Nick and Justin Herstich of Akron won the West Point Market 2012 Bottle My Brew homebrew challenge with an American barleywine.

The Herstiches, who beat out nearly 140 other entries, received $1,000 and a trophy, and will have their beer brewed by Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron.

The winners were announced Friday during a beer tasting at the Akron grocery.

The barleywine, Pooch Hooch, will be available at West Point and select Winking Lizard Taverns next year.

Beer ice cream

Great Lakes Brewing Co. and Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream are partnering again to release Christmas Ale Ginger Snap, a beer ice cream.

It will be available starting Thursday for a limited time at the Great Lakes brewpub in Cleveland and at Mitchell’s locations in Northeast Ohio.

The primary flavor is Great Lakes Christmas Ale, a holiday beer brewed with honey, fresh ginger and cinnamon. Mitchell’s adds organic ginger, Vietnamese cinnamon, local honey and homemade ginger snaps.

New homebrew shop

Newman Creek Cellars, a homebrew and winemaking shop, has opened at 28 Charles Ave. SE in downtown Massillon. The business offers basic supplies for making beer and wine, including Brewer’s Best kits from LD Carlson.

Owner Bob Mann said Newman Creek Cellars also will offer classes.

Ohio vs. Colorado

Oskar Blues brewer Dave Chichura spent last week bouncing around Cleveland as part of Cleveland Beer Week. The Colorado-based Oskar Blues, known for being the first craft brewery to put its beer in cans, moved into the Ohio market this month.

Chichura offered this observation about the Ohio beer scene: “It’s pretty amazing. There are a lot of beer-savvy people here. … It’s like Colorado over here minus the mountains. People really like their big, hoppy beers here.”

Tasting room

Ohio Brewing Co., 451 S. High St., Akron, is trying to raise the profile of its tasting room. People can visit the brewery from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and 2 to 8 p.m. Saturdays.

The brewery’s holiday beer, Jingle Bell Ale, is available at the tasting room.


The Brew Kettle in Strongsville is expanding. The brewery is adding 3,000 square feet to its production facility, which is just down the street from its brewpub and brew-on-premise business.

The expansion is needed to keep up with demand, owner Chris McKim said. The extra space will allow the brewery to add two 40-barrel fermenters and a 30-barrel bright tank, and to devote more space to its bottling line.

New Utopias

Samuel Adams will release its 10th anniversary batch of Utopias in November. The beer, which clocks in at 29 percent alcohol by volume and thus isn’t available in Ohio, comes in a black decanter.

The 2012 version is a blend of batches and includes some of the brewery’s original Triple Bock from 1993.

There are fewer than 15,000 bottles available. The suggested retail price is $160.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or Read his beer blog at