Ohio Brewery News
Friday Six Pack with Clark Myers, Buck’s 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 Clark Myers, owner, brewer, assistant brewer and taproom manager of Buck’s Brewing in Newark.
What made you decide to get into the craft brewing industry?
I started home brewing over 25 years ago after meeting a future friend who had already been brewing for quite a while. Originally I was shocked to hear that you could produce your own beer, consumable beer anyway. After watching my friend brew on multiple occasions, I decided I might as well put a brewing system together as my seasonal job left me with most of the winters free to pursue a new hobby. Brewing became a bit of an obsession and while also retaining my long time family job, I decided to acquire a larger system and produce kegged beer strictly for local distribution, testing the waters a bit. Good feedback, an existing potential location and career burnout led to dropping the norm and going all in on what is now the brewery and taproom.
Which of your beers do your customers enjoy the most and why?
Based on general sales and listening/speaking to my patrons face to face in the taproom, I would have to say our White Ale, Mexican Lager, Hazy IPA & Black IPA. Each one for obviously different reasons. The White and Mexican Lager are lighter bodied crisp gateway/lawnmower beers, the closest offerings to your standard domestic beers. The Hazy is a nicely balanced New England style which still hasn’t faded much from its meteoric entry to the craft industry. The Black IPA is just something a bit different, a little like an IPA, a little like a stout, with a complex grain bill.
What’s your favorite thing about your brewery?
That’s a tough one. I enjoy all aspects of the brewery, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be the actual brewing process. There would be no beer without the labor of the brewing. I enjoy the work, my previous career was very labor intensive, there is no automation whatsoever in my brewery.
Besides your own, what Ohio craft breweries impress you the most and why?
Honestly, since my brewery has been open, I haven’t had an abundance of opportunities to venture to many of the other breweries. Buck’s is a one man operation, and most of us (breweries) are open very similar hours and days. On the larger side, I have always been a huge fan of Great Lakes, great variety of styles, all very nicely done. One of the first true microbreweries I ever went to and still one of my all time favorites would have to be Barley’s Ale House on High Street in Columbus. They have been there for as long as I can remember, great beer and food, and always loved their offerings in both cask and firkin.
As a one person operation, you have to build up a lot of knowledge about a lot of different aspects of the business. What’s one piece of advice or assistance that you got from another brewery that’s helped you along the way?
Rich at Buckeye Lake Brewery was a tremendously helpful resource for multiple questions I had regarding equipment and procedures, he would just tell me to come on out and look at stuff firsthand. Likewise, Mike at Lineage helped ease my mind a little by allowing me to be present for a brew session on their system before I had even finished putting my 7 BBL brewery together, I had only brewed on my previous 1 BBL system prior to that.
Where do you think craft beer is headed? What do you think craft beer will look like five years from now?
I think craft beer is still headed upward. There are still a lot of consumers out there who have yet to familiarize themselves with the craft beer movement. Five years from now, I’m very hopeful that the craft brewing industry still looks very similar to how it looks today. Beer is beer, some is just better than others.