Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. has two special treats for folks who love bourbon barrel-aged beers.

Barrel-aged Wulver Wee Heavy Ale and Siberian Night Imperial Stout — which previously have been available on draft only — are now being sold in 12-ounce bottles.

The beers aren’t for the faint of heart. Both were aged for 11 months in Kentucky bourbon barrels.

Wulver — the name is a nod to the legend of a Scottish werewolf — clocks in at 12 percent alcohol by volume, while the barrel-aged Siberian Night is 10.9 percent.

“I wanted a big beer to complement the bourbon flavors,” co-owner John Najeway said. “I’ve had some beers that are light that I didn’t think were appropriate with the bourbon barrel aging. I like a big, hearty beer that can capture that aroma and flavor and these beers do that.”

The bottles feature a gold foil over the crown, gold lettering on the labels and the signatures of both Najeway and head brewer Tim Rastetter. Najeway said they “baby-sat” the beers while in the barrels, checking on them every month and trying to determine the perfect amount of aging time. They concluded that was 11 months.

“We’re very proud of them,” Najeway said.

In addition to being high in alcohol, the brews aren’t inexpensive. A four-pack retails for $23.99. Still, that’s a great deal considering the cost of many barrel-aged beers, Najeway said.

Both beers are available at the brewery, 529 Grant St., Akron, and in limited quantities at retailers.

Great Lakes party

West Point Market, 1711 W. Market St., Akron, is hosting a 25th birthday party for Great Lakes Brewing Co. from 7 to 9 p.m. June 7.

The special beer tasting will feature all the Great Lakes beers and an appearance by brewery co-owner Pat Conway, who along with his brother Dan launched Great Lakes in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood in 1988.

The tasting will include small batch firkins and Class of ’88 Imperial Smoked Porter, a collaborative brew with Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Ore.

The cost is $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Reservations are recommended and can be made by visiting and clicking on “Beer Tasting” or calling 330-864-2151, ext. 129.

Fat Head’s charity beer

Fat Head’s Brewery is making a special beer to support the Cleveland Metroparks.

Trailhead, an aggressive pale ale, will be available on draft starting the first week of June at the brewpub, 24581 Lorain Road, North Olmsted, and other select locations.

Brewer and co-owner Matt Cole said he and fellow brewers use the Metroparks trails a lot and wanted to support the park system.

Fifty cents from every pint, $1 from every growler and $5 from every keg sold will go to a fund for rehabbing the trails. He hopes to raise between $5,000 and $10,000.

The plan is to brew the beer again next year and put it in a can, he said.

In other Fat Head’s news, Cole and investors plan to open a Fat Head’s brewpub in Portland, Ore.

Fat Head’s — which operates a brewpub in North Olmsted, a production brewery in Middleburg Heights and a restaurant in Pittsburgh — signed a deal for a 13,000-square-foot space in the Pearl District downtown.

The brewpub will have a similar feel and look as the Ohio brewpub with exposed wooden beams and brick, brewer and co-owner Matt Cole said.

The new brewery will likely open in spring 2014.

Ay, Columbus!

The upcoming Grandview Digfest is a great opportunity to sample all the Columbus-made beers not available in the Akron area.

The event, held on Yard Street in Grandview, will feature the following breweries: Columbus, Actual, Hoster, Seventh Son, Zauber, Hoof Hearted, Four String, Rockmill, North High, Elevator, Granville, Buckeye Lake and Barley’s.

The Digfest is 4 to 10:30 p.m. June 15. For more details, go to

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or Read his beer blog at Follow him on Twitter at @armonrick.