Author Archives: Morgan Galloway

Ya Can’t Win ‘Em All

During my adventures this semester I have encountered many different new and interesting beers from Ohio.  For my last post I decided to get a little crazy and try some beers I would never have tried prior to this semester at school.

 

What are those beers?  Well, the brews hail from Hoppin’ Frog Brewery in Akron, Ohio.  The brewery, founded in 2006 by Fred Karm, doesn’t have a restaurant or a bar/tasting room on site, but the beer is available for sale Monday through Saturday after lunch.  It’s best to call for times to make sure Hoppin’ Frog is open.  I’d hate for anyone to drive all the way out there to find it isn’t open for sales.  You can buy the beers at retailers throughout Ohio and other states, too.

I traveled to Falls Bootlegger State Liquor on Graham Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls for these brews.

 

B.O.R.I.S.  The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout – 9.4% ABV

Just the word “stout” scared me when I bought this beer.  Stout reminds me of Guinness, a stout I love only when paired with a shot of Jameson and Bailey’s.  (What can I say?  It’s the Irish in me!)  This beer poured like syrup and my nose was filled with the aromas of coffee and chocolate.  The first sip was robust.  Flavors of dark chocolate swirled around my mouth.  But…I just didn’t like it.  It’s going to sound harsh but it tasted like I was drinking mud and espresso.

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Photo courtesy of Hoppin' Frog Brewery

I’m sure people who appreciate a stout would love this beer but it was just too much for me.  The blog called Mug of Saint Arnold graded the beer as an A.  This guy probably has a much more developed palate than I have.  I’m not complaining though.

 

Bodacious Black and Tan – 7.6% ABV

I’ve always been a huge fan of those mixed beers; black and tan, black and gold, black and blue.  The flavors always mix so well together and there’s some excitement to drinking two beers at the same time.  Hoppin’ Frog took this love of mine and ruined it.  The beer is made from 67 percent India Pale Ale and 33 percent stout.  A traditional black and tan is made from Guinness and Bass, beautifully layered to please the eye and the palate.  This beer looked just as dark as the stout, which made me curious.

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Photo courtesy of Hoppin' Frog Brewery

This beer was just way too hoppy for my liking.  It’s another one of those beers that I don’t like but everyone else does.  The folks at Beer Advocate rated the beer with a B+ but the bitterness was overwhelming and made me nervous to try the next beer.

 

Wild Frog Wheat Ale – 6% ABV

Man, am I glad I decided to brave through to try this beer.  The beer poured a light caramel color and aromas of fruit hit my nose immediately.  That was weird to me because no fruit is used in the making of the beer.  The bottle suggests complimenting the flavors with an orange slice, which I would have done had I had one.

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Photo courtesy of Hoppin' Frog Brewery

It didn’t taste like any wheat beer I have ever tried before (and I’ve tried a lot in my research for this blog) but I liked that it was different from the rest.   The ratings on Rate Beer gave the brew an 86 out of 100.  It doesn’t surprise me that my feelings about the beer are different from most.

 

Other Brews

I wish Falls Bootlegger Liquore Store carried more of Hoppin’ Frog’s brews than the few I found but I’m glad I was exposed to this local treasure.  After surfing the website of Hoppin’ Frog I really want to try the Smashin’ Berry Ale, Smashin’ Berry Dark Ale, Frosted Frog Christmas Ale and the Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale.

 

Have you ever tried Hoppin’ Frog brews?  If so, what’s your favorite?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beer and Sustainability

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Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Brewing Company

It’s important to remember running a business isn’t just about a great product or phenomenal service; it’s also about good public relations and practicing social responsibility.  Being socially responsible can range from doing things like fundraising to practicing award-winning sustainability efforts and a million things in between.  Craft brewery Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, Ohio does both – fundraising to lead to sustainability.

Last year, brewpub owners Pat and Dan Conway received the Champions of the Decade Award from Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, a business network oriented towards sustainability.  A Cleveland resident nominated the brothers for their strong sustainability practices.

Sustainability at the Brewery

Beau Daane on the blog Weatherhead Masters Blog touches on the sustainability practices Great Lakes Brewing Company has taken.  I’m going to pull a page out of his book.

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Photo courtesy of Google Images

  • For starters, the company recycles used vegetable oil from cooking to fuel a beer delivery truck and a shuttle bus called The Fatty Wagon.
  • Some menu items, liked the cracked barely beer bread and pretzels, are made using recycled barely from the brewing process.
  • All menus, promotional items, beverage napkins and beer cases are made out of 100% recycled materials.
  • Great Lakes Brewing Company uses vermicomposting to fertilize the herbs and vegetables found on the menu.  What is vermicomposting?  Now, this may turn some of you off but it’s actually amazing!  Vermicomposting is the process of feeding worms paper, kitchen scraps, grains and cardboard and then using the worm castings as a top-notch organic fertilizer.  Castings are poop…that’s the gross part.
  • In the winter Great Lakes Brewing Company uses cold air from outside to cool the beer to reduce the use of electricity.
  • Bottles of beer that aren’t completely filled in the bottling process don’t just get thrown away; they’re used in menu items.
  • The brewery gets its herbs and vegetables from two organic farms it manages – Pint Size Farm and Ohio City Farm.

Great Lakes Brewing Company has implemented a non-profit organization and some events to illuminate its efforts.

The Burning River Fest

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Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Brewing Company

Started in 2001, the Burning River Fest has been an event put on by Great Lakes Brewing Company to bring people together to remember the burning of the Cuyahoga River in 1969.

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Photo courtesy of Google Images

The event is supposed to celebrate the renewed sense of eco-consciousness the fire sparked.  Great Lakes Brewing Company brews a pale ale called Burning River to commemorate the event.  Click here for more information on the fire and the history of the Cuyahoga River from cleveland.com’s article on the 40th anniversary of the fire.

The Burning Rive Fest features displays from local environmental groups and educational organizations, local and organic food and live music.  The proceeds from the event benefit sustainability efforts of the Great Lakes that focus on water quality.  Since 2001, almost $250,000 has been awarded.

The Burning River Fest will take place this year on July 23 and 24 at the historic Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island.

The Burning River Foundation

Established in 2007 as a result of the support of the Burning River Fest, the foundation is a non-profit organization whose purpose through grants, donations and community involvement is to provide far-reaching education and resources for the conservation, protection, exploration, prevention and sustainable future of our waterways, more specifically, the Great Lakes.

The Burning River Foundation has promoted sustainability through the donation of funds for:

The steps Great Lakes Brewing Company are taking to be eco-friendly are simple steps that many businesses can take to help make the world a greener place.  It’s important to preserve where we live, make it a better place for our kids, grandkids, great grandkids…you get the picture.


Behold: The 8th Annual Ice Wine Festival

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Photo Courtesy of everydaydrinkers.com

The 8th Annual Ice Wine Festival kicked off this weekend in the Grand River Valley Region of Northeast Ohio.  In my travels this semester I have found that Ice Wine is absolutely delicious!  I wasn’t able to attend the event on Saturday but I want to tell ya’ll about it so you can join me either Saturday, March 12, 2011 or Saturday, March 19, 2011.  I’ll be experiencing this delicious concoction at the event on March 19 with my nephew’s grandma, Brenda, and her friends.  Join me!

Blogger Sandy M. tells you about the production of Ice Wine in her blog The Ohio Wine Lover.

What is the Ice Wine Festival?

The Ice Wine Festival is a progressive tasting of Ice Wines from five wineries in Madison,

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Photo Courtesy of Grand River Cellars

Ohio and Geneva, Ohio.  At each winery patrons will receive a complimentary appetizer and be exposed to varying degrees of entertainment.

What is a Progressive Tasting?

A progressive tasting means the patron starts the tasting at one winery and progressively move to the other four wineries at his or her own pace.  I know it seems so simple but I had to look into it a little bit to figure out what it meant.  I had assumed all wineries were bringing Ice Wines to one place so we could taste them…I was wrong.

What’s the Ice Wine Festival Cost?

  • Tickets are $5 each at each winery.
  • Patrons receive a complimentary appetizer with each Ice Wine tasting.
  • Bring a canned food item to each winery and receive $1 off the ticket price.
  • The canned food item will help support local food banks.
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Photo Courtesy of Google Images

What Wineries are Participating?

Great question!

I’ve had the pleasure of tasting the Ice Wine from Grand River Cellars and Ferrante Winery.  I can only imagine the delicious sweetness I’ll experience from the other wineries when I get up there for the event.

What’s my Complimentary Appetizer?

  • Debonne Vineyards
    • Adams Reserve sharp Cheddar served with homemade peach jam & crushed walnuts.
  • Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
    • Fire roasted pork infused with Vidal Blanc Ice Wine.
  • Grand River Cellars and Restaurant
    • Pizza topped with homemade pear jam, bleu cheese, and crushed walnuts.
  • Laurello Vineyards
    • Dark chocolate peppered Biscotti drizzled with white chocolate.
  • St. Joseph Vineyards
    • Pound cake with Krzys Ohio maple syrup, whipped cream and crushed nuts.

Notice that each appetizer has a sort of sweet aspect to it?  That’s because Ice Wine is a dessert wine and the chefs and winemakers have decided each Ice Wine pairs perfectly with each appetizer.

What Entertainment Will I Experience?

  • Debonne Vineyards will have ice carving at noon and a sled dog demonstration.  An Ice Wine martini bar will also be available for a small additional fee.  I’m pretty excited about that martini bar. 😉
  • Ferrante Winery & Ristorante will have a fire and ice cooking demonstration all day by Chef Nina (sounds pretty interesting!) and at 3 p.m. Carol Johnson, a local artist, will create glass art grape jewelry.
  • Grand River Cellars and Restaurant will have an Ice Wine marshmallow roast all day (for a small additional fee); ice carving at 2 p.m.; and live painting by local artist Jacci Guarino-Stincic.
  • Laurello Vineyards will have Lake Erie glass jewelry by Rita Burns; pottery by William Shearrow; and free wine jelly samples by Gatherings.
  • St. Joseph Vineyards will feature a local art show and is giving away a free Ice Wine glass to the first 300 patrons on site.
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Photo Courtesy of Debonne Vineyards

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Photo Courtesy of Laurel Vineyards

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Photo Courtesy of Ferrante Winery

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Photo Courtesy of Grand River Cellars


Pairing Wine with Meals

It’s only Monday and I’m already dreading the rest of my week.  While my day wasn’t completely unbearable I know I have a ton of schoolwork to be completed this week and that’s what’s riding on my shoulders.

As soon as I walked in the door I grabbed a bottle of Celebration Spice from Ferrante Winery and poured myself a hefty glass.  It was much needed.  As I sipped this delicious concoction of grapes and spices my stomach rumbled, reminding me that I didn’t eat a substantial meal yet today.

That’s when it hit me.  I’ll write about pairing wine with food.

Red vs. White

I’ve always been told to drink red wines with red meats and white wines with white meats and fish.

For example, drink Merlot with a juicy steak and Chardonnay with chicken or fish.

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Photo courtesy of Google Images

I haven’t always agreed with this train of thought.  What if you don’t like merlot?  Or red wines in general?  My dad can’t even drink red wines because his stomach gets upset.  And the same goes for people that aren’t big white wine fans.

I’ll preface this by saying: DRINK WHAT YOU LIKE AND LIKE WHAT YOU DRINK.  There’s no judicial force out there that’s going to issue you a ticket for pairing a white wine with a red meat.  The whole point to pairing wine with food is for the flavors to compliment each other.

Heck, for an appetizer a few weeks ago I had a glass of Ice Wine with calamari.  That’s just the way I roll.  Dessert wine and seafood.

In the Beginning

There’s this clever chart for those of you that don’t even know where to begin pairing wine with food.  The chart allows you to pick your food base (beef, chicken, fish, veggies, etc.) and then gives you suggestions for which wines pair nicely with it.  It’s all about preference if you ask me.  But wine connoisseurs from across the globe would probably disagree.

Chefs and winemakers at Geyser Peak Winery in California say to start with a wine you know you like.  Why?  According to an article on gourmetsleuth.com, it’s easier to adjust a food recipe to be more compatible with a wine than to start blending your wine.

“Pick a wine you know and love already. This way, you’ll have a sense of its flavors already, which you can use as a starting point to experiment with food pairings. Plus, if the recipe doesn’t work, at the very least you’ll be able to enjoy a nice bottle of wine!”

Preparation is Key

Pay attention to the way you’re meal is prepared.  Is it grilled?  Braised?  Baked?  Broiled?  What kind of sauce is it in?  What

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Photo courtesy of Google Images

are the dominant flavors?

  • Meals high in acid pair nicely with high acid wines.
    • Chianti with pasta and marinara.
  • Meals with a cream or butter base need a wine that will break through the richness of the sauce.
    • Sauvignon Blanc with fettuccini alfredo.
  • Big, flavorful meals should be paired with big, flavorful wines.
  • Mild meals should be paired with mild wines.
  • Spicy cuisine (Asian or Indian) pair well with Riesling.
  • If the food is braised in a red wine, like beef bourguignon in a Burgundy wine, then a glass of Burgundy wine pairs nicely.
    • Drink the wine the meal is cooked in.

Ray Isle on Food & Wine warns some wines simply don’t mix well with certain foods because of chemical compounds.

“Some foods contain chemical compounds that clash with wine. For instance, artichokes contain the compound cynarin, which tricks people’s taste buds into perceiving flavors that aren’t really present. For most people, cynarin creates sweetness where there isn’t any, meaning that a tart, fresh wine like a Sancerre will taste strangely, unpleasantly sweet.”

In my adventures so far this semester most wineries I’ve visited have recommended a specific wine with a specific meal.  I figure the chefs and winemakers probably know best.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with pairing.  It only sounds like rocket science.  It’s actually an opportunity to let your creative juices flow.


Small Brewery, Good Brews, Big Contributions

Ohio is home to many microbreweries.  Some of which are well known brewpubs with big names like Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, Ohio.  However, others are small brewery-only establishments like Cellar Rats Brewery in Madison, Ohio.

During my adventures so far this semester I have discovered some small breweries that brew some very delicious beers!  This weekend I uncovered the hidden gem called Indigo Imp Brewery.  Blogger Jason on The Greatest Beer of all Time blog had a message for us Clevelanders.

“Wow, I’ve never been jealous of those that live in Cleveland but now I am.  Hell, you guys should stop whining about Lebron, you have Indigo Imp Brewery!!”

About Indigo Imp

Indigo Imp Brewery is an independent, family-owned and operated microbrewery handcrafting small batches of beer in open fermentors.  The brewery is small and sells beer onsite, however, six-packs are available for purchase at local retailers like 101 Bottles, Campus Wine Cellar, and Riverside Wine and Imports in Kent, Ohio.

I was perplexed by the name when I first discovered this beer and did some research to find out what it meant.  According to merriam-webster.com, an imp is a small demon or a mischievous child.  A description like that is enough for a beer brand to get some attention.  I think we’ve all been a little impish at times, some more than others.

Indigo Imp Brewery box

Indigo Imp Brewery thrives on the desire to stand out among other microbreweries.  According to the Website, an imp bottle is the one bottle in every six-pack that is dipped in wax.

“There’s a little Imp in everyone but sometimes one stands out. Are you an Imp?“

I didn’t purchase an entire six-pack of Indigo Imp for this post, but I did go to Ray’s Place in Kent, Ohio and tried a couple of Imp beers.  I love Ray’s Place, so I was excited I got to go there to eat, drink and be merry. 😉

About Blonde Bombshell

This beer was not at all what I expected.  It was a dark amber color with a thin white head.  Carbonation raced up the sides of the glass quickly to the top.  The side of the bottle advised me to pour slowly so I didn’t disturb the yeast.  I prefer the yeast that settles in the bottom of craft beers.  That’s where the entire flavor is!  So, I poured the yeast into my glass once I had a little more room.

The flavors confused my mouth!  It started out spicy with a little bite from all the carbonation but ended sweet with tones of citrus and sugar.  Blonde Bombshell was a very delicious way to start my night at Ray’s Place.  I was delighted with this choice.  The average rating on Beer Advocate is a B- but I think it deserves an A.

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About Jester

Another surprise from Indigo Imp Brewery!  Jester is a Belgian Pale Ale, which means it was brewed with Belgian yeast.  I kept thinking Blue Moon while I was drinking this beer, but the flavor was so much more than Blue Moon.  I couldn’t figure out what the fruit was that I tasted and then it hit me…BANANA!  I was spot on.  Clove and banana radiate through this beer that poured a milky caramel color with minimal head that dissipated quickly.  Ratings on Beer Advocate weren’t too pleasant.  People rating the beer called it boring but I just don’t agree.  I say Jester is a delicious summer beer that I will be picking up very soon.

I was pleasantly surprised with both choices of Indigo Imp beers.  I would have tried more if Ray’s had the selection.

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About Imp’s Green Initiative

Indigo Imp stands out to me because of its green initiative.  The brewing process creates quite a bit of waste and Indigo Imp prides itself on recycling everything it can.  When possible, the water used to brew the beer is recycled into water used to clean.  Indigo Imp recycles any materials that can’t be reused in a future brewing process, like glass and cardboard.  Even the grains used in the brewing process are contributed to a local farm to feed cows.

Many breweries are taking a green initiative.  Not only is it good for the environment, but recycling waste from the brewing process has helped some breweries save money as well.  Last year, Magic Hat Brewing Company in Vermont installed an anaerobic methane digester that turns brewery waste into natural gas to fuel the brewing process.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate and avid home brewer Eric Fitch designed and patented the device after a home brewing blunder that left his basement flooded.


A Very Ferrante Valentine’s Day

Ferrante Winery, Ohio Booze Blog, Ohio WineryI decided to kill two birds with one stone and celebrate Valentine’s Day with Pat, my boyfriend, at Ferrante Winery and Ristorante in Harpersfield, Ohio on Sunday.  We try not to make a big deal out of this holiday but it just happened to work out this way.  And Pat was feeling the whole wine thing because he just watched Sideways.

The History

The Ferrante family has been making wine since 1937.  The winery originated in Collinwood, Ohio and moved to Harpersfield in 1979.  Ten years later the restaurant opened to showcase the award-winning wines and construct the classic food and wine experience.  Ferrante is one of the largest vineyards in Ohio and hosts events and live music all year.

The Ambience

We were greeted by a very friendly hostess and escorted to our table in the main dining room.  The restaurant was bustling with couples and families enjoying the musical sounds of Joey Vanilli.  Vanilli was nestled in the upper portion of the restaurant; the high ceilings helped his soulful jams radiate throughout the building.

The main dining room was lined with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the 65-acres of vineyards.  The natural light illuminated the dining room, accenting the rustic Italian decorations.

The Experience

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Ferrante Winery's Vidal Blanc Ice Wine

Pat and I started our dinner with a glass each of Ice Wine.  Pat had the Vidal Blanc Ice Wine and I had the Cabernet Franc Ice Wine.  Of course we shared.

The Vidal Blanc Ice Wine is white, creamy, tastes like honey and is $8 for a 4-oz glass. The Cabernet Franc Ice Wine is red, velvety, tastes like berries and is $10 for a 4-oz glass.  Pricey?  Yes.  Worth it?  Definitely.

Readers beware: a 375-mL bottle (about 1.5 cups) of Ferrante’s Ice Wine is between $29 and $35.  The price is pretty standard for a bottle of Ice Wine from the Grand River Valley region of Northeast Ohio.  The 8th Annual Ice Wine Festival is just around the corner, so stay tuned for more information about Ice Wines.

We splurged for dinner, conforming to the celebration of Valentine’s Day.  I had the Vitello alla

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Vitello alla Carciofo Limone

Carciofo Limone, which is a really fancy way to say veal with artichoke hearts, proscuitto, mushrooms and capers in a white wine lemon butter glaze and served with pasta and a salad. It was $19, as veal is normally a little more expensive.

Pat isn’t too adventurous when it comes to food, so he stuck with a pizza.  Both were very delicious.

We decided to try two more wines with dinner and that’s when things got interesting.  I ordered a glass of White Catawba and Pat ordered a glass of Bianco, a white wine I have never heard of or tasted before.  The waitress described it as “a very grapey smell and distinct taste.”

I found out on Sunday that very grapey means it smells like asphalt.  Are you familiar with the smell of freshly paved roads?  That is what this wine smelled like.   The woman working in the wine tasting room warned us not to smell it and just drink it.  We should have listened to her.  It did taste delicious though.

We decided to try every wine on the menu to prolong our Valentine’s Day dinner. We started with the dry to medium dry and proceeded to medium sweet to sweet wines.

Dry to Medium Dry:

  • Reserve Chardonnay
  • Signature Series Chardonnay
  • Signature Series Pinot Grigio
  • Golden Bunches Dry Riesling
  • Signature Series Gewurtztraminer
  • Vino Della Casa White
  • Reserved Red
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Vino Della Casa Red

Medium Sweet to Sweet

  • American Riesling
  • Grand River Valley Riesling
  • Vidal Blanc
  • Bianco
  • Rosato
  • Jester’s Blush
  • Pink Catawba
  • Rosso
  • Celebration Spice

The Lesson

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Ferrante Winery's Celebration Spice

Of all these wines we tried the Celebration Spice was my favorite.  It tasted sweet and full of flavor…like pumpkin pie!  It was an explosion of flavors in my mouth.  I understand why it’s the last wine to taste on the sweet wine sample tray. I loved it so much I bought three bottles of it for $8 each.  I have dubbed it the Christmas Ale of wines.

None of the other wines really stuck out to me too much.  I know everyone has a different palette and prefers different tastes but I just don’t like dry wine.  Especially Riesling.  Maybe that will change one day.  Until then, I’ll stick with my sweets.


Thumbs up for Thirsty Dog

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Photo courtesy of thirstydog.com

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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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Thirsty Dog's Raspberry Ale and award-winning Siberian Night

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.

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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.

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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.

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There’s an article by Sarah Jaquay in The Wine Buzz magazine that divulges Najeway’s 2008 Ohio Brew Week award-winning dessert secret, which includes Siberian Night

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.