Ohio Brewery News
One of the most anticipated events on the Zaftig Brewing Company calendar is their annual ugly sweater party, when scores of central Ohioans don their garish apparel and enjoy a few pours of barrel aged beers. Unfortunately, COVID-19 plays the part of the Grinch, necessitating a pivot for this yearly taproom tradition. Zaftig is encouraging their fans to snap selfies of their ugly sweaters and post them to Instagram using the hashtag #ZaftigHolidayZ by Sunday, Dec. 20. Two lucky winners chosen at random will receive a Zaftig prize pack. If you’re more into the beer than the gaudy threads, you’re in luck: Zaftig will release this year’s Big Barleywine on Friday, Dec. 18 after a 22-month slumber in a Weller Reserve bourbon barrel. Get details about the virtual ugly sweater contest and barrel aged beer release at facebook.com/zaftigbeer
Although I never attended Ohio University – I went to, uh, another one of Ohio’s top party schools – I have had the pleasure of walking the streets of Athens late on a Saturday and capping my evening with one of the college town’s signature drinks. There’s something special about a shot of hazelnut liqueur and piping hot coffee, colloquially known as the “Hot Nut” at Tony’s Tavern, especially when you need a little caffeine assistance to bring the night’s possibilities into focus. The OU alums from The Brew Kettle and Fifty West Brewing decided to create an appropriate tribute to Tony’s legendary shot with Oh You, Oh Yeah, an 11.5% ABV imperial stout brewed with Hoof Hearted coffee and Heggy’s hazelnuts. Six packs are currently available at Brew Kettle locations with statewide distribution starting this week as well. Read more at thebrewkettle.com
(Photo by Mike Crupi Photography – @keg_and_camera)
You know the saying “go big or go home?” Penguin City Brewing is about to do both. This week, the brewery purchased the 32,704 square foot Republic warehouse in downtown Youngstown with the intent to develop the property into their new production facility and first public taproom. “We have been working non-stop since August of 2018 looking for our forever home,” said Penguin City co-owner Aspasia Lyras-Bernacki, “we knew this was it when we walked through the door.” The first phase of the project will involve the buildout of the production brewery and taproom, expected to open to the public in summer 2021. A restaurant and event center will be added once phase one is complete. The brewery will host an informal open house at the new facility this Saturday, Dec. 19 if you want to get a sneak peek of the space before renovations begin. Details available at facebook.com/penguincitybeer
CLAG Brewing made the decision about a week ago to shut down their taproom (as well as the adjoining Small City Taphouse restaurant) for the remainder of 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. However, the brewery will still hold a highly anticipated can release this weekend. Two new beers will be available including Khazilla, a 7% ABV American IPA bearing the name of the brewery’s owner, and another that was not yet revealed at press time. To facilitate ordering, CLAG will offer these two beers exclusively via the Oznr app with pickup at the brewery taproom in Sandusky on Saturday, Dec. 19. For more details on this can release follow CLAG Brewing on social media: facebook.com/clagbrewing
DankHouse Brewing made a big upgrade to their brewhouse earlier this year in order to keep up with the intense demand for their beers. With the increased capacity, DankHouse is now able to brew enough to support canning of their sought-after hazy IPAs and fruited sour ales. The first of those cans will be available starting Saturday, Dec. 19 at the taproom in Newark. Super Fantastic – the brewery’s flagship hazy IPA – gets the initial can treatment alongside two sour ales: Stay Berry Puft, a raspberry, cherry and marshmallow sour, and Pineapple Blunt Cake sour ale with pineapple, cherry and birthday cake flavors. Another of DankHouse’s most popular brews, Couch Kush’n double dry hopped double IPA, was also canned but quickly sold out. Make sure to follow DankHouse on social media to find out about future can releases and reserve four packs from the current run at dankhousebrewing.com before they’re gone.
Two more weeks. That’s all the 2020 we have left to endure. While the issues that made this past year so challenging won’t magically disappear when the calendar flips, we’ve always looked forward to New Year’s Day as an opportunity to make a fresh start. In an effort to kick the year off in a big way, West Side Brewing continues their annual tradition of releasing their Barleywine in cans on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. This American-style barleywine clocks in at a robust 11% ABV and balances the fig-like richness imparted by the malt with a firm hop bitterness. Four packs will be available at the West Side Brewing taproom starting at noon on New Year’s Day. Enjoy one or two fresh and cellar the rest to see what flavors develop over time. Details available at facebook.com/westsidebrewing
For the last entry of the last Ohio Brewery News blog post of 2020, I’m going to use the news of Devil Wind Brewing’s restart of beer delivery in Xenia to remind everyone that we’re tracking brewery services via interactive map at ohiocraftbeer.org/map. We’ve sorted all Ohio Craft Brewers Association member breweries based on how you can get their beer: by the glass in the taproom, for carry out (including curbside pickup), delivered to your home or shipped direct from the brewery. Please bear in mind that your favorite breweries will likely have altered holiday hours over the next two weeks, so be sure to check their social media accounts and websites for changes. And don’t forget to use the Ohio On Tap app to collect virtual passport stamps when you visit breweries. Have a very happy holiday season, stay safe, support your local breweries and small businesses, and we’ll see you again in 2021. Cheers!