Welcome back! My post this week is going to cover beer brewed and bottled in Akron, Ohio at Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. I created my own six-pack of this craft beer at 101 Bottles in Kent, Ohio. It was a little pricey. Each beer was between $2 and $3 but the experience was worth it.
ABOUT THE BREWERY
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company was established in 1997 by John Najeway and derives its name from Najeway’s dogs, as well as the canines of family and friends. According to an article by Keith Gribbins on clevelandscene.com, the brewery originally opened as a grill in Canton and decided to get into the craft beer-making business in 2006. By 2007 Thirsty Dog renovated an old brewery in downtown Akron to brew, bottle, and keg its beers.
The brewery lends its name and beers to charitable events in the area, which is a great way to create product awareness and brand recognition.
A fun fact about Thirsty Dog Brewing Company is Najeway decided he would only donate money to humane societies and animal shelters. Organizations can’t afford to give money to every charity and I think it’s great that Najeway’s cause of choice is animals. I’m a little biased though because I’m a dog lover.
There is a tasting room at the brewery…but it looks more like something out of prohibition. Upon entering the brewery one would never know that right around the corner is a bar bustling with friends fraternizing over a wide variety of Thirsty Dog brews. I recommend stopping in during open hours and talking to Ashley, the bartender.
ABOUT THE BEERS
Now, I don’t expect to love every beer I try and I’m no beer connoisseur but I’m allowed to have my opinions about the beer I taste, right? Thought so.
I tried these five Thirsty Dog brews:
- Twisted Kilt Scottish Style Export Ale, 5.3% ABV
- Old Leghumper Robust Porter, 6.7% ABV
- Siberian Night Imperial Stout, 9.7% ABV
- 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale, 8.3% ABV
- Cerberus Belgian Style Trippel Ale, 10% ABV
These five beers don’t represent the entire litter of beers the brewery makes but were the only five available at 101 Bottles. You can buy any of the beers straight from the brewery any day of the week, although seasonal brews aren’t always available.
Of the five I tasted I will definitely have to say that 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale was my favorite. David James of A Microbrew Review Blog agrees. Christmas ales are one of the things that make Christmastime enjoyable, and perhaps bearable for some, and Thirsty Dog’s rendition of this holiday favorite is amazing. I always hear people rant and rave about Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale and I feel as though Thirsty Dog’s is a nice change from the ordinary.
The flavor is much more distinct and the cinnamon in the brew resonates on your tongue and lips. There’s no need to rim the glass with cinnamon and sugar, as the beer is already sweet enough. A great holiday treat.
I’ll give Cerberus a thumbs-up, as well. Most would compare this beer to Blue Moon’s Belgian White but the tastes are extremely diverse. Cerberus is very sweet, very light on the palette, and very citrusy. A great summertime brew.
For the stout lovers Siberian Night is one you must try. The label on the bottle calls Siberian Night the “GRAND-DADDY” of stouts and this could be true. I guess you could compare it to Guinness but I can’t really comment because I only drink Guinness in Irish Car Bombs.
Siberian Night has won awards at the Great American Beer Festival for three years. I’m not a dark beer drinker but I would definitely prefer to have Siberian Night in my Irish Car Bombs instead of Guinness. The beer tastes like chocolate and is one of Najeway’s favorites.
ABOUT BLUES & BREWS
Thirsty Dog Brewing Company puts on Blues & Brews every year at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, Ohio. This year Stan Hwyet Hall has decided to no longer host any event where drinking alcohol is the primary activity. Linda Conrad, president and executive director of the nonprofit organization, stated in the Akron Beacon Journal that hosting occasions where the main event is drinking alcohol does not tie into the organizations mission.
Thirsty Dog is planning to hold Blues & Brews elsewhere this year. The media will be informed when a decision has been made about the new location and what charity proceeds from the event will benefit. Last year, Blues and Brews raised about $40,000 for Stan Hwyet Hall.