The course will focus on the science of brewing while providing tips on homebrewing. Students will brew and bottle a batch of beer during the course, offered over four Thursday nights (Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25).
Classes will be taught by Tim Bowman, a political science instructor and homebrewer. They will be held at Tri-C’s Hospitality Management Center of Excellence, 180 Euclid Ave. on Public Square.
The cost is $149 and includes parking. Students must be at least 21 years old to participate.
The annual beer tasting — hosted by the Akron RubberDucks — will feature a “QuAkron” area filled with 18 Akron-area brewers.
“It’s been important to focus on Ohio and the local breweries,” RubberDucks spokesman Adam Liberman said about the event’s success. “That’s really helped draw people out.”
The QuAkron area will showcase the following breweries: Akronym, Aqueduct, Canton, Fat Head’s, Headtrip, Hop Tree, Hoppin’ Frog, Ignite, Lager Heads, Lock 15, Maize Valley, Missing Mountain, Mucky Duck, Paradigm Shift, R. Shea, Royal Docks, Sandy Springs and Thirsty Dog.
The Festival of Beers, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday Sept.22 at the downtown baseball stadium, 300 S. Main St., will showcase 40 breweries overall and more than 150 beers.
In addition to the beer, there will be music and food. Pretzel necklaces will be sold to benefit Akron Children’s Hospital. Festival-goers will receive a commemorative sampling glass.
Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the gate. For more details or to buy tickets, click here.
Here’s the rundown of the brewing permits pending before the Ohio Division of Liquor Control. These could be for new breweries or existing breweries that are expanding with new locations. I’ve also added hyperlinks when I could find working websites or Facebook pages.
This list isn’t a comprehensive list of every brewery planning to open in the state. It’s just the ones that have filed paperwork with the state. It also isn’t an indication of whether a brewery is open or not — just whether it has received its brewing license from the state.
An application for CLE Brewingin Warrensville Heights has been rejected; and an application for LLJ Bucks Brew LLC in Columbus has been canceled.
Here you go, sorted by region, and accurate as of the morning of Sept. 17:
Nick Scott is the founder and brewer at Wild Side Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids. Wild Side describes itself as “An American Farmhouse Brewery” and focuses on barrel-aged wild and sour ales.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: I started homebrewing many moons ago (10 years?) with a Mr.Beer kit and the How to Brew book by John Palmer. That first beer was pretty awful by most standards, but I really took to the craft and started diving into the culture of beer and fermentation throughout our history. Beer’s historic past and how it has been a part of human culture for about as long as we have been reading and writing things down really amazed me.
It was fascinating to me that something so important and tied to our entire history and culture wasn’t being taught in schools or common knowledge amongst us all. Even now, when most of us think of beer, it’s all Silver Bullet trains, Clydesdale horses and basically one giant national red, white and blue brand of beer that comes in one style. It was quite shocking to me how surrounded by beer we all were while simultaneously knowing and understanding almost nothing about it or its historical ties to us all.
I started brewing because I like beer. I am a brewer still because its history and future are endlessly interesting to me. I hope my passion helps put the passion into others and continue to “spread the gospel” so to speak.
Q: The Wild Side name gives away your brewery’s focus. Why did you decide to concentrate on sour and wild beers?
A: If you dive back into beer history (our history), you don’t have to go too far to find a time where none of us knew what yeast and bacteria really were. Everything back then that was unexplained was just part of the spirit world and attributed to those forces. Vikings used to take wooden totems and ceremoniously dip them into their honey wort and pray to the gods to get something to drink. If the totem was “blessed by the gods” and made a good batch, it was kept and passed down through the generations of that family to make beer/wine for any of their celebrations.
We know now that a blend of yeast and good bacteria were living on those totems and when they dipped them into the wort it inoculated the batch and a few weeks or months later they had something fun to drink! You can find examples of all this in different regions and cultures throughout the world.
Unfortunately, many ancient styles have been lost to time. The spirit of that is what really captured my attention. Each tribe basically had its own style/flavor/culture for fermentation based off the seasons and its specific regional terroir.
It’s my motivation to bring this aspect back to American beer. Locally made, locally sourced and locally cultured beer to create a regional specific character. When people come here, they will experience something unique to us. There is not enough of this in today’s global market.
You can travel around the world today and find the same exact restaurants and beer in every city. While that’s OK on the surface, it comes at the price of a lot of small and beautifully unique places disappearing. Those places are what excite me when I am out exploring whatever new area I’m in. So that’s why we focus on barrel-aged wild ales … that and because they taste amazing.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends now?
A: My favorite trend is all the new craft beer breweries and fans that are being created every day. My least favorite trend is that too many of them seem to focus on growth in size instead of growth in quality.
There’s a lot more craft beer out there now. Unfortunately, a lot of that has been people jumping on a wave and creating marketing schemes instead of better beer. Fortunately, it’s clear that the real craft beer consumers are very knowledgeable and I think the core of this movement will weed out the places with the wrong focus in time.
Q: What’s your best-selling beer and why do you think it’s so popular?
A: Sugar Kriek. It’s our barrel-aged and fermented golden ale with our house mixed culture and blended with a variety of tart cherries. We are fortunate in this area to have such a great cherry source nearby. Because of that, we make a lot of this beer in different barrel varieties. It’s popular because it’s unique, refreshing, bright, sour, slightly sweet and plenty funky … That and because everyone loves cherries.
Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/brewed and why?
A: I am very much living my dream now, but if I had to pick one I would say anything brewed by Hill Farmstead. I have been able to get my hands on a few of those beers and I always marvel at them. That and because I really love Shaun Hill’s philosophy. I built and started this brewery in a barn on my land just like he did. I share a lot of the same views and principals he has expressed in interviews about beer and business in general. He blazed a path that I am now following, and I admire him for it.
Editor’s note: The Five questions with … feature appears each Friday. If you would like to participate or would like to nominate someone to participate, send me an email at email@example.com.
Phoenix Brewing Co. will host its fourth annual Oktoberfest celebration from 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday. (Sept. 15)
The Mansfield brewery will offer 26 beers on tap, showcasing many German-style and fall beers from Phoenix and other Ohio breweries including Akronym, Millersburg and MadTree.
The event also will feature traditional German food for Truckin Trav’s Street Food. There will be live music from 4 to 7 p.m. by the North Coast Mix polka band, stein-hoist competition at 3 p.m., and a pretzel necklace competition at 7 p.m.
“It is time to begin embracing fall beer styles with more malt presence, spices, and fuller flavors and to celebrate the hop and grain harvests,” co-founder and head brewer Duncan Macfarlane said in a prepared statement. “In addition to many German-style beers, we will also have our Century IPA Batch 006 fresh-hopped with Cascade hops from local hop farm-For the Love of Hops. The recipe was designed by winners of our homebrew competition, Jim Hill and Matt Dudley. It fits perfectly with our Oktoberfest because it showcases the local fresh hop harvest.”
The brewery and taproom — located in Cleveland’s cradle of craft brewing neighborhood Ohio City — made the announcement this week on Facebook.
The brewery was founded by Vaughn Stewart, the former brewer at the defunct Portside Distillery in Cleveland, and Luke Brevoort — two friends who met while working at the college radio station at Ohio University.
Scene magazine described the brewery this way: “Differentiating itself from both the rough and ready garage-style brewhouse and the cavernous factory-size production facility, Bookhouse is delightfully cozy, with fine carpentry softening exposed brick walls, tile floors and tin ceilings. Bookshelves line the walls, lending a snug reading room vibe to the 100-seat space. Stools and chairs are adorned with brass plaques bearing the names of Kickstarter donors.”
“We really want to differentiate ourselves in terms of the vibe of the place, to sort of be the calm within the storm,” Brevoort told Scene magazine. “Places can get a little crazy on weekend nights and we want to be a place that’s a little lower key.”
Bookhouse is located in a building at 1526 W. 25th St. that once housed the Baehr Brewery, which operated from 1866 to 1901. Brewer Jacob Baehr died seven years after opening his brewery and his wife Magdalena ran the operation while also raising their eight children.
The building sits north of the West Side Market and south of Detroit Road. Bookhouse promises “spectacular views of downtown Cleveland” looking over the Cuyahoga River valley.
Bookhouse joins a bustling craft brewery scene in the area that already features Great Lakes, Market Garden, Nano Brew, Bad Tom Smith, Saucy, Platform, Hansa, Forest City and Brick and Barrel.
— Cleveland.com reports on Charlie Price, the man who literally built Great Lakes Brewing Co. Price recently visited the Cleveland brewery for its 30th anniversary and recounted working on three brewing systems. To read the full story, click here.
— The Gnarly Gnome reports on the upcoming one-year anniversary for Sons of Toil Brewing in Mt. Orab. The four-day celebration begins Sept. 20. To read the full story, click here.
— Cleveland.com reports that Platform Beer Co. won the People’s Choice award at this year’s Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest. To read the full story, click here.
— Columbus Business First reports that Crooked Can Brewing Co. from Orlando wants to open a satellite location in Hilliard. To read the full story, click here.
— The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Braxton Brewing Co. in Covington, Ky., is collaborating again with Cincinnati’s Graeter’s Ice Cream for Graeter’s Pumpkin Pie beer. To read the full story, click here.
— The Gnarly Gnome reports on the one-year anniversary for 16 Lots Brewing in Mason. The three-day celebration begins Friday. (Sept. 14) To read the full story, click here.
That was assured when breweries and bars showcased on the new Canton-based craft beer trail — and tourism partners — pulled their support Monday. (Sept. 10)
But it also has been confirmed on the Passport Brew Tour website, where the following message now appears: “The Passport Brew Tour has ended for the 2018 calendar year. Follow us on social media for the next tour.”
To recap, a misogynistic meme was posted on the official Passport Brew Tour Facebook page Sunday providing 12 reasons “Why Beer Is Better Than a Woman.” The reasons ranged from the vulgar to the chauvinistic.
It sparked swift negative reaction on social media and prompted consumer complaints to the 20 participating breweries and bars which were caught off guard by the post. The majority of the breweries and bars posted messages on their Facebook pages condemning the meme and announcing the fact that they wouldn’t participate in the trail anymore.
Tourism agencies in Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties, which had promoted the program, also dropped their support, saying there was no way to come back from the damage done.
Lunar Cow Publishing of New Franklin, which launched the program, apologized three separate times online Monday, eventually blaming the meme on an outside agency in charge of the social media. Lunar Cow hasn’t responded to the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com to a request for comment.
The Passport Brew Tour began Sept. 1 and was scheduled to run through December. It lasted only about a week.
What’s unclear is whether any of the tourism partners and breweries paid to participate and are seeking a refund. At first, Lunar Cow had asked breweries to pay $2,000 to be part of the program. The company then dropped the fee to $1,000 and then allowed some to participate for free.
Andrew Marburger, co-founder and brewer at Lockport Brewery in Bolivar, said his brewery received an invoice for $1,000 but won’t pay it. Several others said they were participating for free.
Dee Grossman, the executive director of the Tuscarawas County tourism agency, and Martha Starkey, the head of the Wayne County agency, said their agencies didn’t pay anything toward the program. The Stark agency hadn’t responded to an email as of early Wednesday afternoon.
The Passport Brew Tour was set to showcase the following breweries and nonbreweries in Ashland, Coshocton, Holmes, Richland, Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties: Canton, BJ’s, the Crush House at Gervasi Vineyard, Fat Head’s, Hoodletown, Ignite, JAFB, Jen’s Place, Laxton Hollow, Lockport, Magic City, Mucky Duck, Muskellunge, Paradigm Shift, Sandy Springs, Shale, Sublime Smoke, Thirsty Dog, Uniontown and Wooly Pig Farm.
Organizers had said they expected more than 10,000 people to participate in the trail, which involved people taking a “passport” to the stops and collecting stamps to earn a T-shirt for visiting all the locations.
As friends Brad McCleary and Walt Chrysler toured craft breweries, they found themselves drawn to the camaraderie of the industry.
“We really enjoy the culture and the atmosphere and the people involved in the craft brewing industry,” McCleary said. “It was one of those things where we were sitting around and we thought maybe we should make a run at it.”
So that’s what they’re doing.
Galena Brewing Co. — a 2.5-barrel nanobrewery in downtown Johnstown, a small community of about 5,000 people in Licking County — will host its grand opening from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. (Sept. 15)
The brewery and tasting room will have eight beers on draft for the event: an IPA, double IPA, blonde, wheat ale, stout, New England-style IPA, milkshake IPA and pineapple pale ale.
McCleary said their goal is to listen to the customers when it comes to brewing different styles.
“Instead of us saying we have these great recipes, we want people to let us know the direction we need to go,” he said.
Galena doesn’t offer food, but will have food trucks occasionally. It also wants to partner with local restaurants.
The brewery, which will be open only on the weekends to start, offers its beer on draft only right now. McCleary, a performance excellence leader in the health care industry, and Chrysler, a regional manager for a transportation company, would like to distribute its beer locally on draft and in cans in the future.
“It’s just a matter of time,” McCleary said.
Of course, they first want to support their tasting room.
McCleary and Chrysler both originally hail from Galena. That explains the name of the brewery — in part.
“It’s kind of a double meaning,” McCleary said. “We’re both partial to Galena hops and have that as a signature hop in a lot of our beers.”
As for the bear on the brewery logo? He said their children attend a school district with a bear mascot and it just fit their style.
Galena joins a healthy craft brewery scene in Licking. The county also is home to 1487 Brewery, Buckeye Lake, Bucks, DankHouse, Earthworks, Granville, Homestead, Three Tigers and Trek.
Unhitched to take over former restaurant, lanes, offering craft beer, farm-to-table menu in quiet town
By Rick Armon
Louisville is trading bowling for craft beer.
Unhitched Brewing Co. is setting up shop in the former Louisville Bowl Restaurant & Bar downtown, with plans to open the brewpub next summer in the quiet Stark County community known as “Constitution Town.”
It’s not just a passion for craft beer that’s driving founders and unabashed Louisville supporters Adam Longacre, Ben Biery and George Kiko, along with brewmaster Garret Conley. They have a grander vision for their five-barrel brewpub that involves lifting up the often-overlooked community.
“We’re hoping we will be a catalyst for change for the city and bring people into town,” Longacre said during a recent interview at the 6,288-square-foot bowling alley, 115 S. Mill St.
Louisville — pronounced with the “s” as opposed to its Kentucky counterpart — is a town of more than 9,000 people located less than 20 minutes east of Canton. It rarely makes the news and it’s not seen as a tourist destination.
But craft beer is a significant tourism driver around the country, as breweries in smaller Ohio communities such as Maria Stein (Moeller Brew Barn), Minerva (Sandy Springs), Columbiana (Birdfish) and Athens (Jackie O’s, Little Fish and Devil’s Kettle) are proving.
Longacre, who runs a technology consulting business in Louisville, is a 39-year-old bearded homebrewer who always dreamed of opening a brewery. He enlisted the help of friends Biery, 42, of Biery Cheese fame and Kiko, 45 of Kiko Auctions fame to help with Unhitched.
Together, they hired Conley, 33, of Granger Township who formerly served as the head production brewer for Platform Beer Co. in Cleveland.
There’s plenty of work ahead of them.
They plan to gut the eight-lane bowling alley — sorry, the actual lanes are disappearing — as part of the $500,000-plus project. They are still working through the decor but it likely will be a rustic farmhouse style, along with being family friendly.
Unhitched owns not only the bowling alley, but also the attached two-story building situated along East Main Street. The partners expect the front portion will remain as retail storefronts. There’s plenty of extra space upstairs that — who knows — could be turned into an Airbnb one day.
The second floor once housed an 18-room hotel. “Or brothel, we really don’t know,” Biery said with a laugh.
Longacre, Biery and Kiko are paying homage to the first brewery in town with the name Unhitched. Louisville was home to a brewery starting around 1865. It later became the George Dilger Brewery and then Louisville Brewing Co. before closing in 1905.
Dilger used to deliver beer around town with a horse and carriage. Unhitched is unhitching that history.
Unhitched, which also will employ a one-barrel pilot brewing system, will focus initially on feeding draft beer to its taproom and not distributing, although they are open to serving the local community down the road. There also are no immediate plans to bottle or can.
Unhitched plans to offer eight of its own beers, along with a couple guest taps. The brewpub will have a full liquor license and will serve cider, liquor, wine and craft cocktails, as well.
Conley, who began his brewing career at Half Acre Beer Co. in Chicago, described himself as a traditionalist when it comes to styles. He wants to produce approachable and clean beer.
He’s also a classically trained chef and a trained butcher. He and the partners are interested in using as many local ingredients as possible, from the grains in the beer to the meat and cheeses on the food menu.
As for that food menu, they are shooting for farm-to-table. It will be simple, with an emphasis on heavy appetizers. People should expect wood-fired pizza and a charcuterie board, for example. And yes, Biery Cheese will be served.
Louisville isn’t on the beaten path. Longacre knows that the brewpub will have to produce not only high-quality beer and food, but also provide a rewarding experience to lure people to the community and encourage them to make the trip again.
“It all goes back to the experience,” he said.
Stow event returns
The Stow-Munroe Falls Community Foundation will host its sixth annual Craft Beer Fest from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Heritage Barn at Silver Springs Park, 5238 Young Road, Stow.
The fundraiser has grown from one brewery in its first year — MadCap — to six. In addition to MadCap, the other participating breweries this year are Missing Mountain, HiHo, McArthur’s, Hop Tree and Head Trip.
The event will include music, a raffle for various prizes and an all-you-can-eat Oktoberfest buffet featuring bratwurst and sauerkraut, sandwiches, soft pretzels and desserts. There also will be the Hammerschlager Challenge, with people driving spikes into a railroad tie.
Tickets are $40 or $20 for food only. Proceeds benefit the foundation.
The 330 Brewing Cooperative will host its Brats & Brews beer tasting from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday ►Sept. 16◄at Aqueduct Brewing, 529 Grant St., Akron.
The event, which is free to attend, will feature bratwursts and at least five beers made by 330 Brewing Cooperative members.
Pints for Prostates
Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. is again supporting Pints for Prostates’ Crowns for a Cure awareness campaign.
The Akron brewery will feature special bottle caps with the Pints for Prostates logo on the outside and messages on the inside on bottles of Barktoberfest, Labrador Lager and Blood Orange IPA this month.
“We have participated every year in this program,” Thirsty Dog co-owner John Najeway said. “We are all touched by someone fighting cancer or that has. This is another way to bring awareness. On a personal note, my father who is obviously a craft beer supporter also at age 93 is a prostate cancer survivor and endorses our efforts one pint at a time.”
More than 50 craft breweries around the United States are using the bottle caps from the nonprofit Pints for Prostates, which will distribute 4.8 million of them. It’s the fourth year for the program.
Beer drinkers who spot the special bottle caps are encouraged to tag photos on social media with #CrownsforaCure and @pints4prostates, along with the brewery name and location where the caps were found.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has been named one of four “2018 Beer Champions” by the Beer Institute.
The Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group announced the award last week. It also honored U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, and U.S. Reps. Ken Buck, R-Colorado, and Scott Peters, D-California.
They were recognized for “championing policies that provide tax relief for all brewers and beer importers and encouraged free trade,” the Beer Institute said. Portman authored an amendment to include temporary tax-relief provisions for brewers in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
It’s the second legislative award that Portman has received this year from the brewing industry. Earlier this year, the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association honored him with one of its Legislative Champion Awards.