NE Ohio Beer Wins GOLD!

by Renee on April 12, 2014

Visiting Willoughby Brewing Co.I’m so proud of the craft beer scene in Northeast Ohio these days. I love having family and friends in from out of town, showing off all the great places you can stop for a wonderful handcrafted beer in my neck of the woods (like taking Jack to Willoughby Brewing Company–see pic). From Chardon BrewWorks in Geauga County to Willoughby Brewing in Lake County, to Fat Head’s on the West side, and Hoppin’ Frog and Thirsty Dog in Akron, to JAFB in Wooster–not to mention all the downtown Cleveland hot spots like Market Garden Brewing, Nano Brew and longtime favorite Great Lakes Brewing Company, you can find plenty of quality brews to quaff! And even more good things are coming our way: Platform Beer Company, Hansa Brewing, Haufbrau House Playhouse Square and The Butcher & The Brewer on E. 4th Street!

The rest of the beer world is starting to take notice too. Just last night in Denver, several Northeast Ohio breweries won medals at the World Beer Cup, including GOLD for one of my go-to favorites, Willoughby Brewing Company’s Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter!  (Yes, that is what is in my hand in that photo!) Cheers to more good beer than ever for the Buckeye State and beyond.

(Stay tuned…you may find New Albion around Northeast Ohio again soon…)

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hillMarch has arrived, and thankfully, spring is just around the corner (spring ahead this weekend with your clocks!). This has been a long–very long and cold and very snowy winter in Northeast Ohio. Today in fact is Fat Tuesday, and I’m finding myself wishing I was in New Orleans for all the Mardi Gras fun, and also just to get away from single digit temperatures. I recently read that maple syrup season is somewhat delayed here in Geauga County because the sap just isn’t running yet; we haven’t had any warm-ish nights to get it going.

So, being half Irish, when the calendar hits March I start to anticipate St. Paddy’s paradeDay (NOT St. Patty’s Day!) in a big way. I love eating corned beef, drinking beer, polishing my shillelagh, drinking beer and speaking with a half-baked Irish accent as much as the next person (if the next person is my husband Paul). Did I mention I like drinking beer? I also look forward to Cleveland’s big St. Patrick’s Day parade (one of the oldest in the country, 147 years running) when it isn’t snowing. For ten years running, Paul and I had a party we called Leprechaun Lunacy. I keep promising it will return one day, and it will. Just not this year.

bagpiperThis year several exciting things are going on for the Irish high holiday. Jack will be the Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in his corner of Arkansas! St. Patrick’s Day on the Hill  on March 15th in Fayetteville promises to be a beery affair, with great Irish music, Irish dancers, and of course a craft beer garden!

tattooThe morning of the 17th, Paul and I are looking forward to Kegs-n-Eggs at our local dive bar, Unc’s Patio, a full one minute from our house. And that evening, from 4-close, I will be pouring beer at Chardon BrewWorks and trying out that Irish accent on patrons. And perhaps I’ll even flash my shamrock tattoo. Slainte!

 

 

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New Year, New Decade, New Gig

by Renee on January 15, 2014

Yes, it’s 2014, another new year underway. And on top of that, I just celebrated a BIG birthday. Well, you’re only as young as you feel, right? And I still feel like I’m 21. Okay, maybe 31. And, just to pile on, my daughter Ali celebrates a big birthday this month too–she is leaving her teenage years behind and starting a new decade as well. Wow. I really don’t know where the time goes, but I do know I’m having fun!

CBWTo add to the fun this year, I’m starting a new gig with Chardon BrewWorks, Geauga County’s first post-Prohibition brewery. I’ll be working behind the bar on Wednesday and Sunday nights, and the occasional Saturdays too.  Brewmaster Mike Nedrow and his wife Donna have been in business since 2010. A longtime home brewer, Mike began with a brewpub on the historic Square in Chardon, but has recently moved to 200 Center Street, in the Weidig Florist building with a brand new taproom. Mike feels the taproom set-up will allow him to focus more on the handcrafted beers–but don’t fear, there will be a small menu, plus you’ll be able to order out from local restaurants. There will even be the occasional food truck visit to supplement your beer drinking at the bar! Mike still plans on having live music, open mic nights, game nights, book club, the mug club, movie nights and more fun. Look for a soft opening later in January, with a grand re-opening set for Saturday, March 15th.

I first met Mike and Donna the year after they opened, and did some marketing work with them to help get the brewpub off the ground. They’re a great couple with a wonderful family, and they take pride in their business and the beers. Local favorites include the Pride of Geauga Maple Porter, Donna-Do-You-Wanna Hefeweizen, and the Muzzy Cream Ale (always a bargain at $4.20!).

Mike & Jack & DonnaWhen Jack was in town last year, we dropped by the Chardon brewpub to say hello. Mike and Jack have more than beer in common–both are pilots as well. They had a lot to talk about, and Jack enjoyed the visit and the brews of course! I’m looking forward to working in the taproom and getting to spend time in the brewhouse, furthering my own beer education as I continue to revive New Albion Ale. I’ve still got plans to see it back on the shelves this year, and things are happening to make that dream a reality, don’t you worry!

I’m very excited to be a part of the Chardon BrewWorks team, and I hope if you’re in Northeast Ohio, you’ll stop in for a pint or two. Cheers to new adventures in beer!

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Ringing in the New Year with RedEnvelope!

December 26, 2013

With Christmas behind us now, the next big celebration is the New Year–and 2014 promises to be an exciting one for the New Albion Brewing Company! As you await renewed production of The Original Craft Beer, I hope your bar is stocked with your favorite craft beers and spirits for your New Year’s celebration– perhaps [...]

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