Microbreweries offer local flavorWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledoans looking to sample fresh beer have the opportunity to visit two microbreweries in the area. The Maumee Bay Brewing Company, run out of the Oliver House, and Granite City Food & Brewery, located at The Shops at Fallen Timbers, brew on site.
“The main difference is freshness,” said Randal Elletson, brewery manager at Granite City Food & Brewery. “We tap them as soon as they’re ready, so you’re tasting it as soon as it’s been made.”
Maumee Bay Brewing Co.
The Maumee Bay Brewing Co. was established in 1995 and is the only local brewery that produces beers on site from start to finish.
“It’s absolutely from scratch. This is it, produced from grain to the finished product,” said Neal Kovacik, manager of the Oliver House.
The brewery produces its microbrews inside the Oliver House and in a building across the street. The brewery has eight 15-barrel fermenters, two 30-barrel fermenters and three 60-barrel fermenters and is hoping to add 2 more 60-barrel fermenters. Brewing beer takes one 10 hour brew day, followed by 25 days of fermentation, said Jon Koester, brewmaster for Maumee Bay Brewing Co.
The Oliver House offers three microbrews year round while the others are offered on a rotating release. Buckeye Beer, Glass City Pale Ale and India Pale Ale are always on tap.
Maumee Bay Brewing Company’s most popular brews are Buckeye Beer and India Pale Ale, Koester said. Bottles of Buckeye are available throughout the state and the brewery is also working to get label approval from the FDA to bottle its India Pale Ale.
Maumee Bay Brewing Co. offers its product to 66 locations in Northwest Ohio, Kovacik said.
Tours of the brewery can be set up by calling the Oliver House.
Granite City Food & Brewery
Granite City Food & Brewery a restaurant chain with an on-site brewery. The chain is in 11 states with only one location in Ohio opened in 2008. Since the taste of water varies from state to state, the company uses a trademarked process called “Fermentus Interruptus” to brew its beer. To keep the beers’ taste consistent across state lines, the company ships wort — sugar water — from a central facility to its stores, Elletson said.
Once the wort is received by the stores, the fermentation process and further brewing is completed on site.
The restaurant brewery offers six staple beers; Northern Light Lager, Brother Benedict’s Bock, Duke of Wellington India Pale Ale, Broad Axe Stout, Wag’s Wheat and Blueberry Ale.
A sample platter of beers is offered for $3.75.
Additionally, the restaurant offers the “Mug Club” in which customers can take part in special rewards, beer tapping parties and discounts from the chain. The lifetime membership offers discounts on food and beer. For more information, visit www.granitecitymugclub.com.
Buckeye Beer is one of the oldest brands in Toledo. Buckeye Brewing Co. began producing Buckeye Beer in Toledo in 1838. In 1972, Miller Brewing Co. purchased the Buckeye label and based its Miller Light off Buckeye, said Neal Kovacik, manager of the Oliver House. Buckeye was out of production from 1972 until 1994 when the owners of the Maumee Bay Brewing Co. bought the Buckeye label back from Miller. Buckeye Beer is an American Lager. The beer tastes similar to typical macro beers with a slight difference because of a different yeast strain, Koester said.
The beer is brewed, bottled and distributed from a building owned by the Oliver House.
Buckeye Beer is sold in cases of 12 for $10.99. Cases can be purchased at The Andersons or Joseph’s Beverage Center. Buckeye Beer can also be found on tap at the Oliver House. Cavalier Distributing, in Cincinnati, handles distribution of Buckeye Beer outside Northwest Ohio.
Maumee Bay Brewing Co. is looking to expand the Buckeye brand to include summer and holiday beers.