Ever the beer news hound, I spent more than five hours at the opening day of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association’s fourth annual conference and trade show chatting with brewers from all over the state to undercover and share as many stories as I could.

You’d be amazed at how quickly the time flies when you’re talking beer. The two-day event, another successful one I might add with more than 600 attendees, is going on today and Wednesday (Jan. 30-31) at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland in downtown Cleveland.

Next year’s conference, in case you are wondering, will take place in Columbus.

So here you go, I’m emptying my notebook (and forgive me for any typos because I wrote this faster than the new NEIPA is selling at Noble Beast):

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Look out Northwest Ohio, Columbus Brewing Co. is coming your way.

“A lot of folks have been clamoring for the brands for a lot of years,” Jason Davis, Columbus vice president of sales, said about the Columbus brewery’s push into the Toledo market.

It helps that Columbus opened a new production brewery and can now handle more distribution. Davis said both bottles and draft are coming. He wasn’t quite sure yet about which specific brands.

Columbus is interviewing distributors in the area now.

As for when? Expect to see Columbus at the end of the first quarter.

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Want to buy a craft beer at a farmer’s market?

The association is working on state legislation to allow that, Ohio Craft Brewers Executive Director Mary MacDonald said.

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Birdfish Brewing Co. started brewing last month on its new seven-barrel Portland Kettle Works brewing system.

The Columbiana brewery had been getting by with a one-barrel system. The new setup – located in a separate building from its tasting room – will allow Birdfish to start pushing its beer more into the local market through distribution, co-founder Josh Dunn said.

It also has allowed the brewery to expand the hours at its taproom, including adding Sunday hours.

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Hilltop Heritage Lager has been a big hit for Four String Brewing Co.

“It’s our No. 1 seller now,” said Larry Horwitz, brewmaster at the Columbus brewery.

He noted that it’s allowed people who don’t enjoy aggressive craft – think IPAs and Russian imperial stouts – to get a taste of the craft revolution.

The beer is sold in 16-ounce six-packs of cans. Horwitz said the brewery is kicking around the idea of releasing the beer in 12-ounce cans.

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Black Cloister Brewing Co. is releasing a couple of beers in cans.

The Toledo brewery’s award-winning Helles Angel and Rose of Shannon (an Irish-style red ale named after brewmaster Shannon Fink) will be released in 12-ounce six-packs in March. Both will retail for $10.99.

“It’s a big deal for us at least,” co-founder Tom Schaeffer said.

The beers will be available at the brewery and also distributed through Cavalier Distributing.

“I’ve got a lot of requests statewide,” Schaeffer said. “It sounds like the demand is out there. Hopefully it is.”

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March First Brewing isn’t just a brewery. The Cincinnati brewery also produces cider and liquor.

Director of Operations Kevin Kluener said the brewery will soon be releasing a white rum called Cooper Island Rum.

The brewery also has a new cider that it made in collaboration with “a national company.” It’ll be released at the end of February.

“I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to disclose about it,” Kluener said.

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Elevator Brewing Co. will host a party Feb. 10 for the release of its new beer O-H-I-PA. (See what they did there?)

It’s an IPA made with Ohio-grown spelt.

That same day, the brewery will release a new maple barrel-aged nut brown and a brown made with brettanomyces that has a “mild cherry flavor to it,” brewer Doug Beedy said.

Expect all three beers to be available in limited quantities in bottles.

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The Laird Arcade Brewery is shooting for a late February or early March opening, co-founder Andy Flechtner said.

The Tiffin brewery, which will employ a three-and-a-half-barrel brewing system, is hoping to start brewing soon.

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The Marietta Brewing Co. just celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Phew. That’s a lot of years and not many Ohio breweries can boast such longevity.

“We enjoy what we do,” owner Tony Styer said.

As part of the anniversary, the Marietta brewpub rebranded and unveiled a new logo.

“We wanted to freshen things up,” Styer said.

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Hoppin’ Frog Brewery has once again been recognized by RateBeer.com as one of the top 100 breweries in the world. The Akron brewery has been on the list for a decade.

“Boom,” founder Fred Karm said when asked for his reaction. “That’s how I feel. It just blows my mind with the amount of new breweries that we can garner those ratings with the consumers.”

Hoppin’ Frog wasn’t the only Ohio brewery to be recognized. Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens also made the list of top 100 breweries.

I’ll write more on the awards in a separate post.

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Terrestrial Brewing Co. in Cleveland is starting to distribute its beer through Sixth City Distribution.

“It’s been nice getting some of our beer out in the market,” brewer Ralph Sgro said. “That’s exciting.”

The brewery, located in the city’s Battery Park neighborhood, also is looking to add a small kitchen.

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Hofbrauhaus Cleveland will get some recognition on the Travel Channel.

The producers for the show Food Paradise stopped by the beer hall last week to film a segment about its Braumeister Schnitzel.

Brewer Josh Jones won’t appear in the segment, but he joked that if you look hard enough, you might spot his hands.

The brewpub was shut down for a half a day for the filming.

Jones didn’t know when the segment will be broadcast.

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Paradigm Shift Brewing, the new brewery in Massillon, will host its grand opening Saturday. (Feb. 3)

The brewery has been open for awhile but this will be the official unveiling.

Founder/brewer Mike Malinowski said that anyone who brings in a canned good on Saturday will receive a beer koozie. He plans to distribute the collected food to local church pantries.

“Just trying to be a good steward of the community,” Malinowski said.

He’s also renaming a beer to honor a friend who has cancer. But more on that in a separate post.

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Jerrod Fisher and Mike Meholick are eager to get their new Alematic Artisan Ales brewery going in Huber Heights, a Dayton suburb.

The six-barrel brewery is shooting to open in mid May or early June.

Alematic carries the tagline: “Craft. Culture. Community.”

The brewery wants to become the place for Huber Heights to come and hang out.

“They need a sense of community and ownership,” Meholick said.

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Barley’s Brewing Co. in Columbus will soon release a breakfast stout called Breakfast of Conquerors.

The beer is being made with Honduras coffee from Backroom Coffee Roasters and aged in maple barrels. Brewmaster Angelo Signorino Jr. said he’s excited about the upcoming release. He didn’t have a release date yet. So stay tuned.

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Streetside Brewery was named by RateBeer.com as the best new brewery in Ohio for 2017.

Managing brewer and founder Garrett Hickey obviously is pleased with that recognition. He also said he’s happy with two upcoming releases.

The Cincinnati brewery will release a barrel-aged barleywine called Barleywine es la vida, a collaboration brew with Mash Cult Brewing in Florence, Ky., in 22-ounce bottles on March 10. The beer is 15.5 percent alcohol by volume. It’ll retail for $13.

“You’ll never catch me drinking a barleywine but that’s one I enjoy,” he said.

Streetside also will release its Blueberry Milkshake IPA in 16-ounce four-packs of cans on March 24. They will sell for $16.

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Double Wing Brewing Co. released new new packaged beers last year – intentionally focusing on building its POC brand.

This year will be different. The Madison brewery will release two beers in 12-ounce six-packs that proved popular on draft at its tasting room.

Blueberry Kolsch will hit the market April 1.

“It’s a kolsch first that just happens to have some blueberry flavor to it,” Double Wing’s Joel Sandrey said.

Then in the early summer, Butter Pecan Porter will be released. He called it an easy-drinking porter “with a bone-dry finish.”

“It’s so fun,” he said. “There’s a really nice desserty character to it.”

Both beers will retail for $8.99 a six-pack.

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Earnest Brew Works is growing.

Co-founder Keefe Snyder said the Toledo brewery is adding two 20-barrel fermenters, a 20-barrel brite tank and a new glycol system.

Earnest, which employs a seven-barrel brewing system, produced about 520 barrels last year and hopes to hit 1,000 this year.

The brewery also is considering canning a few beers to create some buzz.

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Market Garden Brewery has released three new colorful canned beers: Nano OG Lager, Frosty Lime Wit w/Tangerine and Chinook Strike IPA.

Wondering why the Cleveland brewery released three new brands in cans, as opposed to canning some of its popular brands such as Progress Pilsner that are available in bottles? That was by design.

“We wanted not to cannibalize our bottled beer,” brewmaster Andy Tveekrem said. “We’ll see what the marketplace says.”

The cans – one is light blue, one is light green and one is light tangerine – have raised logos, providing an interesting feel when holding them.

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Brick and Barrel plans to add food service.

One of the new partners also owns Maple City Taps & Eatery in Chardon, founder and brewer Karl Spiesman said. Brick and Barrel will offer a limited barbecue menu that includes pulled pork slider and barbecue chicken, he said.

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Well, that's it. That's all the notes that I could write today.