated to protecting our freshwater resources. Tickets for Friday and Saturday are available for purchase now at burningriverfest.org.
Friday, August 26 and Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 6:00pm to 11:00pm
The historic Coast Guard Station located at Wendy Park on Whiskey Island, Cleveland, Ohio
$15, available now at burningriverfest.org
Great Lakes Brewing Co.:
Great Lakes® Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway as the first microbrewery and brewpub in the state of Ohio and today remains Ohio’s most celebrated and award-winning brewer of lagers and ales. We celebrate the abundance of the Great Lakes Region in every beer, dish, and story we share. For more information, visit greatlakesbrewing.com.
The Burning River Foundation:
The Burning River Foundation, established in 2007, has raised nearly $500,000 to organizations dedicated to improving, maintaining, and celebrating the vitality of our regional freshwater resources. The vision of the Burning River Foundation is to establish Northeast Ohio as the recognized environmental leader dedicated to the sustainability of its high-quality freshwater assets. For more information, visit burningriverfest.org.
The Ohio Hop Growers Guild is hosting its second annual Hop Yard Open House next month to show off the growing industry in the state.
Eighteen hop farms across the state will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 23 for tours and discussions about Ohio-grown hops. To make a reservation, click here.
Here are some interesting Ohio beer stories:
-- Peak of Ohio reports on Brewfontaine in downtown Bellefontaine brewing a special beer at Toxic Brew Co. in Dayton. The beer -- Jalle' Berry, a jalapeno raspberry pale ale -- will be tapped Thursday. (June 23) To read the full story, click here.
-- The Cincinnati Business Courier reports on Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. teaming up with the FC Cincinnati soccer team. The brewery unveiled FC Cincinnati Blood Orange IPA this week. To read the full story, click here.
-- The Dayton Daily News reports that Yellow Springs Brewery has bought a bowling alley. “We’ll use the space for dry storage and cold storage, and we will be able to add production,” co-owner Nate Cornett says. “It will allow us to brew more often.” To read the full story, click here.
-- Brewminds.com profiles Cellar Dweller, as the Morrow brewery celebrates its third anniversary. "It’s not just me that thinks they’re doing great stuff," Tom Aguero writes. "Their distributor sales are up over four times previous levels over the past few months." To read the full story, click here.
-- The Brew Review Crew profiles Bowling Green Beer Works in Bowling Green. "In a small town, down a hidden alleyway, and tucked into a signless double-door garage-like building is Northwest Ohio’s best kept craft beer secret; Bowling Green Beer Works," the website says. To read the full story, click here.
-- Columbus Business First reports that the Port Columbus International Airport is adding a Land-Grant Brewing brewpub on Concourse B. To read the full story, click here.
-- WLTW reports on Rivertown Brewery creating a special beer called Brennan's Bucknut Brew to support The Cure Starts Now. "Beer is a great vehicle to bring people together and we couldn't be more excited to have created a beer with great friends and great family that have come to be to support a great cause," Lindsey Roeper says. To read the full story, click here.
-- Drink Up Columbus reports that the Grandview Hops this year will feature a Pop-Up Beer Garden. To read the full story, click here.
-- The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette reports on Rockmill Brewery's plans to add two tasting rooms in Columbus. To read the full story, click here.
Hoppin' Frog Brewery is celebrating the third anniversary of its Tasting Room this week.
The Akron brewery plans to release "vintage, rare and ground-breaking new Hoppin' Frog beers" each day on tap. They include Turbo Shandy with grapefruit; 2012, 2013 and 2014 versions of Cleveland Crusher Imperial Stout, 2014 Gulden Fraug Belgian Ale, and 2013 Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Van Wink.
Hoppin' Frog also will release its latest Teeny Tiny Test Batch IPA made with new El Dorado hops on Saturday.
The third anniversary party will be held Saturday outdoors. It will feature a cookout with hot dogs, hamburgers and spicy chorizo burgers on the grill. For more details, click here.
Wait ‘til next year is a familiar refrain in Cleveland when it comes to professional sports.
So much so that Great Lakes Brewing Co. has offered a beer called Wit Till Next Year, a Belgian-style wit, at its brewpub for years.
With the LeBron James-led Cavaliers winning the NBA championship Sunday and ending the city’s 52-year drought for major sports titles, the name just isn’t accurate anymore.
Great Lakes has renamed it — The Wit Is Over!
“Our pub brewer Steve Forman had this beer ready to go on Monday after Game 7,” Great Lakes spokeswoman Marissa DeSantis said in an email. “We didn’t want to jinx it, so we made no mention of the beer waiting in the wings until the drought ended on Sunday.
“We were all hoping we’d be able to change the beer’s name to ‘The Wit Is Over’ when we tapped it on Monday, and thankfully it happened just as we dreamed it would.”
The Cleveland brewery has no immediate plans to package and distribute the beer, but it’s available on draft at the brewpub.
Great Lakes isn’t the only brewery celebrating.
Market Garden Brewery, located just a few steps from Great Lakes, is renaming its All-Ohio IPA (which is made with ingredients produced in Ohio).
It will be called All-In IPA. The “All In” is a reference to the Cavaliers’ rallying cry.
Platform Beer Co., located just down the street from Great Lakes and Market Garden, also is working on a special celebratory beer.
Meanwhile, The Brew Kettle has an existing relationship with the Cavaliers, having brewed All For One, a session IPA, to celebrate the team’s playoff runs the last two years. The Strongsville brewery is considering making another beer — or at least special packaging for All For One.
Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. seems to be the go-to brewery when it comes to producing anniversary ales.
A few years ago, the Akron brewery made a couple of special beers for the 200th anniversary of the city of Cuyahoga Falls.
It also created limited-edition brews for the 20th anniversary of the Society of Akron Area Zymurgists homebrewing club, the 75th anniversary of the former West Point Market in Akron and even the 175th anniversary of the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper.
And now, there’s Magic City Ale, which commemorates the 125th anniversary of the city of Barberton.
The beer, an amber ale that goes on sale Friday, (June 24) is a collaborative effort of the Barberton Community Foundation, city of Barberton and Thirsty Dog.
It will be available on draft and in six-packs at the brewery and at bars, restaurants and retailers in the Barberton area. The six-packs will sell for $9.99.
“The beer market is just going crazy these days and to have our name on a beer is pretty neat,” Mayor Bill Judge said.
Barberton is known as a town filled with bars and places where you can wet your whistle with a cold beer. So it’s not odd that the city would celebrate with a brew.
The beer label features an old-timey rendering — is there any other kind? — of Barberton founder O.C. Barber in all his mutton chop glory.
India pale ales may be all the rage today, but the Barberton group opted for an amber ale — a mere 4.5 percent alcohol by volume, by the way — for a reason.
“We wanted something that was easy to drink and that almost anyone would enjoy drinking,” Judge said.
The public kick-off for Magic City Ale is at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Block 7 Bar & Grill in Barberton. The event coincides with the mayor’s “Change for Change” fundraiser, which raises money for charity.
The beer is just one of a slew of special events being held throughout the year to celebrate the city’s anniversary.
The Barley Grail Brewing Cooperative will introduce its first beers Friday. (June 24)
The event will showcase six beers: an American stout, pale ale, India pale ale, hefeweizen, blonde and amber. There also is a steak dinner.
“The Barley Grail has been a grassroots effort, relying on the activity and passion of its members,” Aqueduct brewer and Barley Grail consultant Robert Hernandez said in a prepared statement. “The unveiling of their first beers will be a milestone in their short history.”
Tickets are $15.
For more details, click here.
The Merchant Tavern in Akron will host a five-course beer dinner with 21st Amendment Brewery at 7 p.m. June 30.
The dinner will showcase El Sully paired with chorizo and cheese taquitos, Toaster Pastry with smoky chipotle mussels, Down to Earth with pork ribs, Back in Black with flat iron steak and Lower De Boom with deep-fried banana goat cheesecake.
The cost is $55, not including tax and tip.
For reservations, call 330-865-9510.
Here’s another installment of Dear Rick ... You ask questions and I offer answers. This feature appears Mondays and will continue as long as the questions keep coming. You can hit me up by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @armonrickABJ.
DEAR RICK: Any idea of what percentage of Ohio breweries have successful crowdfunding campaigns? Here in northwest Ohio there are two that come to mind: Black Frog Brewery’s campaign to help build a taproom was unsuccessful, yet brewer/owner Chris Harris has soldiered on and hopes to have his taproom open sometime this summer; on the other hand, Bowling Green Beer Works, a nanobrewery looking to expand, is close to completing its crowdfunding goal. I was curious to see if there is a known success rate for brewers who use this method to raise funds. Thanks. — Bob in Toledo
Dear Bob: An interesting question -- and one that I don’t have an answer for.
I’ve seen plenty of breweries launch crowdfunding efforts but I’ve never tracked whether they succeeded or not.
The Kickstarter website notes that it has had 107,692 successfully funded projects, while there have been 192,045 that haven’t met their goal. That’s a success rate of 36 percent. Of course, just because a project doesn't reach its financial goal doesn't mean it wasn't a successful campaign. Meanwhile, 14 percent of the unsuccessful efforts didn’t receive a single pledge.
Kickstarter also breaks down its campaigns by category. There's no category for breweries. But the success rate in the food category was 25 percent. The highest success rate -- at 63 percent -- involved the dance category.
I also reached out to Indiegogo but it didn't want to discuss specific success rates. It also provided a warning that "success" isn't defined as meeting the campaign goal.
DEAR RICK: When you mention the name of a brewer, I wish you would mention the city they are from immediately after the name. Thanks. -- Clyde
Dear Clyde: Duly noted. I usually include the community where a brewery is located. Sometimes, I forget.
Garrett Oliver, the famous brewmaster behind Brooklyn Brewery and an accomplished beer author, will make an appearance in Cuyahoga Falls next week.
He will oversee a four-course beer dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. June 29 at the Giant Eagle Market District store. The dinner will showcase Sorachi Ace, Bel Air Kettle Sour, Top Spin Quad and The Discreet Charm of the Framboisie.
There also will be a cocktail hour from 5 to 6 p.m. featuring Defender IPA, Brooklyn Lager and Summer Ale.
Oliver was an editor for the Oxford Companion to Beer and author of The Brewmaster’s Table.
Tickets are $65. For reservations, call 330-849-2467.
Ohio homebrewers apparently enjoy bronze.
Four Ohioans took home third-place medals at the recent Homebrew Con, the annual conference for the American Homebrewers Association. The conference and final judging for the National Homebrew Competition, held in Baltimore, saw 7,962 entries from 3,396 homebrewers this year.
The Ohio winners were:
-- Tom Tucker, along with Jan Tucker, of Chagrin Falls, third place in the English pale ale category. He is a member of the Society of Northeast Ohio Brewers. (SNOB)
-- Steven Rapko of Aurora, third place in the Other American Ale category. He is a member of the Society of Northeast Ohio Brewers.
-- Jim Sudduth of Columbus, third place in the English brown ale category. He is a member of the Scioto Olentangy Darby Zymurgists. (SODZ)
-- Paul Harden of Akron, third place in the Belgian strong ale category. He is a member of the Society of Akron Area Zymurgists. (SAAZ)
"This year’s Homebrew Con was a great success, and we look forward to hosting many more,” association Director Gary Glass said in a prepared statement. “As the hobby of homebrewing continues to grow and reach new heights, each year Homebrew Con and the National Homebrew Competition — which is the pinnacle event for homebrewers from around the world to showcase their prized brews — bring the community together so we can all keep learning from and inspiring each other.”
To see the full list of winners, click here.
Platform Beer Co. is making its official launch in Columbus this week. The Cleveland brewery has scheduled several kick-off parties to celebrate the occasion.
Here's the rundown:
Platform plans to open a brewery and tasting room in Columbus. Co-founder Justin Carson said in an email that he anticipates opening the tasting room in September.
The fifth annual Cincinnati Beer Week launched Sunday and continues through June 25. The week features tastings, talks, beer dinners, collaboration beers and other events.
WCPO has a rundown of nine "don't miss" events. To read the full story, click here.
Queen City Fresh also reports on Arnold's Bar and Grill releasing special beer posters in honor of the week. To read the full story, click here.
If you're looking for the official website and events, click here.
Art & Ale will feature Whippet Wheat paired with peppadew pineapple quesadilla, Wee Heavy Aged in Sherry Barrels with house pickled vegetables, Maple Bourbon Porter with chicken and waffles, and Raspberry Ale with a raspberry apple bar.
Thirsty Dog co-owner John Najeway will lead the beer discussion, while Akron Art Museum associate curator Theresa Bembnister will talk about the art that decorates the store. The museum hosts an annual beer tasting called Art & Ale.
Tickets are $25 and are available at Acme stores.