Ohio’s Craft Beer by the Numbers

Did you know that Ohio has more than 100 craft breweries for your drinking pleasure? Or that the Buckeye State contributes $2,162 million to the economy every year in its craft beer sales? The state of Ohio has a surprisingly big impact on craft beer in United States!

Using data from the Brewers Association, I’ve compiled a list of data breaking down Ohio’s craft beer contributions by the numbers. Take a look and see just how awesome Ohio’s place in the craft beer scene is.Ohio's craft beer industry means big business for the state and the country

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the craft beer industry in the United States grew 17 percent by volume last year while the “standard” beer market remained stagnate. The Dispatch also reports that craft brewers controlled 11 percent of the beer market in 2014. Based on the data it looks like Ohio’s craft beer market has nowhere to go but up from here!

WATCH: How to make tasty cheese fondue with Ohio craft beer

For this week’s “blog” post I take to the camera to show you how to cook with Ohio’s craft beer. And you thought it was just for drinking? Well guess again!

Ohio’s craft beer can be used in a lot of different recipes, but in this post I show you how to make some delicious pale ale fondue.

So take a look for yourself and see just how easy it is to cook with one of Ohio’s many craft beers.

As promised in the video, here’s the recipe for the pale ale fonde. Props to the good people at Great Lakes Brewing Company for putting such a delicious recipe on their website!

Now if you aren’t feeling cheesy, don’t fret! Many beers can also be used to cook things like bread and desserts. In fact, here’s another great recipe from Great Lakes: Ohio City Oatmeal Stout cream pies! YUM!

Let me know if you try the recipe in the video or any other ones for that matter! Feel free to pass along some other tasty beer-based food recipes if you know some too. Until next time, cheers!

The awesome app that helps you discover Ohio craft beer…and more

So before I jump into this week’s post I first need to preface it with a little background. Incase you don’t already know, I’m a graduate student at Kent State University where I study public relations. During my graduate studies I’ve come to find that I really love the social media and online aspect of public relations. So as you continue to read this week’s post you’ll hopefully understand why I’m so excited about this beer app. Now on to the good stuff…

As promised above, I’m going to tell you about an app that will change the way you drink and talk about Ohio’s craft beer. Now this app and its corresponding website isn’t new, but I still feel it’s good to talk about. So what’s the app? It’s called Untappd. (PS: That’s not a spelling error, that’s how the name is stylized.)

So what is Untappd? Simply put, Untappd is a social networking app and website that was launched in 2010. It allows users to essentially share and discover various types of beer, including Ohio craft beers. You can also check-in to different bars and breweries too! You’ll find that I highlight some of the great features of the app below.

Use Untappd to find friends who also drink Ohio craft beer.

Untappd allows you to add friends, find new ones and even create groups so you can keep tabs on what your friends are drinking!

Got Friends?

So after the standard free download of the app via the Apple App Store or Google Play (and brief registration via email or Facebook), the app opens up on its first screen. This screen certainly shows you that the app is geared toward drinking beer in social medium. (Their tagline isn’t “Drink socially” for nothing!) Now of course you won’t initially have friends on your first use, but fret not! You can tap the “nearby” tab and see a list of people near you who have recently checked into a bar somewhere nearby. You can also see the most recent beer they’ve drunk and how they rated it. And once you’ve become a super user of the Untappd app you can then join or create a group for your drinking buddies. This way you can keep tabs on the beer drinkers who matter to you most!

Buzzing Brews

The next screen Untappd users get to use is essentially a trending screen. Here users can search for: nearby beers, trending beers, nearby bars, nearby breweries and top rated beers. Whew, what a (great) list! My two favorite options on this screen, though, are the “nearby beers” and “nearby breweries.”

The “nearby beers” screen is pretty self-explanatory, but what’s great about it is that it shows what beers are being served near you. Of course, some great Ohio craft beers are being served up in the local bars near me in Northeast Ohio. Some notable Ohio beers that show up on the list include: Conway’s Irish Ale by Great Lakes Brewing Company and Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Van Wink by Hoppin’ Frog Brewery in Akron.

The “nearby breweries” option is also just as self-explanatory as the previous one, but what’s great about this screen is that it shows you all the operating breweries near you, big or small. So you’re not limited to big Ohio craft brewers like Great Lakes in this app. Untappd lets the little guys get involved too, which is great! All the results display as pin drops on a built-in Google Map. All you have to do is tap the pin drop and then the brewery name when it pops up. After that Untappd gives you the website, social media links and beer offerings from the respective brewery.

Use Untappd to discover Ohio craft breweries that you never knew existed

Using Untappd can help you find breweries, both big and small, near you.

Collect those badges!

The last part I’m going to highlight about Untappd may be the best part of the entire app. Originally described as the “Foursquare” of beer apps, Untappd allows its users to check-in at whatever bar or brewery they’re at. Users can also share what beer they’re drinking too. To get even more “sharability” out of their visits, users can even synch the app with their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Untappd offers various types of check-ins including: beer, venue, and special. The app also keeps track of your different types of check-ins. Once users get to a certain number of beers, for example, they can then earn a badge. Some examples include: “newbie,” “lite weight” and “I believe in IPA!”

Currently, you don’t get any incentives for earning an Untappd badge, but you can have friendly competitions with your friends over whose got the most. It’s certainly cool (at least to me…and 1,000,000 users) that you can collect these badges for simply drinking beer and going to bars!

Overall, Untappd is a great little app that has plenty to offer to beer enthusiasts alike. The above only scrapes the surface of the app as it offers other features such as news and analytics for breweries. Go download it and check it out for yourself if you haven’t already. Cheers!

Three Ohio craft breweries that you need to try today!

For my first post I thought it’d be great to talk about three Ohio-based breweries that not only serve tasty craft beer, but also have a little something more to offer. So whether it’s your first time hearing about these great breweries or your 20th, I’m sure you’ll find a beer that suits you. So without further ado, here’s my top three list:

3. Maumee Bay Brewing Company, Toledo, Ohio

Maumee Bay Brewing Company is based out of downtown Toledo, Ohio

The Maumee Bay Brewing Company opened its doors in downtown Toledo in 1995.

The Maumee Bay Brewing Company has been brewing up delicious craft beer for Toledoans since 1995. And while they’ve only been around for 20 years, Maumee Bay offers some great options for people with different tastes. Being a craft brewery the Maumee Bay Brewing Company offers seasonal and rotational beer options. All together the brewery has created an impressive 39 beers in its 20 years, including staples such as ales, IPAs and porters. Maumee Bay Brewing Company also houses a brewpub in its historical Oliver House complex that offers delicious meals in a casual atmosphere.

Recommendation: Buckeye Beer

Perhaps the best-known beer that the Maumee Bay Brewing Company is known for is Buckeye Beer. Described as “sparkling dry” this light beer has been brewed in Toledo (although not by the brewery itself) since 1838. I’ve consumed this “Glass City” brew a number of times and find it pairs well almost any occasion as it’s on the lighter side. Plus, you don’t have to be at the brewery to consume it. Buckeye Beer is sold and distributed all over the state and is available in bottles, cans and even kegs

2. Willoughby Brewing Company, Willoughby, Ohio

Willoughby Brewing Company is based in Willoughby, Ohio

Willoughby brews a delicious Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter!

Next on the list is Willoughby Brewing Company. Truth be told, I didn’t know about this wonderful brewery until I moved to Northeast Ohio for school. Boy, am I glad I discovered it too! Willoughby Brewing Company has an impressive 40 beers in its portfolio, including takes on international classics like German Hefeweizens, Irish Dry Stouts and Belgian Saisons. If 40 beers aren’t enough, then you should also try the brewery’s delicious food and check out its weekly entertainment lineup.

Recommendation: Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter

Willoughby’s Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter has got to be one of my all time favorite beers. Hands down. Zero argument. I was first introduced to this beer at Kent’s signature bar, Ray’s Place. Ray’s always has a great selection of beers on tap and Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter is certainly one of those. As some of you may (or may not) know, a porter is dark, strong beer that contains hints of coffee and chocolate flavors. The addition of peanut butter only sweetens (or bitters?) the deal with this beer. Sadly, this delicious beer is not sold in a bottle or can. However, you can get it on tap at the brewery itself, at your local craft beer bar (fortunately Ray’s continues to carry it!) or in a growler.

1. Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland, Ohio

Great Lakes Brewing Company is based in Cleveland, Ohio

Great Lakes Brewing Company has brewed more than 50 craft beers since its inception in 1988.

Now I’m sure some people would disagree with me on this choice, but hear me out on the decision. Great Lakes Brewing Company is arguably the best-known Ohio craft brewery as it boasts more than 50 beers in its arsenal. In fact, many Great Lakes beers are available across the country. From its classic Dortmunder Gold Lager to seasonal favorites like Christmas Ale, Great Lakes Brewing Company offers a beer that almost anyone can enjoy. In addition to being able to enjoy Great Lakes beer at your local pub or from the comfort of your home, the brewery also serves up its beer at many Cleveland and Northeast Ohio sporting events. From the Browns to the Cavaliers to the Indians (try the Rally Drum Red Ale), Cleveland sports fans are never far from a tasty Ohio made brew to go along with their favorite sport. On top of all of this, Great Lakes also has a brewpub, offers tours and has weekly events. Heck, there’s even a beer school where you can become a beer expert! Sign me up!

Recommendation: Dortmunder Gold Lager

An oldie, but a goodie, Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Dortmunder Gold is a great beer that’s easy to drink and respected by beer lovers alike. In fact, “Dort” is a 16-time medal winner in beer competitions globally! The beer’s smooth and dry hop flavors make it a great beer for sharing with your friends or keeping for yourself. If you’ve never tried this beer, get out and get some today! Dortmunder Gold is available year-round and comes in bottles and kegs.

So what are your thoughts on my choices? Do you agree or disagree? Do you think I got the list wrong or right? Comment and let me know!