Ohio Brewery News
Friday Six Pack with James Ratcliff, Sixth Sense 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 James Ratcliff, owner of Sixth Sense Brewing in Jackson.
What made you decide to get into the craft brewing industry?
When my wife and I opened our first restaurant over 20 years ago craft beer was barely a thing. We would always ask our distributors to bring us the weirdest beers they carried. We tried them all and gained an appreciation for different styles and for the industry as a whole. Later on, when taprooms started gaining popularity, we fell in love with the entire experience and knew it was something we wanted to be part of.
Which of your beers do your customers enjoy the most and why?
Without question Murk Juice has been a huge hit since we first brewed it and it is our most popular beer in the taproom and in retail accounts. It’s just such an approachable beer and perfect for not only IPA lovers but for those new to craft beer.
What’s your favorite thing about your brewery?
When we opened the taproom in 2017 we envisioned it being an intimate gathering spot for Jackson and our surrounding communities as well as a destination spot for great beer in Southeastern Ohio. I hope that we have succeeded in both. We also take great pride in the diversity of beers that we brew for such a small operation and the rockstar team that we have assembled along the way.
Besides your own, what Ohio craft breweries impress you the most and why?
Our neighbors in Southeast Ohio, Jackie O’s and Little Fish, make some of the best beer in the country hands down. They have also been very helpful to us, not only in our planning stages, but during our five years of business. It’s exciting to try all of their amazing products and watch their growth.
In what ways have other breweries and/or the greater community of Ohio craft breweries helped your business grow?
The Ohio craft brewing community is unique in the fact that everyone we have encountered is more than willing to help others in numerous capacities. We have leaned on the experience and expertise of other breweries for help on many occasions and in turn will always pay that forward to those breweries that may need our advice along the way.
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 will continue to become more localized. Breweries have become a spark for revitalization projects in not only smaller towns but in forgotten parts of bigger cities. Taprooms have become hubs of communities where people from all walks of life gather and I think there is still room for growth. I also believe that breweries that have the brewing capacity, teams and systems in place will continue to open more satellite taprooms to fill needed voids in communities and to take advantage of selling their product across the bar.