The Toledo beer and bar scene is getting even better. A brewery and taproom, HEAVY Beer Company, is set to join the ranks in early 2021. Started by the folks who created Toledo Spirits, HEAVY just successfully completed a $10,000 Kickstarter and they are hard at work renovating the taproom, located just below Bellwether at Toledo Spirits.
Lean into it
“Heavy is not a desirable term in brewing,” said Dave Ayling, head brewer and co-founder of HEAVY Beer Company. He referenced his Mom telling him “I don’t really want a heavy beer.”
The minds behind Toledo Spirits have been wanting to venture into beer for a while. Unloading boxes filled with heavy ingredients and marked with heavy stickers, people at the distillery started “slapping these stickers everywhere.” Eventually, despite some hesitation, they decided to lean into the name and HEAVY Beer Company was born.
For Dave, hired on after fifteen years of brewing his own beer, it stands for being “heavy into something,” whatever that something may be.
Make it cooler
Andrew Newby, President and CEO of HEAVY Beer Co. and Toledo Spirits, is excited about the doors that are opened with a brewery being partnered with a distillery, like the sharing of barrels or distilled hops. But he’s also excited about the ways they can use existing relationships between Toledo Spirits and local businesses.
“What’s the coolest thing that we could do?” Andrew asked. “How do we make that cooler? Add beer.”
HEAVY’s burgeoning relationships with the larger Toledo area community are many fold. “Local is an absolute must. Local whenever possible,” Dave said.
“It really is easy when you just try,” Andrew added.
The brewing system is made in Toledo by Sabco. The heaviest Libby glasses they could find will be the official taproom mugs. They buy from Titgemeier’s. They are working towards making a smoked porter with Deet’s BBQ, and a coffee beer with Iron Bean Coffee Company. Andrew’s philosophy that bleeds through the company: “What’s the coolest thing we can do together in Northwest Ohio?”
HEAVY Underground is going to be the taproom opening underneath Toledo Spirits’ Bellwether. The vibe will be quite different from the “classy jazzy cool” look of Bellwether. It will have more of an industrial vibe, a heavier vibe. “Think Daredevil,” Dave said.
They took some inspiration from the “old timey gym” feel of places like the L.A. Athletic Club. He wants it to be a place where things aren’t done casually. “Get heavy into it,” he said.
From across the Bellwether, Adam Sattler, Bellwether Manager and bartender extraordinaire, chimed in: “Like jumping over the Grand Canyon on a Harley.”
Dave has been “swinging a hammer everyday down there” preparing for the opening of the taproom in the first quarter of 2021.
Right now Heavy Beer Co. has three beers ready to go and they are working on two more. They are aiming for five flagships with three rotationals. “Oh Yeah!” is a “heavyweight” IPA. “Not so subtly influenced by the Macho Man Randy Savage,” Dave said, “and all of his pure awesomeness.”
“Oh Yeah!” is a quite delicious and strong IPA that really is not too heavy at all. It goes down easy, unlike the Macho Man. The puffery (meaning the text on the back of the can) reads: “Whether you’re raising the championship belt in victory, or just elbow-dropping the day, you deserve this savage slammer. Tag into this mega-powered macho and fruity IPA. Expect the unexpected in the kingdom of madness. Ohhhh Yeeeeah!” You can taste all of that.