Ohio is getting another brewery passport program — and you’re going to have to complete it fast. Or at least faster than other ones.

The Passport Brew Tour, a Canton-based beer path that will feature 20 locations across seven counties, begins Sept. 1. Participants will have to visit all the locations by Dec. 31 to receive an official Brew Tour T-shirt.

“The yearlong programs are just too long,” said Ben Harris, president of New Franklin-based Lunar Cow Publishing, which announced the program last week in collaboration with tourism agencies and chambers of commerce in Holmes, Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties. “The four-month period is perfect for those beer enthusiasts who want to enjoy some fall beers while watching some football along the tour. The fall is a beautiful time in Northeast Ohio.”

The goal is to offer two local tours a year, he said.

The Passport Brew Tour showcases the following breweries and nonbreweries in Ashland, Coshocton, Holmes, Richland, Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties: Canton, BJ’s, the Crush House at Gervasi Vineyard, Fat Head’s, Hoodletown, Ignite, JAFB, Jen’s Place, Laxton Hollow, Lockport, Magic City, Mucky Duck, Muskellunge, Paradigm Shift, Sandy Springs, Shale, Sublime Smoke, Thirsty Dog, Uniontown and Wooly Pig Farm.

Mike Malinowski, owner and brewer at Paradigm Shift in Massillon, said it made sense to participate.

“I thought, ‘what a great way to get my name out there and get more foot traffic to my place?’ ” he said.

Organizers say they expect more than 10,000 people to participate. People can pick up passports at the participating breweries or at the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, Visit Canton, Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Wayne County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Canton Brewing Co. in downtown Canton is serving as home base for the redemption of the T-shirts.

Lunar Cow, a technology and marketing company that works with tourism agencies, wants to develop 100 such beer trails across the country by the end of next year, Harris said. The Passport Brew Tour — the logo features a smiling Holstein cow holding a beer — is the first.

“The market has wanted this so bad,” Harris said.

It provides iMap technology so people can see routes to the destinations and find other area attractions along the way using their mobile devices. It also features weather.

For more details on the Passport Brew Tour, go to: www.passportbrewtour.com.


ArtsinStark and Royal Docks Brewing Co. are teaming up for a music, food and beer fest called Docktoberfest.

The event, set for 4 to 11 p.m. Sept. 1, will feature Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root and local music. It also will serve as a celebration of the Jackson Township brewery’s third anniversary and the soft opening of its new 30-barrel Brewhouse and Cannery production facility at 5646 Wales Ave. NW.

General admission tickets, which include a beer, wine or soda, are $10. VIP tickets, which include a meet-and-greet and photo with Glabicki, are $40.

For tickets or more information, click here.

MadCap growth

MadCap Brew Co. has opened a new patio and event space this week.

The Kent production brewery and tasting room added a large outdoor patio with grass, picnic tables and umbrellas. The reason is simple.

“People want to be outside,” especially at this time of the year in Northeast Ohio, co-founder Ryan Holmes said. “We’re not a foot traffic brewery. We are a destination. We just wanted to make it a better destination.”

Meanwhile, MadCap also added about 2,000 square feet inside that’s available for wedding receptions, corporate gatherings and other events. The brewery had set aside the space for future production growth, but realized there was a great demand for event space.

“When we got into this building, I would have never guessed that,” Holmes said.

Shandy bonanza

With summer winding down, Hoppin’ Frog Brewery is hosting a celebration of the ultimate summer beer: the shandy.

The Akron brewery will offer seven shandies on draft starting at 11 a.m. Saturday (Aug. 25): Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale, Tequila Barrel Aged Turbo Shandy, Grapefruit Turbo Shandy, Lemon Lime Turbo Shandy, Blueberry Turbo Shandy, Mango Turbo Shandy and the California Turbo Shandy. There also will be an experimental beer tower showcasing Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale with hot peppers.

Mango Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale will be available in four-pack cans for the first time. Turbo Shandy Citrus Ale and Grapefruit Turbo Shandy also will be available in four-packs.

Small sips

• The 14th annual Blues & Brews beer festival returns Saturday to Lock 3 in downtown Akron.

The event — one of the longest running beer fests in Ohio — will highlight more than 40 Ohio craft breweries, along with many from outside the state.

The event, sponsored by Thirsty Dog, the Winking Lizard and city of Akron, runs from 2 to 5 p.m. at Lock 3. A VIP ticket gets you into the event at noon and includes lunch.

General admission tickets are $35, while VIP tickets are $60. For tickets, go to: www.eventbrite.com and search for “Akron Blues & Brews.”

• Lock 15 Brewing Co., 21 W. North St, Akron, is now open. The brewpub is located along the Ohio & Erie Canalway. For more details, including hours, check out: www.lock15brewing.com.

• The new Fat Head’s Brewery Beer Hall & Restaurant, 17450 Engle Lake Drive, Middleburg Heights, is open.

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 @armonrickABJ.