Standing in the middle of Numbers Brewing Co.’s new production facility, co-owner and brewer Brock Beatty makes a bold prediction.

Within five years, he says, the new 15-barrel Deutsche Beverage Technology brewing system will be the brewery’s pilot system — at least if the Lisbon brewery continues growing as it has.

“We’re very, very blessed and fortunate that as production has increased so has the demand for our product,” Beatty said this week during a tour.

Numbers opened in 2016 as a two-barrel nanobrewery in a little building at 127 N. Beaver St. in the Columbiana County community. Since, the brewery has expanded the interior, added a small kitchen, upgraded its bathrooms, built a large, flower-filled outdoor patio with a bar and stage for musical acts, began distributing in West Virginia and, earlier this year, fired up its 2,000-square-foot production brewery to satisfy the increasing thirst for its beers.

The brewery had been contract brewing to keep up with demand, but was able to bring all the beer-making in-house when it opened the new production facility.

Beatty said the brewery’s goal is to just keep growing, especially around its base in the Lisbon region. Numbers produced about 240 barrels last year and expects to make about 1,500 barrels over the first full year with its new system.

“We’re finding our rhythm now,” he said.

Numbers can be found in 200 locations, with most of them in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, along with West Virginia. The brewery — which distributes mainly draft beer with some cans through mobile canning company Iron Heart Canning — has been self-distributing in the Buckeye State but is considering signing up with a distributor in Ohio now.

Beatty estimates that Numbers is hitting only “10% of our potential in Ohio.”

The top seller is 22 Blood Orange, a beer made with blood orange puree. The brewery will soon release three beers made for the first time with the new brewing system: OCTO-beerfest, 424 Devil’s Blueberry Wheat and 3A’s American Apple Ale, which is produced each year for the community’s Johnny Appleseed Festival.

The region has seen plenty of growth in craft breweries over the last several years. There are many breweries within a short drive, including Birdfish in Columbiana, Sandy Springs in Minerva, Paladin and Biker in Austintown Township and Noble Creature in Youngstown.

Beatty, though, isn’t worried about competition as the brewery grows.

“I don’t think it’d hurt if there were a brewery across the street,” he said.

Zoo beer fest

Lions, tigers and beers. Oh my.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will host its first craft beer festival in October — a Halloween-themed tasting, with guests encouraged to attend in costume.

The Brew at the Zoo — a partnership between the Metroparks-run zoo and the nonprofit Cleveland Zoological Society — will take place from 6-10 p.m. Oct. 10. It will showcase brewers such as Fat Head’s, Market Garden, Great Lakes, Terrestrial, Butcher and the Brewer and Thirsty Dog, along with live music, food and animal encounters. The final brewery list is still being finalized.

The zoo exhibits will be open during the tasting so people can view the animals. The zoo also will be decorated for Halloween, as the popular, family-friendly “Boo at the Zoo” kicks off Oct. 11.

“We think this will be a fun new offering,” Zoological Society Executive Director Sarah Crupi said. “We’ve never really done an event like this in the fall.”

Although zoos in Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo have been hosting beer events for several years, the beer fest is a first for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Crupi said the zoo has seen an amazing response to after-hours events such as the Asian Lantern Festival and the Zoo Clues and Brews sponsored by Great Lakes so a beer festival makes sense.

“Cleveland, in general, is a huge craft beer city,” she added.

General admission tickets are $50 through Sept. 30; $55 from Oct. 1-9; and $60 the day of the event. VIP tickets, which allow early entry at 5:30 p.m. along with other perks, are $80 through Sept. 30; and $85 after. The event is open to those 21 years and older.

For more details or to buy tickets, go to: https://bit.ly/2MEnHyS.

Cleveland Oktoberfest

The Cleveland Oktoberfest runs Thursday through Monday at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 19201 E. Bagley Road, Middleburg Heights.

In addition to German-themed entertainment and beers, the event includes craft beer from Cleveland-area breweries.

Tickets are $13. Kids under 12 are admitted free.

For the full hours and entertainment lineup, go to: www.clevelandoktoberfest.com.

Plan ahead

Got an itch to attend a Northeast Ohio beer festival next week? You're in luck. There are three planned on Sept. 7. Here's the rundown:

• Sept. 7 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Brew at the Zoo at the Akron Zoo, 505 Euclid Ave., Akron. Details: www.akronzoo.org/brew-at-the-zoo.

• Sept. 7 from 6 to 10 p.m.: The inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame Craft Beer Festival at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, 2121 George Halas Drive NW, Canton. Details: www.profootballhof.com/events/hof-craft-beer-fest-19/.

• Sept. 7 from 4 to 8 p.m.: The West Side Catholic Center will host the sixth annual Sips & Swigs at The Madison, 4601 Payne Ave., Cleveland. Details: www.wsccenter.org/sipsandswigs.

Beer dinner

Garrett's Mill Brewing Co., 8148 Main St., Garrettsville, will host a five-course beer dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The dinner will pair shrimp rumaki with Krystallweizen or Belgian Wit; strawberry salad with Strawberry Fields, Ruben's Reuben with Irish Red; St. Louis ribs with Ma Barker Birch Beer; and chocolate berry waffle with Joe Porter.

The dinner is $35. Reservations can be made by calling 330-527-8080.

Bookhouse cans

Bookhouse Brewing, 1526 W. 25th St., Cleveland, will release its first canned beers Saturday — Celestial Map IPA and Island Gigantism Double Dry-Hopped Double IPA.

“We’re just trying to spread the word about what we are doing and thought cans would be a good way to do that,” co-founder Luke Brevoort said.

The 7.2% Celestial Map, which comes in 12-ounce six-packs ($11.99), and the 9% Island Gigantism, which comes in 16-ounce four-packs ($13.99), will be available at the brewery. They will be released at select retail outlets the following week.

 

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.