#febrewary import: Urban Artifact

Since their beers haven’t made their way North before now, we thought you might like to meet some of the breweries behind the drafts. First up is Urban Artifact. We’ll be pouring their flagship Maize Kentucky Common Ale as long as it’s flowing in Canton, Akron and North Olmsted.

Located in the former St. Patrick’s Church in the historic Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati, Urban Artifact brews some seriously wild beer. No, for real, they brew Wild Beer. Their brews are either fermented with the bacteria lactobacillus or brettanomyces, which is a locally caught wild yeast.

The two microorganisms impart acidity into the brews---the first creates a funky flavor, and the second creates more of a tropical fruit flavor, creating what is known as “sour beer.”

Most breweries don’t know how or even want to deal with the two “bugs,” which is what sets Urban Artifact apart from almost every other microbrewery not only in Ohio, but the entire United States.

The idea of fermenting with bacteria doesn’t happen to cross the minds of most home brewers, but the Urban Artifact Founders are not most home brewers…they are Chemical Engineers who met while Bobcats at Ohio University.

Scotty Hunter, originally from Cincinnati, and Bret Kollmann Baker, originally from nearby Wooster, had dreamt of turning their passion for handcrafted beer into their livelihood since they started O.U.’s first Home Brewing Club in 2009. After graduation and jobs on opposite sides of the country, they met 2 more beer fellas---Dominic Marino and Scott Hand--- who shared their philosophy, style and concept for a brewery and opened Urban Artifact---a brewery, taproom and live music venue---last year.

Check them out for yourself next time you happen to find yourself headed South on 71. www.ArtifactBeer.com

Krista Emerson