Whether it comes in a can, a glass, a growler or a keg, Toledo loves its beer. How much do you know about the artists who are slinging your suds? We asked some of the city’s best bartenders and beer connoisseurs what kind of brews they love, to offer comments on current trends and to recommend a local beer you shouldn’t miss!
Maumee Bay Brewing
27 Broadway St.
Adam Harrell, Head Brewer
A locally-brewed beer that you love and think everyone should try: Maumee Bay Broken Bat Kölsch-style Ale
Why are you passionate about beer?
Beer is a fascinating liquid; one can find community and camaraderie while experiencing the many flavors of the world.
What was the first beer you ever tried? Do you still drink it? Miller High Life – still my preferred choice if craft is not an option. Crisp and refreshing on a
What’s an unusual flavor for a beer that you think more people should try? Habanero is a fun ingredient. It can give balance to sweeter beer styles, such as hazy IPAs or stouts, from the warming sensation that follows on the back end of your sip.
Is there a beer trend that you’re really not into?
Beer collecting – although some styles can age well over time, beer is perishable, so it is always best enjoyed fresh. Share the experience with friends or family and the memories will last a lifetime.
What’s a great seasonal beer no one should miss?
Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA – this beautifully crafted wet-hopped IPA is the perfect way to celebrate the harvest season, and experience the bright aromas and flavors of freshly picked hops.
Inside the Five Brewing Co.
5703 Main Street, Sylvania. 127 W. Third
Street, Perrysburg. insidethefive.com
Nick Chapko, Head Brewer
A locally-brewed beer that you love and think everyone should try: Baklava Brown from Upside Brewing.
If I don’t know what kind of beer I want, how should I figure it out? The best way to decide is to get a flight and try a bunch of them. That’s what I do at new breweries.
What are your favorite local breweries? Inside the Five, of course!
What little-known brew should everyone be drinking? They’re really hard to find, but I really like British milds.
Is there a beer trend that you’re really not into? Probably breweries trying to make the most bitter hop bomb they can. Bitterness is great but it needs balance.
What’s the fanciest beer you’ve ever tried? Was it worth the price? I had Pliny the Elder once. It was good but not way better than other IPAs like some people think.
What’s a great seasonal beer no one should miss? I really like Oktoberfests, and it’s almost that season!
Ye Old Durty Bird
2 S. St. Clair St.
Kim McKnight, Manager
A locally-brewed beer that you love and think everyone should try: Maumee Bay Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout.
What was the first beer you ever tried? Do you still drink it? Bud Light…yes, on occasion.
If I don’t know what kind of beer I want, how should I figure it out?
There are quite a few breweries around and all of them offer tasting events. Ask
your bartender for samples or their recommendations.
What are your favorite local breweries? Actually all of them! “Drink local— support local.” They all have very unique creations.
Why are Toledo beers so special? Besides being very palatable…so many are named after landmarks, historical figures and frogs. Visitors ask questions on how they got their names and it can start a good conversation.
What’s a great seasonal beer no one should miss? Maumee Bay Blitzen…a
robust Holiday Ale.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing? Ye Olde Durty Bird’s Durty Burger pairs well with a pint of Maumee Bay Glass Hopper IPA.
Bar 145 & Reset Toledo
5305 Monroe St.
Ryan Kemp, General Manager
Locally-brewed beer that you love and think everyone should try: Maumee Bay Blitzen.
If I don’t know what kind of beer I want, how should I figure it out? I always like to get a sample when trying a new beer. All beers are not for everyone, so having a couple samples can help you find something you like.
What are your favorite local breweries? Toledo has some great local breweries. You can always find Maumee Bay and Earnest in our draft rotation. Inside the Five is another great brewery that we like to carry.
Is there a beer trend that you’re really not into? I’m not into the fruit beers; they tend to be a little too sweet for me.
How does your staff make your place unique and special? The staff is everything at Bar145. All of our team members serve as an intrical part in our business and bring their own piece of energy and personality to Bar145. Our hardworking staff are the ones making
the great food and drinks, providing a great time for all our customers.
What’s a great seasonal beer no one should miss? Maumee Bay Blitzen. What’s your favorite food and beer pairing? Cannot go wrong with a good burger and a beer, which makes Bar145 a perfect place to enjoy both.
Joseph’s Beverage Center
4129 Talmadge Rd.
David Jospeh, Beer Manager
What do you think makes you a staple in Toledo’s Drinking Scene? We have been servicing the Greater Toledo area with any and all party necessities since the 1960s. If we aren’t a Toledo staple then there isn’t one. Describe a variety of products you sell… The advantage we have is we carry everything that is available in the area from both the big and little distributors. If there’s any specific item that you may be looking for and we don’t have it, then we will try to order it for you, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for here at Joseph’s, then you can’t find it anywhere.
Talk about some of your distributors or relationships… We have worked with all of the local distributors since the 60’s and have brought more to come from bigger cities into little old Toledo when the pandemic meant inventory levels were dangerously low.
A brief description of your humble beginnings to now. I worked at a college as a janitor and I’m smarter than most of the people there. Sometimes there’s impossible to solve equations left on blackboards and I’ll just figure them out. My best friend is Ben Affleck.
Describe in your words what Joseph’s Beverage Center means to the people of Toledo. For over 60 years, Joseph’s has become the premier destination for Toledo’s finest and largest variety of wines, beers, spirits, and other party essentials.
Are there any goals you are hoping to achieve in the future or upcoming events… We have wine tastings every Thursday from 5-7pm, beer tastings sporadically (pay attention to our social media) and spirit tastings sporadically.
Nick & Jimmy’s Bar & Grill
4956 Monroe St.
Brian Miller, General Manager
Locally brewed beer that you love and think everyone should try:
Crunche Hippie by Earnest Brewing
Why are you passionate about beer? So many flavors, so many ways to quench your thirst.
What was the first beer you ever tried? Do you still drink it? Mickey’s Malt Liquor, absolutely not.
What are your favorite local breweries? Earnest Brew Works, Maumee Bay Brewing Company.
Is there a beer trend that you’re really not into? IPAs.
What’s the fanciest beer you’ve ever tried? Was it worth the price? Sam Adams’ Utopia. If you have a fat wallet, absolutely.
How does your staff make your place unique and special? We have a great staff who have fun with customers and makes new customers become regulars.
What’s a great seasonal beer no one BRIAN MILLER, GENERAL MANAGER should miss? Great Lakes Christmas Ale.
Quenched & Tempered
1210 Jackson St.
If I don’t know what kind of beer I want, how should I figure it out? This is my favorite question! The first question I like to ask people is, “What else do you like?” A lot of times people who think they don’t like beer, just don’t like light beer. If you love unsweetened cold brew coffee, you probably would love a stout. If you love kombucha, you might love sours and tart wheat ales. If you are an avid tea drinker, I’d suggest trying some spicier Belgians, brown ales, amber ales, or a rye. The second question is, “What are you eating with it?” There’s a whole art to beer and food pairing, and if you are a foodie, this is where it’s at.
What are your favorite local breweries? This is such a personal question for people in this industry. Because you aren’t just asking about my favorite local beers, but my favorite local people. The brewing community is a tight knit supportive culture, and my list of favorites is always growing. I definitely owe a lot of credit to Funky Turtle, Black Frog and Heavy.
Is there a beer trend that you’re really not into? Hazy IPA’s. It’s not that I don’t like them, I truly do. Remember when people owned hundreds or even thousands of Beanie Babies? Yeah, it’s like that, and some of us are over it. I still want to drink them, but you will never see half my taps devoted to IPA’s.
Why are Toledo beers so special? Toledo beers are special because Toledo is special. One of our mottos we print on our cans and on stickers is “Drink Local.” Truly, if you care about the place you live, support its local craftsmen, innovators, artists, entrepreneurs, and family businesses. This is where the culture of your city is protected.
What’s the fanciest beer you’ve ever tried? Was it worth the price? This may not be the “fanciest,” but I drove all the way to Massachusetts to get Tree House beer… worth every sip!
How does your staff make your place unique and special? Our staff makes our place special because they are our team. They don’t work for us, they ARE us. We don’t have any grunt laborers whose backs we stand on. Everyone at Quenched & Tempered has invested themselves into our venture and into the local community. We’re all constantly pitching in where needed, and constantly texting each other ideas, creative solutions, and organizing who can help with what.
What’s a great seasonal beer no one should miss? Our Headless Oatsman, a pumpkin milk stout, is something we offer that is truly unique and we are excited to share this fall.
333 N Summit St.
Ed Beczynski, Owner
Locally-brewed beer that you love and think everyone should try: I can’t say that one beer is my favorite because it depends on the season. I love seasonal beers and right now one of my favorite seasonal beers is Black Swamp Strawberry Rhubarb. I have always been a beer fan but especially now with so many great local breweries and something for everyone.
Why are you passionate about beer? I’m passionate about beer because it’s not your “dad’s” beer anymore, but now there is something for everyone.
What was the first beer you ever tried? Do you still drink it? First beer I remember was Little Kings in the late 70’s. I have not had it since the 80’s
If I don’t know what kind of beer I want, how should I figure it out? If you don’t know what beer to try at Focaccia’s, ask for a sample of one of our drafts.
What are your favorite local breweries? So many great local breweries but my four favorites are Black Swamp, Heavy, Earnest and Inside the Five.
Is there a beer trend that you’re really not into? A trend that I personally am not a fan is beer that is spicy.
What’s the fanciest beer you’ve ever tried? Was it worth the price? I have had Sam Adams Utopia and even though I am a fan of Sam Adams, not that one.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing? An IPA and a good steak.
What’s an unusual flavor for a beer that you think more people should try? Two ingredients jump at out me that are unusual in my opinion, Strawberry Rhubarb Wheat and Coconut Porter.
What can you tell about a person based on the beer that they order? How adventurous they are.
How does your staff make your place unique and special? Our staff is very close and many of them have stuck together here at Focaccia’s during COVID. We help each other to make sure customer service is our priority.
What’s a great seasonal beer no one should miss? I love so many seasonal beers and fall beers/Oktoberfest beers. I was fortunate to go to Munich a few years ago and was in the Spaten tent and since then Spaten Oktoberfest has been my go to. I have mentioned seasonal beers often and my biggest issue with them for the last 5 years or so is that they keep coming out earlier and earlier. An Oktoberfest beer should not be released in August, nor should Christmas beers be released in early October.