Friday, December 14, 2012

Here's a cool infographic on America's alcohol consumption sent to me by the folks over at Healthline. If you are having trouble reading the graphic below, check out the story here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Miami Valley Brewers

In last week's Dayton City Paper, I ran interviews with the heads of the three breweries slated to open in 2012: Toxic Brew, Dayton Beer Company, and Vitruvian Brewing Company. The online version contained some additional questions and answers that didn't fit in the print.

An exciting time to be into craft beer in Dayton. All three breweries were great to work with, and I'm wishing them all a successful launch. Here are a few extra photos that I shot while working on the piece.

Left side of Toxic Brew. See shuffleboard!

Right side of Toxic Brew

Toxic Brew looking out the street

Look for this sign on 5th street in the Oregan District

Brewing system at Dayton Beer Company

Dayton Beer Co. fermentation vessels

These taps will soon flow with Dayton Beer Co. drafts

Tasting room and bar at Dayton Beer Co.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

AleFest Columbus: This weekend

You've been to the Dayton AleFest for years. Why not try the Columbus one? Use it to build your tasting list for the big game. The AleFest team has an amazing line-up once again, including some rare casks. Here are all the details:

AleFest Columbus Brewery List Available
Choose from over 250 craft beers 
from 100+ breweries, 
with rare draught & cask offerings

Link to the list of breweries for Saturday: Brewery List Columbus 2012

Directions to The Aladdin Center here: Aladdin Shrine Center Info

AleFest General InfoAleFest Official Website
Bell's Two Hearted Ale & Thirsty Dog Hoppus Maximus
***in cask, draught and bottle***
An excellent educational way to experience the differences & similarities of one beer via all 3 traditional delivery methods 
Special Appearance by OSU Greats:

Michael Wiley, Standout OSU & NFL Tailback 
Founder of Rush for Success Lung Cancer Foundation
James Cotton, OSU Defensive Lineman & Linebacker 
Founder of the Buck-Icon Foundation

Reminder: Tropical Attire Encouraged..... dig that Hawaiian shirt outta the closet!
Hope to see you and your beer friends
THIS Saturday....Cheers!

Friday, January 27, 2012

MSD Brew Ha-Ha: Getting Ready

Getting everything in place for the big tasting tomorrow. The beers have arrived, and Linda and crew have been working overtime to transform the space. Ticket sales have been brisk and initial feedback at the beer list has been great. We even picked up some free publicity thanks to WDTN this morning.

You can still get tix online tonight at $25 each, or you can pick them up at the door tomorrow for $30. Doors open at 5, but we'll be pouring until 9. Bring some cash--you'll be able to buy extra tasting tickets, as well as enter in the raffle for beer goodies. There will also be opportunities to take home your favorites from the tasting.

Tonight we train the servers and put the finishing touches on the room. Tomorrow we finalize and print the tasting program, tap the keg, and open the doors. This is going to be a blast!

The line-up, take 1

The line-up, take 2

The logo glasses

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beer List for MSD Brew Ha-Ha

The beer list for the MSD Brew Ha-Ha this Saturday is final, so I can finally release it. I'm very excited about this line-up.

It's a robust sampling of beers from OH, MI, and PA, with some of my personal favorites to share (I'm talking to you, Bell's Porter, Dark Horse Crooked Tree and Founder's Breakfast Stout!).

And a special release of Founders Double Trouble. We'll have it on tap about a week before it makes it to the area officially.

If you haven't gotten tickets, you can still purchase them at the EventBrite site or at the door on Saturday. Remember, doors open at 5 and we'll be pouring all night long.

Here's the list. See you Saturday!


Ohio Brewing Company Verlich Gold
Kolsch-style Ale (5.0% ABV)
A light and dry ale, with soft malt and delicate hops; based on the style from Cologne, Germany

The Brew Kettle 4 C’s Pale Ale
Pale Ale (5.0% ABV)
Made with the classic US hops (Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Chinook) that impart citrus and piney flavors.


Weyerbacher Merry Monks’
Belgian- style Abbey Tripel (9.3% ABV)
Belgian yeast gives this beer complex flavors, with intense fruity esters in the nose, and a moderate to dry finish

Troegs Brewery Troegenator® Double Bock
Double bock (8.2% ABV)
A malty, chewy beer traditionally brewed by fasting monks, who relied on double bocks for their nutritional needs.

Troegs HopBack
Amber Ale (6.0% ABV)
The brewery’s flagship ale; this amber beer blends caramel malts with fresh, spicy hop notes

Stoudts Fat Dog Stout
Imperial Oatmeal Stout (9.0 % ABV)
An amped up oatmeal stout, it is silky black, with prominent roast flavors and chocolate and coffee finishes

Stoudts Pils
German-style Pilsener (5.4 % ABV)
Refreshing with assertive bitterness; a crisp bite from the Saaz hops and a dry malt finish


North Peak Brewing Majestic
American Wheat Ale (5.5% ABV)
Brewed with winter wheat and Willamette hops, this unfiltered ale is mellow and drinkable

New Holland Cabin Fever
Brown Ale (6.0% ABV)
Rye, roast and raisin notes play off a subtle caramel sweetness and culminate in a dry, roasty finish

New Holland The Poet
Oatmeal Stout (5.2% ABV)
Black as night with a tan, creamy head; a rich, smooth malt character enveloped in tones of roast and chocolate.

Founder’s Breakfast Stout
Oatmeal Stout (8.3% ABV)
Brewed with oats, chocolate, and coffee; an intense java nose with pronounced chocolate and roasted flavors.

Founder’s Centennial IPA
India Pale Ale (7.2% ABV)
Centennial hops produce a big citrusy flavor that balances nicely with the malty backbone

Founder’s Red’s Rye
Rye Pale Ale (6.6 % ABV)
Rye malt adds a spicy, crisp finish to this generously malty and hopped variation of a traditional pale ale.

Founder’s Double Trouble
Imperial IPA (9.4 % ABV)
A monster IPA with huge hop character; pungent aromatics meld with a malt-balanced backbone and a smooth, bitter finish

Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA
India Pale Ale (6.0% ABV)
Inspired by West Coast ales, dry-hopping creates a big aroma of citrus and pine against a rich malt palette.

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale
Belgian Style Tripel (8.5% ABV)
Complex ale brewed with Trappist ale yeasts, giving it mild fruit notes and hints of clove; finishes dry

Dark Horse Scotty Karate
Scotch Ale (9.75% ABV)
Named after a Michigan one-man band; enormous but balanced, with rich, bready malts and a slight alcohol bite

Bell’s Two Hearted
India Pale Ale (7.0% ABV)
Another Centennial hopped ale; famous for its grapefruit and pine resin aromas and substantial malt backdrop

Bell’s Porter
Porter (5.6% ABV)
Porter emphasizes the darker, roasted aspects of malt, with hints of dark chocolate and freshly roasted coffee

Bell’s Winter White
White Ale (5.0% ABV)
Cloudy ale that blends wheat with Belgian yeast to impart clove and fruity aromas without adding spices

Friday, January 20, 2012

Top Beer Cities ran an article of the top ten off the beaten path beer cities (not the NYC, Chicago, San Diego, Portlands, but the next round--cities you might be surprised by). Dayton didn't make the list (obviously because of our lack of breweries), but Akron did. Kalamazoo, too. Of course, those of us who love locally produced beers probably could have guessed at those two and might have added Columbus, Cincinnati, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids to the list, to name a few.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spinoza's Celebrates Pearl Jam Anniversary with DFH Progressive Tapping

Heading out to Spinoza's tonight for a Dogfish Head progressive tapping of the DFH music series. Spinoza's. If Hellhound On My Ale and Faithfull are of the same caliber as Bitches Brew, this should be a cool tapping. Hope to see you there.
Dogfish Head Brewing, Sony Entertainment & Spinoza's present... 

Pearl Jam Tribute Night & Progressive Beer Tapping 

Thursday, January 19, 2012 
6 to 10pm 
Join friends, family and fellow beer aficionados for a special evening of exclusive draft beer and acoustic live music. The region's ONLY keg of Dogfish Head's "Faithfull Ale" will be tapped at 8pm. Live acoustic Pearl Jam music by Chris Reynolds (from the band "Festive Skeltons") and his trio begin at 8pm. Faithfull Ale is a celebration of Pearl Jam's 20th anniversary as a band and its extraordinary debut album, "Ten." In recognition of these milestones, this Belgian-style golden ale is delicately hopped to 20 IBUs and fruit-forward from 10 incremental additions of black currants over a one-hour boil. Faithfull clocks in at 7% ABV. Dogfish Head's earlier collaboration ales will also be featured with the "Miles Davis Bitches Brew" tapped at 6pm and the "Robert Johnson Hellhound on My Ale" at 7pm. Join friends, family and other craft beer aficionados for a memorable evening of great beer and music!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

MSD Brew Ha-Ha Makes Dayton and Akron Papers

Our humble beer event was mentioned in the Akron Beacon Journal, as well as the Dayton Daily News. It's going to be a great event and tickets are going quickly. If you haven't already gotten yours, you can buy them online at the Eventbrite site

Monday, January 16, 2012

Impact of new Ohio brewery license changes

Mark Fisher at Dayton Daily News has a great piece today on the impact of the new changes to Ohio's liquor licensing that allows for tap rooms and samples at micro-breweries as well as some additional support for the area's micro-distillers. Reads like a who's who of upcoming area breweries:

Craft beer breweries get boost from state fee cuts

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 Ohio Beer Tastings (MSD made the list!)

Rick Armon at has a listing of all of the Ohio Beer events scheduled for 2012 (there are a lot) and the MSD Brew Ha-Ha made the list. Lots of good beer here, with more breweries popping up all the time. If you don't make the Brew Ha-Ha, you owe it to yourself to at least check out some of the other beer events here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Event: Montessori School of Dayton Craft Beer Tasting

Very excited about January 28th, when my kids' school will be presenting our first craft beer tasting. We've been planning this over the last few months and I've personally been working with McAllister at Premium to put together an exciting and diverse beer list. A few last minute details to nail down, but it's looking like a great inaugural event. Dayton beer folks, this is open to the public and the crowd at the school is very cool. Check out the detail below and get tickets on EventBrite:

The Montessori School of Dayton (MSD) and their families presents their first annual craft beer and food tasting event on Saturday, Jan. 28. Sample up to 20 beers from of Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania’s best craft brews: Weyerbacher, Troegs, Stoudts, Ohio Brewing, North Peak, New Holland, Founder’s, Dark Horse, Brew Kettle, and Bell’s. Little Miami River Catering will pair appetizers and desserts with several of the beers for a unique beer and food pairing experience. Beers provided by Premium Beverage Supply, with soft drinks by Earth Fare.

The Brew Ha-Ha takes place on Jan. 28 from 5 -10 pm. Order tickets online at or visit MSD at 2900 Acosta Street, Kettering, OH 45420 to purchase tickets during normal business hours M-F 8am-4pm. For more information call 293-8986. Tickets are $25 per person in advance and $30 the night of the events. Proceeds benefit the MSD Capital Improvement fund.

UPDATE: Check out the awesome beer list, including the area exclusive premier tapping of Double Trouble.

1,952 Craft Breweries in the US (and counting)

Thanks to Jay Brookstone for this interesting bit of news. Apparently we are tipping near the 2000 brewery mark in the US (and this can't possibly count the three new breweries planning to open in the Greater Miami Valley this year).

Cool piece of artwork illustrates this fact:

Posters are available at, where you can also zoom in on the image to see your favorite brew.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Dayton Beer Company

Big day for beer in the Miami Valley! Mark Fisher at the Dayton Daily News just posted about the soon-to-be opened Dayton Beer Company. Great news for me, as it'll be in Kettering, about a mile from the house!

As Mark Fisher reports:

When up and running, the Dayton Beer Company will sell craft beers such as pale ale, blond ale, porter and hefeweizen for retail. The label on each type of beer celebrates aspects of Dayton’s heritage, such as Inventors IPA and Patterson Pale Ale, named for NCR founder John Patterson.

“We want Dayton to be proud of its history and to give Daytonians a product they could call their own,” said Hilgeman, a 2005 Alter High School graduate who holds a marketing and international business degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Can't wait! Last spring, I wrote an article musing whether we would see locally produced beer again. Toxic Brewing Company should be opening later this year downtown, Vitruvian Brewing Company in Yellow Springs, and now Dayton Beer Company, it looks like the drought may be ending.

Yellow Springs Brewery in the works

Thanks to Brewtensils for the link. Looks like Yellow Springs is getting a brewery:

After years of dreaming, planning and home brewing, Shane and Jacqui Creepingbear are launching their long-awaited Vitruvian Brewing Company. The couple began moving into the MillWorks space formerly occupied by Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute on Jan. 1, and will spend the first two months remodeling for beer production. They expect to have their first brew sometime in March.

Read more at the Yellow Springs News.

Craft Brew Tax Cut Proposed

Bloomberg has a great article today about some proposed legislation to give tax cuts to craft brewers:

This legislation would roll back excise taxes on small brewing companies by anywhere from 11 percent to 50 percent. The current tax rates, adopted in 1976 before the rise of micro- and craft breweries in the 1990s, have never been updated, requiring many brewers to pay levies calibrated for much larger operations once considered small.

Looks like some Ohio brewing folks are part of the push to make this happen:

The push for changes in the tax code is being led by the Brewers Association and a group of brewers and brewery employees, including Patrick Conway, a founder of Cleveland- based Great Lakes Brewing Co.; Greg Hardman, of Cincinnati-based Christian Moerlein Brewing Co.; and Steve Hindy, president of Brooklyn Brewery

Interesting that part of what this legislation would do is reset the ceiling so that some of the larger craft brewers, like Boston Brewing company, would still qualify. The makers of Sam Adams may seem like a big brewery, but as the article points out, they still only produce one 50th of what AB does. Sam Adams and Yuengling, also mentioned, are much more interesting choices than pretty much anything AB puts out, so I love to see them get a leg up on the macro-brews.

BrewTensils Brewing 101

Live in the Miami Valley and want to know how to brew or improve your brewing chops? Check out the brewing school at BrewTensils. There are four sessions, with the first one next week. From their website:

Introduction to Brewing

Brewing 101 – January 12th – 7pm to 9pm

Just the basics, this class covers what each piece of equipment in your brew kit is used for, as well as walking you through your first batch of beer.

Pre-req: A desire to brew great beer starting with your first batch!

Cost: Free!

In depth look at Ingredients

Brewing 102 – January 19th – 7pm to 9pm

Ever wonder what alpha acids are? Lovibond rating have you confused? Want to know the difference between 2-row and 6-row? This class is designed to demystify the ingredients used in the brewing process. With better understand of the ingredients used, it is a small step to take your beers to the next level.

Pre-req: It is usually a good idea to have your first batch under your belt before this class.

Cost: $5 paid at the start of the class.

How to Keg

Brewing 110 – January 26th – 7pm to 9pm

This class covers the trials and tribulations of setting up your own kegerator at home. You will also learn now to keg your own beer and how to maintain your whole system. This class is useful for anyone who wants to setup a kegerator at home, brewer or not.

Pre-req: The desire to have beer on tap at home.

Cost: $5 paid at the start of the class.

Introduction to All Grain Brewing

Brewing 201 – February 2nd – 7pm to 9pm

All grain brewing seems like a crazy amount of work and calculations. We help you realize that it’s a pretty simple and straight forward process to get into. This class walks you through the terms used in all grain brewing, as well as the equipment, and finally the process.

Pre-req: It is usually a great idea to have a few extract batches under your belt before you attempt all grain brewing.

Cost: $5 paid at the start of the class.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Brewing: Bison IPA to start the new year

Monday I got together with a few other dads from our kids' school to show them how to brew. I wanted something that was straightforward, something that would be tasty but not too technical.

I opted for a West Coast style IPA. The recipe was an extract plus grains, with the excessive 2 row simply because I had it laying around:

8 lbs liquid extra pale malt
2 lbs 2-row pale malt
1 lb Crystal 60
1 oz Citra (13.6 AA) @ 60 min
1 oz Cascade (5.6 AA) @ 30 min
1 oz Cascade (5.6 AA) @ 1 min
Wyeast WLP041 Pacific Ale Yeast with Malta starter
Full boil, immersion chilled

Brew went off fairly smoothly. Forgot that pellets would clog the stainless steel chore boy I use as a filter, so I had to fish that out post-chill.

Also didn't realize that this yeast had such a long freakin' lag phase. Nearly 24 hrs, which would normally have me panicked except that the White Labs forum has tons of accounts of slow starts.

Bubbling away now. Will move to secondary in two weeks. Thinking about siphoning some off to age on bourbon soaked wood chips.