The event, set for June 22 on the anniversary of the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire, involves a running/walking tour of Cleveland’s waterfront. Following the tour through the Scranton Flats, Innerbelt Overlook, Lake Link Centennial Trail, Irishtown Bend, and Redline Greenway, participants will finish at Merwin’s Wharf at Rivergate Park for a beer and music festival.
“Of course, you can’t make great beer without clean water, which is why Fat Head’s so strongly supports Share the River’s mission including common sense environmental regulations and investments in clean water infrastructure,” Fat Head’s said in a news release.
The brewery will pour four of its beers at the event: Trail Head Pale Ale, Bumble Berry Honey Blueberry Ale, Sunshine Daydream Session IPA and Starlight Lager.
P.J. Marley’s Restaurant & Pub will tap Beere De Garde, a 6.5 percent biere de garde (a strong ale) at 7 p.m. Saturday. (May 26) The beer was made with honey and white tea. Considering Medina is home of the Bees, the beer was named Beere de Garde.
In addition to P.J. Marley’s, the beer will be available at: On Tap, 17 Public Square, Thyme2, 111 Bistro, Santosuossos, Corkscrew Saloon, Johnny J’s, Johnny Malloy’s, Timberlodge, Galaxy Restaurant, Spunkmeyers, Sully’s Irish Pub, Buffalo Wild Wings Medina, JoJo’s Sports Bar and Amuse Euro Bistro.
“We are very excited about offering another great beer from Rhinegeist honoring our hometown’s bicentennial,” P.J. Marley’s owner Jon Stahl said in a prepared statement. “Medina is our home and we are proud to help celebrate both the county and city’s 200th birthday.”
The Cincinnati brewery was excited to offer an exclusive beer for Medina.
“With the history that lies within Rhinegeist and Medina as a city, it felt like a great opportunity to make this beer special to Medina,” brewery territory manager Andrew Pribonic said in a prepared statement. “Northeast Ohio has been a big part of our brewery’s success and we look forward to continue offering quality beer with a focus on innovation.”
It is ironic that a Cincinnati brewery made the bicentennial beer considering Medina is home to the award-winning Lager Heads Brewing Co. Lager Heads co-founder Matt Kiene said his brewery wasn’t asked to participate.
The Daily Meal — which didn’t rank the beers 1 through 101 — says it examined BeerAdvocate and RateBeer rankings and its own experience to develop the list.
“It doesn’t matter if you like a drink that’s sweet, bitter, refreshing, challenging, cold, or room temperature, there’s a beer out there for you,” the website says. “So in honor of the humble beer and all that it has become in the booming craft beer movement, we sought out the 101 best beers in America.”
The prize for completing the new passport program is a neon green fanny pack.
“We wanted to stand out and do something a little bit different and embrace something kind of obnoxious,” said Josh Dunn, the co-founder of the trail and Birdfish Brewing Co. in Columbiana.
The State Line Brewers Guild launched because breweries in the Youngstown and New Castle, Pa., areas realized they were squeezed between the craft brewing scenes in Cleveland, Akron and Pittsburgh. They wanted some love and attention.
That’s also why they devised the Ales & Trails path, which not only highlights seven breweries in Ohio and seven in Pennsylvania but also nearby bike trails. The brewers teamed up with the Rust Belt Revival Trail Coalition to help promote an active lifestyle and encourage folks to explore local bike trails. The group also is working with the blog Jimmy and Spade Eat to promote the path.
Dunn noted that if people are going to drink and ride a bicycle, they need to do it responsibly. The passport map includes the slogan: “Drink responsibly. Ride righteously.”
The response has been what you would expect for any new brewery trail — beer drinkers went bonkers. The program kicked off March 1 and the 5,000 maps were snapped up, leading to a second printing.
Here’s who’s on the trail this year (there already are new breweries lining up for 2019):
The Ales & Trails territory is huge, spanning six counties in two states. Dunn estimated it’s more than an hour’s drive from the northernmost location in Pennsylvania (Mortals Key) to the southwesternmost location in Ohio (Sandy Springs).
The good news about the State Line Brewers Guild trail is you don’t have to complete the passport program in a calendar year to get the prize. Whenever you finish, you finish.
But the prize isn’t guaranteed. Whatever prize is available when you complete the trail is the one you receive, and the group could decide to offer a different prize next year.
In other words, get your neon green fanny pack while you can.
The 10-barrel production brewery, tasting room and eatery is located at 2811 Front St. in Cuyahoga Falls on the border of Silver Lake and along the Cuyahoga River.
“Stressful. But good,” co-founder Keith McFarlane said about how he feels about the impending opening.
Missing Mountain will be the third brewery to open in the community, joining HiHO and McArthur’s. Ohio Brewing also plans to open. Interestingly, all four will be located on Front Street.
Starting June 7 — that’s a Thursday — the regular Missing Mountain hours will be: 4 to 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; 4 to 11 p.m. Thursday; 2 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The annual competition, part of the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest, was held Saturday (May 19) in Lexington, Ky. Braxton Brewing Co. of Covington, Ky., took home the top honor for its Barrel Aged Dark Charge Mole Stout.
More than 50 breweries from four countries submitted 325 beers, which were judged by an expert panel of judges based on Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines.
Here’s a rundown of the Ohio winners:
— Boston Beer Tetravis & Smoked Lager
— Dayton Beer Beast of Tadmor Village, Upright Smoked Lager and Midnight Dream
— Hairless Hare Imperial CRV, Barrel Aged Barley Wine and Barrel Aged Cold War
— Boston Beer Stony Brook Red, Cherry Wheat, New England IPA, Rebel IPA, Utopias and Cold Snap
— Crooked Handle Wee Bit O Trouble and Roadside Peanut Butter Porter
— Dayton Beer-Lost Tunnel Deep Sea Diving
— Fat Head’s Starlight and Head Hunter
— Hairless Hare Bitter Hare, 3 Quarter Porter, Kings Reserve and Kickback Kolsch
— Platform Luchador and Speed Merchant
— Rhinegeist Hustle, Hans and Truth
— Boston Beer Irish Red, Boston Lager, Double Bock, Kosmic Mother Funk and Boston Ale
— Crooked Handle Trinity Haze
— Devil Wind Heading East and Steel Cut Stout
— Fat Head’s Bumble Berry
— Lock 27 Alpheaus, Mouth Breather, Waterway and Charlosta
— Rhinegeist Squirrel, Cougar and Ink
— Wolf’s Ridge Red Legacy, Clear Sky and Terre Du Sauvage Gold
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.
To help with anybody who regularly checks, I’ve added the word “New>>” to the operations that are new this week.
Hightower Brewing Co. is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a two-day party and special beer releases this weekend.
The Rayland nanobrewery will be open from noon to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow (May 18 and 19). The brewery will release its Hilltop Haze in cans today and Unfiltered New England-style IPA tomorrow, along with other beers such as a hefeweizen made with local paw paws and a blueberry milkshake IPA that was made with 20 pounds of blueberries, graham crackers and vanilla.
There also will be a food truck and live music during the celebration both days.
“It went amazing,” owner and brewer Greg Whiting said about the first year. “Way better than we expected.”
The small brewery, which operates out of Whiting’s garage, is adding two fermenters just to keep up with demand.
“We’re looking at possibly expanding this summer and either building a building on our property and getting a five- or 10-barrel system or looking at a location downtown maybe,” Whiting said. “As small as we are, we’re struggling to keep up.”
Nic Pater is the brewer at Urban Artifact, which was the first Ohio craft brewery to focus exclusively on sour beers. The Cincinnati brewery this week announced plans to double its capacity.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: After I graduated college, I worked several menial jobs and never really found a field in which I felt productive or happy. Two years ago, I started working at a wine and spirits shop, and rather quickly started running the wine department. I knew I thoroughly enjoyed beer, but never thought about pursuing a career in it. Selling wine renewed my passion for alcohol, especially high-acid, fruit-forward drinks; this was my gateway into understanding and appreciating sour beer — a category I had dismissed previously as sub par and underwhelming.
Fairly soon after sours clicked for me, I saw that Urban Artifact was looking for a brewer, and I jumped at the opportunity to work in an industry I respected and appreciated. I guess that’s mostly “how” I became a brewer. As for “why,” it’s pretty simple: I wanted a direct product of my labor. Working for a paycheck is nice, but there isn’t really much else to show for your efforts. Brewing beer, like any other creative field, gives me the uniquely satisfying privilege of seeing my work take shape right in front of me. It’s difficult work, but it pays off each time I see someone enjoying one of our beers. I can see that I play a small role in making someone’s day a little better, and that feels great. I can’t think of a better career.
Q: Urban Artifact focuses strictly on sour beers. What are the advantages and disadvantages from a brewer’s perspective to such a narrow focus?
A: I think the advantages outweigh greatly the disadvantages. The main disadvantage lies in how divisive sour beer is within the consumer base — we miss out on a measurable percentage of beer drinkers simply because they don’t yet like sours. That seems to be it, though.
The biggest advantage to focusing primarily on sour and fruited beer is that we have specific vision, enabling us to challenge expectations of what sour and fruited beer can be. Constraints enable creativity. A painter is forced to work with more precision when using a small canvas; less real estate increases drastically the need for attention to detail and for making every stroke intentional. Our beer roster has focus and clarity, which is why we’re able to craft the best sours on the planet.
Also, Cincinnati is full of breweries. It doesn’t make sense to be a “we brew everything” brewery. Everything we do stands out — we have a much narrower focus than many breweries in town, and we make fantastic beer. What’s more important than that?
Q: What advice can you give future brewers to be successful?
A: I’m still relatively new to the industry, so there’s a lot more for me to learn about the craft, but I think the two biggest factors in success are a solid work ethic and a good palate. First, put your head down and do the not-at-all-glamorous work. Spend hours cleaning the floors, washing kegs and scrubbing tanks. All of this services the final quality of the beer, and will be all the more satisfying when you sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
And second, train your palate; go to farmers markets and get produce you’re unfamiliar with. Taste dirt, lick rocks. Go walk in the woods and smell plants. Sensory development is key when it comes to flavor production and recipe formation. Also, drink a lot of beer. See what’s out there, find what drives you to make your beer stand out from the rest.
Q: What’s your best-selling beer and why do you think it’s so popular?
A: Our best-selling beer is Keypunch, a key lime gose that kicks off the summer for us. I think it’s so popular because it’s the best warm-weather beer out there. It’s basically a margarita in a can. The subtle, briny minerality of sea salt coupled with the slight earthiness of coriander elevates the key limes to perfection. You can sip on and think about the beer just as easily as you can crush a six-pack in one sitting. It’s an unpretentious and well-made fruit beer. People understand that and go nuts for it.
Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/invented/brewed and why?
A: Pabst Blue Ribbon. Hands down. The mid-palate hints at some malty sweetness, but quickly turns crisp and dry. It’s a perfect lager; the label is iconic, and Pabst Brewing Co. remained an independent brewery for a long time. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Editor’s note: The Five questions with … appears each Friday. If you’d like to participate or would like to nominate someone, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cincinnati brewery is releasing more Team Fiona, a hazy IPA made in honor of Fiona the hippo, and a new beer celebrating other baby animals born at the zoo.
Team Fiona 1K, named because the hippo is about to hit 1,000 pounds, and Zoo Babies New England IPA will be released starting at 10 a.m. Saturday (May 19) at the brewery on draft and in 16-ounce four packs.
Listermann noted that Team Fiona, 5.8 percent alcohol by volume and featuring Citra and Centennial hops, is becoming a year-round beer on draft at the brewery. The Team Fiona 1K four-packs will cost $14.99 plus tax, with 10 percent of draft sales and 15 percent of can sales being donated to the zoo.
As for Zoo Babies, there are four colorful cans, each featuring a different animal or animals. The cans showcase Octavius and Theodora the Colobus monkeys; Taffy the greater flamingo; Miles, Pippen, Matthew and Daphne the Florida manatees; and Bennie and Jerrie the ring-tailed lemurs.
The beer, which is 6.8 percent alcohol by volume, was made with Citra, Amarillo and Waimea hops. The four-packs are $14.99 plus tax, with 10 percent of sales going to the zoo.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with the zoo in making Fiona year-round and releasing another new beer,” Listermann general manager Jason Brewer said in a prepared statement. “Fiona is the No. 1 beer we get asked for at the brewery, so we are giving the people what they want!”
The brewery also will have commemorative Zoo Babies teku glasses for sale. They will be full color featuring the images of the Zoo Babies label. National Screen Printing will do screen printing starting at 10 a.m. for Zoo Babies designs on T-shirts and tank tops.
Customers can purchase up to a case of Zoo Babies four-packs and four four-packs of Team Fiona 1K. There will not be limits on merchandise and glassware.