Toledo Talk

NW Ohio Brewery Thread

I was going to share these links on the Treo thread, but I thought the subject probably warranted it's own thread. I ran across a couple of interesting links this morning. Both are discussing the boom in Cleveland and Ohio of breweries. Speaking as someone on the distribution side, the observations about distribution are spot on. In that respect, there is a bubble. Very few NW Ohio breweries distribute. Black Cloister and Maumee Bay (which is statewide). A few of the others do some kegging and hands on distribution, but nothing through statewide channels. So, keep the idea of a larger operation like a Maumee Bay, and upstarts like an Earnest of Black Frog (however, they bottle their beers and make them available at local retailers), in separate categories.

I also like the line "Maturation over Saturation". There's a reason InBev and Miller/Coors keep acquiring all of these craft breweries.

Here's the quote to follow as we THINK we are reaching a point of saturation:
"If you're a smaller brewpub bar, you're just another bar. Has anyone ever said, 'Oh, my god, there's another bar opening in Cleveland'? And if you're a brewpub, you're probably at the top of the pecking order."

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20170121/SPECIAL_REPORT_BEER/170129965/is-cleveland-overserved-by-breweries

http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/excitement-over-clevelands-brewery-explosion-has-given-way-to-questions-of-a-brewery-bubble/Content?oid=5017228

created by ahmahler on Feb 01, 2017 at 09:41:11 am     Food     Comments: 46

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I don't think Black Cloister exports much other than their Helle's lager around the state and Black Frog has cut back on their local distribution because he needs the beer for his tap room (seems like a good problem).

I'd love to see a Toledo brewery create a "must have beer" signature beer that would get some national recognition. The most sought-after beers from Ohio are barrel stouts from JackieO's and Hoof Hearted IPAs.

posted by SensorG on Feb 01, 2017 at 10:32:21 am     #  

I don't think Ohio is close to saturation yet, especially because northwest Ohio is playing catchup.

I believe Toledo has a "must have beer" in Maumee Bay's Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout. MB distributes all over the state but little to no PR and a very lackluster social media presence hurts its brand. And that's unfortunate.

posted by westsidebob on Feb 01, 2017 at 10:56:09 am     #  

I love Maumee Bay's Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout but I'm not sure it really stands out over Founders Breakfast Stout. I love the Vanilla-Raspberry version and the the barrel aged version could be a "must have beer" but the bottling of the BA version didn't go too well.

posted by SensorG on Feb 01, 2017 at 11:18:08 am     #  

Well, sure, there are very few breweries who are competing on the level of Founders, but if we're talking strictly Ohio, I think it deserves some play, and BeerAdvocate would agree.

Is there a beer in Ohio that gets the seasonal love that Bell's Oberon does? No, but it doesn't mean we can't.

posted by westsidebob on Feb 01, 2017 at 11:25:38 am     #  

There's a reason InBev and Miller/Coors keep acquiring all of these craft breweries.

Yes. All your beer belong us.

posted by justread on Feb 01, 2017 at 11:34:51 am     #  

This just showed up in my feed. Topical! Would be totally cool to find Toledo on a list like this some day: http://firstwefeast.com/features/the-most-influential-craft-breweries-in-america/

posted by upso on Feb 01, 2017 at 12:17:38 pm     #  

Forgot, we do have Four Fires Meadery now as well over in Oregon. They're just starting out.

posted by SensorG on Feb 01, 2017 at 12:35:13 pm     #  

In the wine world, when a new regions develops, the ramp up can seem excruciating. When it finally starts to hit critical mass, you can usually look back at the few years preceding it to determine something called the "Algonquin Roundtable" Effect. What that refers to is, now, the industry has gone from novelty to an actual industry. People start learning under mentors and starting their own ventures. Then, they start sharing information, tools, technique, and generally gain enough community depth of knowledge and experience, that they all get better and spawn better and better operations. As I understand it, this is the same for a beer community, but with a much faster gestational life. Look at Michigan and their culture. They are so far ahead of Ohio in both quality and prestige, that it's going to take a bit to catch up. The good news is, it's starting to happen. It will only be a matter of time. We're still in Gen 1 (maybe 1.5) of Toledo Commercial Craft Beer culture. There's obviously, a great brewing history here. There are a ton of home brewers doing some awesome stuff, and many of the home brewers are the ones starting the nano breweries. It's a VERY exciting time in Ohio. Columbus opened over 50 breweries in 2 years. There are several contributors (and stalkers-you know who I'm talking about) who know way more about it than I do, but I'm pretty excited to watch this inevitable phenomenon develop.

posted by ahmahler on Feb 01, 2017 at 01:24:41 pm     #   1 person liked this

Does Four Fires have a building?

posted by westsidebob on Feb 01, 2017 at 01:30:44 pm     #  

westsidebob posted at 01:30:44 PM on Feb 01, 2017:

Does Four Fires have a building?

They have building they use for making their mead, but I'm not sure about their plans to open a tap room yet. So far everything they've produced has been killer.

posted by SensorG on Feb 01, 2017 at 02:09:36 pm     #  

Heard there could be another brewery coming to BG soon. Has there been any more news about Treo? Does that brewery rumor have any legs?

posted by westsidebob on Feb 02, 2017 at 02:48:32 pm     #  

Not sure about the Treo building, but I asked around and it does sound like the Comstock Furniture building will be a brewery. Friend of a friend is one the financiers.

posted by SensorG on Feb 02, 2017 at 03:15:52 pm     #  

If Black Cloister would make enough to bottle their Barrel Aged True Scotsman, you could have a winner as far as "hype beer" goes. It's a solid beer to start, but the BA is even better.

Good friends with a few of the guys from Four Fires. I've had most of the mead before they started the company, and am looking forward to seeing what they can put together on a commercial scale.

What NW Ohio needs is a good homebrew store like Adventures in Homebrewing. More specifically, Toledo, and by Toledo I really mean West Toledo. Titgemeiers doesn't have enough product from malt to hops. I end up driving up to AIH or ordering online more often than not. But that's a separate rant.

posted by webrioter on Feb 03, 2017 at 08:04:11 am     #  

I'm friends with a couple of the Four Fires guys too. We've probably met and are part of the same beer groups.

I used to go Adventures in Homebrewing for all my grain, but I've switched to making mead from beer in the last year or so and get almost everything locally or the internet.

posted by SensorG on Feb 03, 2017 at 08:46:40 am     #  

Hey-Earnest Brew works is damn good. The beers are just outstanding. Their brown ale with Citra hops was outstanding. We had 4 beers between us-some of the best Toledo made beers, I've had, yet.

posted by ahmahler on Feb 04, 2017 at 10:33:27 pm     #  

I was there from 7-11pm last night. They had a great crowd all night.

posted by SensorG on Feb 05, 2017 at 04:32:21 pm     #  

I was there from 9-10, grabbed some of those cans to go

posted by ahmahler on Feb 05, 2017 at 04:56:59 pm     #  

I just saw that the building the lack Cloister is in is for sale. My apologies if this has been brought up.

posted by Molsonator on Feb 15, 2017 at 08:33:00 pm     #  

Interesting ...

posted by westsidebob on Feb 16, 2017 at 12:52:15 pm     #  

There was an unfortunate situation that occurred on an upper floor of the building, and the owner no longer wants to be involved with it. So they're selling for personal reasons, nothing to do with BC†BC.

posted by Johio83 on Feb 16, 2017 at 01:13:44 pm     #  

This is what I'm talking about at Black Cloister. If I want to go to church, I'll go to church. Gives me the creeps, honestly.

From its Facebook page: As many know, Tom Schaeffer, one of the founders of Black Cloister Brewing Company, is an ordained Lutheran pastor. This Wednesday at 7 pm in the Wittenberg Room, Tom will hold a short Ash Wednesday service. Following the service, Tom will offer ashes to any and all who wish them.

posted by westsidebob on Feb 28, 2017 at 09:06:48 am     #  

Don't see what the big deal is. Everyone knows he's a pastor. He gives you a heads up, so that people like you, who don't want to go to church, don't go on Wednesday. Not a big deal, he isn't trying to fool anyone.

posted by Xbuckeyex on Feb 28, 2017 at 09:23:29 am     #   2 people liked this

No, I get that, and that's why I don't go. But there have been some on the board who haven't made the connection.

posted by westsidebob on Feb 28, 2017 at 09:30:57 am     #  

I mean... their name is Black Cloister. Their logo is a holy chalice. It's not like they're trying to hide the fact that they're a religious group brewing great beer.

posted by Johio83 on Feb 28, 2017 at 09:42:28 am     #   2 people liked this

They're not holding a gun to your head and forcing the Holy Spirit on you while you enjoy your beer, are they?

Show us on the doll where the bad priest touched you.

posted by dell_diva on Feb 28, 2017 at 09:49:08 am     #   3 people liked this

Like I said, not my thing, so I don't go. But you're in the public marketplace. It's no different than say Pizza Hut handing out Bibles to customers who wanted them. A line is crossed and I am not sure where that line is, but it doesn't make it normal by adding a religious icon to your logo. I'm not saying they should stop or its unlawful or anything of that nature, but it sure would be weird if you hadn't seen the Facebook post before you entered the taproom. It may not be in-your-face proselytizing, but it's proselytizing nonetheless.

posted by westsidebob on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:00:38 am     #  

Do bibles in hotel rooms keep you from staying there?

posted by Mike21 on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:11:11 am     #  

Haven't seen a Bible at a modern hotel in many years.

posted by westsidebob on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:16:23 am     #  

So. many years ago did you stay in hotels that had bibles in them?

posted by Mike21 on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:19:10 am     #  

Ha, I was a kid and had no choice. Also believed in Santa Claus then too. I'm an adult now, and a free thinking one at that.

posted by westsidebob on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:20:59 am     #  

westsidebob posted at 10:00:38 AM on Feb 28, 2017:

Like I said, not my thing, so I don't go. But you're in the public marketplace. It's no different than say Pizza Hut handing out Bibles to customers who wanted them. A line is crossed and I am not sure where that line is, but it doesn't make it normal by adding a religious icon to your logo. I'm not saying they should stop or its unlawful or anything of that nature, but it sure would be weird if you hadn't seen the Facebook post before you entered the taproom. It may not be in-your-face proselytizing, but it's proselytizing nonetheless.

So this is what gets your bloomers in a twist today?

And, if Pizza Hut did hand out Bibles to those who wanted them, why does that cross a line? As long as those eating their pizza and reading their Bible don't stand on the table and begin preaching fire and brimstone disturbing the rest of the customers - who cares?

Seems to me we have so many more important issues to be annoyed by.

posted by Foodie on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:24:28 am     #  

LOL, my bloomers are twist free. Again just pointing out that Black Cloister does a little more proselytizing than people think. No big deal because there are plenty of other breweries in the city, and I'm happy to take my business to them. Others have pointed out similar circumstances with the new coffee shops in downtown and uptown. That's all.

posted by westsidebob on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:30:36 am     #  

I hope you didn't boycott your parents for making you stay in those hotels ot lying to you about Santa.

posted by Mike21 on Feb 28, 2017 at 10:33:12 am     #  

Man, this whole thing is tough. Letting your personal or religious beliefs bleed into your business is a pretty dicey proposition, but for many people, this is the only way they can be true to themselves. Where is the line between what Black Cloister does and say, a Hobby Lobby, or one of the other religious affiliated coffee shops? For me, I think there is a delineation. They operate from a place of honesty and authenticity. I do believe they're sensitive to the fact that not everyone is interested in the religious side, and they're respectful of that. Making them keep these pieces of their existence separate, isn't something i can get behind. As long as their mission is to keep those well delineated, and not impose religion or morality (overtly or covertly) upon the rest of us, they're okay in my book. They truly are good people, doing good things. All of this comes from a place of atheism/ agnosticism.

posted by ahmahler on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:05:42 am     #   1 person liked this

westsidebob posted at 10:20:59 AM on Feb 28, 2017:

Ha, I was a kid and had no choice. Also believed in Santa Claus then too. I'm an adult now, and a free thinking one at that.

If you are free thinking, why would someone else's religion/belief/thought/expression be so bothersome it would require warning statements? Seems like a free thinking person could find freedom from religion inside themselves by simply tuning away from the things that do not interest and replacing those thoughts with others of more personal relevance.

You don't believe in Santa Claus. Fair enough. But just curious if you warn people about Frankenmuth?

posted by justread on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:13:34 am     #   2 people liked this

The topic of the sermon for Ash Wednesday will be "Jesus doesn't want you to give up beer for lent. I asked Him."

posted by JoeyGee on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:18:44 am     #   1 person liked this

JoeyGee posted at 11:18:44 AM on Feb 28, 2017:

The topic of the sermon for Ash Wednesday will be "Jesus doesn't want you to give up beer for lent. I asked Him."

oh, please be true.

posted by ahmahler on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:22:55 am     #  

Don't screw this up for me. I learned to like fish so I could drink through Lent. Beer isn't on the table. Steak Fridays are.

posted by justread on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:25:34 am     #  

Bob must have been pissed when he had the Muslim faith directly thrown at him when he ate at ZaZa's.

posted by dell_diva on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:27:17 am     #  

Also on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at Black Cloister, in the evening, is Pints and Purls. Bring your current crochet or knitting project and booze it up with yarn geeks.

posted by jr on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:37:44 am     #  

jr posted at 11:37:44 AM on Feb 28, 2017:

Also on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at Black Cloister, in the evening, is Pints and Purls. Bring your current crochet or knitting project and booze it up with yarn geeks.

So, you can tie one on while you...tie one on.

posted by JoeyGee on Feb 28, 2017 at 01:48:54 pm     #   1 person liked this

Though I like the Hobby Lobby comparison, I don't recall any religious activities actually taking place on a store's property. But I don't shop at Hobby Lobby, so maybe that's why I don't recall. If I decide to participate in the knitting project at BC, I'll be sure to get my supplies at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

posted by westsidebob on Feb 28, 2017 at 01:58:17 pm     #  

i have been to cloister 20 or so times and never felt preached to in the least... many times when the minister was there. the giant montage may well have religious images but they are mixed with pagan and popular culture images so in its way it is subversive to organized religion. and really the idea of bringing up spirituality in some generalized manner feels less repressive than the constant pressure of consumerism neon and noise that other establishments push. give me the beer nerds, D&D types, artists, and hippies any day over what some other bars down there get.

the women who work at hobby lobby in their crocheted vests do scare the hell out of me...

posted by enjoyeverysandwich on Feb 28, 2017 at 04:52:16 pm     #   3 people liked this

westsidebob posted at 01:58:17 PM on Feb 28, 2017:

Though I like the Hobby Lobby comparison, I don't recall any religious activities actually taking place on a store's property. But I don't shop at Hobby Lobby, so maybe that's why I don't recall. If I decide to participate in the knitting project at BC, I'll be sure to get my supplies at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Your ears didn't start bleeding when you heard the hymns on the store sound system?

posted by dell_diva on Feb 28, 2017 at 05:33:02 pm     #  

jr posted at 11:37:44 AM on Feb 28, 2017:

Also on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at Black Cloister, in the evening, is Pints and Purls. Bring your current crochet or knitting project and booze it up with yarn geeks.

I, for one, will boycott BC in the future due to their support of the ultra-conservative right-wing knitting faction and their pagan polyester gods. I'll knot put up with sweaters and blankets being forced upon me! I too am a free thinker!

posted by breeman on Mar 01, 2017 at 01:29:08 pm     #  

Tough crowd.

Anywho, there's new brewery coming to BG in the spring called Wild Side.

posted by westsidebob on Mar 01, 2017 at 01:52:14 pm     #