The Ohio Craft Brewers Collaboration Sampler will hit store shelves Thursday. I know. I know. This has been written a million times before. But Ed Thompkins, the beer buyer for Heinen's, and John Najeway, co-owner of Thirsty Dog Brewing, have confirmed the news. "I expect this to fly out of the stores," Thompkins said. In other words, he's urging folks who want to buy it to do so fast.
If you recall, 12 breweries in Northeast Ohio paired off last year and created special beers for Cleveland Beer Week. It was considered the largest such collaboration of its kind in the industry. Beer lovers will be able to find the 12-pack — retailing for $19.99 – starting Thursday at all Heinen’s locations except the Avon store. Then, other locations will receive their shipments: West Point Market in Akron; Acme Fresh Markets in Akron, Canton, Hudson, Kent, Montrose and Cleveland; select Giant Eagle locations in the Cleveland area; 101 Bottles in Kent; Buehler's in Medina; Primo’s Deli in Akron; Cork & Brew in Akron; and several other beverage stores in and around Cleveland. Superior Beverage Group is distributing the beer.
The participating brewers and the beers are: Great Lakes Brewing and Cellar Rats Brewery, a barrel-aged strong ale; Thirsty Dog and Indigo Imp Brewery, a smoked black lager; Brew Kettle and Willoughby Brewing, a rye kolsch; Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon and Black Box Brewing, a wet-hopped India pale ale; Hoppin’ Frog and Rocky River Brewing, an imperial American porter; and Buckeye Brewing and Cornerstone Brewing, an alt bier.
This beer has sat around for awhile. But Najeway said it tastes fine and some of the higher alcohol beers were meant to age anyway. Several of the brewers sat down last weekend to sample the beer to make sure it was OK. It passed the taste test. "It's all pretty darn good beer," Najeway said.