Ohio Craft Brewers Conference 2016

by Renee on February 5, 2016

ohio-craft-brewers-new1Groundhog Day not only promised an early spring in 2016, but an avalanche of great brew to come in Ohio. Held over the course of three days, the Ohio Craft Brewers Conference, put on by the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, was held at the Dayton Convention Center Feb. 2-4. Only the second annual gathering, attendance doubled over last year–with reps from the state’s 160-plus breweries making the trek to the Gem City.

Tuesday afternoon the brewers and others in the industry met for their quarterly meeting at Carillon Brewing Company, where beer is brewed the way it was done in the 1850s–no easy feat! That evening, conference-goers were treated to several brew bus tours of many of Dayton’s 14 breweries. I had the chance to enjoy the beers of Yellow Springs Brewing and the Hairless Hare Brewery.

The highlight for most was the keynote address by Jim Koch of Boston Beer on Wednesday morning–many don’t realize that Samuel Adams beers are primarily brewed in Cincinnati, and the company is the largest member of the OCBA. Koch grew up in Ohio before heading Northeast to Boston, and he reminisced fondly of his years here. A sixth generation brewer, his Buckeye roots run deep–Koch told the gathered crowd he has a cousin named Scarlett Ann Grey.

For me personally, the highlight wasn’t Jim’s talk–when he made a personal call for craft brewers to stick Jim Paultogether against the Big Guys–the ones you’ll see advertising during this weekend’s SuperBowl–but afterward, when I had the chance to introduce him to Paul Benner, one of the founders of Platform Beer Company. Since Jim is the one who re-introduced my father, Jack McAuliffe, and New Albion Ale to the craft beer world back in 2013, it thrilled me to put him together with Paul, who is brewing the Original Craft Beer today. They talked about Jack’s amazing contributions to the craft beer world, and how things have changed since those early days in Sonoma, CA in the 70s.

Paul shared his reverence for the beer with Jim, and told him about Jack’s reaction when the Father of Craft Beer visited the brewery in 2014 for its debut to a Cleveland crowd: Jack had said the new New Albion really hits the mark. Jim was pleased to hear it–and thanked Paul for shepherding the historical ale to new audiences.

NABCoSo, it doesn’t really get much better than that on a sunny winter Wednesday in Ohio. Look for the next batch of New Albion Ale to come very soon from the fledgling Gypsy Brewing Company–an offshoot of Platform. Plans for this year include larger quantities of New Albion at your favorite Ohio restaurants and bars, possible packaging, and better swag. Maybe we’ll even brew one of Jack’s other original New Albion beers. Cheers to exciting brew news!

 

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New Year, New Chapter, A Few New Brews

by Renee on January 15, 2016

sunSo 2016 is off to a pretty good start, as new years go. I made the decision to celebrate the holiday away from old memories and to make some new ones in San Diego–to get away from cold Ohio temperatures, in a new environment with old friends.

I had been wanting to get to Southern California to check out the beer Coronadoscene there for some time, and had a great couple of tour guides in Kevin and Vicke, who grew up with Paul in Erie, PA but had lived on the West Coast for many years. Not wasting any time, Kevin picked me up in his convertible (doesn’t everyone in Southern Cali drive one?) and we were off to the Coronado Brewing Company straight from the airport. tasting

With a friendly brewpub located right in their packaging facility, Coronado welcomes dogs and those who appreciate a good brew. I decided on a flight (Islander IPA, the Islander with cranberry, the Orange Avenue Wit, the Dublin Down, and Stupid Stout), while Kevin went straight for his favorite, the IPA. We enjoyed banter at the bar with some locals and I won the prize for farthest traveled that day.

StoneSince Vicke had to work the next day, Kevin sacrificed himself again and took me to visit Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido. Wow. Phenomenal environment for drinking great brews, and we enjoyed some sunshine on the beautiful lawns next to a babbling brook. An outdoor lunch on the patio was delicious–I had the bruschetta BLT with a smoked porter with vanilla bean that was the perfect combo. Good job, Ohio native Greg Koch and company!

Later that afternoon we had to stop at the Belching Beaver Tasting Room so I could pick up a shirt for a good friend who is obsessed with beavers…best not ask. Anyway, we picked up some cans of their IPA, which we enjoyed when we had a chance to drink them later.

What trip to Southern California is complete with crossing the border into Tijuana? Well, mine wouldn’t be, so on TJNew Year’s Day we made our way to Mexico where we enjoyed some very fine margaritas. (I’m a cross drinker you know.) And I had the chance to practice saying “cerveza, por favor.”

Earlier in 2015, I had the good fortune of being contacted by Julian Shrago, owner/brewmaster at Beachwood Brewing & BBQ in Long Beach. He had brewed a tribute to New Albion Ale, and called the delicious clone HopANova. He sent me a few bottles to taste, and I was impressed. So we spent my last day in California enjoying Julian’s many brews and hospitality. We were having so much fun I didn’t take any photos, a fail on my part. If you’re ever in that part of the country, Beachwood Brew is a don’t-miss. The BBQ and other food coming out of the kitchen looked and smelled beachwooddelicious, too! (I sampled the tots–awesome!)

Sadly, my beery travels had to end, as I was set to begin a new job back at home. I’m happy to report I’m the new director of marketing for Yours Truly Restaurants in Northeast Ohio. It’s a good fit, and I look forward to helping them reach greater levels of recognition as they grow. I’m also hoping to help them eventually expand their craft beer offerings :) Stay tuned…I believe there’s more good news to come in 2016.

 

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Paul DeLuca Winter Ale Challenge

by Renee on December 12, 2015

winter ale challengeThis year the holidays are, of course, different for me and Matt and Ali. The heart of our holiday is missing. Paul’s cooking at Thanksgiving–his beer-brined bird and amazing apple and pumpkin pies–weren’t on our table. The guy who slayed the Christmas tree every year with the help of our wonderful children isn’t here to do the job (“help” is relative, as you’ll see when you click that link). Our tree will be artificial, and the lights will be blue for good reason.

But this year we are beginning a new tradition in Paul’s name and memory. The idea came from our good friend Doug, who is a home brewer, and the past couple of years hosted a seasonal winter ale taste comparison at his home. He thought this year he’d like to do it to honor Paul–and to collect donations from those who attend to pass along to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. I said, why not!

The Paul DeLuca Winter Ale Challenge will be intimate this year, with close friends in attendance. Several breweries are donating their seasonal ales, including Willoughby Brewing Company and Chardon Brew Works. The competition will be a simple People’s Choice selection, by vote. And Doug, who was a chef by trade before he worked in sales, will provide some tasty pairings.

Next year we’ll look to do something a little bigger, and will open it up to a larger attendance. But in the meantime if you’d like to donate to the LLS in Paul’s name for the holidays, I’d be grateful (LLS, 5700 Brecksville Rd, Independence, OH 44131). And certainly if you’ll raise a glass to honor a man who raised thousands of dollars himself to fight the disease that ultimately took his life, I’d be grateful as well.

We’ll have a Blue Christmas without Paul–but I can’t help but laugh when I hear his favorite rendition of that chrismtas 2014particular song–if you are aware of his love of Looney Tunes, you won’t be surprised to find out it’s the Porky Pig version. Hope your holidays are merry and bright. Cheers.

UPDATE: I wanted to let you know that we raised over $1,400 that night for the LLS in Paul’s name. It was a great first event, and we look forward to a bigger event next year! doug pd

 

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This is my 200th post…and I don’t know what to say.

November 12, 2015

I’m not usually at a loss for words. This is my 200th post writing as The Brewer’s Daughter, and it’s hard for me to find the right thing to say to mark the place where I now find myself in life. Thanks to those of you who have stuck with my blog these past 5 […]

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