15 Jun Beer in the Sun and Shade: From Dayton Taprooms to HogStock in Columbus
You wouldn’t know it by looking at us now, but both Walter and I were bright redheads at one time. We burn easily, we sweat copiously, and we generally deal with the heat with more effort than many people. Summer is a time for outdoor events and outdoor drinking, so we pick and choose our destinations carefully. Lucky for us, beer is great both in the air conditioned brewpubs and on the lawns and patios, so this weekend we did some indoor and some outdoor drinking. We learned a lot and made several new friends.
We started the weekend with some bar stops and a a bit of an outdoor celebration. A Taproom in Indy has had 2Toms Brewing in the house for the last week, but this was our first visit since they changed over from Windmill Brewing. If you haven’t heard about A Taproom, it’s a great new concept wherein they act as a satellite taproom for a different brewery each month. They sell their merchandise, talk up their beers, and tell their story. It works out well all around, Indy people get to try beers they normal can’t find, and the breweries get access to a new crowd and sell A LOT of beer they wouldn’t have otherwise.
I tried several beers not in 2Toms usual distribution – Benevolent Commotion Batch 3, Sight Glass Colour: Rojo, Cymbal Monkey, and Tres Leches-Lost in the Dark (their A Taproom collab. Beer). As expected, they were all great. Walter had a T-shirt Weather from 2Toms and then reverted to her desert island beer, the ThaiPA from Bare Hands.
From there we headed over to the CCIC, where the Fowling Warehouse and 8th Day Distillery are located (along with the Centerpoint Brewing, New Day Craft, and SoChatti Chocolate taprooms). 8th Day was having their 3rd Anniversary party with music from T-Bone Willy. It was ingenious that that put Willy on a truck bed in front of the taproom, and he played out to the park across the street. That’s where the people congregated with their lawn chairs and friends.
Right down the way, we went in to the massive air-conditioned space that is the Fowling Warehouse. We love watching people fowl while we relax and critique their style. It was definitely a women’s night – we saw several female teams just beating the heck out of their boyfriends and husbands. Fowling was getting set up for their pro wrestling event on Saturday night and we talked to Eric and Andy about their plans to do more events, including some indoor beer festivals in their space.
Saturday, we decided to avoid the sun for at least most of the day, and we wanted to get some different perspectives on coming out of Covid-19, so we headed to Dayton, OH – a great beer town. It’s important to get outside of your area sometimes to see how people do things, where you can find differences or strengths that you can bring back to help Indiana breweries. Seeing their problems and solutions can benefit us here at home. Plus, you get to spread the Indiana brewery love to a very different group of people.
We took the Indiana On Tap van for the trip, and we got several comments and questions, so it was well worth the trip. The beer and head wrap certainly is a conversation starter. We first hit Yellow Springs Brewery on the far east side of the city, and then worked out way back to downtown.
Yellow Springs is an artsy kind of town, and it is reflected in their brewery. Lots of art on the walls and lots of art in their beers. They have people coming to them on bikes, on foot (trail runs just outside), and even by horse. And so many stickers…I got to promote about 20 Indiana breweries and taprooms by adding to the stickers on their support beams.
Yellow Springs has a fantastic IPA called Boat Show that they started brewing about three years ago and is now on just about every bar’s beer list in the area. I did the Brood X black IPA dedicated to, but not containing, cicadas. If they got some food, they’d be perfect, but it was packed even without food.
We next visited The Wandering Griffin Brewpub for the first time. They had great food for Walter, and for me they had both a Maibock and a bock – very nice to see. The Ole Mexican Stout with chocolate, vanilla, chile peppers and cinnamon was excellent, and was our conversation starter with owner/brewer David Jennings. We talked about coming out of Covid with crowlers because Ohio just doesn’t have mobile canners who are willing to work with the small size batches he produces. This is sort of becoming a problem in Indiana, but you can still find people to do fairly small batches or will allow you to do two small batches at a time.
We also talked about how the brewers in Ohio joined together to produce a commemorative beer glass as a fundraiser for the Ohio Craft Brewers Association (their guild), and how it helped them to keep going with their activities and their lobbying. In all, it was a very nice conversation that went several places, including how much they like the sensors on their ChemStation CIP tanks for a just in time replenishment with automatic payment. It was a very nice visit – all started with people asking about the IOT van.
Every trip we make to Dayton has to include a stop at Branch & Bone Artisan Ales. One reason for the stop was the beer – oh, the Curl of the Burl, a dark wild ale that was bourbon barrel and coffee aged and finished with Brett was so good. The Golrami Italian Pilsner is winning awards, and the Feral Dawn IIPA aged in a maple bourbon barrel.
The second reason for the stop was to suggest that Branch & Bone would be a great 2022 brewery for A Taproom. We talked this up and started a conversation about it with Meagan behind the bar and made some connections. Branch & Bone has a 4.1 Untappd score overall with a healthy 50,000+ ratings. They would be a great partner and a collaboration with Xavier would be a sight to behold.
By the time we finished at Branch & Bone it was getting to be late afternoon and was turning into a very nice day. So we got in the car and beat it down to Columbus, IN to catch the last few hours of the HogStock Live Music and Beer Festival. The crowd was impressive for a first-year event and everyone was having a great time. Lou, Martha, and the whole Krempel family of Hog Molly Brewing did a first rate job of organizing the festival, from the physical set up to having plenty of water on hand and being handed out continuously.
This was a fundraiser event (they raised more than $9800) for the Columbus Area Arts Council and was done in partnership with Scott Wilson of State Farm Insurance. Scott wasn’t just a co-host here, he was also part of the organizing group and the musical line-up (nine acts in 10 hours). Scott is lead singer and guitarist for Three Beards Strummin (even if only two have beards at the moment) who took the stage at 8:30 and then teamed up with Soul Patch to finish the evening.
Scott told me that he’s dedicated to music (his business card is a guitar pick), “I have been hosting music parties for 20 years and have been playing for my friends for just as long. I figured it was time we could start using these events to raise money for good causes. Hog Molly is the perfect partner since they have the great beer, the space, they are definitely community minded, and because the Krempels are just great people and are fun to be around.”
The food trucks for the event and some even moved in and out during the day to keep choices fresh. One of the trucks, Jalapeno’s Grill will even make an appearance at Anderson On Tap this Saturday. HogStock had everything you could, and that included the beers. A new Hog Molly beer was very popular during the day, the Rookie of the Year Session IPA that has great body, a good hop presence, and definitely doesn’t drink like a 4.8% session – a great summer beer. Plus, this beer was made in honor of Martha and Lou’s first grandchild, Matt and Ashley Krempel’s little boy is two months old now.
We started and ended the weekend in Indy and moved from taprooms to outdoor concerts over the next two days. We moved in and out of the sun several times, just enough let us enjoy both Mother Nature and man-made air conditioning. We learned things from every place we visited, in and out of the state, and were able to support Indiana beer and taprooms over our entire weekend. Always learning, always passing along knowledge that we have been lucky enough to find out – we have to admit that this job both does good and tastes good.