2016 Beer Guide

Like brew itself, Toledo’s craft beer buyers, suppliers, slow-sippers and experienced gulpers are a little bubbly, sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet, and equal parts mature and youthful. Here is an ode to that classic drink that allows for toasts, encouraging more as the night goes on. Read on to learn what keeps these hardworking brew lovers dedicated to the business of beer. Cheers. 

Maumee Bay Brewing Co.

27 Broadway St.
419-243-1302 | mbaybrew.com

Jim & Pat Appold, owners

Beer pro: Shannon R. Mohr, sales and marketing Manager

First beer you drank: I didn’t like beer, so when I turned 21 a few of my sisters said to drink Michelob Light because it tasted the most like water. Pretty ironic considering my professional life. 

Last beer you drank: Captain Stardust (Saison from Yellow Springs Brewing)

Flick’s Package Liquor

3320 Sterns Rd. | Lambertville
734-854-2000 | Flicks4fun.com

Linda Flick, owner

Beer pro: Kathy Gardull, manager

First beer you drank: Little Kings Cream Ale 

Last beer you drank: Maumee Bay Glasshopper

Stateside rivalries & regional favorites

Best Ohio brewed beer

Most Jackie O’s, especially their Mandala beers (Athens) 
— Mario Romero, Mancy’s Italian

Black Cloister Brewing Company’s Nature’s Breast IPA (Toledo) 
— Matt Smith, The Sodbuster Bar

Staas Brewing Company (Delaware) 
— Carlos Mendez, Cocina de Carlos

Hoppin’ Frog Brewery’s Gangster Frog IPA (Akron) 
— Peter Brown, The Pub at the Paula Brown Shop

Everything Jackie O’s (Athens) 
— Chef Rob (Revolution Grille)

Shameless self promotion— Maumee Bay Brewing (Total Eclipse…), But I’m also a huge fan of Nowhere in Particular Brewing (Dayton) 
— Shannon R. Mohr, Maumee Bay Brewing Co.)

Brew Kettle White Rajah makes me happy. (Strongsville)
— Tony Bilancini (Swig)

Best Michigan brewed beer

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (Ann Arbor)
 — Kathy Gardull, Flick’s 

Bell’s Brewery Third Coast Old Ale. A terribly underappreciated American Style Barley Wine that gets better with age. (Kalamazoo) 
— John B. Jacob, Mancy’s Italian

I love Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing out of Kalamazoo, especially their IPA. 
— Matt Smith, The Sodbuster Bar

Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted Ale (Kalamazoo)
— Peter Brown, The Pub at the Paula Brown Shop 

As a Western Michigan alumni Bell’s Brewery will always have my (two) hearts… 
— Shannon R. Mohr (Maumee Bay Brewing Co.)

Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids)  
— Dave Hendricks, Revolution Grille

Fleetwood’s Tap Room

28 N. St. Clair St. | 419-724-2337 
hensvilletoledo.com/fleetwoods-tap-room

Beer Pro: Brian Plummer, General Manager

Best day-drinking beer? Jamie’s Wit brewed by Maumee Bay— only available at Fleetwood’s. Come and get one!

What’s the last beer you drank? Barrel aged Neapolitan Milk Stout from Saugatuck

Kyoto Ka

Sylvania: 6801 W. Central Ave. | 419-841-2070
Downtown: 300 Madison Ave. | 419-321-4000

Beer pro: Joseph Cho, owner/chef

First beer you drank: “Hite” from South Korea  

Last beer you drank: Yuengling 

Pub at the Paula Brown Shop

912 Monroe St. | 419-241-8100
paulabrownshop.com

Peter & Paula Brown, owners

Beer pro: Peter Brown

First beer you drank: PBR, that was the only beer in the house.  

Last beer you drank: Green Flash West Coast IPA

Breweries worth a quaff

Warped Wing Brewery
(Dayton, OH) 
— John B. Jacob (Mancy’s Italian)

Catawba Island Brewing Company
(Port Clinton, OH)
— Matt Smith (The Sodbuster Bar)

3 Floyds Brewing Co.
(Munster, IN) 
— Peter Brown (The Pub at the Paula Brown Shop)

The Bruery 
(Placentia, CA) 
— Shannon R. Mohr (Maumee Bay Brewing Co.)

Black Cloister
The hospitality there is one of the best in the city.
-— Brian Plummer (Fleetwood’s) 

Yucks VS. Yums

The best and the worst of craft beer crazes

On trend

Anything and everything IPA. — Mario Romero (Mancy’s Italian) 

I love how these hard root beers go down like root beer. — Matt Smith (The Sodbuster Bar)

Sours. —Kathy Gardull (Flick’s)

Off trend

I really hate these really fruity or really grassy styles. — Matt Smith

(The Sodbuster Bar) Stout fruit beers. — Kathy Gardull (Flick’s)

Beer shaming. People like different things, that’s the fun of craft beer, there’s room for everyone! — Shannon R. Mohr (Maumee Bay Brewing Co.)

Pumpkin! So basic! — Nikki Freitag (Doc Watson’s)

Black Frog Brewery hops from bottle to bar room

Harris is area’s first African-American commercial craft brewer

Following a successful two-year run selling bottled craft beer in local markets, Black Frog Brewery is building on popularity and opening a pub in Holland. Founder Chris Harris, who until now has brewed solely from his garage, believes it’s time to hop into new territory, also giving Holland its first tap room. 

“Everything’s been going well,” Harris said. “Wherever I take the beer it sells out almost immediately.”

The new location— opening Saturday, September 17— transfers the brewing operation to a true tap room. The 1,100 square foot space will seat 30, with service from seven taps, five for his core brews, while two rotating, seasonal taps.

Harris’ concept is a traditional pub, serving strictly beer, but allowing food to be brought in. With initial plans for limited weekend hours, in deference to his other, full-time job, he hopes to grow the brewery and expand hours and product availability.

For a market the size of Toledo, Harris sees the area as a bit behind the craft brewery trend.

“If you look at other areas our size, there might be 20 to 25 breweries,” Harris said. “In Toledo, there’s more coming on, but right now there’s only about six of us. Toledo is really behind.”

 Harris— a Scott High School grad—  is the first African-American to own a craft brewery in Toledo. The name Black Frog nods to Harris’ heritage with the amphibian designation paying homage to Toledo’s “Frog Town” moniker.

Black Frog Brewery uses honey malt in every beer,  a unique aspect that Harris hasn’t seen elsewhere. The malt offers a slightly sweeter taste. “It’s a unique thing with Black Frog, but I fell in love with the malt. That adds to our uniqueness.”

Harris began brewing as a simple hobby. “From the first moment I started, I said, ‘Wow, this is amazing and it grew into a passion. I wanted to know everything about brewing beer. I wondered if I could do this professionally.”

The answer is clearly, “Yes, he can.” Look for Black Frog beers in other local establishments and restaurants.

Join Harris at the grand opening of Black Frog Brewery
on Saturday, September 17 from 1:30-11pm. Enjoy prizes and giveaways. 

Black Frog Brewery bottles can be found at
all three Andersons locations, both Monnette’s Markets, 
Joseph’s Beverage Center and Walt Churchill’s Market.
Tap room hours: 4:30-11 pm Friday | 3-11 pm Saturday
Black Frog Brewery | 831 S. McCord | Holland
419-389-7136 | blackfrogbrewery.com

J & G Pizza Palace Brewing Up Hand-Crafted Suds On-Site  

Fill in the blank: Pizza and _________

If you guessed anything but “beer,” you just got uninvited to ALL the parties. Have no fear though: in time for football, study dates and fall sweaters, Sylvania’s J & G Pizza Palace is brewing up ales for all occasions. Perfect for pairing with a slice or simply for a little casual quaffing, people who take their microbrews seriously now have one more reason to veg out in Sylvania. While not yet on the menu, we’re giving you advance notice so you can start lining up early. And so you have something to read while waiting for The Tappening (that’s just our name for it, call it what you want), check out this interview with Nick Dallas, head of the brew game over at J & G’s Pizza Palace.

We hear you’re gonna be brewing craft beers yourself? True story?
We have a brewer’s license now and we’re brewing them onsite. Just for draft, just for the restaurant. 

So, what are you whipping up?
Different types of ales. No lagers, I don’t have enough equipment for that. We’re gonna be doing things like IPAs, wheat beers, pale ales, browns, porters, cream ales … all kinds of things like that. 

Are you new to brewing?     
I’ve been brewing for five years now. For the restaurant, we’ve had the idea for the last two years and have been working at it for the last 14 months to make it a reality. 

Why the move to craft brews now?
I just enjoy brewing a lot, and me and my dad (he owns J&G Pizza Palace). Everybody’s kinda doing the same thing and we just enjoy it, so it fits together pretty well where I was already brewing and now we’ll have beer. We’ll have the same selection as before, as far as the bottle selection goes and the wine, so we’re not changing in any way, we’re just adding to the business side.

When do we get to try them?
There’s no official date yet … I think about the middle to the third week of September. Yeah, the middle, right around there. I’ll eventually put something out on Facebook and I’ll let everybody know when we have them. 

Which of your beers do you recommend with a good slice of pepperoni pizza?
Oh, boy, I think my pale ale would go great with that. It’s called 882 Pale Ale (because 882 is the first three digits of the Sylvania phone number). And the cream ale goes good with a good piece of pizza as well, I’ll have one of those brewing up.   

There you go, hop fanatics. J & G Pizza Palace is gonna have a lights out craft selection in the very, very near future. So if you want to be able to tell all your cohorts and cronies that you had the craft beers at J & G Pizza Palace “before they were cool,” you’re gonna have to be first in line. Yeah, it’s gonna be like that.

Are You A Craft Beer Snob? Play Bottle Cap Bingo 

We Get It:
Beer drinking is an art form and you’re a damn Rembrandt. You consider a dirty glass to be the only true drinking problem. You refer to everything before Sierra Nevada as “the Dark Ages.” Your homebrew setup is better than Anheuser-Busch’s, but even the Great Masters have to know their limitations — Da Vinci’s friends probably told him to “just shut up and drink” once in awhile too. So how do you know if you’ve moved from the realm of worldly hops connoisseur to outright beer snob? It’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Many a ancestral brewer died claiming that “bottom fermentation was for wusses.” Probably. 

Fortunately for you, we’ve evolved as a society and nobody need suffer for their love of a truly divine Trappist ale. Also, nobody has to listen to you rhapsodize about how “Last year’s batch was better.” You say that every year. To keep things harmonious on the pub crawl, we’ve devised this handy Bingo board. Cover up every square that applies to you; if you find yourself yelling “Bingo,” maybe it’s time to put down the barrel-aged Chimay Grande Reserve, throw back a Corona Light and embrace the common life for a while … a short while. 

The Four Horsemen

4452 Lewis Ave. | 419-476-3900

Beer pro: Steve Matthews, owner/manager

First beer you drank: Blatz— it’s what my dad drank.

Last beer you drank: Southern Tier IPA

The Sodbuster Bar

5758 N. Main St. | Sylvania
419-517-1045 | sodbusterbar.com

Frank Bobroski, Autumn Hetzel & Matt Smith, owners

Beer pro: Matt Smith

First beer you drank: Original Coors

Last beer you drank: Purple Haze – Abita Brewing Company. Fruit Beer— I hated it.

Mancy’s Italian

5453 Monroe St. 
419-882-9229 | Mancys.com

Beer pro: Mario Romero, Craft Beer Manager/Bartender

First beer you drank: A 40oz of Budweiser 

Last beer you drank: Rhinegeist Truth IPA

Beer pro: John B. Jacob, Bar Manager/Bartender

First beer you drank: Blatz. That’s going to date me, huh?

Last beer you drank: Unibroue La Terrible (Belgian Strong Dark Ale)

Doc Watson’s

1515 S. Byrne Rd. | 419-389-6003
Docwatsonstoledo.com 

Beer Pro: Nikki Freitag, bartender/server

First beer you drank: Natural Light

Best day-drinking beer? Blood Orange Ace Space cider— that completely tastes like a mimosa. Perfect for day drinking and pouring with breakfast of champion shots.

Revolution Grille

5333 Monroe St. | 419-841-0066
Revolutiongrille.com

Beer pro: Chef Rob Campbell, Executive Chef and Managing Partner

First beer you drank: A can of Budweiser

Last beer you drank: Jackie O’s O’hooley’s Irish Stout

Cocina de Carlos

27072 Carronade Dr. | Perrysburg
419-872-0200 | cocinadecarlos.com

205 Farnsworth | Waterville
419-878-0261

Beer pro: Carlos Mendez, owner/manager

First beer you drank: Tecate  

Last beer you drank: Victoria

Swig

219 Louisiana Ave. | Perrysburg
419-873-6223 | swigrestaurant.com 

Beer pro: Tony Bilancini, owner

First beer you drank: Genesee Cream Ale

Last beer you drank: My wife’s Frogtown Hoppers Hopper Mojo Double IPA

Glassware can make a difference 

If you haven’t noticed, beer’s gotten classy — we can’t just pour it into a coffee mug and call it a day. The right beer needs the right glass. That foam, achieved with an educated pour, includes all the beer’s volatiles, like hop oils and spices, that provide that unique aroma. Treat yourself, and your beer, right by putting it into the proper glass, like this 6 pc Craft Brews Set from Libbey Glass for $19.99. 

A. Classic pilsner 
A tapered edge holds in the carbonation, keeping the beer head frothy. 

B. English pub pint
With a wide mouth, a slight taper, and a hearty 16-oz or 20-oz size, this is the classic glass. 

C. Tulip
The Belgian Ale glass brings out the aromas in strong brews, like a strong ale, a double/imperial stout or a saison. 

D. Stange
A Craft Pub glass, a stange does well with delicate varieties with a tighter concentration of volatiles, like a rye beer, lambic,  bock, gose or any
German variety. 

E. Snifter
Once for brandy, snifters have grown up and are now filled with strong, bold brews, holding in the aromas that fans of big, sweet and aromatic beers love. 

F. Weizen
The long, curvy and top-heavy glass boasts the color and aroma of wheat beers. Sip easy. 

Cure what ales you

The sweet, full-bodied taste of an Ale makes the type of beer for our professionals.

What’s the best style of ale? 

Give me an Ale any day of the week. I am really starting to like some of the double IPAs. 
 — Matt Smith (The Sodbuster Bar)

Super Dry Ale, it will cool down my body.
 — Joseph Cho (Kyoto Ka) 

Russian Imperial Stouts – Massive roasted chocolate and burnt malt flavors with a high ABV!
 — John B. Jacob (Mancy’s Italian)

American Pale Ale. It is easy to drink but still has a nice hoppy taste. 
 —  Peter Brown (The Pub at the Paula Brown Shop)

I have to stick with the classic IPA. This is a style that lends itself to so many different flavors.
— Shannon R. Mohr (Maumee Bay Brewing Co.)

IPA, because it is as bitter as I am.
— Chef Rob (Revolution)

Suggested pairings

Sometimes you need a carbohydrate-rag of food to soak up the booze—and sometimes you need an artisan item perfectly suited for your craft beverage. Not sure where to start? Here’s some ideas. 

A cheeseburger with an amber ale. 
— Steve Matthews, The Four Horseman

Aventinus Eisbock with a Cheddar Brat from the German American Festival. 
— Mario Romero (Mancy’s Italian)

IPA and fried smelt.  
— Chef Rob, Revolution Grill

Hot Lover [our spicy tuna and jalapeno sushi appetizer] and Asahi [a Japanese beer].
— Joseph Cho, Kyoto Ka

Dark chocolate covered coffee beans and stout. 
— Kathy Gardull, Flick’s

Ceviche with Pacifico Beer.
— Carlos Mendez, Cocina de Carlos

Wings and Kölsch, or an easy Pilsner. 
— Tony Bilancini, Swig

Hefeweizen style (wheat beer) with hot soft pretzels. 
— Brian Plummer, Fleetwood’s

A good IPA and deep dish pizza. 
— Matt Smith, The Sodbuster Bar