The Ohio Craft Brewers Association plans to hire its first full-time executive director to lead the organization. A steering committee is now working on the job description and other details, including the specific salary. (Don't expect a caviar wage).



"I’m hoping by summer we have that all done," said association President Eric Bean, owner and brewer at Columbus Brewing Co. in Columbus.



The association has been run on a volunteer basis by brewers. But the craft beer industry has exploded in Ohio over the last few years. In 2010, there were fewer than 50 breweries but today there are more than 70 with many more planning to open. Some brewers believe there could be 100 soon.



Until recently, Northeast Ohio had dominated the beer scene in the state because of the sheer number in that region. But most of the new breweries are opening in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton. There’s also a new trend with breweries, mostly nano operations, opening in smaller communities such as Holgate, Bryan, Bidwell, Granville and Heath.



The association also has launched its new website. The information available is sparse, but Bean said it will be updated and the website will evolve. Right now, it includes a list of breweries, homebrew clubs and some selected events.