Ohio Beer Blog

Beer story sampler

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 5:25pm

Here are some interesting Ohio beer stories:

-- Cincinnati.com reports that Taft's Ale House will invest $6 million to open a production brewery and tasting room. "There's a total 'wow' factor when you walk into Taft's Ale House," partner Dave Kassling says. "We want to create a 'wow' factor that hasn't been seen at a production brewery." To read the full story, click here.

-- Cleveland.com reports on the opening of Hansa Brewery in Cleveland. "We've always done well with our European beers, and then all these breweries started opening in Ohio City, and it got me thinking...," owner Boris Music says. To read the full story, click here.

-- Drink Up Columbus profiles the new brewery at Gordon Biersch in Columbus. “My big two passions are Double IPAs and I have always had a huge place in my heart for Belgian Ales—I love triples,” Dan Griffin says. "We are going to have a steady stream of Belgians on tap starting in the near future." To read the full story, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Phoenix to host second annual Oktoberfest Celebration

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:13pm

The Phoenix Brewing Co. in Mansfield will host its second annual Oktoberfest Celebration this weekend. (Oct. 1 and 2)

The two-day event will include Oktoberfest and fall brews, along with traditional German food and live music. There also will be a photo booth, Oktoberfest-themed coloring pages and string your own pretzel necklaces.

The special Phoenix beers available on tap will include Oktoberfest, Orange Eyes pumpkin ale, Black Aggie Russian Imperial Stout, Century IPA and Barb Doe Rhubarb wheat. The brewery also will offer Paulaner Oktoberfest, Epic Imperial Pumpkin Porter, Rivertown Pumpkin Ale and Wyder’s Dry Pear Cider.

"We look at Oktoberfest as a way to celebrate the end of summer and to welcome fall," head brewer Duncan Macfarlane said in a prepared statement. "It is time to begin embracing fall beer styles with more malt presence, spices and fuller flavors. Our Oktoberfest is made from traditional German lager yeasts and uses Pilsner and Munich Malts. It is exciting to be able to share a traditional Oktoberfest lager with the local community."

The celebration runs from 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday and 12:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday. The event is free to attend.

The brewery also took possession Tuesday of its new 15-barrel brewhouse. Phoenix posted a video of the equipmient on its Facebook page.

Categories: Beer News

Cleveland Brew Bus offers two new tours

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:08pm

The Cleveland Brew Bus has put together a special one-day tour featuring three breweries participating in this year’s Great American Beer Festival and will soon launch a new tour focusing on breweries on the city’s east side.

The GABF Entrants Tour kicks off at 11 a.m. Oct. 8 and will showcase Platform, Fat Head’s and Sibling Revelry. All three have entered the national competition this year.

Fat Head’s is a perennial winner, while Platform took home its first medal, a gold, for Black Eagle Gratzer last year.

The Great American Beer Festival runs Oct. 6-8, with the medal winners being announced on Oct. 8.

Tour participants will sample either beers that the breweries entered this year or have won medals in the past. At each stop, a brewery representative will discuss beer judging and how the brewery selected beers to enter.

Tiickets are $59. For more details or reservations, click here.

Meanwhile, the East Shore Brew Tour will debut Oct. 21 and feature Goldhorn, Euclid and Cleveland.

“We have wanted to bring a little more focus to the east side for some time, but have had a hard time, given the scarcity of breweries in the area, longer travel times and limited business hours at some breweries,” owner and tour coordinator Leslie Basalla-McCafferty said in an email.

If the East Shore route is successful, the Cleveland Brew Bus plans to offer the trip monthly.

Tickets are $60. For more details or reservations, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Akron Zoo to host Brew at the Zoo

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:47am

The Akron Zoo will hold its fourth and final Brew at the Zoo this year from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. (Oct. 1)

The event will showcase fall beers and wine from The Brew Kettle, Hoppin’ Frog, Mucky Duck, Rochester Mills, Fat Head’s, Thirsty Dog, Aqueduct, Maize Valley, Actual, R.Shea and Nauti Vine.

There also will be live music, a costume contest, animal trivia, apparel truck rockEVERYwear and food trucks Southern Thangs Grub Truck, Ye Olde School Treats-N-Eats, The Pierogi Lady and Stray Dog.

The entire zoo will be open.

Tickets are $25 for zoo members and $31 for non-members. People also will receive a souvenir cup. For more information or to register call 330-375-2550 ext. 7230 or click here. Only guests 21 and older are permitted.

Categories: Beer News

Mucky Duck raising money for Honeybee Conservancy

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:39am

Mucky Duck Brewing Co. in Green will hold a release party from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday for a new batch of its Schmuckster Honey Lager made with local honey and hops.

The honey came from a local beekeeper while the hops were grown by Second Sons Hopyards in Canton.

Mucky Duck will donate $1 from every pint sold at the brewpub to the Honeybee Conservancy, a nonprofit focused on preserving the honeybee population.

Categories: Beer News

JAFB Wooster adds another Celebration of the Hop championship

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 1:29pm

Pretty soon, Paul Fryman is going to have a different championship belt to wear every day of the week.

Fryman, the owner and brewer at JAFB Wooster Brewery, took home the grand championship belt Saturday (Sept. 24) at the Celebration of the Hop beer tasting at Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon in North Olmsted.

It’s the third time in the last four years that Fryman won the annual event, which showcases IPAs and double IPAs.

JAFB won top honors for Rain Delay IPA — a beer that also took home a silver medal at last year’s Great American Beer Festival.

"It was an honor, again," Fryman said. "I love that festival because it's so focused."

JAFB won the Celebration of the Hop for New Stunt IPA in 2014 and JAF IPA in 2013.

“He brews it and brings it fresh,” Fat Head’s brewer Mike Zoscak said. “He’s pretty tough to beat.”

Here’s a look at all the winners:

Grand Champion: JAFB Rain Delay, followed by Willoughby Super Nova DIPA and Willoughby Hazy Days.

Best Specialty IPA (in order): Lavery Apricot IPA, Lager Heads Relaxer and Platform Slayer IPA.

Best Double IPA: Thin Man Double IPA, Willoughby Super Nova DIPA and Seventh Son Proliferous DIPA.

Best IPA: JAFB Rain Delay, JAFB JAF IPA and Willoughby Hazy Days.

Best “Other” Hoppy: JAFB Coffee IPA, Old First Ward Short Sleeves Hoppy Wheat and JAFB Brighter Day Rye IPA.

Categories: Beer News

Streetside Brewery wins King of Ohio competition

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 11:18am

Streetside Brewery held a soft opening Friday.

On Saturday, the new Cincinnati brewery took home the belt for serving up the best Ohio-made session beer at the King of Ohio competition.

Go figure.

Streetside — which has set its grand opening for Oct. 7 — won the “Best of Show” for its Raspberry Beret, a berliner weisse made with raspberries, at the statewide contest. The brewery received a special King of Ohio championship belt to put on display.

It was a tight final table, with the vote going 3-2 in favor of Streetside over Wolf’s Ridge Clear Sky Daybreak, a coffee-infused cream ale.

The King of Ohio, organized by a collection of four beer blogs across the state, was held in conjunction with the North Market Ohio Craft Brew Festival in Columbus. The competition featured more than 60 session beers — those with 5 percent alcohol by volume or less — in a blind tasting.

Ohio brewers were invited to participate and could enter only one beer. The beers were separated into four categories: sours, session IPAs, lagers and ales, with the best of each earning a spot in the “Best of Show” judging.

Here are the winners:

Best of Show: Streetside Raspberry Beret

Best Sour: Streetside Raspberry Beret followed by Jackie O's Petrichor and Fifty West Brett Is My Copilot. (Editor's note: The original post incorrectly had Fifty West second and Jackie O's third.)

Best Session IPA: Commonhouse Ales Summer Sesh followed by MadTree PSA and Maumee Bay Glass City Pale Ale. (Editor's note: This post originally disqualified Maumee Bay because the beer was believed to be over 5 percent ABV, but the brewery says it has redone the recipe and it now clocks in at 4.7 percent.)

Best Ale: Wolf’s Ridge Clear Sky Daybreak followed by Blank Slate Movin’ On and Numbers Apple Ale.

Best Lager: Willoughby Kaffee Kolsch followed by Hofbrauhaus Cleveland Light Lager and Homestead Pioneer Pilsner.

The King of Ohio once again offered up a few surprises. At the inaugural King of Ohio, which focused on IPAs, the winner was a relative unknown at the time: Hoof Hearted Brewing Co. for its Half Wet Musk of the Minotaur. Phoenix Brewing Co. also came in third for its Redemption IPA.

This time, it was the new Streetside winning the crown, Commonhouse Ales in Columbus nabbing the best session IPA honor and the small Numbers in Lisbon taking third in the ale category. It also was interesting to see two coffee-infused beers make the final table.

King of Ohio was organized by Pat’s Pints in Columbus, Brewminds in Cincinnati, Brew Review Crew from Toledo and this blog. (In honesty, Pat Woodward of Pat’s Pint’s did all the heavy lifting.)

Many thanks also go out to the BJCP-certified judges from the Scioto Olentangy Darby Zymurgists homebrewing club who helped with the tasting and the North Market for hosting us. Thanks to Autumn Reynolds of Cincinnati, who won a drawing to participate, and JD Malone, a business writer with the Columbus Dispatch, for helping with the judging.

And thanks, of course, to all the breweries that participated.

We already are starting to talk about the next competition and which style to highlight.

Categories: Beer News

Brick & Barrel celebrates special Cleveland Indians season

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 2:07pm

Brewer Karl Spiesman loves the Cleveland Indians.

It’s the reason that Brick & Barrel has a beer called Bitter Chief IPA.

And a Big Chief Double IPA.

And a Little Chief Pale Ale.

Any longtime Tribe fan will recognize the nod to Chief Wahoo, the smiling cartoon Indian mascot that has taken a backseat in recent years because of criticism over racial insensitivity.

With the Cleveland close to clinching its first Central Division crown in about a decade, Spiesman, 36, who grew up in Painesville, is ecstatic with the team this year and decided to brew a beer to celebrate.

“This is awesome, right?” he says. “Even though we’re losing some great players [to injury], it’ll just make it even sweeter when we get there.”

The Central Run Imperial Red goes on draft Friday night (Sept. 23) at the Cleveland brewery. The beer is 8.9 percent alcohol by volume and 95 IBUs, a reference to the 1995 Division win.

Spiesman described the beer as “a big malt and hop forward ruby-amber ale. Great hop aroma from the late additions and dry hopping of Mosaic and Simcoe.”

Central Run Imperial Red also will make an appearance at the Celebration of the Hop festival Saturday (Sept. 24) at Fat Head’s Brewery and Saloon in North Olmsted.

Brick & Barrel isn’t the only Cleveland-area brewery with a baseball-themed beer. Great Lakes Brewing Co. offers Rally Drum Red Ale and JAFB Wooster Brewery won a silver medal last year at the Great American Beer Festival with Rain Delay IPA.

Categories: Beer News

Five questions with ... Mike Rockwell

Fri, 09/23/2016 - 7:43am

Mike Rockwell is the brewer and chief marketing executive for Pigskin Brew Co. in Gahanna. The brewery and gastropub, as the name implies, carries a sport theme.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I became a brewer so I can share my creations with the world. I love to experiment with our pilot system and try to manipulate hops, yeast and grain to obtain the flavors I want. For example, I brewed a wheat-based porter and fermented it warm with hefeweizen yeast in order to stress it out and produce banana flavors to complement the chocolate you get from the grains. I also thoroughly enjoy the history of brewing and try to brew historical styles as much as I can.

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

A: I don't think there is a concern there, at least in the near and intermediate future. I just checked Beer Advocate and there are 20 breweries in Columbus with a population similar to Portland, Ore., and they have over 80 breweries and are doing just fine. I think we have plenty of room physically to grow and plenty of people who want new and exciting beers!

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

A: This is a very broad question! I dont want to be cliche but do your research and know the numbers! We wasted a lot of time in the beginning on trivial things like tap handles and a logo. These things are important but you definitely need to get your business plan in order first and your plan to execute it.

I always say this industry is family and we always take care of each other, especially the new guys. Talk to other brewers who have survived a start-up, they will gladly tell you the pitfalls and lessons learned. I actually have a couple of meetings set up to just talk and have a beer with some people who are looking to get into this awesome industry.

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

A: Our best-selling beer is Undefeated IPA. A big population of beer drinkers love hops and that is what they seek. We think it is important to have a hop forward IPA as a core beer, something that is familiar and less intimidating to start with. I call this beer a "menu browsing beer." You drink it while you look at the rest of the beer list to make your next choice. Our second and third best-sellers are Laces Out Hefeweizen and Cream of the Crop Cream Ale, both mild lawnmower beers you can keep drinking because they are so refreshing.

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

A: Gosh, that is a hell of a question. I wish I could have created Dale's Pale Ale. I love that beer and it is my go-to "menu browsing beer" if it is on tap or in a can ... especially if it is in a can. I even have one of their tap handles on my kegorator at home. That beer and brewery is one of my inspirations when it comes to brewing. After I crack open the can and take the first sip, it makes me think "This is a damn good beer" and my worries from the day are gone. THIS is what we want to bring to people with our beer, something so refreshing and satisfying that their day is just instantly better.

Editor's note: The Five questions with ... feature appears each Friday. If you'd like to participate or would like to nominate someone to answer five questions, send me an email at rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.

Categories: Beer News

Land-Grant to host party for second anniversary

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 12:12pm

Land-Grant Brewing Co. will celebrate its second anniversary Oct. 22 with a party that will benefit Franklinton Gardens.

The event, set to begin at noon and free to attend, will feature live music, food trucks and special beers such as Bourbon Barrel Aged Deep Search Baltic Porter, Bomb-Pop 1862 Ale, Double Dry Hopped Greenskeeper, Son of a Mudder Brown Ale with Hoof Hearted Coffee, and an Imperial Brown Ale aged in Maple Bourbon Barrels from Middle West Spirits. The Columbus brewery also is planning to release other limited beers.

In addition to its own beers, Land-Grant invited the Daily Growler truck to pour guest beers from Actual, Little Fish, MadTree, Hoof Hearted, Wolf’s Ridge, Seventh Son, Rockmill, Rhinegeist and North High.

"It’s been said time and time again that the brewing community is a tight-knit one. And that’s absolutely true," Land-Grant President Adam Benner said in a prepared statement. "We’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate, conspire and raise pints with a lot of fine folks over the past two years, and this is one small way of showing our gratitude. In many ways it feels like the doors opened yesterday, but in others it feels like we’ve been at this for a while. Either way it’s been a wild couple of years."

For more details, click here.

The party will include live performances from Colin Mills, The Interns, Doc Robinson, and Yellow Paper Planes. The Ohio State vs. Penn State football game also will be shown on a giant screen outdoors.

Categories: Beer News

Brick & Barrel to host Smoke, Fire & Ales event

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 11:05am

Brick & Barrel will host its inaugural Smoke, Fire & Ales — an event showcasing barbecue and a custom sauce made with the Cleveland brewery’s beer — starting at noon Oct. 8.

Jason Henkel, whose title at the brewery is “general instigator,” thought up the idea after having a smoked meat bash at Brick & Barrel for his 40th birthday in July. His party featured smoker Lee Massey from Akron.

“This guy travels all around the country competing — and it was amazing,” Henkel said in an email. “So, as folks tend to do at pubs … we got to thinking — we should have an event for Cleveland where we have this amazing smoked meat — get the whole neighborhood smelling like the smoker, etc. ... So, we picked a date and we were off to the races.  

“The smoker (Lee Massey) then requested that we make a craft BBQ sauce for the event to ensure maximum pairing with the meets…  and so this Friday we are doing our test tasting of his first iteration of the sauce. Very excited to get this going — we’d like to make it an annual event ...  if turnout supports it.”

In addition to the barbecue, there will be a run (or walk) starting at 1 p.m. Brick & Barrel beers will be available for purchase, as well.

Tickets are $25 and include a T-shirt, Smoke, Fire & Ales pint glass, barbecue and entry into the run.

For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Beer story sampler

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 10:21am

Here are some interesting Ohio beer stories:

-- The Dayton Daily News reports that FigLeaf Brewing Co. in Middletown will open Oct. 8. The brewery plans to have four or five beers available that day. To read the full story, click here.

-- Drink Up Columbus previews the 11th annual Ohio Craft Brew Festival at the North Market in Columbus. The event, whicih will feature about 70 beers from around the state, is Saturday. (Sept. 24) To read the full story, click here.

-- The Full Pint reports that Rhinegeist Brewery is expanding distribution to Massachusetts. To read the full story, click here.

-- Pat's Pints reports on "The Reinvention of North High Brewing." "This is the story of how one Central Ohio brewery, North High Brewing, transformed itself from a small neighborhood brewery to a major player on the Ohio craft beer scene," Pat Woodward writes. To read the full story, click here.

-- The Athens News reports on Devil's Kettle Brewing Co.'s Pints with a Purpose program that raises money for a local nonprofit each month. "It's great because it allows for an organization to get information out about what they do, and money is donated from the sale of every beer, whether the person drinking it knows that or not," organizer Sarah Nelson says. To read the full story, click here.

-- Paste Magazine blind taste tested 55 Oktoberfests and marzens. Three Ohio-made beers made the top 20, with Samuel Adams Octoberfest coming in at 19th, Great Lakes Oktoberfest at 11th and Columbus Festbier at 9th. To read the full list, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake to host Market Garden

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 2:27pm

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake will host a five-course beer pairing dinner with Market Garden Brewery at 6 p.m. Oct. 7.

The event will include a beer tasting reception and presentation from Market Garden and live entertainment.

The dinner will feature Prosperity Wheat paired with domestic and imported cheeses and crackers; Progress Pilsner with black bean slider; Trouble Honey IPA with shave brussel sprout and kale salad; Old Zahm Oktoberfest with braised short rib; and Franklin Castle Pumpkin Ale with ginger bread pudding.

The Beer Tasting Dinner Package includes the tasting, dinner, live entertainment, an overnight stay and breakfast for two the next day, beginning at $270. The price of the event only without an overnight stay is $129 per couple.

For more details or reservations, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Stow-Munroe Falls Community Foundation to host Craft Beer Fest

Wed, 09/21/2016 - 8:28am

The Stow-Munroe Falls Community Foundation will host its fourth annual Craft Beer Fest from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 7 at Heritage Barn in Stow.

The event will showcase beer from MadCap, Ohio, Rhinegeist and Anderson Valley and feature an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Tickets are $40 per person or $75 per couple. For tickets and reservations, call 330-677-0850 or email kurlys@sbcglobal.net.

Categories: Beer News

New Belgium Clips Beer & Film Tour to visit Columbus

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 2:13pm

New Belgium Brewing's annual Clips Beer & Film Tour will visit Columbus on Friday. (Sept. 23)

The free event at Columbus Commons features short films and small-batch beers with 100 percent of the proceeds from beer sales going to Transit Columbus. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the films start at 9 p.m.

New Belgium has $3,000 during the Columbus event last year, and more than $659,000 overall for nonprofits.

The beer list features: Fat Pale Ale, Bretta IPA, Fat Hoppy Ale, Fat Sour Apple Ale, La Folie, Tart Lychee, Pumpkick, Transatlantique Kriek, Le Terroir, Slow Riad, Fat Tire, Snapshot, Rampant, Ranger, Abbey, Film Noir and Citradelic.

“This year is actually New Belgium’s 25th anniversary, so we’re doing things a little differently,” Christie Catania, Clips national special events manager, said in a prepared statement. “We asked 10 filmmakers to incorporate the year 1991 into their film, as a way to salute the year that New Belgium got its start. The films do a great job of bringing us back to the glory days of big hair, questionable fashion, and outdated technology!”

Admission is free. A three-ounce sample of beer is $1.50 and a 12-ounce beer is $6.

For more detals, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Fat Head's releases beer list for Celebration of the Hop

Tue, 09/20/2016 - 11:23am

The Celebration of the Hop — a beer festival devoted to India pale ales — returns Saturday (Sept. 24) to Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon in North Olmsted.

The lineup features more than 20 breweries. Fat Head's released the beer list this week:

Brick and Barrel: Bitter Chief IPA, Imperial Red IPA.

The Brew Kettle: White Rajah IPA, El Lupulo Libre DIPA, All For One Session IPA, Old 21 DIPA.

Butcher and the Brewer: Stop Hop Kaboom IPA, Passenger Seat DIPA, Fresh Hop Simplcity.

Columbus: Thunderlips Pale, Creeper Imperial IPA.

Cornerstone: Seven IPA, 3 ½ Session IPA.

50 West: ShRed IPA, Punch You in the EyePA.

Four String: Switchblade IPA, Rectifier DIPA.

Goldhorn: Goldhorn IPA, Fire Plug Smoked Pale.

Jackie O’s: Sophia – Mandala Simcoe DIPA, Ohio Pale Ale.

JAFB Wooster: Rain Delay IPA, JAF IPA, Get Roasted Coffee IPA, Brighter Daze Rye IPA.

Kindred: Farmhouse Pale, Waves APA.

Lager Heads: High 5 IPA, Relaxer Session IPA, Bed Head Red, Children of the Hop CASK.

Land-Grant: Greenskeeper Session, Neutron DIPA.

Lavery: Dulachan IPA, Apricot Amarillo IPA.

MadTree: Galaxy High DIPA, Blood Orange Psychopathy IPA.

Millersburg: French Ridge IPA, Currant Event.

North High: Hella Ella Pale, IPA.

Old 1st Ward: Short Sleeves Hoppy Wheat, Streaker 6.0 IPA.

Platform: MF Hop Machine, Lair Slayer Black IPA.

Seventh Son: Proliferous DIPA.

Sibling Revelry: Swing State Session IPA, IPA, IIPA.

Thin Man: No Pressure IPA, Bliss DIPA.

3 Floyds: Lazer Snake IPA, Permanent Funeral DIPA, Zombie Dust.

Wolf’s Ridge: Coconut Howling Moon DIPA, Driftwood Session IPA, Cask – Double Dry Hop Earthrise IPA.

Willoughby: Perseids Pale, Supernova DIPA, Cosmic IPA, Hazy Days Hoppy Wheat.

There are two sessions: 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $40.

For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Stark County Library to host author of Ohio's Craft Beers

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 1:51pm

The Lake Community Branch of the Stark County District Library will host a talk about craft brewing with Paul Gaston, author of Ohio's Craft Beers, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. (Sept. 20)

The evening also will include a question and answer period, and book signing.

Gaston's 243-page book, which was released earlier this year, profiles more than 40 of Ohio’s larger and influential breweries, offering the backstory of each and recommending beers to try. (For more details about the book, click here.)

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended because of space. For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News

Five questions with ... Jared Lewinski

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 8:09am

Jared Lewinski is the head brewer at Listermann Brewing Co., a production brewery and tasting room in Cincinnati. He took over the operation earlier this year after serving as the brewer at the New York Beer Project in Lockport, N.Y. Listermann also produces the Triple Digit brand.

Question: Why did you become a brewer?

Answer: I became a brewer because it became obvious to me, at one point, that it was the only thing I wanted to ever be. It’s part science, part art, and is historically one of the most important and fascinating things that has evolved alongside humanity, and played a major role in shaping human civilization. It’s been an integral part of human communities, and that, and many other facts, made me feel exceedingly excited about life and created my drive to become a brewer.

Q: You started at Listermann in August. Talk a little bit about the Cincinnati craft beer scene and what you've discovered about beer in the Queen City.

A: I’ve found that there is a very awesome local Cincinnati craft scene, with a ton of great beers, including a wide, varied style portfolio. Alongside that, the community seems to be pretty amazing, and overly close knit and willing to help each other out if anyone needs anything.

Q: You grew up in Ontario, Canada; graduated from the Niagara College Brewing Program; and worked at several U.S. breweries. So with your beer experiences in both countries, explain the differences and/or similarities between Canadian and American craft beer?

A: I don’t really know where the rumor started that I am Canadian, but it’s amusing. I’m originally from New Jersey, but did definitely graduate from the Niagara College Brewmaster and Brewing Operations Management program. The program had an operational brewery on campus, and I also worked at a brewery in Niagara-on-the-Lake called Silversmith.

As for the differences in the craft industry, I’d say a general rule would be that there is a five- to 10-year lag in trends and market attitudes between the U.S. and Canada, though it seems to be growing a bit smaller as craft consumers grow in Canada. British Columbia and Quebec are a bit ahead of the rest of the provinces, and definitely are making quality beer. However, full disclosure, the U.S. is leading the way in the craft industry by miles, from what I can tell.

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

A: I believe our best-selling beer is Nutcase, and as for its popularity I can hazard a guess, as I am new to the market here. I think it does well as the flavors are a great combo, and it is also a niche type of style, and has that classic Listermann quality that has served the brewery well for years. It won a medal at GABF so we must be doing something right with it!

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

A: The first beer that comes to mind, that I wish I had been lucky enough to have created, would have to be Duchess de Bourgogne, a Flanders Red. To me, this is such a phenomenal beer; aged in barrels, blended, funky, tart and acidic, yet fruity and quirky as hell. It is a very refreshing beer for me, yet it also has a nice full quality to it, and a very complex flavor profile that is fun to try and pull apart as you enjoy it. Aside from that, the other beer that I wish I had made would be Schnider and Sohns Aventinus, as that is, simply put, the beer that made me fall in love with beer and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Categories: Beer News

Rotary Club of Canton promises "rare and unusual" beers

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 11:19am

The Rotary Club of Canton is promising some rare and unusual beers Saturday (Sept. 17) at its second annual Oktoberfest on Market Square in downtown Canton.

Among them are Canton's Mandarina Hopped Saison, Platform's Yammy Yammy Spiced Ale and Royal Docks' Spiced Oddity, a collaboration with a Romanian brewery, the organization said in a news release.

To read the full news release, see below:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(September 14, 2016)

Rare & Unusual Beers to be had at The Rotary Club of Canton's 2nd Annual Oktoberfest set for

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Rotary Club of Canton is hosting the 2nd Annual Canton Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 17, 2016 on Market Square in downtown Canton. A wide variety of special craft beers will be available beginning at 2pm and running until 7pm.

Featured at this year’s event will be some specialty brews that are unavailable anywhere else.  Canton Brewing Company will be pouring their Oktoberfest Marzen Lager and their Mandarina Hopped Saison. Platform Brewing Company is providing their New Cleveland Pilsner/Pale Ale and their Yammy Yammy Spiced Ale. Royal Docks will be bringing their Prodigal Son IPA as well as a special beer called Spiced Oddity. This beer is a collaboration between Royal Docks and Ground Zero Beer in Romania. Other breweries include Maize Valley, R Shea Brewing Company, Scenic Brewing Company, Millersburg Brewing Company, Mucky Duck Brewing Company, Ohio Brewing Company and Thirsty Dog.

Also on tap will be Southern Tier’s Pumking, Great Lakes Nosferatu and Oktoberfest, Ballast Point’s Sculpin and Pumpkin Down, Ayinger’s Oktoberfest and Market Garden’s Old Zahm.

Biery Cheese and Brewster Cheese are providing samplings that are free with admission. Food will also be for sale. Jesse’s Best BBQ will be cooking up pulled pork sandwiches and cole slaw. Stray Dog Cart is preparing bratwurst, hot dogs, sauerkraut, hot German potato salad and spiced apples. For those who just have the munchies, chips and pretzels will be available.

Tickets are now available to purchase at the presale price of $40 online at cantonrotary.org. Tickets are also for sale at Canton Brewing Company, Royal Docks Brewing Company and Scenic Brewing Company. Tickets will also be available at the gate the day of the event for the same price. A $5 designated driver ticket is also available.

Come early and stay all day. Entertainment begins at 2:00 with the Del Sinchak Band. The traditional “tapping of the keg” will take place at 4:30 with the help of the Cleveland Donauschwäbische Blaskapelle. Make sure you vote for your favorite brewery and stay for the announcement of who will win the title at 6:45! Official Oktoberfest t shirts and pins will also be for sale.

The event is sponsored by: Canton Repository, Young Truck Sales, Hall Kistler, Sol Harris Day, Canton Chair, Frito Lay, Sysco, Davies Drugs, Ron Miller & Co., Beese Fulmer, Farmers Bank, Premier Bank, Quonset Hut, Abbott Electric, Cain Motors, Consumers National Bank, Paragraphics and Westfield Bank.

The proceeds from Oktoberfest will benefit the Canton Rotary Charitable Fund. The Rotary Club of Canton has donated over $100,000 to the following organizations for the 2015-16 Rotary year: the City of Canton for the Market Square project, RYLA, Rotary Scouts, Crime Prevention Project, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Philomatheon Society, Stark County District Library, Salvation Army, Akron-Canton Food Bank and the American Red Cross.

Categories: Beer News

Pigskin Brewing to release first bomber

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 8:29am

Pigskin Brewing Co. in Gahanna will host its inaugural bomber release party from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, (Sept. 17) with 12 Gauge Double IPA getting the first bomber treatment.

Brewer Mike Rockwell said the beer, which clocks in at 9.9 percent alcohol, has a cult following and that's why it will be the first. "It has a lot of tropical fruit and grapefruit flavor notes and is dangerously smooth," he said.

Pigskin decided to start releasing bombers "because they are shareable." The brewery plans to host bomber releases on a regular basis with Autumn Wind Russian Imperial Stout set for late October.

12 Gauge bottles will go for $9.99 and there is a maximum of two per person.

The brewery also is selling a VIP package for $36 that includes two bottles of 12 Gauge, a Championship Flatbread and flight of four rare Pigskin beers, including Triple Bonus Barley Wine and Drunken Porterback, which were both aged in Four Roses Bourbon barrels.

For more details, click here.

Categories: Beer News