Black squirrels abound in Kent. So it should come as no surprise that Matthew Stroia and his unnamed business partner have decided to name their new brewing venture Black Squirrel Brewing Co. They are currently scouting locations in Kent and obtaining the proper state permits. "It just seemed like Kent is a perfect fit," Stroia said. "It's close to Akron and Cleveland, and the water quality in Kent and Ravenna is perfect for brewing." The Ravenna Record-Courier newspaper broke the news about the brewery a few weeks ago.
Stroia is a 36-year-old financial planner in North Canton. He's been homebrewing since graduating from high school. In other words, he was making beer before he was able to buy it at the store.
He hopes the brewery will be open by late summer. The original plan was to have all the Black Squirrel beer made on contract. But Stroia said they are planning to open a nanobrewery instead. He's still negotiating a deal to have its signature beer -- a honey India pale ale -- made on contract. Black Squirrel beer will be available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles, he said.