Monday, July 14, 2014

World of Beer's Best of Ohio Tap Takeover

Every Bar in Lakewood promotes three major points, adventure, community and supporting your local businesses.   Today’s blog is about the latter, buying local.  A part of supporting our local businesses, that we sometimes forget, is that it’s not just about our local retailers but also about our local producers.  The manufacturers, the growers and in this case the brewers make great things.  Getting to buy a product that you know was create in your home state, or even town, gives us that extra bit of pride.  Getting to drink something that was made by my "neighbors" makes me happy and makes me feel like I have a closer relationship with my beer.  On Friday, I was invited to World of Beer’s (bar #42) for their Best of Ohio Tap Takeover.
The World of Beer put 48 Ohio brewed beers into their taps.  These covered over two dozen breweries from all over the state.  They ranged our hometown Lakewood’s own Buckeye Brewing to one of my favorite’s Jackie O’s from Athens’ Ohio.  Breweries of all ages attended, from the established, Great Lakes Brewing Company, to plucky new comers like Franklin Brewing Company.  What these breweries have in common is creating products that aren’t just beer.  If you have enough money, know how, and cleanliness abilities you make a good enough beer.  Hell, you can make good beer in your basement.  These breweries do something beyond just making beer.  They are crafting beer.  This may just sound like a play of semantics but to the people that work at these breweries it’s everything.  They spend countless hours tweaking recipes to be the exact beer that they want to exist.  This Friday they got to show themselves off.  It was impressive that there are enough great types of beer in Ohio to fill forty-eight taps  and that we could have used at least another couple dozen beers.  I tried out five of them and still wished there was another half dozen I would have drank as well.  Well, my liver disagrees but what are you gonna do.

The event itself was odd.  There weren't any of the breweries present there like I was told, or at least they weren't obviously present.  There was also a weird smell coming from the sinks or garbage that made us move to a different location in the bar.  It basically felt like a normal day at World of Beer (minus the smell) but with a ton of Ohio beer on tap.  But they had soooo much local beer that they made up for it.

My first beer was Crafted Artisan Meadery, Meadjito.  Artisan is one of four quality meaderies in Ohio.  For those with a good palate, you’ll pick up hints of mint, lime juice, and of course, honey.  If you aren’t a mead connoisseur, it’s going to taste like a mildly sweet and sour white wine.
Next was Actual Brewing’s Photon.  I couldn’t detect much smell to it and it didn’t have a head.  This was a good beer for those trying to bridge the gap from light beers.  It’s very fizzy with little taste.  There’s a slight after taste to it as well.  It’s a nice choice for the light beer drinkers but not too interesting to your average craft beer aficionado.
I haven’t had anything from Fathead’s Brewery in a while and tonight it was time to make amends.  I didn’t even have a choice.  How do you not drink something called Fat Head’s Bonehead Red Rye Cask w/ Pineapple and Habanero.  It had a nice head to it and a soft foam.  They used the rye well, where many breweries have failed.  There should have been a piney and pineapple taste but it had trouble competing with the habanero's heat.  The spiciness took over more and more of the taste as you drank, including sticking around for a long after taste.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it and would get it again.  I want to try it with something to eat.  I believe that its complex taste will enhance a variety of foods.
My favorite beer of the night was Elevator’s Horny Goat.  I am always impressed with what Elevator produces and tonight was no different.  Horny Goat is a dark beer that even Kelly, who doesn’t like dark beer, liked a lot.  Its taste combination of whiskey, vanilla, and coconut creates a taste that’s more than its parts.  Horny Goat just got better as you went.  You must drink this, it will raise your expectations for beer and yourself.  Perhaps this was simply because it was my fourth beer in.
My last beer of the evening was Brother Drake's Apple Pie Mead.  This is not a shy mead.  It has a strong sweet aroma of apple, alcohol and cough syrup.  It’s a sweet mead, whose taste is heavy with apple and honey.  The combination can come up almost fake due to its potency.  This strong apple pie taste hides its 13% alcohol content.  This is a beer whose goal is to blast you in the face with apple pie, then knock you on your ass.
These are experiences that can’t get with a domestic beer.  Our Ohio craft beers, instead of being part of the background of getting drunk, are part of our experience.  I enjoyed getting to know some new Ohio beers.  Thank you to the people that crafted them for us.
These are the other beers included for the World of Beer's Best of Tap Takeover:
Crafted Artisin Meadery Meadjito 
Brothers Drake Apple Pie Mead 
Brothers Drake Sour Paw Paw Mead 
Black Box Abbey Ale
Black Box Cloud 9
Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Cerberus
Thirsty Dog Whippet Wheat 
Rockmill Petit Saison
JAFB-Wooster Brewery Harvest Saison
JAFB New Stunt IPA
Actual Brewing Ingenuity
Actual Brewing Photon
Great Lakes Brewing Company Space Walker
Great Lakes The Wright Pilsner
Great Lakes Mango Perry Firkin
4 String Backstage Blonde
4 String Big Star White IPA
Hoppin' Frog Brewery Turbo Shandy
Hoppin' Frog BORIS the Crusher
Buckeye Sunstream
Buckeye Hippie IPA
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery Paw Paw Wheat
Jackie O's Galaxy Mandala DIPA
Jackie O's Dark Apparition
Catawba Island Whitecap Wit
Catawba Island Double Couple
Franklin Brewing Company Ltd. Company Ltd. Americas Gold
Franklin Brewing Milk Street Stout
Willoughby Brewing Company Peanut Butter Cup Porter
Fat Head's Brewery Jack Straw
Fat Heads Bonehead
Fat Heads Bonehead Firkin w/ Habanero and Pineaplle
Fat Heads Bumbleberry
Portside Distillery Pop Smoke Rauchbeer
Portside Brewing Ironclad
Lagerheads Smokey Robinson
Seventh Son Brewing Golden Ratio IPA
Seventh Son American Strong
Brew Kettle White Rajah
Brew Kettle Black Rajah
Columbus Brewing Restaurant Bodhi
Columbus Brewing Dalton
Mt. Carmel Deeper Roots Coffee Brown
Elevator Brewing Company Horny Goat
Griffin Cider Lemon Blues
Griffin Cider Honey Oak Nitro
Rivertown Roebling Porter Nitro

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