Ohio Brewery News


Friday Six Pack with Jake Turner, Maize Valley Brewery

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 Jake Turner, head brewer at Maize Valley Brewery in Hartville.


What made you decide to get into the craft brewing industry?

I started drinking craft beers in the mid to late 2000s during the end of my time in the military. I had buddies who would have Terrapin Rye and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and I’d never had anything like them at that point. Most of my experience was around the macro lagers that were and are still prevalent in America and I didn’t care for those much. Having something that was really flavorful and interesting completely changed my outlook on beer which led me to trying more and more craft beers. Later, I started homebrewing and loved the science and attention to detail required to turn out something drinkable and pleasurable. That’s when the wheels started turning that I could maybe do this professionally.


Which of your beers do your customers enjoy the most and why?

I think most of our customers like our lighter offerings. Pilsner, Light Lager and our peach wheat ale all do really well here. I think that’s largely a function of our location. We’re in farm country and most of the locals are used to lighter beers. It often serves as a gateway to our more interesting offerings.


If you could make a specific beer that you brew – or a beer style – immensely popular overnight, what would it be?

It’d be our Pilsner and I think just really well made lagers in general. Ours is made very simply with high quality Pilsner malt and Czech Saaz hops. Lagered for at least four weeks and is tremendously clean and refreshing.


What’s your favorite thing about your brewery?

We offer a lot here. We’re kind of in the middle of nowhere so if people are making the trip, we like to be able to offer them a good reason to be here. Aside from the 16 beers we offer on tap at any point in time, we also have a full fledged winery and kitchen so that even if you or someone in your party isn’t a fan of beer there are other choices. We also offer tons of outdoor seating and activities through the summer and especially fall.


Besides your own, what Ohio craft breweries impress you the most and why?

There are many that should be on this list but the places that jump out in my mind because they brew the sort of beers I love are Fat Head’s and Wooly Pig. Fat Head’s continuously turns out delicious and cutting edge IPAs and lagers while also offering really tasty food. Wooly Pig just has a great setting and amazing German-style lager beers.


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 probably headed in the direction of having breweries that not only offer tasty beers that are delicious and well crafted, but also being destinations for people to come enjoy beers in a good setting. I think the days of opening a brewery, going through big expansions and distribution are just about over. I think quality of product and experience for the customer will be paramount for most breweries moving forward.

Categories: Brewery News