Ohio Brewery News
Friday Six Pack with Chris Thompson, Aistear Brewing
Every Friday, we ask an Ohio craft brewery owner or employee to answer six questions about their path to the brewing industry, what sets their brewery apart and their thoughts on craft beer in Ohio.
Today we’ll chat with Chris Thompson, owner and brewer at Aistear Brewing in Bowling Green.
What made you decide to get into the craft brewing industry?
I always had a blast home brewing and taking a creative/mad science approach to creating new flavor combinations and blending styles. Plus I’ve always dreamed about owning my own establishment where I could both work and have a good time!
Which of your beers do your customers enjoy the most and why?
Our braggots are always a big hit; not only are they pretty unique and flavorful, but many people are unfamiliar with the style (a mead/beer hybrid) so it always makes for great conversation.
What’s your favorite thing about your brewery?
I hope it’s not too cliché to say my customers. But really that’s it: we have some diehard fans, I’ve met people who have become some of my closest friends. We’re a small, kinda niche brewery but with that comes some very passionate and dedicated fans and everything I do with the brewery is for the people who show us so much love every day.
Your brewery blends craft beer and table-top gaming culture in a unique way: if Aistear were a Dungeons & Dragons character, what would it be?
I had creative block when I read your question so I outsourced it to my taproom manager, Jacob:
“If Aistear was a character I think it would be a Ranger for several reasons. Having the dragon skull on the wall clearly means Aistear has some combat proficiency, while also owning a wide range of weapons (the decor). On top of that, there’s just the slightest bit of magic being used in the beer brewing (ale-chemy, if you will). And finally, we like things to look a little more more rustic and hand-made. All traditional traits of a Ranger.”
I would have thought Bard, myself. But he talked me out of it with such logic!
Besides your own, what Ohio craft breweries impress you the most and why?
This may be a bit of a homer answer but literally every brewery in northwest Ohio impressed me; we have arguably the smallest and newest craft beer scene of all the Ohio regions but the camaraderie and creativity out of this region is second to none. Places like Funky Turtle, Quenched and Tempered, Four Fires and Patron Saints (just to name a few) are not only pumping out great brews but they are amazing, helpful people and a boon to the Ohio craft scene overall.
Where do you think craft beer is headed? What do you think craft beer will look like five years from now?
I think we are all trying to push boundaries, find new creative ways to brew and attract customers. I hope it keeps growing and flourishing the way it has the last five years. There are more craft breweries than ever operating right now, so I think it’s important that we all continue to bring new and better product and lift each other up. There’s plenty of room in the industry for everyone, and what makes craft beer great and different is that we are always pushing for new and better, and we are a brotherhood/sisterhood. It’s craft against the world!