Ohio Brewery News
The second annual Pick Ohio Beer Festival returns to Combustion Brewery & Taproom on Saturday, Feb. 29. A dozen Ohio breweries will be on hand pouring a selection of rare and unique beers at Combustion’s intimate event space above the brewery in Pickerington. The event is a fundraiser for Helping Hops, a volunteer-based charitable organization dedicated to promoting social and environmental sustainability among central Ohio craft brewers, their industry supply chain and their consumers. Only 145 ticket holders will be admitted to this boutique beer tasting event. All attendees will receive a commemorative tasting glass to use throughout the day and keep as a souvenir. For more information and to secure your tickets, visit combustionbrewing.com
In 1988, when Pat and Dan Conway opened Great Lakes Brewing Company – Ohio’s first craft brewery –they created a destination in Cleveland’s then rough-and-tumble Ohio City neighborhood. Since then, the beer industry, the neighborhood and the brewery have changed dramatically: Ohio is now home to more than 330 independently-owned breweries, Ohio City alone can claim nine of those including the original Great Lakes brewpub and the production brewery across the street. The taproom experience has become an integral part of craft beer, so Great Lakes decided to spruce up their venerable brewpub this winter. Guests will now be greeted with a look into the pub’s seven barrel brewhouse before making their way to the traditional dining area or re-imagined communal beer garden. The renovated brewpub re-opens to the public today. Marc Bona has the full story and photos at cleveland.com
Akronym Brewing brought home some accolades for their Black Hat Schwarzbier this month. Last Friday, the United States Beer Tasting Championship named Black Hat the national grand champion in the Dark Lager/Dunkel category, edging out five other regional champions in the style. Head brewer Shawn Adams notes that it almost didn’t happen: the crowlers sent for the championship round were stuck in a shipping terminal in Iowa for 10 days but were rescued just in time to make it to the judges’ table. Then, earlier this week, Paste Magazine published the results of their own dark lager blind taste test, ranking Black Hat fifth out of 68 entries from across the country. Black Hat is available on draft now at Akronym’s brewery taproom in downtown Akron. Rick Armon has more on the story at beaconjournal.com
More canned beers are coming from Two Bandits Brewing in Hicksville. Following up on last November’s initial can releases of Killer Bee IPA and Black Shadow chocolate milk stout, two more cans will see release today at Ohio’s westernmost brewery. The first is a Two Bandits’ flagship, Dead Frog double IPA, named for an amphibian that may or may not have been resurrected by founders Mark Young and Bob Garza’s homebrew. Also released today is Razzmanian Devil, a medium-bodied raspberry wheat beer that has become a taproom favorite. Both beers are available in four packs of 16 oz. cans to-go and on draft for enjoyment in the brewpub. Follow Two Bandits on Facebook for news of future can releases.
If there are two things that this blog writer enjoys, they’re 1) reporting on the charitable works of Ohio craft breweries and 2) puns. So, of course, Trek Brewing made my week when they announced the second annual 0.5K Run with a Point to benefit the Buckeye Valley Family YMCA’s All for One camp. A fundraising run that caters to those who abhor running – again, after my own heart – Trek puts a decimal point on the traditional 5K and divides the distance by ten: the course is literally a lap around the brewery’s parking lot. The $25 entry fee for the April 4 “race” includes an event t-shirt, a beer at the Trek taproom and a donation to All for One, an inclusive summer camp experience for children with special needs. To read more and purchase tickets for the event, visit trekbeer.com
Everything old is new again… sort of. The Cincinnati area’s newest brewery has roots in a brewery dating back to the 1990’s. Firehouse Grill and Brewery in Blue Ash occupies the site of Watson Brothers Brewery & Bistro, which operated from 1996 to 2006. Firehouse Grill opened a craft beer-focused restaurant there in 2011 and eventually hired Justin Chaney (formerly of The Common, Swine City and Brink) to start up brewing operations. The brewery will hold a grand opening celebration beginning on Thursday, Feb. 20 and lasting through the weekend. Five beers are slated for the initial launch – Sycamore Blonde, Blue Ash Brown, Summit Saison, Aviator Amber and Flightpath IPA – with a Belgian witbier and a stout in the offing. The Gnarly Gnome has more on this weekend’s festivities and the history behind the brewery at thegnarlygnome.com
There’s no better weekend to be a barrel aged beer fan in Dayton. Goatfest is back this Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Dayton Beer Company with 32 barrel aged gems from 17 Ohio breweries on tap. Some highlights from the impressive list include Fifty West’s 10&2 Barleywine (2016 and 2018 award winner at World Beer Cup and 2017 gold medalist at Great American Beer Festival [GABF]), Thirsty Dog’s Siberian Night imperial stout (2014 World Beer Cup bronze medalist and three-time GABF award winner), MadTree’s gin barrel aged Joon Kölsch (2019 Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer [FoBAB] silver medalist) and three award winners from Rhinegeist: Perpetual Passion foeder aged sour (2018 FoBAB gold medalist), Double Oaked Mastodon Belgian dark ale (2017 FoBAB silver medalist) and rye barrel aged Ink Russian imperial stout (the sherry barrel aged version won silver at the 2015 GABF). If all that and the 26 other beers aren’t enough, there will also be actual goats in the DBC beer garden during the afternoon. Get more details and see the entire beer list at facebook.com/daytonbeerco