Ohio Brewery News
Friday Six Pack with Janice DeLap, Broadview Brewing Company
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 Janice DeLap, owner of Broadview Brewing Company in Broadview Heights.
What made you decide to get into the craft brewing industry?
My husband Terry and I sold our previous business in January 2019. We started contemplating opening a brewery in our hometown because there was a need for a craft brewery between Akron and Cleveland. We love craft beer and consider going to breweries “Our Only Hobby” which became the name of one of our first beers. We are not brewers, but we found Wyatt Routson, an accomplished brewer, born and raised in Broadview Heights and he was 100% in when we approached him in 2019, patiently waiting for us to bring him on board in 2021.
Which of your beers do your customers enjoy the most and why?
Our best selling IPA is Highest Ground (named for the highest point in Cuyahoga County about half a mile down the street from our location.) It has bright notes of citrus and pine with a light malt backbone. It is a crowd favorite with a light hoppiness / 42 IBUs and is both refreshing and full of flavor.
Ok, in an abundance of honesty, I’ll tell you a secret: often, to our disbelief, this crazy concoction Wyatt blended is a hard smoothie seltzer that is creamy and delicious and is our best seller. We have a rotating flavor profile: our White Bronco (orange coconut) is the best seller, but we now have Movin’ to the Country (peach coconut) and Green Manalishi (key lime coconut.) Yeah, so we took it to the next level a couple of weeks ago and put all three into a Slushie machine and well you have to try it to believe it! My running joke is, “if I had a dollar for every time someone said they didn’t like seltzers, tried ours, then proclaimed ‘this is amazing!’ well….wait, I do have a dollar…”
What’s your favorite thing about your brewery?
My favorite thing is the terrific variety our brewer has brought to our menu. The best night is when a self-proclaimed beer snob tries a flight of four and loves every beer, then a novice to craft beers also tries a flight and loves every beer. Those moments tell me that we are definitely doing something right! But honestly getting to know our regular customers, meet great new people and hear their stories is always the best part! And our live music! I’ll stop there, as there are just too many favorite things! (also, our staff!)
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who’s looking to open their own brewery?
I think that the best advice we got and followed was to be aware of the market limitations. With so many large breweries in our area, we decided to set our goals smaller and more dedicated to our hometown. I think we have amazing beer and we get great feedback every single day, yet we didn’t go in planning bigger and thinking that we could can and distribute and find space on the Giant Eagle or Heinen’s shelf. A new brewery can be successful as a hometown brewery: add in live music, trivia, bar crawls, corn hole and lots of other fun events and you can find your success on a smaller scale.
Oh, and always give back to your community when you can!
Besides your own, what Ohio craft breweries impress you the most and why?
Terry’s dad, Chuck, is 87 years old and he lives in Summit County, so we regularly pick him up and go to some of the places we all enjoy. Nothing beats the patio at Missing Mountain (ordering a Zwickel Trickle every time), we all love going to R. Shea in the Merriman Valley and of course Hoppin’ Frog for a Dankster Frog (not gonna lie, I shed a tear of joy when this was available again once the taproom opened up after covid). Then Lock 15 for a great meal (happy 87th birthday for Chuck!) and always a terrific beer menu. Royal Docks is also a favorite: that Backyard Crusher is so good I bought the tee-shirt!
In Cleveland, I mean what isn’t great? We love Goldhorn Brewery, never had anything but superior beer there. Market Garden‘s Prosperity Wheat is one of my favorites. But how about that view at Collision Bend? Their Lake Erie Sunset while you watch the Lake Erie sunset is iconic.
Where do you think craft beer is headed? What do you think craft beer will look like five years from now?
We decided to open in Broadview Heights because we saw the need to fill in where there was none. Ohio is a big state with lots of communities that support small breweries today and I think there will still be strong growth in the next five years. I think our model will be common, as we’re not looking at canning or bottling (except for crowlers on site.) We just wanted to build a place for our community, where folks can meet up for entertainment, great beers, good food and a sense of community. We are excited to see what the future will hold!