Every year the Brewers Association conducts a survey of the best beer bars in the US via their online site CraftBeer.com. The public is asked to rate bars on their appreciation of aspects including atmosphere, staff, beer selection and special events. The Brewer’s Association compiles the data and publishes a list of the top bar in each and every state. It may come as a surprise to learn that the Ohio winner, Brewfontaine, is not located in the Short North, Over the Rhine or Ohio City, but rather in the picturesque town of Bellefontaine.
Brewfontaine joined the likes of Churchkey (DC), Torst (NY), El Bait Shop (IA), Hopcat (WI), and Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs (MO) on the prestigious list. To celebrate the victory, Brewfontaine invites the public to a thank you celebration on Thursday, March 9, from 5 – 10 p.m.
“Because of it’s Ohio recognition, we decided to bring in some of the rarest beers being made right here in the buckeye state,” said Adam Rammel, who partnered with Brian Wall and Jeramy Fitzpatrick to open the restaurant and bar in November 2015. “It will be all Ohio beers, ciders and meads for the big event and most of the offerings have never been through our doors before.”
Rammel sent me a list of the Ohio brewed beers, ciders, and meads that will be pouring for the celebration. Regardless of what you think about the validity of online polls you can’t argue with a tap list that contains so many unique and intriguing options.
- Jackie O’s Brewery (Athens, OH) I’ll Be Yammed: 9% Imperial porter brewed with sweet potatoes, pecans, maple syrup, brown sugar and vanilla beans.
- Hoppin Frog Brewing (Akron, OH) T.O.R.I.S: 13.8% Triple Oatmeal Russian Imperial.
- Rhinegeist Brewing (Cincinnati, OH) Lemon Cougar: 8.4% Blonde ale with Lemon.
- Madmoon Cidery (Columbus, OH) Tight Squeeze 6% Mango-pomegranate cider. This experimental cider has yet to hit distribution and is exclusive to Brewfointaine for this event.
- Rhinegeist Brewing (Cincinnati, OH) Bubbles: 6.2% A cider made with peach and cranberry juice, for additional pink hue, tartness and juicy fruitiness.
- Barleys Brewing Co. (Columbus, OH) Bourbon Meyer Buckeye Stout: 9.9% Chocolate and peanut butter imperial stout aged in wet Woodford Barrels.
- Toxic Brew Co. (Dayton, OH) Mellon Safety Third: 11.4% Triple IPA with a cornucopia of melon, and featuring Citra hops rather than the usual Galaxy in Safety Third.
- Warped Wing Brewing (Dayton, OH) Night Velvet Belgian Strong Ale 3% abv Fruity aroma with hints of banana and mild clove. Flavors of sweet plums used in the brewing proces mingle with a mild tart acidity.
- North High Brewing ( Columbus, OH) S’mores Stout 6.2% abv. A rich blend of black, chocolate, brown and honey malts for a graham cracker base. Cacao nibs take care of the chocolate. Steeping a bit of marshmallow root in the boil kettle pays homage to the original marshmallow recipes. Finally, smoked malt ties it all together like a campfire.
- Platform Beer Co.(Cleveland, OH) Prickly Pear & Lychee Gose 3.8% abv
- Fat Head’s Brewing (North Olmsted, OH) Hop Marauder: DIPA 9.1% This West Coast Imperial IPA is packed with lupulin from Mosaic, Ekuanot, and Simcoe hops.
- Madtree Brewing (Cincinnati, OH) Passifire Gose 7% abv. Gose with passion fruit and Szechuan peppercorns brewed in collaboration with Catch-A-Fire Café.
- Brothers Drake Meadery (Columbus, OH) Bourbon Barrel Apple Pie 13% abv. Apple honey wine with spices added. Aged one year in OYO Bourbon Barrels. 99 rating on Rate Beer.
- Wolfs Ridge Brewing (Columbus, OH) Granola Ridge 5.4% abv. Like drinking a chewy granola bar. Oats, cinnamon and fresh orange give this amber ale a pleasing sweetness and familiar flavors.
- Maumee Bay Brewing (Toledo, OH) Total Eclipse Nitro: 9.1% abv. This nitro version of their breakfast stout is normally only served at the brewery’s taproom. Brewed with copious amount of oats, lactose, coffee, and vanilla beans.
- Dayton Beer Co. ( Dayton, OH) Midnight Dream 16% abv. This imperial Stout brewed with chocolate and raspberry was the first beer brewed in Ohio over 12%.
- Hoof Hearted Brewing Co. (Marengo, OH) Wet When Slippery: 8% abv. Passionfruit DIPA in 16oz cans.
- Hoof Hearted Brewing Co. (Marengo, OH) Rose’ Gose’ 4.2% abv. Hot pink in appearance with a tart berry flavor. Brewed with loads of hibiscus, Himalayan pink sea salt, and coriander. Offered in 16oz Cans
- Yellow Springs Brewing (Yellow Springs, OH) Captain Stardust w/ Mixed Berries (Firkin) 6.5% abv. Light-bodied saison made with American Comet hops creating a rustic, juicy citrus profile and a spicy yeast character. Cask conditioned on 3 pounds of berries (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries).
It looks like I’m going to have to figure out how to get to Bellefontaine on Thursday, and more importantly how to get back to Columbus after sampling this tap list.