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Five questions with ... Patrick Armstead

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 8:23am

Patrick Armstead is the co-owner and brewer, along with Steve Prough, at Two Monks Brewing Co., a new nanobrewery in Akron. The brewery doesn't package or distribute so you have to visit to sample the beers.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: Because Patrick got a beer kit for Christmas. Steve had all the equipment and helped me brew it to perfection. The commercial idea was part of our five-year plan. After a friend approached us with a retail property, we decided to jump in.

Q: What has been the highlight of your brewing career so far and why was it so special? (Maybe it's been a beer that you brewed, an award that you won, an idol you've met ...)

A: In 2014, as homebrewers, we scored a second place at Son of Brewzilla in the spiced beer category for our Gingerbreadman Holiday Ale, and a second place in the S.A.A.Z. HBOY competition with only two submissions.

Q: What were the most challenging and easiest aspects of launching your brewery?

A: The permitting process in totality has definitely been the most challenging. The easiest thing is making the beer.

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

A: Our best-selling beer has been Walter's Brewberry. I think it's the most popular because the blueberry flavor is not over the top. It's strictly there to accent the beer, not the other way around.

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

A: Guinness. It was a gateway beer in opposition to traditional "Big Brew" lagers.

Editor's note: The Five questions with ... feature appears every Friday. If you would like to participate or would like to recommend someone in the Ohio beer industry, send me an email at rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.

Categories: Beer News

Funkypuss returns to Actual Brewing

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 10:45am

Funkypuss, a special bottle release event, returns to Actual Brewing Co. from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 17.

The Columbus brewery will have three beers available in bottles, along with "weird stuff" on draft and in firkins. The 750ml bottles, which will cost $22, will be:

-- Vivacity Peach Brett Saison, which was soured in oak barrels for nine months and aged with peaches for three months.

-- Tenacity Brett Beer, soured in oak barrels for 10 months.

-- Bourbon Barrel-Aged Fat Julian, which was aged for a year in oak bourbon barrels.

The draft lineup will feature: Diffraction Oak-Aged Bourbon Radler, Thermal Conductor Habanero IPA, Mango Kolsch, Galvani's Experimental Pale Ale, 2015 Tenacity Brett Beer, 2015 Orthodox Winter IPA and 2015 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Fat Julian.

The firkins are 100 percent brett-fermented Golden Sour with blackberries and blueberries; and Mango Kolsch with habaneros.

Last year, people were waiting in line at 8 a.m. Actual promised coffee and doughnuts from Buckeye Donuts for folks waiting in line.

For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

M.I.A. Beer Co. moving into Ohio

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 8:35am

M.I.A. Beer Co. is moving into Ohio.

The Miami-based brewery announced that it has hooked up with Cavalier Distributing and the Buckeye State will be its first market outside of Florida.

Cavalier will start distributing draft and cans of M.I.A.’s flagship beers, including Miami Weiss Hefeweizen, Mega Mix Pale Ale and Tourist Trappe Belgian Tripel beginning Monday. (Dec. 5). Seasonal and limited release beers also will be released in the state.

M.I.A., which  opened in 2015, will begin distriburting in the Cincinnati, Dayton and Oxford markets.

“M.I.A. is excited to bring our line of Miami-inspired beers to Ohio," M.I.A. co-owner Eddie Leon said in a prepared statement. "We have many Ohio vacationers who have discovered us, and now, they can enjoy a little taste of vacation at home.”

Categories: Beer News

Earnest Brew Works owners plan to be hands-on

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 7:12am

Scot Yarnell doesn’t hold back when discussing his experience at some other small craft breweries.

In fact, he uses the term “burns our ass.”

What, pray tell, sets his and business partner Keefe Snyder’s bottoms aflame? It’s when they walk into a brewery and the staff can’t speak knowledgeably about the beer.

“I’ve been in breweries with one person working the taproom and they can’t answer a single question,” Yarnell said. “They’re just somebody who helps them out. Ugh.”

Yarnell pledged that experience won’t happen at his and Snyder’s Earnest Brew Works, a new seven-barrel production brewery and small tasting room that held a soft opening last week in South Toledo. The grand opening is Friday. (Dec. 2)

“We’re going to be on site all the time,” Yarnell promised.

True to his word, Yarnell, 49, a biomedical engineer and president of the Glass City Mashers homebrewing club, and Snyder, 32, an intellectual property attorney, were behind the bar on opening night serving beer and answering questions.

Earnest — the name is a reflection of Yarnell and Snyder’s “hard-working and sincere effort” — is housed in a nondescript, concrete block building and storefront at the intersection of South Detroit Avenue and South Byrne Road. The building, which in past lives was home to a company that made lifts for the disabled and an auto parts store, sits in a residential neighborhood dotted by small houses.

“We want to be in the neighborhood,” Snyder said, noting that there aren’t many craft beer options in the surrounding area.

The interior matches the exterior with its industrial, no-frills feel. There’s the cement floor stained coffee brown. The bare, Edison light bulbs hanging from the black ceiling. The exposed ductwork. Mostly bare cement block walls, save for a large “how an earnest beer is made” wall hanging. And seating for about 50 people at high-top tables, communal ones or the small wooden bar.

The bar features 12 taps, a Crowler machine, growlers, merchandise such as T-shirts and glasses, and two flat-screen televisions.

The brewing system is behind glass doors in another room.

Earnest launched with six beers, including two unusual brews: Hello Beer, a 5.7 percent pink hibiscus beer, and Honeybuzz, a 7.9 percent double IPA made with 60 pounds of honey from the Yarnell family farm.

There also was Easy, a yellow introductory beer, Worker’s Porter, New Sincerity West Coast IPA and Freewill session IPA.

A spiced American barleywine, double oatmeal stout and smoke beer were among those on the way. Yarnell and Snyder also were working on some firkins for the grand opening.

Earnest launched with, as Yarnell put it, proven homebrews. He also prefers IPAs, so beer drinkers can expect to see three or four available at any given time.

As for the other regular styles?

“We’re going to let our customers determine which ones we need to brew again,” Yarnell said.

Earnest plans to start distributing draft beer to bars and restaurants.

The story behind Earnest is one that’s increasingly familiar. Yarnell and Snyder began brewing together a few years ago and started talking about opening a brewery.

That talk eventually became tiresome and they put words into action.

Toledo is behind the curve when it comes to the craft beer boom.

Maumee Bay Brewing Co. has been around forever — 1995 actually. But even with the addition of places like Great Black Swamp, Black Cloister and now Earnest, the immediate Toledo area still seems to be running behind the rest of Ohio and Michigan just to the north.

Yarnell can’t pinpoint a specific reason.

“It’s not like we’re the center of Southern Baptist headquarters and no one wants to drink here,” he said.

He equated it to Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile in 1954. Others soon followed, and Yarnell and Snyder expect the Toledo area to catch up as local residents see the popularity of craft beer.

“Tastes are changing,” Snyder said. “Ten years ago, there wasn’t a market for it. ... We may be behind but that’s changing quickly.”

Categories: Beer News

Buckeye Beer Engine to host Troegs holiday tasting

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 12:49pm

The Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood will host a visit and tasting with Troegs Independent Brewing Co. from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday. (Dec. 3)

The event will feature the Hershey, Pa., brewery’s popular Mad Elf, a 2011 version of Mad Elf, Naked Elf, Wild Elf and Blizzard of Hops.

There’s no cost for the event and people just pay for the beer they drink.

Categories: Beer News

Maize Valley to celebrate GABF win

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 11:45am

Maize Valley is throwing a party to celebrate winning a silver medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival.

Beer fans can meet brewer Jake Turner from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 10. The Marlboro Township winery-brewery won for its Monk in Public, a Belgian-style dark strong ale that clocks in at a hefty 10 percent alcohol by volume.

Anyone who purchases a glass of Monk in Public from Dec. 10-17 will receive a free collector’s glass, while supplies last. Maize Valley also has produced a special Monk Junk burger for the occasion.

Categories: Beer News

Lockport Brewery turns on the taps

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 10:18am

Lockport Brewery is now open in Bolivar.

Lockport, which uses a 3 1/2-barrel brewing system, opened Friday (Nov. 25) with four beers:

• Gateway XPA, an extra pale ale.

• Lockporter, (get it?), a robust American porter.

• Cheer Beer, a Christmas ale with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and honey.

• Uncle Drew’s SMaSH Brew, an all-Ohio ale made with Cascade hops from Barn Talk Hops in Wadsworth and Vienna malts from Haus Malts in Cleveland.

Brewer and owner Andrew Marburger hopes to add an American amber this weekend and an IPA next week.

“We’re just trying to keep up,” he said about the initial response. “We’re doing pretty well.”

Lockport is open 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; noon to midnight Friday and Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. (You can check out a previous profile about Lockport and photos by clicking here.)

Categories: Beer News

Thirsty Dog releases Old Choco in bottles

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 12:11pm

Old Choco has graduated to bottles.

Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. has released the mint chocolate milk stout in six-packs this year.

“The demand for it has grown every year,” co-owner John Najeway said. “The customers have been begging to get it so we put it in bottles.”

This is the fourth year that the Akron brewery has produced the winter seasonal, which is make with peppermint. The label features — what else — a chocolate Labrador.

“It’s a great beer,” Najeway said. “Subtle flavors of fresh mint and chocolate rolling across your tongue.”

The beer, which is 5.5 percent alcohol by volumen, hit the market last week. Six-packs retail for $9.99 and they will be available through January.

Speaking of Thirsty Dog, the brewery’s Siberian Night Imperial Stout again is ranked among RateBeer.com’s “Top Winter Seasonals.” The beer comes in at No. 13 and is the only Ohio-made beer among the top 50.

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 9:23am

Here are some interesting Ohio beer stories:

-- The Columbus Dispatch reports that BrewDog is eyeing April to start production at its new brewery in Canal Winchester. "We’ll begin polishing the floors (this) week,” project manager for BrewDog Keith Bennett says. To read the full story, click here.

-- Pat's Pints profiles Little Fish Brewing Co. in Athens. "What differentiates Little Fish from the sea of craft breweries that dot the Ohio landscape is a focus on farmhouse ales," Patrick Woodward writes. To read the full story, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Five questions with ... Matt Mazur

Fri, 11/25/2016 - 8:55am

Matt Mazur is the brewer at Three Tigers Brewing Co. in Granville. The nanobrewery operates in partnership with the Mai Chau restaurant next door.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I started homebrewing about 20 years ago because I wanted to see if I could make beer at home that would hold its own against commercially available beers that I enjoyed. I spent most of my life in professional kitchens as a cook and a chef so I had a background in formulating recipes and the importance of cleaning and sanitizing.

After winning a few local homebrew competitions, including a Blue Ribbon at The Ohio State Fair, I started looking for an assistant brewer job. I found it to be incredibly difficult just to get anyone to talk to me since I didn't have any experience in a commercial brewery. I liken it to riding a Honda to a Harley Davidson event. Nobody will give you the time of day. I happened on my current job through a friend who sent me a logo for his friend's new bar and brewery. I looked further into the text and saw they were looking for a brewer. I brought them some samples of my homebrew and was hired shortly after.

Q:What has been the highlight of your brewing career so far and why was it so special? (Maybe it's been a beer that you brewed, an award that you won, an idol you've met ...)

A: The highlight of my brewing career so far was seeing our bar full of people on the day we released our first beer, Small Axe Pale Ale. The reason it was such a highlight is that we got our brewing equipment in March and didn't get our beer on tap until August!

We were plagued with equipment issues. I think we suffered every setback that was possible. We went through four false bottoms in our mash tun before we found one that actually worked. We had pumps fail, electrical issues galore, plumbing problems, you name it. I lost my first four batches of beer. I was just about ready to give up but the old saying "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" kept ringing in my head and I stuck with it. I sourced many of the equipment fixes on my own since we were having such a hard time with our manufacturer. Needless to say it was a long, tough battle to get that first batch of beer out.

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

A: Never give up. Persistence pays off. Eventually someone will give you a chance in a commercial brewery and if you give 110 percent every day, regardless of the setbacks, you will be successful.

Q: You haven't been serving your beer for too long but what’s your best-seller so far and why do you think it’s so popular?

A: Our Small Axe Pale Ale. I think it's so popular because it has great balance. Anybody can make a Hop Bomb. Making a beer that has great balance takes a lot of trial and error.

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

A: La Fin Du Monde. Those guys are really doing something special up there. I think they have brewery gremlins like the Keebler Elves that help make that beer so good. I like all of their beers but that one started my love for Belgian ales.

Editor's note: The Five questions with ... feature appears each Friday. If you would like to participate or would like to nominate someone working in the Ohio beer industry, send me an email at rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Fri, 11/25/2016 - 7:35am

Here are some interesting Ohio beer stories:

-- The Newark Advocate profiles Three Tigers Brewing Co. in Granville. "We have gotten great feedback on our beers and are brewing nonstop to try to keep up with demand," co-owner Scott Wilkins says. To read the full story, click here.

-- Drink Up Columbus profiles Multiple Brewing Co. in Nelsonville. “We’re on a single barrel system, so everything we do is like cooking a big pot of soup,” co-founder Jason Warren says. “I think us being so small makes us like a Ma-and-Pa restaurant, like a home-cooked meal.” To read the full story, click here.

-- Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine offers up its 2016 Readers' Choice and Editors' Picks. Samuel Adams Boston Lager (made in Cincinnati) and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald are listed among the 50 best beers. Meanwhile, Rhinegeist, Fat Head's and Great Lakes are among the "favorite breweries." To read all the lists, click here.

-- The Gnarly Gnome reports that Rhinegeist Brewery has received label approval for cans of Mosaic. To read the full story, click here.

-- The Detroit Free Press offers up some beer recommendations in Columbus for Michigan fans who are traveling to Columbus for the Ohio-State Michigan game Saturday. The newspaper highlights Wolf's Ridge, Elevator, Zauber and CBC Restaurant. To read the full story, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Elevator plans party for release of Barrel Aged Winter Warmer

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 10:49am

Elevator Brewing Co. will host a release party from noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 3 for its Bourbon Barrel-Aged Winter Warmer.

The Columbus brewery will sell 750ml bottles for $14.99, with the first 25 people in the door at its Tap Room receiving a complementary limited-edition snifter. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Winter Warmer was aged for a year in barrels. It clocks in at 9 percent alcohol by volume.

In addition to the bottle release, Elevator will tap three limited-edition versions of the Barrel-Aged Winter Warmer: Luxardo Cherries; Ginger, Coriander and Orange Peel; and Cinnnamon Red Hot.

The party also will feature an Ugly Sweater competition, holiday cookies and Winter Warmer cupcakes by Eight Cakes a Week, appetizers, live music from 4 to 7 p.m. by the Ale Stars, and Barrel-Aged Winter Warmer-inspired foods by the Paddy Wagon Food Truck.

Categories: Beer News

Last call for MadTree Gnarly Brown

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 8:03am

It's last call for Gnarly Brown.

MadTree Brewing Co. has received permission to release one last batch of its hoppy brown ale in six-packs — at least one last batch named Gnarly Brown.

The brand became a victim of a trademark dispute last year with Manteca, Calif.-based Delicato Vineyards, which sells Gnarly Head wine. That’s why the Cincinnati brewery announced earlier this year that it was retiring Gnarly Brown.

The beer has been out of circulation for awhile, but MadTree brewed up a 30-barrel batch and will release six-packs at the brewery starting at 11 a.m. Friday. (Nov. 25) They will retail for $10.50 and there’s a two six-pack limit.

It's a sad day for those at MadTree because Gnarly Brown was one of its original brews.

“We are pretty bummed about it,” co-founder Brady Duncan said. “It’s a product that really represents our beer philosophy and vision — creating beers that deliver layers of unique and interesting flavors regardless if they fit style guideline. It’s kind of a porter, kind of a brown ale, and features more hops than style guidelines for either of those.

“The name is also a bit like the way we run our business, gnarly. You could ask five people what the word gnarly means and you would probably get five different answers. You ask five different people what MadTree represents and you would probably get five different answers. We embrace different perspectives and opinions. It’s what makes this industry fun and creative.”

There is hope for Gnarly Brown fans, though. Just because the brand is going away, it doesn’t mean the recipe is disappearing. Duncan believes the beer will be back at some point, just not marketed as Gnarly Brown.

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 10:59am

Here are some interesting Ohio beer stories:

-- The Dayton Daily News reports that the Wandering Griffin brewpub in Beavercreek opens Wednesday (Nov. 23) and will hold its grand opening Dec. 2. It will be several months before the brewpub is serving its own beers, though, the newspaper says. To read the full story, click here.

-- The Athens News reports on barrel-aging programs at local breweries. "We have the largest barrel-aging program in the state," Jackie O's brewer Brad Clark says. To read the full story, click here.

-- Cleveland.com reports on All-Ohio IPA, a beer made by Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland with hops grown at Barn Talk Hops in Medina County. To read the full story, click here.

-- The Youngstown Vindicator reports on Rhinegeist Brewery now being distributed in the Mahoning Valley. To read the full story, click here.

-- The Youngstown Vindicator has launched a regular beer column dubbed the Mahoning Valley Flight Crew. To read their stories, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Ale! to Queen City to feature Tales & Ales

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 9:33am

Ale! to the Queen City apparently isn't just about tasting beer. The inaugural two-day outdoor event, set for Friday and Saturday (Nov. 25-26) on Merhing Way in downtown Cincinnati, also will feature a series of talks dubbed Tales & Ales.

Here's the educational rundown at the Rhinegeist Beer Tent:

-- Friday at 6 p.m.: Ask the Brewers. Conducted by Streetside and Woodburn. Are you thinking of getting into home brewing? Do you have general questions about the process? Get your questions answered.

-- Friday at 7 p.m.: Barrel Aging. Conducted by Braxton, Rhinegeist and Rivertown. Which beer styles are best aged in wood? What types of barrels are used to age beers? How long do beers age in the barrels?

-- Friday at 8 p.m.: Cincinnati Brewing History. Conducted by Municipal Brew Works and Samuel Adams. Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky were quite literally built on beer.

-- Friday at 9 p.m.: Brewery Stories. Conducted by Municipal Brew Works and Urban Artifact. Behind every good beer is a great story waiting to be told.

-- Saturday at 6 p.m.: Brewery Stories. Conducted by Fifty West, Rivertown and Municipal Brew Works.

-- Saturday at 7 p.m.: Know Your Beer. Conducted by Nine Giant, Rhinegeist and Urban Artifact. What the heck is in my beer? Find out, experience the ingredients and talk about the process.

-- Saturday at 8 p.m.: Cincinnati Brewing History. Conducted by Blank Slate and the Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corp.

-- Saturday at 9 p.m.: Ask the Brewers. Conducted by Blank Slate and Streetside.

For more details about Ale! to the Queen City, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Soul Step Records brings Cincy Brewers Series to Listermann

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 7:57am

Soul Step Records will release its second vinyl record as part of its Cincy Brewers Series at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 when Sylmar plays a free show at Listermann Brewing Co. in Cincinnati.

"Sylmar has crashed the local music scene with their specific brand of dreamy indie rock," Soul Step said in a release.

Soul Step launched the Cincy Brewers Series — a string of free concerts showcasing Cincinnati artists and vinyl releases at local breweries -- in September. At each event, the host brewery creates a special beer for the night.

Listermann will release Elusive DIPA with fresh orange zest.

There will be 100 limited-edition ocean blue vinyl records available, with the remainder pressed on standard black vinyl. There also will be Soul Step pint glasses.

For more details about the series, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Millersburg adds canning line

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 11:11am

Millersburg Brewing Co. has added a canning line.

That’s good news for Millersburg fans because the brewery — which took home a gold medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival for its barrel-aged Doc’s Scotch Ale — will start releasing more of its brands in cans.

First up is Panther Hollow Vanilla Porter, which is being canned this week and should begin showing up in stores around Ohio next week.

Millersburg, located in the heart of Ohio’s Amish country, has been using a mobile canning company to can its French Ridge IPA and Lot 21 Blonde for more than two years.

“We just got to the point where we needed to can on our schedule and the volume was so large,” brewer Marty Lindon said. “We can work on our schedule and not on somebody else’s.”

Millersburg purchased a five-head Cask Brewing Systems line that turns out 84 cases an hour. It’s located in a building behind the brewery.

Lindon declined to say how much the brewery invested.

Millersburg hopes to release a new brand in cans each quarter. It’s still up in the air what’s coming after Panther Hollow, Lindon said.

Categories: Beer News

Building the 2017 Ohio Beer Festival list

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 9:24am

It’s that time of year when a middle-aged man’s fancy turns to compiling the 2017 Ohio Beer Festivals list.

Each year, I attempt to assemble the most comprehensive list of beer festivals in the Buckeye State. Note that I used the word “attempt” because there are always a few new ones that pop up or organizers don’t get back to me.

I'm feeling good about this coming year because organizers already have contacted me and locked in their dates.

Here’s the rundown so far:

• Jan. 20-21: The sixth annual Columbus Winter Beerfest at the Columbus Convention Center in Columbus.

• Jan. 27-28: The fourth annual Cleveland Winter Beerfest at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland.

• Jan. 28: The sixth annual Brew Ha-Ha Dayton at the Montessori School of Dayton.  The theme this year is “Midwest vs. West Coast.”

• Feb. 17-18: The 10th annual Cincy Winter Beerfest at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati.

• Feb. 18: Goatfest, a barrel-aged beer festival, at Dayton Beer Co.

• March 3: The 11th annual Glass City Beer Festival in Toledo.

• June (TBD): Summer Beerfest, a celebration of summer beers, at Dayton Beer Co.

• Late June: The third annual OTR Beerfest at Washington Park in Cincinnati.

• Early August (TBD): The seventh annual Columbus Summer Beerfest at Express Live! in Columbus.

• Mid-August (TBD): The second annual Cleveland Summer Beerfest at the Cleveland Mall in Cleveland.

• Sept. 8-9: The eighth annual End of Summer Cincy Beerfest at Fountain Square in Cincinnati.

• October (TBD): Oktoberfest at Dayton Beer Co.

If you’re aware of a festival and would like it highlighted, send me an email at rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.

Categories: Beer News

Five questions with ... Jeffrey McElfresh

Fri, 11/18/2016 - 10:30am

Jeffrey McElfresh is the head brewer at Yellow Springs Brewery in Yellow Springs. The production brewery and tasting room recently unveiled new branding.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I had my very first homebrew in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead show. People sold beers out of their coolers and when I grabbed one with what I thought was a soaked-off label and asked what it was the guy said “I made that!”

Then, in 1997, I moved to an apartment in Humboldt, Calif., and everyone I knew already living there was growing reefer in the hills. My apartment was not an option for that type of creativity. Luckily, I had a homebrewers supply shop around the corner and we also enjoyed beer. Good local beer on the West Coast was already a thing so I knew what was possible and had tasted the proof before trying my hand at it.

Q: What has been the highlight of your brewing career so far and why was it so special? (Maybe it's been a beer that you brewed, an award that you won, an idol you've met …)

A: In 2013, a few months after Yellow Springs Brewery opened, we were able to get Captain Stardust Saison and Smokin’ Handsome Smoked American Brown Ale on the festival floor of the Great American Beer Festival but we were too late to enter the actual competition. We got word at the last moment they would accept one of these two beers as an entry due to some fluke.

The saison category had closed because of how many entries had already been received so Smokin’ got judged! I remember working in the taproom on a busy Saturday during the announcements ceremony. I had my phone propped up on the counter and a tweet popped showing we had just earned a silver medal in the smoked beers category. That was an incredible moment!

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

A: Get yourself into an environment that allows you to be creative and adaptable to the industry, and talk to everybody, twice.

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

A: Our signature beer is Captain Stardust Saison. Stardust has a very soft mouth-feel while staying hoppy without the bitterness. Stardust’s flavor is composed with notes of hoppy citrus, raw wheat and a light yet complex spice character. Our saison is made with very soft water and a type of hops considered “rustic” and, most importantly, my favorite strain of yeast. The unique harmony of simplicity and grace make saison a style that is very popular.

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

A: Liberty Ale circa ’92!

Categories: Beer News

Ale! to the Queen City releases beer list

Fri, 11/18/2016 - 8:16am

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has released the beer list for the upcoming two-day Ale! to the Queen City tasting.

"We’re excited to have 16 breweries tapping nearly 40 local craft beers, including limited edition brews from Rhinegeist and Sam Adams," festival Director Cynthia Oxley said in a prepared statement. "If that doesn’t warm your heart, we’ll also offer coffee, hot chocolate and liquor drinks made with coffee and hot chocolate."

Here's a look at the beers:

Blank Slate: Cherrywood Brown Porter and Fork in The Road.

Braxton: Storm and Blown Gasket.

Christian Moerlein: Shiver Chai Spiced Porter and Christkindl Winter Warmer Old Ale.

Fifty West: Doom Pedal White Ale and Home Sweet Home Brown Ale.

MadTree: Psychopathy and Thundersnow.

Mt. Carmel: Winter Ale and Pondside Pale Ale.

Municipal Brew Works: Approachable Blonde and Dark Shell Black IPA.

Nine Giant: Brothers Red Rye IPA and Uptown Avondale American Stout.

Old Firehouse: Chief and Pin Up Girl.

Rhinegeist: Truth, Cougar, Panther, Bubbles, Dad, Barrel Aged Ink and Mosaic.

Rivertown: Roebling Porter and Soulless.

Samuel Adams: Boston Lager, Winter Lager, Rebel Juiced and Flanders Red.

Streetside: Floc So Hard and Cafe Con Leche.

Taft's Ale House: Preservationist and Dunkel.

Urban Artifact: Calliope Wild Fresh Hop Grand Cru and Finn Berliner Pale Ale.

Woodburn: Cedar IPA and Chocolate Cherry Stout.

Ale! to the Queen City, which runs from 4 to 11 p.m. Nov. 25-26 on Mehring Way between Elm Street and the Roebling Bridge, is part of the larger HOME event that runs Nov. 23-27.

Categories: Beer News