Happy Brew Year: A Year in Ohio Craft Beer


                Boy, has it been a year in Ohio Craft Beer! Local Burgers and Beer are our specialty, and while we always update you on the burgers, we have a lot to recap about the exciting year our Ohio Brewery Partners have had. Dozens of breweries have opened in 2017, which means we have an even bigger selection of craft beer from our state to share with you -  some of which have even made their way to our draft lists and upcoming beer school schedule!

                For beer lovers like us, there’s never such a thing as “too much” beer, but the ability to try them all might seem like a daunting task. The good thing is, we make sure you’re never far away from great Ohio beer to try at your leisure! Whether you’re in Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, Canton, Cincinnati or somewhere in between, you’re sure to see a building with the words “Brewing Company” plastered on the side. We’re here to show you the first ones worth trying!


The (Self-Appointed) Ohio Beer Experts’ List of Our State's Best New Breweries:

  • Saucy Brew Works (Cleveland):  Opened by two guys with a passion for Craft Beer – and clearly Ohio! Brew Master Eric Anderson and Entrepreneur Brent Zimmerman transformed the Steelman Building in Ohio City into a place which delivers crazy good beer and legendary good times. Mainly, these two beer fanatics want to share their love of Craft Beer and give back to their hometown community - what’s not to love about that?


  • Terrestrial Brewing Company (Cleveland):  Owners Ryan Bennett and Ralph Sgro’s brewery plan was more than two years in the making when their dream finally became a reality. This neighborhood brewpub offers a unique take on various ales and lagers, as well as a patio with great views of Lake Erie.


  • Collision Bend Brewing Company (Cleveland):  Collision Bend is one of the newest additions to the booming East Bank of the Flats. This brewery offers a selection of crisp, bright beers brewed on-site, plus a full-service restaurant. Brewer Luke Purcell, who helped bring Great Lakes to national fame, focuses his talents not only on the beer, but also on the pairing of it with tasty food offerings. This brewery is quickly becoming a Cleveland landmark on the Cuyahoga River.


  • Working Class Brewery (Westlake):  Plain and simple – a couple of working class guys following a dream and embracing their passion for creating craft beer for hard-working people. Their beers can range in styles, and popular selections include seasonal and one-off experimental brews. 
  • Masthead Brewing Company (Downtown Cleveland):  Located in the heart of downtown Cleveland with a great open space and dog-friendly patio. Masthead focuses on American and Belgian style beers, plus they have recently started a Barrel-aged beer series.
  • Noble Beast Brewing Company (Downtown Cleveland):  This small, family-owned brewery is located in downtown Cleveland, right across from WKYC on Lakeside (which is great for Chef Hawks and Mike Mariola after Lakeside Today segments!). The space includes a taproom and small kitchen, and their style of beer ranges anywhere from traditional American IPA’s to German Style Kolsch.
  • Headtrip Brewing (Stow):  Just opened, tucked in the Stow-Hudson Towne Center. To start, they offer a simple lineup of delicious craft beer including a traditional IPA, Winterberry Ale and even a Blackberry Wheat Ale. This brewery is still in its early stages, but definitely worth checking out.

                So many great breweries have hit the market this year that we can’t even fit them all in a single blog post, so stay on the lookout for new breweries opening near you, and if we haven’t covered them, let us know!

                In other beer news, Platform Beer Co. has created a great sour program – producing some great tart and fruity beers this summer. Plus, even more barrel-aged beers have been released from one of the most popular breweries in Athens, Jackie O’s! The UK’s BrewDog has opened a massive brewing facility in Columbus as their USA Headquarters, and plans for expansion are in the works for 2018! BrewDog has even been kind enough to host a few of our Ohio Beer School classes this year and next, so if you haven’t tried them yet, keep an eye out for our monthly schedule. Beyond that, so many breweries in Ohio have expanded to different cities (think Fat Head’s!) or opened new standalone brewpubs, showing more of America what the Ohio Craft Beer scene is all about.

                In Rail news, 2017 was a big year for expanding our partnerships with local breweries as we created a seasonal Featured Brewery program. This year, we partnered with Rhinegeist Brewery of Cincinnati and Zaftig Brewing Co. of Worthington, highlighting both their staple and hard-to-find drafts on tap, offering $10 featured flights and showcasing Growler Nights every Thursday and Friday. We're looking forward to continuing this program in 2018, kicking off the year with The Brew Kettle in January!

                It’s been a great year for exploring new Ohio Beers, and we can’t wait to see what 2018 brings! Of course, we always love to hear from our beer loving RAILavores, so we're wondering which beers are you most looking forward to seeing on tap at The Rail near you and which local breweries would you love to see host our next beer schools?

Cheers, and from all of us at The Rail, Happy Brew Year!