Ignite Brewing Co. has been open for a while now — a year, in fact.

But the Barberton brewery is finally ready to hold its grand opening and unveil its renovated, family-friendly tasting room, 3,000-square-foot outdoor patio and seven-barrel brewing system.

“We’re ecstatic to finally show the vision we had to everyone who’s been coming in the last year,” co-founder Megan Slater said. “We had a vision but it was really hard to get people to see it.”

Anyone who visited the brewery, 600 W. Tuscarawas Ave., over the first year knows that it was a work in progress. Ignite started out brewing on a 10-gallon system and the tasting room always seemed to be under construction. The brewery also had limited hours because it couldn’t make enough beer on the small system to keep up with the demand.

But that’s all in the past.

“Where we were to where we are now is such a change,” Slater said.

The 5,000-square-foot Ignite is located in a former auto stop that features an L-shaped bar and large windows that let in plenty of natural light. It doesn’t offer food but people are welcome to bring in their own.

The grand opening will be a three-day celebration and coincide with Barberton’s popular Mum Fest. There will be at least 15 beers available on draft, possibly 16. Here’s the rundown:

• Sept. 28: A ribbon cutting will be held at 6:30 p.m. The Swenson’s food truck will be on hand and there will be a special tapping of Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkin Ale.

• Sept. 29: The first 50 people to buy a beer will receive a free Ignite glass. The Stone Pelican food truck also will be on site.

• Sept. 30: Merchandise will be 11 percent off and the brewery will match the 11 percent as a donation to the Lake Anna YMCA.

The Ignite name stems from Barberton’s history with the Diamond Match Co. and the desire of founders Stacy and Michael Chisnell, Marie and Adam Reinhart and Megan and Jason Slater to help serve as a spark for development in downtown Barberton.

They are unabashed Barberton fans and have pledged to give back 11 percent of Ignite profits to the community. They share a goal of “Making Beer Make a Difference.”

Ignite will be open five days a week moving forward: 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 3 to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Medal winners

Northeast Ohio kicked butt last week at the Great American Beer Festival.

Ten breweries from the Akron-Canton-Cleveland area took home medals from the prestigious competition, held each year in Denver. In case you missed the story in Sunday's newspaper, here's the rundown of local winners (in alphabetical order by brewery): The Brew Kettle Babee Bock, a bronze; Fat Head's Midnight Moonlight, a bronze; Ignite Cherry Blonde, a silver; Lager Heads Oktoberfest, a bronze; Lockport Gateway Cream Ale, a gold; Market Garden Nano — OG Lager, a silver; Masthead Midwest Red IPA, a gold; Maize Valley Lock, Stock and Brandy Barrel, a silver; Paradigm Shift Neighbor Girl, a bronze; and Royal Docks Pendragon, a gold.

Ignite, Lockport, Paradigm Shift and Royal Docks each won their first medals.

Overall, there were 13 winners from Ohio who took home 14 medals. It was a record showing for Ohio breweries. Brink Brewing Co., a neighborhood brewery in Cincinnati, also was named "Very Small Brewing Company of the Year." To see all the winners, go to www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com.

Locktoberfest

Lock 3 in downtown Akron will host its annual Oktoberfest from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 5 and noon to 10 p.m. Oct. 6.

The event, which is free to attend, will showcase beer from Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron and Hofbrauhaus. There also will be live music by the Chardon Polka Band.

Don't forget

Minerva will host the inaugural Lost French Gold Craft Beer Motherlode festival on Saturday as part of the community’s ninth annual Oktoberfest. The event runs from noon to 7 p.m. at Municipal Park.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the gate. For more details, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lost-french-gold-craft-beer-motherlode-tickets-49613747053.

Beer talk

I am teaming up with award-winning brewer Mike Pelechaty of Masthead Brewing Co. for a craft beer talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Twinsburg Public Library, 10050 Ravenna Road.

We will chat about the Ohio craft beer scene and answer questions from the audience. The talk is free to attend.

New website

My daily beer blog about the Ohio craft beer industry has not disappeared. The website has just changed. You can still find reports at www.ohio.com/lifestyle/beer.

 

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