Collision Bend to offer higher beer education

Collision Bend’ Brewing Company is going back to school. Beer School, that is. Beer 101 is a four-week series being offered by the nearly two year old brewery located in the Flats of downtown Cleveland.  Beginning Wednesday, February 6. 2019, those who want to take a deeper dive into their love of suds can sign up for one or all four classes being offered through the month of February.

Below is the week-by-week line-up:

February 6

Leslie Basalla, Co-author of Cleveland Beer, History and Revival in the Rust Belt and co-proprietor of The Cleveland Brew Bus, will give a talk on the History of Cleveland beers and breweries.  Beer tasting and paired appetizers will be served.  

February 13th

Vaughn Stewart, Brewmaster and proprietor of Bookhouse Brewing and Corey Miller of Hansa House Brewery will be on hand to discuss some of their brews.  Beer tasting and paired appetizers will be served. 

February 20th

Ohio hops talk with Mike Napier from Barntalk Hops.  Beers from Fatheads and The Brew Kettle will be featured with guest brewers Matt Cole and Jack Kephart will be on hand to discuss.   Beer tasting and paired appetizers will be served.  

February 27th

Randy Thatcher of West Branch Malting will discuss the malting process.  Aaron Wirtz of Jolly Scholar Brewing will be here to discuss beers brewed using West Branch malts.  Beer tasting and paired appetizers will be served.     

Individual classes are $30 each, and those wanting to take all four can save $20. The four pack is $100. Seats can be reserved by calling: 216-273-7879




CINCINNATI – Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. has announced that they are once again gearing up for the Bockfest season with the official seasonal release of their Emancipator Doppelbock.

On Friday January 4, 2019, Bock Beer and Bockfest lovers can stop by the Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom (1621 Moore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202) for their first Emancipator pint of the season and will also be able to take home Emancipator Doppelbock in 6 pack cans.

Alongside the beer’s debut, Christian Moerlein will be continuing the tradition of the ceremonial keg tapping and Emancipator blessing done by the brewery’s neighbors of St. Francis Seraph Church. The beer will be released at 4 PM when the Taproom opens, but the official blessing will take place at 6 PM with the keg tapping to follow.

In an official press release, brewery owner Greg Hardman said that the style Doppelbock was first brewed in Munich by the Franciscan Hermits of Paula in Munich Germany in 1634. Doppelbock, meaning “double bock”, is a higher alcohol version of the traditional bock. This beer served as “liquid bread” during fasting, when food was not permitted in the era. Christian Moerlein’s Emancipator Doppelbock comes in at 7% ABV and 17.5 IBU, and is a tribute to the original Franciscan Hermits and the brewery’s neighbors the Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. John the Baptist, serving at St. Francis Seraph and throughout the Midwest.

“We are excited to carry on the traditional blessing of our Emancipator Doppelbock with our Franciscan neighbors from St. Francis Seraph and to honor the original Franciscan Hermits of Paula from 1634 and their brewing of the first Doppelbock,” said Hardman.

Emancipator Doppelbock will be immediately available throughout the market and can be enjoyed at this year’s Bockfest, March 1-3, 2019 at the Christian Moerlein Brewery & Taproom in Over-the-Rhine.

Hardman, a Greater Cincinnati resident, purchased Christian Moerlein in 2004. The brewery opened in 1853 by its namesake, a German immigrant, and quickly became one of America’s best known and respected brands. It was reestablished in 1981. The Christian Moerlein brewing team has proudly brought back Cincinnati’s brewing heritage and legacy beer brands like Hudepohl, Little Kings and Burger.

Youngstown Craft Beer Fest The Big Tap In Returns After 5 Year Hiatus

Youngstown, Ohio – It’s baaaaaaack!!!

After five successful years of growth and sell out crowds, the event organizer of The Big Tap In Real Craft Beer Festival is once again hosting the popular craft beer and cider event. The last Big Tap In occurred in 2014, and organizers are thrilled to get it going again after a five year hiatus.

The Big Tap In Festival has been moved to the Metroplex Expo Center in Girard and will take place on April 27, 2019 with proceeds, once again, to benefit Project MKC.

“We could not be more excited to bring this event

back to the Valley” said Event Co-organizer, Phill Reda said in a press release. “The newly updated Metroplex Expo Center is a great venue and a great location for Big Tap In 6”.

Co-organizer Sandy Reda emphasized that the great energy of the event, not simply a beer tasting, will remain.

“We will have entertainers such as Disco Inferno, Youngstown Samba, The Djembe Friends, North Coast Pipe Band and more there to keep our guests energized and entertained while tasting unique craft beers”, she said.

The sixth iteration of the fest plans to have 80 different breweries with even more specialty craft beers offered this year for the VIP attendees. The Big Tap In, in its hey day, was the biggest craft beer festival between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and the with the anticipation that has built up and craft beer being more popular than ever, it’s expected it will take that mantle again. The event will host area food vendors, food trucks, local artists and local retailers.

Tickets for The Big Tap In will go on sale online at 12PM on Saturday, December 8, 2018 via VIP tickets are $75 and General Session tickets are $55.

Per the press release, “Project MKC, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that strives to make the lives of children and their families a little brighter by focusing on their individual needs with the help of volunteers. Proceeds from The Big Tap In will help to fund Project MKC’s current programs as well as to help the organization add new programs.”

Project MKC’s Jana Coffin states, “We are so grateful to be a part of this great event for another year.”

Ohio Brewing Company wins Silver Medal at World Beer Championships for Jingle Bell Ale

Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Ohio Brewing Company has announced that their Jingle Bell Ale has been awarded a Silver Medal in the Winter Ale category in the World Beer Championships. In a press release today, the brewery (which has been around in some form or another since 1997) announced Jingle Bell Ale was awarded a score of 88, which is Highly Recommended.

“The World Beer Championships is overseen by and judged in Chicago at the offices of the Beverage Tasting Institute (BTI). Tastings®com is the most prestigious and trusted authority in the beverage industry providing over 100,000 blind tasted reviews for over 38 years,” said Jakob Ward, a spokesman for OBC, in the release.

Ohio Brewing Company is in the process of opening its new brewing operation in northeast Ohio. The brewery and restaurant will be located at 2250 Front Street, a historically designated building in the refurbished downtown Front Street corridor of Cuyahoga Falls. Upon reopening, they will be the fourth brewery in the Falls, joining McArthur’s Brewhouse, HiHo, and Missing Mountain. A fifth brewery, Cheat Canyon, has announced it will open in 2019. OBC preciously operated locations in the Highland Square neighborhood of west Akron, as well as a downtown location, and began its life two decades ago in Niles. They also have a Taproom in planning in Columbus.

Ohio Craft Brewers Association announces full brewery list for Annual Winter Warmer Fest

CLEVELAND – Ask any self-professed beer geek what their favorite beerfest of the calendar year is and you might get a different answer from each. But dollars to donuts you’ll find more than a few who will claim that the Winter Warmer Fest, typically held in March each year, is the crown jewel of them all.

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association (OCBA) today released the list of participating breweries for the 13th iteration of the Annual Winter Warmer Fest. A record sixty-one Ohio craft breweries will showcase their winter seasonal, limited-edition and high-gravity beers at Windows on the River on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 2-5 p.m. The total number of breweries is up five from 2018’s sold-out event, and the trade group says this year’s event features 11 first-time participants, reflective of the rapid growth of craft breweries in Ohio.

The Winter Warmer Fest is a fundraiser for the OCBA, a non-profit organization founded to promote, preserve and unify Ohio’s craft brewing industry. It is one of three major events the OCBA puts on each year.

Winter Warmer Fest will once again feature a cask area with several breweries offering special infusions available only at the event. Many of the brewers will be on hand throughout the day to meet and talk with Ohio craft beer enthusiasts.

General admission tickets are available in advance for $45, which includes a souvenir glass and tasting tickets for 20 four-ounce samples. Early admission tickets are also available in advance for $55, granting admission at 1 p.m. Designated driver admission is available for $15 and includes a food voucher. Tickets can be purchased online at

Attendees will enjoy a spirited entrance courtesy of Black Sheep Pipes & Drums, plus live music throughout the event from Austin Walkin’ Cane and Chris Allen. Four food trucks will be set-up on site: Fired Up Taco Truck, The Manna Truck, Scott’s Fire and Ice, and Slyman’s Tavern.

Participating breweries (first-timers marked with*):

Akronym Brewing*
Bookhouse Brewing*
The Brew Brothers at Scioto Downs
The Brew Kettle
Brick and Barrel Brewing
BRIM Kitchen + Brewery
Butcher & the Brewer
Catawba Island Brewing Co.
Collision Bend Brewing Company
Columbus Brewing Company
Cornerstone Brewing Company
Crooked Handle Brewing Co.
Double Wing Brewing Co.
Elevator Brewing
Fat Head’s Brewery
Grainworks Brewing Company
Great Lakes Brewing Company
Hairless Hare Brewery
Hansa Brewery
HiHO Brewing Company
Hofbrauhaus Cleveland
Hoppin’ Frog Brewery
Jackie O’s Brewery
JAFB-Wooster Brewery
The Jolly Scholar
Little Fish Brewing Company
Lucky Owl Brewing
MadTree Brewing
Magic City Brewing Company*
Maize Valley
Market Garden Brewery
Masthead Brewing Co.
Millersburg Brewing Company
Muskellunge Brewing*
Noble Beast Brewing Co.
North High Brewing
Ohio Brewing Company
Paradigm Shift Brewing
The Phoenix Brewing Company
Platform Beer Co.
Pretentious Barrel House*
R.Shea Brewing
Railroad Brewing Company
Rocky River Brewing Company
Royal Docks Brewing Co.
Sandy Springs Brewing*
Saucy Brew Works
Seventh Son Brewing
Shale Brewing*
Sibling Revelry Brewing
Streetside Brewing*
Terrestrial Brewing
Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.
Three Tigers Brewing*
Wild Ohio Brewing*
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing
Wooly Pig Farm Brewery*
Working Class Brewery
Yellow Springs Brewery

Urban Artifact to Introduce “Tean Zu” Experimental Beer made with most oddball fruit yet

Cincinnati, OH  Urban Artifact, the all sour beer brewery known for their focus on fruited, sour beers, as well as experimental beers and the use of exotic ingredients, is releasing perhaps their strangest beer yet. That’s saying something for a brewery who releases a beer called “Pickle” every year (and yes, the taste is just as the name implies).

The brewery’s latest small batch beer is a farmhouse ale brewed with Musang King Durian – a large, pungent fruit popular in Southeast Asia known for its almond, sherry-wine and onion-like characteristics.   

“The Durian is native to parts of Asia and is a seasonal tropical fruit available during the warmest parts of the year“, UA explained in a press release. Durian is primarily used in dessert dishes, but recently has become a popular pizza topping in China.

To my knowledge this is the first durian beer to come out of Ohio,” said assistant brewer and brewing science student Charles Fitzpatrick. He added, “I am very excited to be part of something this unique so early in my career.”

Fitzpatrick and Bret Kollmann Baker, head brewer and co-founder of Urban Artifact, designed the recipe together to highlight the intense flavors associated with durian fruit.  After the recipe was finalized they sourced nearly 50 whole Musang King Durians to be opened, pulped and placed into the fermenter. Once the ale was ready to be packaged, two variants were also created, a Chinese five spice infused batch as well as a dessert inspired version with lime, vanilla bean and nutmeg. Both variants will be available in the Urban Artifact Brewery taproom at the tapping on Tuesday 12-18-18.

As for the taste?  

This beer is not something you have ever experienced before,” said Kollmann Baker.

Rising demand for these fruits in parts of the world it is making it difficult to source large amounts of durian in Ohio, so this may be the only chance for quite some time to experience this one of a kind brew.

Numbers Brewing Company To Expand, Breaks Ground on New Brewhouse

Lisbon Brewery to grow on lot right next to existing Taproom

Lisbon, OH – Numbers Brewing Company of Lisbon, Ohio, in Columbiana County, has announced a major expansion. The nearly 3 year old brewery broke ground today on a 2,000 square foot Brewhouse that will enable them to significantly increase production and potentially expand their distribution footprint. The brewery currently distributes locally throughout the Mahoning Valley into a handful of bars and restaurants, and to the south as far as East Liverpool and Calcutta.

Randy Schneider, Marketing and Promotions Director for Numbers, said they currently brew on a 2 1/2 barrel Psycho Brew system. They have purchased a 15bbl Deutsch Brewing (of Charlotte, North Carolina) system.

“The new Brewhouse is literally 3 feet away from the existing Taproom,” Schneider said. “We also have plans to expand the existing Taproom when the new Brewhouse is completed in January.”

Columbiana County is not generally what one would refer to as a hotbed of craft beer culture, but that is slowly changing. Birdfish Brewing Company opened in Columbiana in 2015, followed by Numbers, which will celebrate its third year in January. At least one other (Grudge Brewing) is in the planning stages, also in Columbiana. The Winery at Pine Lake in Columbiana also has a pending application to be able to brew.

Numbers itself is expanding fast. They added a bigger kitchen and an outdoor patio earlier this year, and also renovated their Taproom. They currently have sixteen taps, which usually have 12-13 of their own beers, and 3-4 guest taps at any given time. They are currently open Wednesday through Saturday. For more information on Numbers, visit them on Facebook.

Additional reading on Numbers:



Proceeds of New, Limited-Time Ale to Benefit A Special Wish Foundation

CLEVELAND, OH – Fat Head’s Brewery has partnered with A Special Wish Foundation, Cleveland chapter, to create and distribute a new ale that will hit taps on Tuesday, December 4.

‘A Special Wish Ale’ will be available on tap at all Fat Head’s locations, all Barrio locations and all Lizardville locations through the end of the year.

“One of the best aspects of craft beer is that it brings people and community together and the group at ‘A Special Wish’ are committed to doing the same thing.  They are doing amazing work, helping bring some happiness to very difficult circumstances,” said Fat Head’s Brewmaster Matt Cole in a prepared press release. “Fat Head’s couldn’t be more proud to support them and their great cause.”

‘A Special Wish Ale’ is an American Pale Ale with a 6% ABV. Part of the proceeds from ‘A Special Wish Ale’ will be donated to A Special Wish Foundation and will be used to grant wishes for children from birth up to 20 years of age with life-threatening diseases.

“Being a local organization, we are super excited to be partnering with one of the best breweries in Northeast Ohio,” said Eileen Lane, executive director of A Special Wish Foundation.  “A Special Wish Ale will allow us to grant a few wishes for kiddos here in our community.”

To learn more about A Special Wish Foundation, visit:


Ohio Craft Brewers Association rallies craft beer fans to fight against AB-InBev Pay-To-Play tactics

AB/InBev, the parent company of Anheuser-Busch, is attempting to raise the amount of free branded glassware a brewery or wholesaler can provide to a retailer from 2 cases to 4 cases annually (with a new annual limit of 7 cases that a retailer would be allowed to receive). The Belgium-based multi-national conglomerate submitted a proposed amendment Tuesday morning, just hours before the Senate Agriculture Committee was set to vote on HB 522 .

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association, a trade group representing Ohio brewers, was successful in getting the vote postponed. OCBA spokesman Justin Hemminger said that AB was trying to ram the amendment through at the last-minute in a lame-duck session without any public comment, and the trade group is now trying to get the amendment removed entirely.

“OCBA fully objects to this attempt to expand anti-competitive pay-to-play practices in the beer industry,” Hemminger said. “A change in the current law would allow for big breweries like Anheuser-Busch InBev to exert control over retailer purchasing decisions, which in turn would limit consumer choice in the marketplace.”

The OCBA has set up a page with more information on the bill and how it could affect the industry. If you are interested finding out how you can contact your lawmakers and what you can to help stop the legislation, you can click here:

Blog at

Up ↑