An Ohio beer distributor has been named chairman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association board of directors.
Jim Matesich, president and chief executive officer of Matesich Distributing Co. in Newark, took over the position earlier this month (October) during the group’s 80th annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas.
“Jim has a proven track record as a leader in his community, state, company and at NBWA,” NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser said in a prepared statement. “He has tremendous value to add to our organization, and we’re honored to have him serving as NBWA’s chairman.”
Matesich said he’s humbled by the opportunity to lead the organization.
“It’s really rewarding to fulfill this responsibility,” he said.
He will serve a one-year term and said his goal is to work with other distributors to encourage alcohol consumers to choose beer over wine and spirits.
Matesich is the third generation to own and manage Matesich Distributing, a family business that started in 1928. The distributor oversees 11 counties in Southeast Ohio and represents brands such as Anheuser-Busch, Yuengling, Elevator, Rockmill and Millersburg.
“In Ohio, we have a number of beer distributors and the unique feature of them is they have been passed down through families and have strong ties to the communities where they were established and where they are doing business,” he said. “I’m very proud to be part of that group and represent them as their chairman.”
The chairman position isn’t the first leadership role he has played in the beer industry. Matesich is past president of the board of directors of the Wholesale Beer & Wine Association of Ohio and past co-chairman of the Beer Industry Electronic Commerce Coalition.
He also has served on the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation board of directors and on the Ohio Small Business Advisory Council.
Matesich also is chairman of the Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio and past member and chairman of the board of directors of Hospice of Central Ohio. He also is a member of the Licking Memorial Hospital Development Council, serving as co-chair of the Major Gifts Committee with his wife, Amy.
Kevin Kluener is the director of operations at March First Brewing in Cincinnati. The production brewery, cider-maker, tasting room and pizzeria — which bottles for distribution — opened earlier this year.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: When I was younger, my mom taught me how to cook. I really enjoyed learning how to combine different ingredients and spices to meld flavors and make a tasty meal. The same exact process is done with brewing except your ingredients are malt, hops, water and yeast. Like many homebrewers, I started out on a Mr. Beer kit. After my first brew, I was hooked and have had a passion for it ever since.
Q: There’s a concern that the craft beer industry – thanks to the phenomenal growth over the last few years – is reaching a saturation point, particularly in some areas of Ohio. Are there too many breweries here? If yes, why? If no, why not?
A: I don’t think that there are too many, but I think it creates less of an opportunity for breweries to grow and become a larger more regional brewery. The new breweries that open are probably going to be and stay smaller neighborhood breweries with less distribution. This isn’t really a concern for many. For the public, it’s a good thing. Neighborhoods will hopefully support these breweries if the beer they make is good. I am excited for all the new breweries to open and see what kind of new styles will be coming out.
Q: What was the most difficult aspect of launching your brewery and how did you overcome the challenge?
A: There are a lot of challenges of opening a brewery but for us it was zoning and permits. Our local township made it difficult for us as we had to change our zoning. Also, the TTB seemed to be confused as to why we were applying for all three permits to be a brewery, winery and distillery. It took almost nine months for us to get TTB approved.
Q: March First hasn’t been open too long, but what’s your best-selling beer so far and why do you think it’s so popular?
A: Our Craft Lager is our number one seller. It is an American lager that is full of flavor but easy drinking. We use local Indian corn in it to give it a unique flavor. The beer isn’t extreme like some of the IPAs and sours out there, and I think that is why it is so popular. Some people are looking for a craft beer that isn’t overpowering and you can drink all night.
Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/invented/brewed and why?
A: Miller High Life. I would be rich and be able to build a center for kids who can’t read good and who want to learn to do other stuff good, too.
Editor’s note: The Five questions with … appears each Friday. If you would like to participate or would like to nominate someone to participate, send me an email at [email protected].
The well-traveled Ohio Brewing Co. is on the move again.
The Akron brewery — which has opened and closed several locations in Niles, Youngstown and Akron — announced Friday (Oct. 20) via a news release that it will open a production brewery, bar and patio on Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls.
“It’s going to be a nice operation with a planned opening in the spring,” co-owner Chris Verich said in a brief telephone conversation.
Ohio Brewing will continue to brew at its brewpub in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood for the immediate future and said its Jingle Bell Ale will be available at local grocery stores and other beer stores.
The current brewpub will be rebranded as the Barmacy Bar & Grill. Barmacy owner Walid Loutfi said he will relocate the Barmacy now operating in the city’s Merriman Valley neighborhood to Highland Square.
He is excited to move into the new neighborhood and operate with a larger location. The Barmacy, which has been open for more than four years, will serve Lebanese food, along with burgers and pizza, and be open for lunch.
The Barmacy uses the slogan “We have your medicine with no prescription” and owes its name to Loutfi’s family being in both the bar and medical fields. The bar will focus on providing a solid and expansive craft beer selection, he said.
The immediate future of brewing there is up in the air, though.
“Right now, it’s going to be a bar-restaurant but I’m looking for someone to lease out or operate the brewery,” Loutfi, 30, of Fairlawn said.
A sign posted outside the business this week says: “Coming Soon! Barmacy Bar & Grill.” The Barmacy takes over the lease Nov. 1.
Ohio Brewing said in its release that it “will remain a vibrant part of the local brewing scene as we complete our transition. The Highland Square community has been a wonderful time for us. We have enjoyed the dedication and appreciation of our patrons, while reciprocating with the successes of our recent Ohio Brewing Oktoberfest, and hosting paid musical acts weekly during our stay.”
Ohio Brewing will host a “Customer Appreciation Party” at 8 p.m. Oct. 28. The event will feature food, live music by The Senses and beer.
Other details about Ohio’s new location at 2250 Front St. weren’t immediately available. The address is between HiHO Brewing Co. and McArthur’s Brew House, which are both on Front.
The move isn’t a surprise. The brewery posted a classified advertisement on ProBrewer.com last month saying it’s “expanding our existing brewery to a new location and need to move quickly.”
The brewpub, which includes a seven-barrel brewhouse, bar and full kitchen, was asking $375,000 as a turnkey operation or it was willing to sell its brewing equipment separately.
At the time, Verich said Ohio wasn’t actively looking to sell but had plans to relocate to Cuyahoga Falls.
So you missed Brew Kids on the Block? Too bad. It was a great beer dinner Thursday night (Oct. 19) hosted by Great Lakes Brewing Co. and showcasing six new Cleveland breweries that all opened this year.
Here’s the beer rundown and pairing, along with videos of each brewer chatting about his beer:
• Collision Bend Miner’s Lady Grisette paired with lamb and mint Rangoon.
• Noble Beast Sweet Potato and Squash Saison with arugula.
• Saucy Festbier with sweet potato and apple soup with bacon.
• Working Class Smoked Porter with fried green tomatoes and smoked cheddar.
• Masthead Abbey Dubbel with braised short rib tips.
• Terrestrial Wet Hop Mosaic IPA with snickerdoodle cobbler.
In addition to the guest beers, Great Lakes also served its Cuyahoga Common to start the night and its collaboration beer for Cleveland Beer Week made with Hansa Brewery, Market Garden Brewery, Nano Brew, Platform Beer Co. and Saucy Brew Works.
Listermann Brewing Co. will celebrate its ninth anniversary Saturday (Oct. 21) with three new bottled beers, special beer tappings and a laugh.
The Cincinnati brewery, founded by Dan Listermann, will host a party from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Listermann will hand out monocles and suspenders to the first 70 customers so they can dress up as Dan Listermann, an affable quote-machine.
He made his first homebrew in 1973 when he found a beer kit at a drug store in Oxford, Ohio. He called his first series of brewing experiments the “1973 disasters.” He kept brewing and started making homebrew parts and shipping them around the country. He eventually opened a homebrew shop in 1995 and later added a small brewery.
“Opening the brewery felt like a natural progression from our home brew supply business,” Listermann said in a prepared statement. “Looking back on it, I couldn’t imagine all of our growth and success in my wildest dreams.”
Listermann is now known for beers such as Nutcase and Chickow!. Last year, the brewery took home the best of show honor at the Festival of Barrel and Wood-aged Beers (FoBAB) in Chicago for Chickow! aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.
“It’s night and day and then night again from where we started to where we are now,” Listermann general manager Jason Brewer said about the brewery’s growth over the years. “It hasn’t been easy but our customers have made it worth it.”
The three new beers being released for the party Saturday are:
• IX: A blend of barrel aged beers with walnuts, vanilla, coffee, cinnamon and natural flavors added.
• Cranium Brunch Stout: Imperial oatmeal stout aged in maple barrels with vanilla, coffee and maple added.
• Satisfied?: Stout with peanuts, chocolate and caramel.
The brewery also promised special beer tappings each hour.
Dressing as Listermann won’t be the only laugh for the day. The brewery will host a free comedy show through Bomb’s Away Comedy from 8 to 10 p.m. The local comics performing are: Wayne Memmott, Mike Hilinski, Luna Malbroux, Andrew Ruddick, Ketika, Alex Schubert, V.A. Bennett, Billy DeVore, Ran Barnaclo, Kyle Jeffers, Jon Holmes and Chris Seimer.
For more details about the party, click here.
Masthead Brewing Co. — fresh off winning a bronze medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival — is planning a major can release Oct. 28 when five of its brands will be available in 16-ounce four-packs.
The Cleveland brewery will open at 10:30 a.m. for to-go sales of Fleeb Juice New England IPA ($17.99), Sleigh All Day Holiday IPA brewed with spruce tips ($11.99), Midwest Red IPA ($9.99), IPA ($9.99) and Wit ($8.99). The Midwest Red won at the GABF and the label touts that award.
Masthead also will tap Fleeb Juice and Sleigh All Day that day.
Land-Grant Brewing Co. will host a free “blowout party” Saturday (Oct. 21) to celebrate its third anniversary.
The Columbus brewery is promising live music, local food trucks and an “incredible beer” selection that will include many guest breweries. The party begins at noon.
Land-Grant beers will include Double Dry-Hopped Stiff-Arm IPA, Citrus Greenskeeper, Stauf’s Coffee + Cacao 1862 Ale, Bomb-Pop Kölsch, Waterman Farm Pumpkin ESB, Concentrate Northeast IPA, OSU Hops Fresh-Hopped IPL, Anniversary Barleywine and six different barrel-aged beers. There also will be a limited amount of canned Bourbon Barrel Aged Caber Wee Heavy and Neutron Double IPA. A complete list is available below or by clicking here.
Land-Grant also invited the Daily Growler truck to pour guest beers from Actual, Barley’s, BrewDog, Four String, Little Fish, North High, Platform, Pretentious, Rhinegeist, Seventh Son, Sideswipe and Wolf’s
“The brewing world is a fun, challenging, and hectic one so we like to make sure we take the opportunity to reflect and celebrate with our friends, families, fellow brewers, and of course, our amazing staff,” co-founder Walt Keys said in a prepared statement. “Our first three years have been an exhilarating ride for us. We’re ready to cut loose and raise a toast or two.”
For more details, click here.
Four String Brewing Co. will celebrate its sixth anniversary Saturday (Oct. 21), with a free party featuring special beer releases and live music at its newly renovated Hilltop Taproom.
The Columbus brewery with a rock and roll background will release 11 different bottled beers and limited edition six-packs of Fresh Hop Pilsner, a collaboration beer with Fat Head’s Brewery.
The bottled beers are: Motorbreath Imperial Stout, Ghost Ship Vortex Baltic Porter and Rumble Strip American Barley Wine, along with various OYO bourbon barrel-aged versions, including vanilla bean and maple syrup. The price for a 750ml bottle starts at $9.99.
Meanwhile, the Fat Head’s collaboration brew was made with whole leaf Glacier and Hallertau Mittelfru hops. It’ll cost $10.99 for a six-pack and be sold exclusively at Four String taprooms. It also will be available at the party on draft.
“We aged the beer cold for over a month in the traditional German way and have left the beer unfiltered to showcase the grassy, grainy and herbal aromatics found only in a beer this clean,” brewmaster Larry Horwitz said in a prepared statement.
The party and bottle release begin at noon. The party, which also will feature live music starting at 6 p.m. and food trucks, will continue to midnight.
For more details on the anniversary party, click here.
The On Tap Grille & Bar in Coventry Township will host a five-course beer pairing dinner at 7 p.m. today (Oct. 18) featuring Samuel Smith.
The dinner will showcase Winter Welcome Ale paired with barbecue pulled pork slider, Taddy Porter with a 15-bean soup, Apricot Ale with spinach salad, Organic Perry Pear Cider with fish and chips, and Organic Chocolate Stout with vanilla bean ice cream.
Tickets are $45. For reservations, call 330-644-1664.
“We’ve spent the past five years building something unique in our market,” brewery founder Bobby Slattery said in a prepared statement. “This was about a two-year interview process and when it was all said and done Stagnaro came out on top. Honestly it’s a credit to their people and culture, and we’re excited to be working towards our future goals together.”
Stagnaro will handle distribution in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky.
Fifty West has been self-distributing since its inception in 2012. The Cincinnati brewery, which won its second medal in two years at the Great American Beer Festival earlier this month, said it has recently formed new partnerships with major retailers in Greater Cincinnati, will expand into the Dayton market this year and will start offering cans early next year.
Fifty West will launch in Kentucky starting Oct. 30.
The brewery also announced the hiring of Del Hall as director of sales. He previously served as a sales manager at Premium Beverage. Meanwhile, Max Fram, who previously held the title of director of sales, has been promoted to vice president of strategy and operations.
Fifty West said it expects to add nearly 30 jobs over the next 18 months.
The King of Ohio is back.
The beer competition, organized by beer bloggers and writers in the Buckeye State, is once again looking to crown the best of Ohio.
And this year, we are looking for the best stout in the state.
Is it Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher?
Or Rhinegeist Ink?
How about Maumee Bay Total Eclipse?
Or Great American Beer Festival winner JAFB Wooster New Stout?
But then again, there is Great Lakes Blackout Stout.
And of course, Jackie O’s Dark Apparition? Though we can’t forget BA Dark App, either. Or coffee vanilla Dark App!
Or perhaps it’s a gem you’ve never heard of.
Here’s how the King of Ohio competition works: Each Ohio craft brewery is invited to submit one stout for the blind judging, which is being organized this year by the Ohio Breweries Beer Blog and BrewMinds.com. (Patrick Woodward of Pat’s Pints, the other leg of this three-legged stool, is cavorting — he might argue “educating himself” — out of the country.)
The stouts will be broken into sub-styles, depending on how many we receive. The judges, including certified beer judges, will pick the best of each sub-style and then choose a “best of show” – or as we like to call it the King of Ohio.
The winner will be featured on the Ohio Breweries Beer Blog and BrewMinds.com, and highlighted in the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper.
The judging will take place Dec. 9 at Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron.
The inaugural King of Ohio competition showcased IPAs, with Hoof Hearted Wet Musk of the Minotaur winning. The second tasting featured session beers and Streetside Brewery took home the crown with Raspberry Beret.
We will make arrangements separately to gather the beers.
Also, any beer judges, Cicerones, bottle shop employees or passionate Ohio stout lovers interested in volunteering to help coordinate the event or judge beers please reach out to us as soon as possible.
Homestead Beer Co. refreshed its logo earlier this year.
Now, the Heath brewery is refreshing its packaging.
Homestead announced Tuesday (Oct. 17) that new beer labels are hitting the market for Snake Oil Super Pale Ale, Sun-Kissed Wheat, Tannenbaum Christmas Ale and 1805 IPA. Tenpenny Amber and Galactic Heroes IPA will remain with their old designs until the new year.
“It’s been a long process,” co-founder Adam Rhodes said about the rebranding. “But now the rebranding is complete and rolled out, it’s time for everyone to get a chance to see our new package. We’re incredibly excited about the new look and we’re as proud of the new package as we are about the beer in the bottles. We’re hoping that our fans both new and old will be as happy as we are.”
Here’s a rundown of the beers, with the descriptions provided by the brewery:
• Snake Oil Super Pale Ale – 7.2 percent ABV: Brewed to celebrate hops, it leads with the tropical, citrus notes from Citra and Mosaic and mixes in a classic dash of resin and pine from older American varities. Shatteringly crisp and clean it’s hop to max.
• Sun-Kissed Wheat – 5.4 percent ABV: A light, drinkable American Hefeweizen brewed with wheat, orange peel and coriander – Sun-Kissed Wheat is designed for drinking. A luscious, creamy body and sneaky hints of clove, vanilla and orange come through the dense head and billowing carbonation creating a year-round
delight for wheat lovers.
• Tannenbaum Christmas Ale – 7.3 percent ABV: We layered an insane dose of ginger with a combination of other spices to build a deep, entrancing spicy nose that just goes and goes and goes. Below that, we crafted a deep, caramel flavored malt note and backed it up with just enough hop bitterness and aroma to bring the whole beer together. It plants itself solidly in the winter warmer territory by topping out 7.3 percent ABV but it stays a remarkably drinkable beer even at that size.
• 1805 American IPA – 6.0 percent ABV: Old world meets new world with this combination of American hops and barley with a European yeast. The Centennial hops produce a citrus and orange aroma combined with a light, drinkable body and a delicate, lacy head. Pine, resin and grass notes finish on the palate with a mild maltiness and a restrained bitter.
The bar and gastropub will host a tap takeover with the Bolivar brewery from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. (Oct. 24)
Founder and brewer Andrew Marburger and wife Lauren will be present to talk beer. The tap takeover will showcase Ruckus IPA, Twisted Stem Pumpkin Ale, Big Debbie Milk Stout and Amarillo Smash.
The Brew Yard will offer a flight of four beers and half a flatbread for $12.
The event is free to attend.
Hoppin’ Frog Brewery will host a free talk, Q&A and book signing Oct. 25 featuring myself and brewery founder and award-winning brewmaster Fred Karm.
We will talk about the craft beer industry and answer questions from the audience starting at 5:30 p.m.
In my new book 50 Must-Try Craft Beers of Ohio, Karm is profiled as one of the most influential Ohioans in the state’s craft beer industry and three of his beers are showcased. The highlighted beers are B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher, Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin and Turbo Shandy.
It’s a rare opportunity to chat with one of the most honored and talented brewers in the state. The Akron brewery is well-known around the world, as Hoppin’ Frog has consistently been ranked as one of the top 100 breweries on the planet by RateBeer.com.
I will be available to sell and sign books afterward, as well.
Millersburg Brewing Co. will release Doc’s Barrel Aged Scotch Ale starting at noon Oct. 28.
The beer, which won a gold medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, was aged for more than nine months in bourbon barrels and is 13 percent alcohol by volume.
It will be sold in 550ml bottles for $9.99 and also will be available on draft.
Columbus Cigar Co. will be on hand at the Millersburg brewery during the release party to help pair the perfect cigar with Doc’s.
The war between independent brewers and Anheuser-Busch InBev is intensifying.
The Brewers Association launched a — hold onto your comedic beer mug — $213 billion crowdfunding effort Monday (Oct. 16) to buy the world’s largest brewer as part of its Take Craft Back campaign. (As of 3 p.m. Monday, TakeCraftBack.com reported receiving more than $500,000 in pledges.)
While the financial campaign may be tongue-in-cheek, the message isn’t.
Small and independent brewers have been upset with Anheuser-Busch’s if-you-can’t-beat’em-buy-’em strategy which has seen the international brewery in recent years acquire operations such as Wicked Weed, Devils Backbone, Elysian and 10 Barrel and buy its way into RateBeer.com.
Craft brewers believe Anheuser-Busch is attempting to choke consumer choice.
The Brewers Association has fought back, earlier this year creating a “Certified Independent Craft” label for craft breweries to use on their packaging. The goal is to educate consumers about which breweries are independent and which fall under the umbrella of so-called big beer.
As part of its new Take Craft Back campaign, the Brewers Association released a humorous three-minute online commercial featuring a goofy, yet energetic spokesman named Andy. (Watch it above.)
“Independent craft brewers refuse to be muscled out by Big Beer,” a suit-and-tie-wearing Andy says as he walks through a brewery past stainless steel fermenters, “And we are uniting on an unprecedented scale to take on Big Beer and their efforts to make it harder for beer drinkers to find their favorite independent craft beers at their favorite bars, liquor stores and restaurants.”
For more details about Take Craft Back, click here.
The Cleveland breweries are sharing a barrel.
BottleHouse — which just so happen to win two medals at the recent Great American Beer Festival — gave Noble Beast a barrel last week that held its Sour Ginger Saison Braggot for more than two years. Noble Beast, located in downtown Cleveland, will now fill the barrel with its own concoction and then return it to BottleHouse, which has locations in Cleveland Heights and Lakewood, when its beer is ready.
They plan to keep trading the barrel back and forth as they create small-batch, complex brews.
Back and forth.
Back and forth.
Back and forth.
“We reached out to Shaun at Noble Beast for the collaboration because we respect his passion for the craft,” BottleHouse founder Brian Benchek said in an email. “Like us, he focuses on brewing beers that have traditional roots but with an original take. For example Shaun’s spiced sweet potato saison is a one of a kind. We knew he laid down a few barrels of brett ale with fresh peaches early this year so we knew he was into working with barrel-aged sours.
“As the [Northeast Ohio] craft beer market matures, it will be up to the little guys to push the envelope and take risks with creative new beers. After all, the larger investor driven breweries seem to be focused on one thing, cans on shelves. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that but it can lead to homogeneity across the market. These kinds of collaborations between smaller breweries will serve to keep things interesting in addition to letting the consumer know there is more to NEO craft beer than cans of IPA, uninspired seasonals and ‘flavored’ fruit and nut beers that sound like they belong in the yogurt aisle.”
Here’s the rundown of the brewing permits pending before the Ohio Division of Liquor Control. These could be for new breweries or existing breweries that are expanding with new locations. I’ve also added hyperlinks when I could find working websites or Facebook pages.
This list isn’t a comprehensive list of every brewery planning to open in the state. It’s just the ones that have filed paperwork with the state.
To help with anybody who regularly checks, I’ve added the word “New>>” to the operations that are new this week.
Congratulations to Rolling Mill Brewing Co. in Middletown, which received its state brewing permits.
Here you go, sorted by region, and accurate as of the morning of Oct. 16:
• Devil Wind Brewing, 130 S. Detroit St., Xenia.
• Happy 2 Brewing Co., 8298 Clough Pike, Cincinnati. (Note: It’s the same location as the Mio’s Pizza location below.)
• Humble Monk Brewing Co., 1641 Blue Rock Road, Cincinnati.
• Little Miami Brewing Co., 208 Mill St., Milford.
• Meier’s Wine Cellars, 6955 Plainfield Road, Silverton.
• Mio’s Pizza, 8298 Clough Pike, Cincinnati. (Note: It’s the same address as the Happy 2 Brewing location above.)
• Off Track Brewing Co., 227 Stark St., Cincinnati.
• Platform Beers LLC, 916 Dalton Ave., Cincinnati.
• Quarter Barrel Brewing & Pub, 103 Main St., Hamilton.
• Rebel Mettle Brewery LLC, 246 W. McMicken Ave., Cincinnati.
NEW>>>>>• Rhinegeist Brewery, 3241 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati.
• Swine City Brewing Co., 4614 Industry Drive, Fairfield.
• Tap & Screw Brewery, 3026 Madison Road, Cincinnati.
• Three Points Urban Brewery, 331 E. 13th St., Cincinnati.
• Akronym Brewing, 58 E. Market St., Akron.
• Bad Tom Smith Brewing Co., 1836 W. 25th St., Cleveland.
• Birdfish Brewing Co., 140 E. Park Ave., Columbiana. (Note: The brewery is expanding.)
• The Brew Kettle, 11 Atterbury Blvd., Hudson.
• Cle Brewing LLC, 9431 Mercantile Drive, Mentor.
• Clubhouse Brewing Co., 668 N. River Road NW, Warren.
• Fat Head’s Brewery, 3885-3893 Everhard Road, Canton.
• Greene Eagle Winery, 2576 Davis Peck Road, Cortland.
• Jormungandr Brewing Co., 380 Overlook Road, Elyria.
• Meniru Meadery, 5850 Fulton Drive NW, Canton.
• Missing Falls Brewery, 540 S. Main St., Akron.
• Missing Mountain Brewing, 2811-2821 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls.
• Modern Methods Brewing Co., 125 W. Market St., Suite W2, Warren.
• Muskellunge Brewing Co., 425 Fifth St. NW, Canton.
• Paradigm Shift Brewing, 128 North Ave. NE, Massillon.
• 17th State Brewing Co., 9200 Tyler Blvd., Mentor.
• VPL, 14101 Market St., Columbiana.
• BrewDog Brewing Co. LLC, 463 W. Town St., Columbus.
• Dalton Union, 21100 Shirk Road, Marysville.
• Double Edge Brewing Co., 156-158 W. Chestnut St., Lancaster.
• LLJ Bucks Brew LLC, 467 N. High St., Columbus. (It’s the address for Barley’s Brewing Co.)
• Marion Brewing Co., 151 S. Main St., Marion.
• Random Precision Brewing Co., 2365 W. Dublin Granville Road, Columbus.
• Stein Brewing Co. of Mount Vernon, 109 S. Main St., Mount Vernon.
• Trek Brewing Co., 1486 Granville Road, Newark.
• Twenty-Nine BrewPub, 153 S. Main St., Marion. (The brewpub is relocating.)
• Wooly Pig Farm Brewery, 23631 Township Road 167, Fresno.
• Dungeon Hollow Brewing Co., 572 County Road 22, Bloomingdale.
• Amusement Ales and Brewery, 161 E. Market St., Sandusky.
• Bait House Brewery, 223 Meigs St., Sandusky.
• Findlay Brewing Co., 213 E. Crawford St., Findlay.
• Patron Saints Brewery, 4730 W. Bancroft St., Toledo.
• Lev’s Brewhouse, 115 S. Ohio Ave., Sidney.
• Brunos, 110 E. Poplar, Sidney.
Aaron Wirtz is the brewer at The Jolly Scholar Brewing Co. in Cleveland. The bar and grill opened on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in 2005 and added a brewery earlier this year.
Question: Why did you become a brewer?
Answer: While I was in the military, I started homebrewing because the craft beer selection where I was stationed was pretty limited. I found that I loved to learn about and practice the scientific process of brewing beer. I became a professional brewer because I took a leap and had a bit of luck. I wasn’t happy with my job and my wife Karen encouraged me to follow my passion. While it is lots of hard work, I enjoy it immensely.
Q: What are the best and worst aspects about being a brewer?
A: Sharing beer and a conversation with a customer is my favorite aspect of being a brewer. I prefer the one-on-one interaction and seeing how customers react to the first sip. That is the best feedback I can receive as a brewer.
My least favorite aspect is online reviews of beers (insert profanity tirade). Be honest about your experience but focus on what you taste, smell or feel. That is always more helpful to other drinkers.
Above all, thank you for spending your hard earned money on something I made.
Q: You’ve joined a pretty busy Cleveland craft beer scene. What’s your goal with Jolly Scholar and how do you see the brewery fitting in with the larger scene?
A: We are a learning brewery located on a university campus and as such our goal is to teach new and old customers alike about beer, whether that is through tastings, tours or classes.
We will be successful as long as we meet the needs of our Case Western Reserve University and University Circle customers. Their loyalty and enthusiasm for beer is critical for our success. But I also believe there is room for The Jolly Scholar in the Cleveland craft beer scene. Cleveland craft beer customers want new and exciting experiences and take pride in drinking beer brewed locally. I think we will please them, too.
Q: What’s your best-selling beer and why do you think it’s so popular?
A: Being so new I don’t know what our best-selling beer is or will be. All of our IPAs have sold extremely well. But I believe you will not be disappointed by any of our offerings on tap.
[Owner Matt Vann weighed in, saying the best-seller is the white IPA called Henry’s Law. “It’s selling well because it balances a lot of traditional IPA aspects with big stone fruit smells and flavor.”]
Q: Which beer – any beer in the world – do you wish that you created/invented/brewed and why?
A: I wish I created Pilsner Urquel l. It was the first pilsner or pale lager ever brewed and the most copied beer in the world. Today, 90 percent of the beers sold worldwide are based off of this Czech-style lager. I love so many styles of beer but at the end of the day there is something ethereal about that beer to me.
Editor’s note: The Five questions with … feature appears each Friday. If you would like to participate or would like to nominate someone to participate, send me an email at [email protected].
Warped Wing Brewing Co. will host a party Thursday (Oct. 19) to celebrate the can release of Flyer Red American Lager, which is part of the Dayton brewery’s lager series.
Flyer Red, which is 4.5 percent alcohol by volume, will be available on draft and in 12-ounce six-packs starting at 5 p.m. at the brewery. It will be released to retailers Oct. 24. The cans are red, white and blue.
“It’s not a leap to suggest that Ohioans own the sky,” brewery co-founder Nick Bowman said in a prepared statement. “If you think about the major milestones and heroic icons that came from Ohio, it’s pretty remarkable. From the accomplishments of the Wright brothers, to the Air Force and space program mavericks such as Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, we’re still barely scratching the surface of influence the state has had on aviation. And with Wright-Patterson Air Force base and Museum being right here, that puts us at the epicenter of all things airborne.”
Warped Wing will donate a portion of the proceeds of all Flyer Red pints, six-packs and merchandise sold the night of the release party to Fisher House, which provides support for military families.