Rick ArmonBeacon Journal staff writer

Akron’s newest brewery is open.

Trailhead Brewery, a nano operation located in a plaza at 1674 Merriman Road, launched Friday.

“It’s amazing to finally be able to open my doors and I am very excited to, at long last, invite the public into my brewery,” owner and brewer Eli Smart said.

Trailhead will have three beers on tap at first: “a session stout, a super hoppy pale ale and a Belgian golden,” he said. A fourth beer will be on draft soon, he added.

Regular hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sunday and Monday.

The taproom features a small custom-made cedar bar and wooden picnic tables for seating. Smart’s custom brewhouse is capable of making a maximum of three barrels of beer at a time — a tiny amount compared with other operations. The Trailhead name and picnic tables are a tip of the hat to the nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Trailhead is the fourth nanobrewery to open recently in the Akron area, joining Nauti Vine/Mucky Duck in Green, MadCap in Stow and Meniru in Jackson Township.

For more details about Trailhead, check out its Facebook page.

Beer tasting reminder

West Point Market, 1711 W. Market St., Akron, will hold its second annual Best of Ohio craft beer tasting from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

The grocery store also will announce the winner of its 2013 Bottle My Brew Ohio Homebrewer Challenge. The top beer wins a cash prize and will be brewed by Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron.

The participating breweries are: The Brew Kettle, Buckeye, Cellar Rats, Columbus, Elevator, Fat Head’s, Great Lakes, Hoppin’ Frog and Thirsty Dog.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Reservations are encouraged because the tastings usually sell out.

New Hoppin’ Frog

Hoppin’ Frog Brewery has released Barrel-Aged DORIS the Destroyer Double Imperial Stout exclusively at the Akron brewery, 1680 E. Waterloo Road.

“The special barrel aging in bourbon whiskey barrels imparts a memorable buttery, vanilla-like, and savory whiskey character to this massive American imperial stout,” the brewery said.

Barrel-Aged DORIS is $15.99 for a 22-ounce bottle. The beer also is available on draft at the brewery’s taproom.

The brewery also will release its Frosted Frog Christmas Ale starting Friday. It will be available at the taproom on draft and in bottles for $8.99.

New ‘Goose’ ales

Goose Island Beer Co. is releasing two new barrel-aged farmhouse ales.

Gillian and Halia join the Chicago-based brewery’s Vintage Collection, which includes Sofie, Matilda and Pere Jacques.

Gillian was partially aged in wine barrels with 10,000 pounds of strawberries, 4,000 pounds of honey and white pepper. It’s 9.5 percent alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to five years.

Halia was aged in wine barrels with 12,000 pounds of fresh peaches. It’s 7.5 percent alcohol by volume and also can age in the bottle for up to five years.

Homebrew Day

The American Homebrewers Association will celebrate the 14th annual Learn To Homebrew Day on Saturday. The annual event provides the opportunity for people to learn how to brew or teach others how to make beer.

The Society of Akron Area Zymurgists will hold a public teaching event starting at 9 a.m. at the home of Larry and Donna Reuter, 581 Letchworth Drive, Akron.

For more details, check out: http://tinyurl.com/25hccfm.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his beer blog at www.ohio.com/beer. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrick.