Megan Giller is a food writer and the author of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Slate, Zagat, and Food & Wine, and her blog Chocolate Noise was a 2016 Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist. She also hosts luxury chocolate-tasting events, teaches classes at the Institute of Culinary Education and other locales, and judges at chocolate competitions. Follow her on Instagram at @chocolatenoise.
Columbus Alive this week featured an article detailing the sexual assault of one of our local craft beer mavens. The community rallied around her, supporting a woman that showed incredible courage confronting a known and prevalent issue in the alcohol and hospitality community. Over the last year and a half, what was once an issue that was only shared privately has become a public topic of conversation. Behaviors that were dismissed as “boys being boys,” or that were simply ignored, now are being addressed and dealt with. And it has been a long time coming.
The problem of sexual harassment and mistreatment of women and other minorities is not new in the industry. A report that was done in 2014 shows that roughly 90% of women that work in restaurants have been sexually harassed, with half of them being harassed on a weekly basis. It is thought to be just as bad in the alcohol industry, but no studies have been done. This is years before the allegations against Harvey Weinstein emerged, bringing the much-needed conversation about sexual harassment into the public. After that New York Times article came out, a steady flow of articles addressing the issue in the industry emerged.
Many of the women that work in the industry have, over the years, just accepted the harassment as part of the environment. The unwanted comments, touches, and innuendos were something that was endured to be part of the industry. Until the cocktail boom hit in the 2000’s, bartending and hospitality were seen as a transient job choice. Something that you did while waiting for a “real job.” The growth of specialty cocktails, craft beer booming into over 7,000 breweries, and distilleries sprouting up all over the country have turned what was once something temporary into a career choice. It is easier to ignore the sleaziness you have to go through to do your job when you can tell yourself it is a temporary condition. What happens when it becomes the place where you want to plant your flag?
You have to start cleaning it up. There are few mechanisms in the industry to address sexual harassment. Some have popped up, like the efforts made by Collective Actions for Safe Spaces to build Safe Bars training about sexual harassment, but they are difficult to find. Only five states require training for harassment in the workplace. It is a monumental task to address, especially in an industry where males hold most of the positions of power and confronting them could impact your career. An unbalanced power dynamic is not unique to this industry, but it is in the early stages of being addressed. Small steps are being made as women rise up and show they are not going to accept a workplace where they are under the constant threat of sexual assault. Or when that threat becomes a reality.
It is too easy to write off, as many have, that this is a result of the free flow of alcohol through every corner of the business. As reported in a story by SevenFifty Daily, San Franciso lawyer Richard Curiale commented that “60 percent of the complaints I get wouldn’t have happened if there hadn’t been drinking.” This is a convenient excuse, but not an acceptable one. Cleaning up the industry also requires cleaning up the constant party atmosphere that surrounds it. Many bartenders and hospitality professionals have been focusing on taking what has been a generally toxic environment for workers and turning it into a healthier, safer one. This focus on a more positive environment is starting to include how women and minorities are treated in the business.
Where do we go from here? The hospitality that establishments provide to customers that walk through the door has to extend to the people that work there. Creating that safe environment for all of the people they interact with, from sales representatives to bartenders, is critical to building an inclusive, diverse industry. The generally permissive, male-dominated culture that has existed in hospitality for decades needs to change. It is going to be a slow change, requiring the efforts of everyone in it to make that shift. Women are going to have to be bold and stand up for what is right, and men are going to have to support those women in any way they can. It is going to take a long time and incredible effort. But if the support that has happened in Dayton can happen more often in other cities, the future for women in the industry looks brighter and safer.
Acoustic Sets & Coffee Beers is now a weekly event in our taproom! Every Wednesday, we’ll be tapping multiple coffee infused and flavored beers, our own as well as from fantastic guest breweries, while some of Dayton’s most talented and melodic strum and sing for your pleasure. Check for updates here on which beers will be tapped and which musicians will be appearing. It’s that classic, intimate cafe experience. Toxic style.
The Camp Fire wildfire started on November 8, with a combination of high winds and dry grasses. These two events, combined with the initial difficult to reach location of the fire, turned a small incident into one of the deadliest fires in United States history. It covered 239 square miles, destroyed over 18,000 structures, and caused an estimated $8 billion dollars in damages. Families were displaced, businesses were destroyed, and Paradise, CA has rebuilding to do.
One of the businesses affected by this fire was the Sierra Nevada Brewery. One of the grand old breweries of the craft beer scene, they are located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and fifteen minutes from where it began. Sixty employees, including founder Ken Grossman, were evacuated from the area. Fifty of those employees ended up losing their homes. Their brewery was spared, but Ken Grossman, founder and owner of Sierra Nevada, knew they had to something to help the community that has supported them for decades.
The need went well beyond what this brewery could handle, so Ken went beyond the walls of his brewery for a solution. A brewery they have a good relationship with, Russian River Brewing, worked with other local brewers to raise funds for a fire that hit their community. After a brief conversation with Russian River, Ken contacted friends in the craft beer community and asked them to help.
And help they did.
After the initial social media and email push, 200 breweries had signed up to brew Resilience Butte County IPA. Through word of mouth and the power of social media, that number currently sits just shy of 1,500 brewers. The planned amount of beer brewed will add up to 4.2 million pints, possibly raising over $15 million dollars. Suppliers donated malt and hops, brewers donated labor and fermenter space, and retailers offered to put it on their shelves. They did it all to help Butte County recover; 100% of the proceeds earned will go to a special fund started by Sierra Nevada. It is an overwhelming effort that was started on Giving Tuesday (November 27) and will culminate over the next few weeks in breweries around the country.
Resilience is based on another of their popular beers you can find this time of year, Celebration. Resilience utilizes the same Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial hops that Celebration does, but without the dry hopping and extra conditioning of its big brother. It was described as “a fresher form of Celebration.” We all know how IPA fans love a fresh hopped IPA, and this one has the added benefit of helping their community rebuild from the Camp Fire blaze.
Local Dayton breweries are donating their time and efforts to help Sierra Nevada in their quest to help the Chico/Paradise area recover. Community-owned Fifth Street Brewpub is one of the brewers lending their fermenters and labor to brew this special IPA. Keep an eye on their website and social media to see when it will be tapped. The other local brewery to put this on their tap is Crooked Handle Brewing Company in Springboro. They have it listed in their fermenter and plan on releasing it sometime during the week of January 7. Don’t want to wait that long? Sierra Nevada is sending out a limited run of cans all over the country. Those twelve packs should be hitting local stores during the week of Christmas.
Sierra Nevada designated December 20 as Resilience Night, when many brewers tapped Resilience IPA in their tap houses. Some breweries added it to their menu as early as December 15, and they tapping will go on through the month of January. You can find all of the places that will be serving it through Sierra Nevada’s website. You can even earn a special badge for trying this beer out through Untappd. With every pint and can you responsibly enjoy, know that you have made a donation by enjoying a West Coast style IPA that is helping a community recovering from a devastating natural event. Cheers!
The best THREE beers in each category will be awarded medals by our panel of judges. Best of Class Awards and Regional Awards will be determined by most medal points earned. Any Best of Class of Regional Award Tie-Breakers will be determined by most Golds awarded. Winners were announced today:
Dayton Area Breweries
Dayton Beer Company came out on top in the Herb/Spice/Pepper Beer category with their Gem City Lager with Jalapenos
Crooked Handle Brewing Company took the award for Specialy/Hybrid/ Experimental Beer with the Roadside Peanut Butter Porter.
Fifth Street Brewpub’s Ludwigs Kolsh aced the German Style Ale
Heavier Than Air‘s European Pale Ale ESB and their Stout McCook both were gold winners!
Mother Stewart‘s OKTOBERFEST took gold in Amber/Red Ale or Lager:
Yellow Springs Brewery took home awards for: Best Nano Brewery (Less than 1,000 bbls), Best West Central Brewery, Best Brown/Dark Ale: YELLOW SPRINGS CARPET NAP and Imperial Stout/Porter: YELLOW SPRINGS BREWERY MAXXOUT STOUT
Warped Wing got a gold in the Wood/Barrel Aged category with their Grape Creek Must
For complete results check out the event website.
For a few months now, the buzz around a new gaming cafe in Dayton has been building. Cardboard Crowns (147 N. Springboro Pike Dayton OH United States 45449) will be offering food, craft beer, and hundreds of games to be played. And we finally have an opening date! This grand new space near the Dayton Mall will be opening on November 6th for the public.
Before that, they will be doing a series of soft opening events for local charities as the space continues to come to life. Tickets for each of the events are $25 per person, with $20 going to the charity being supported. These events begin this Sunday, and will benefit:
- Sunday, October 29th – The Historic South Park District, from 5:30 to 9:30 PM.
- Monday, October 30th – Greater Dayton LGBT Center, from 5:30 to 9:30 PM.
- Wednesday, November 1st – Film Dayton, from 5:30 to 9:30 PM
- Thursday, November 2nd – Equitas Health, from 5:30 to 9:30 PM
In addition to the above events, from 10 AM on Saturday, November 4th to 10 AM on Sunday, November 5th Cardboard Crowns will be hosting the Extra Life Tabletop Marathon, with all proceeds from library fees benefitting Dayton Children’s Hospital. You can show your support for the Cardboard Crowns team here, or build your own team to compete for a great cause!
The space is coming along for Ben and his team, and they look forward to seeing many of their fellow Daytonians over the next week, learning new games with friends, enjoying delightful beers, and supporting local causes.
The intersection of board games and beverages is not a new phenomenon. For those that have been enjoying coffee shops since the late 90’s, there has always been a few well-loved board games on the shelves of our favorite place to grab a cappuccino to start the day. It was not until 2010 that two enterprising Canadians opened Snakes and Lattes, the first café to offer games as a reason to get some coffee with friends, not just as an added benefit. In the seven years they have been open, they have witnessed an explosion of venues that offers drinks and light snacks while gamers enjoy some beverages and explore new games. While many started with coffee drinks, there has been an evolution into craft beer and craft cocktails. Coming soon, a new venue in the Dayton area will offer a space to explore gaming with good friends. Cardboard Crowns will be opening up this fall at 147 N. Springboro Pike, and they want you to be part of the fun with a Kickstarter Launch Party this Saturday, September 16 from 12 PM to 5 PM at Warped Wing Brewery!
Head to the brewery to learn about the Kickstarter, play new games and enjoy great craft beer. At this event, you have the opportunity to meet the owner and manager of Cardboard Crowns and hear about everything they have planned for the cafe. They will be introducing the support levels for their Kickstarter at the event, but you can prepare with this handy list:
- $5 – Show your support for Cardboard Crowns and get your name inlaid in a wooden hex in the cafe’s bar top.
- $15 – Donate a seat for one of our guests with your name on it! (Plus Bar Hex)
- $25 – Help us grow the cafe’s library by backing a new game for the cafe’s collection, adding your name to the game’s inside box lid for all to see! (Plus Bar Hex)
- $50 – Donate a section of shelving that will bear your name for all to see! (Plus Bar Hex)
$75 – You helped us purchase a table for the cafe that will forever bear your name! (Plus Bar Hex)
- $100 – Two tickets to the cafe’s grand opening party, a private event open only to Kickstarter supporters! Each ticket includes drinks, food, your name in one of the cafe’s games, and a bar hex.
- $300 – You’re donating the coolest seating option the cafe has to offer. Our 6-seater booths will make you feel like you’re a VIP for the night. As part of this reward, you’ll get to pick the board game that will be framed and used to theme one of our booths; your name will go on a plaque in the booth, you’ll get two tickets to the grand opening party and a hex on the bar top.
- $350 – The ultimate party experience. You and seven friends get the cafe’s party booth for the night! The package includes two drinks per person, two food items per person and a dedicated board game teacher to help make sure your group has a night they won’t forget!
- $1000 – The cafe will only have one 8-seater party booth, and you’re going to help us theme it and put your name on it! As part of this reward, you’ll get to pick the board game that will be framed and used to theme the cafe’s party booth; your name will go on a plaque in the party booth, you’ll get two tickets to the grand opening party and a monster sized hex on the bar top.
- $2000 – The back of the cafe will feature a relaxed social corner for folks to sit down in and play social/party games. Back at this level and you’ll get your name on a plaque letting folks know who made the area possible. Additionally, you’ll get two tickets to the grand opening party and a mammoth sized hex on the bar top.
All of this support is going into a gaming café that has been planned out and well researched by Ben Adams, the owner of the venue. Ben has visited many other of these cafes across the country and has worked hard to address the most common issues he found in each location. To cut down on the noise of many games going on at once, soundproofing materials will be used on the walls and in booth separators to quiet down the space. Access to the cafe and its collection of over 700 games will be just a $5 library fee per person, and if you are looking to play in a private booth, an extra ten dollars for the party can provide that privacy. As mentioned above, there will also be a larger space for party games and party booth for private events.
They have developed a rating system for each one of the games, so those that are just getting into the hobby have an idea of the involvement of the game. Green labels are less involved games, where a quick explanation of the rules by one of the cafe’s game masters should be enough to get a group started. Yellow labels are more complex, and there will be staff on hand to help answer questions as you play. Red labels will be very intricate, heavy strategy games which may require more explanation than the team can provide. And with over 700 games in the collection, not every staff member will know all the games. Booths and tables will have tablets available that will provide videos to explain the rules of almost any game in the cafe’s collection.
This Saturday, September 16th from 12 to 5 PM, is the big launch party! You will have the opportunity to support this new venture while playing some games with the owner and enjoying craft beers by Warped Wing. There are even some hints about game giveaways that day. Ben and the Cardboard Crowns team look forward to seeing all of you this weekend!
When I moved to the Dayton area in the late 1990’s, one of the first places I frequented for an adult beverage was Taggart’s Pub. It was close to my apartment and had a friendly atmosphere with inexpensive beer. Perfect for someone in a new city just out of school! As a bonus it was also a Browns bar, adding that little touch of home. Every Sunday, I would head over with other masochistic fans of Cleveland football and watch our team struggle, enjoying complimentary food far more than the football games. We were happy the team had returned to Cleveland, but it was painful to watch. In 2014, the owner of Taggart’s Pub announced he was going to move to a larger venue. Unfortunately for Dayton, that new space never materialized. Even as they were leaving their seventeen-year home, they announced there was going to be a new owner taking over the space. After an incredibly short closure, the Patterson Pub opened up and has been going strong ever since.
If you have not been to Patterson Pub (970 Patterson Rd Dayton, OH 45419) in a while, you need to come and visit. Other than the ownership, little has changed in this Belmont area staple. There are two main areas to the pub: the spacious front room and the much more intimate back bar. The front room holds three large televisions and all the dart boards you could want. Six steel tip and three plastic tip board are there for the throwing, with multiple dart leagues through the week and the occasional tournament. The back bar is just that. It is the place where the magic happens. There is plenty of room to belly up and watch television or play some digital golf while enjoying a beer or cocktail. They have held on to their Irish roots as a pub. Their reverence for a good Irish whiskey and all things green, white, and orange still shines. Along with the orange of the Irish flag, they are still proudly (or, after last season, not as proudly) displaying the orange and brown of the Cleveland Browns. Whiskey and football are two of their great loves. Yes, they still are a Browns bar and show their games on Sundays in the main room. Other games are shown in the back bar area, for reasons that will become clear.
They offer beers for every palate, from $5 Miller High Life pitchers (when they have it on tap) to a nitro tap to infuse extra smoothness into a beer. While some craft options, like Rhinegheist’s Truth, are always on tap, they bring in a variety of other selections that rotate through the seasons. If that is not enough, there are bottles and cans that expand on the tap offering. They even have a variety of specials through the week, including happy hour pricing from 3 to 7 PM daily. That pricing includes cocktails as well. And yes, they do have a cocktail menu to order from. As with the beers, it changes with the seasons but always has at least one Irish whiskey cocktail on the menu. Their liquor selection is continuing to grow, with plans to add some local Belle of Dayton gin and expand their selection of whiskeys. They do offer the normal bar foods like pizza, nachos, pretzels, and pepperoni and cheese breadsticks known as Bosco sticks. You can bring your own food as well, and their neighbors at Corleone’s Pizza are willing to deliver right to the bar.
How friendly is this bar? Very. They are friendly to the service industry, with Monday night being their Service Industry Night. On a slow night for most bars, they offer special pricing for all of the other hard-working bartenders in the Dayton area. They are also still very friendly to Browns fans. They have continued the tradition of the Browns Club for the diehards that have suffered through over two dozen quarterbacks and one minor logo change.
The games are shown on the televisions in the main room along with food, cooked by one of the patrons, for members of the club. For a small fee, you get a t-shirt, a lanyard with an ID card, a magnet with the schedule, and a host of other specials and benefits. If you have a group of fans that want a table for the season, there is a way to buy that as well. Not only that, but any patron who comes in for those Sundays can imbibe a special house made Bloody Mary. Not just the Browns fan. The spacious front room is also available for other events as well, with a small deposit.
Many of the traditions that made Taggart’s Pub a beloved staple in the community have been carried over to the Patterson Pub. The staff is as friendly as I remember and the atmosphere is just as comfortable. They are making their own inroads into the community, embracing their neighborhood and offering a friendly barstool and pint to anyone who stops there.
The Patterson Pub, located at 970 Patterson Rd Dayton, OH 45419, is open 3 PM to 2:30 AM daily. You can call them at (937) 296-9476 and follow them on their Facebook page for more information about events and specials at the pub!
Heated discussions have occurred among friends about what constitutes a dive bar. The issues of size, food served, the motivation for going, and even spirit selection has been part of the debate. One thing that came out over time was the bar’s location. It had to be part of a neighborhood or some other small community. That could make it a biker bar, a Bengals bar, or a bar that most of Belmont are seen in after the end of a shift. Certain areas of town just do not lend themselves well to having a dive bar. They are too busy. In the center of it all. A place to go for the whole city to party, not just the people who live in that area. Some bars, like the Time Out Cavern, require a little extra effort to go there. There is one that, if you are not paying attention, you will miss as you head down Wilmington Pike. And King’s Point Pub is not a place you want to miss.
King’s Point Pub (4660 Wilmington Pike, Kettering, OH 45440) is a well-hidden prize located in the nearly empty Wilmington Height’s Shopping Center. Unless you know it is back there, it may be difficult for you to find. Based on the times that we have been there, plenty of people are finding their way back to this incredible space. The patio that greets you is a fair size, with plenty of room to sit outside and enjoy warm summer nights. Possibly with a game of cornhole. Yes, the patio is really that big. If cornhole is not your game, head inside to the roomy interior for plenty of dart boards and a few pool tables. Summer dart leagues are just starting to get tossing and keep an ear out for the cornhole leagues to begin. They currently are playing some Luck of the Draw games on Sundays at 2 PM, where you put your name into the hat and hope you get a good partner. They have been known in the past to hold the cornhole games inside if there was bad weather. Yes, the interior of the bar is really that big. One their neighboring party supply store shut down, they purchased the space and added it to their pub. There are a few pool tables inside for good measure.
They have a healthy respect for the craft beer scene but are not going to deny a person a cold Coors Light if that is what they are after. They have eight taps ready and waiting for thirsty patrons, typically split between old favorites and the new brews in town. It is not a surprise to those in the know when they host a tap takeover by a brewery every now and then. If you prefer your beer out of a bottle or a can, they have a broad selection of those as well. Their liquor selection does not offer any incredibly rare or unusual. It does offer anything you could possibly want to drink while playing any one of a number of games there. While they do not have a cocktail menu to look over, most of the bartenders there have their own specials they offer to patrons. And if you get hungry from all that dart throwing and bean bag tossing, Troni Brothers Pizza is right next store and ready to help! They offer pizza (of course), wings, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. They will even deliver it to their neighbors! That is some service.
One of the many factors that make a dive bar popular is being an integrated part of their community. The people there know who is coming in and when, and what drink to have ready for them when they arrive. They give back to the people who keep their doors open in ways that go beyond just discounts on
drinks or a place to come when difficulties roll in. They support the causes that are important to the patrons. The staff gets to know the patrons, and the patrons get to know each other. King’s Point Pub is no different. They have a board of all the causes they have helped, including the Wounded Warrior Project (it is a bar that very much appreciates the military), being a top fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Awareness, and various other projects around the community. Speaking with patrons and employees alike, everyone is very friendly and helpful, willing to chat with strangers about this little home away from home. They also support national and local bands by hosting them at their venue (did I mention the place is large?), with acts like Mad Hatter and Full Frontal showing up to entertain.
Taking a few steps off the beaten path is worth it. That is where you find all of the most interesting things. King’s Point Pub offers a great atmosphere with delightful pizza and entertainment for everyone in the family. Whether you go to root on THE Ohio State Buckeye or try your luck at corn hole, this is a pub that is well worth the effort to get to know.
When people ask “How do you become a bartender? Do you go to school?”, I tell them that what you really need to do is start working in the industry in the front of the house and work your way up from there.
Many of the bartenders I speak with have a similar story. They were not fully formed behind the bar, like a clay sculpture brought to life with Jägermeister and some citrus. They were forged in the industry, spending years learning the industry before they were placed behind the bar. There was a big shift at the Dayton Funny Bone in 2014. Their two long-standing bartenders, within months of each other, were getting ready to depart for new ventures. This meant the Funny Bone needed a new bartender that had almost a blank slate to work with. Fortunately for them, Molly Peppo was waiting in the wings.
Molly had come to the Dayton Funny Bone when it first opened in 2006. She was looking for a little extra money on the side, and serving at a comedy club was the right fit for her. As a working mom, it gave her time with her family during the week. Over time, she started to develop an interest in becoming a bartender. Before Molly made the transition, she was one of the senior servers on the staff. Her training for bartending was a slow process, and she picked up a few shifts behind the stick when one of the other bartenders was out for a night.
After years on the floor, she became a full-time bartender. Then, in rapid succession, the bar manager for the club. She went right to work on the huge task she was given, making sweeping changes to the menu. She cleaned house, switching up many of the liquors and beers that had been behind the bar for years. There was a greater focus on building the craft beer selection, knowing that many of the people coming through the doors were beer drinkers. The cocktail menu was also redeveloped over time as the old spirits flowed out and the new spirits flowed in. It was developed to handle the speed of a comedy show, which typically hits fast and early and then dies off. This wonder woman then started training a few other bartenders to build out the rest of her team.
The look of the bar has also been updated. Gone are the shelves of liquor showing off the selection. Molly preferred a clean look, and that is what she created. The craft beers of the month are displayed at the front of the bar for all to see. She is continuing to improve her craft, diving into the craft beer scene while learning more all the time about cocktails. Molly’s path to becoming a bartender was something she was used to; hard work and patience to get where she wanted to be. She built the bar she wanted to create and brought it to life.
How did you get into bartending?
After working as a server for seven years at the club, I decided to learn how to make the drinks I was selling.
What is your favorite drink to make?
This is tricky. If it’s a not crazy busy night I enjoy making cosmos or flavored martinis. However, if it’s a sold out show give me any other drink to make aside from those!!
Which drink makes you internally cringe?
I give this award to the Old Fashioned.
Do you have a favorite spirit you like to work with?
When you go out for a drink in Dayton, where is your favorite place to go?
I’d have to say any of the local breweries. I love the patrons there, the bartenders are super knowledgeable & the atmosphere is always fun.
Who is the most famous person you have served?
I’d have to say Dave Chapelle or Charlie Murphy.
What do you do when you are not bartending?
I’m out taking mini road trips to new breweries or busy being a full-time mom.
What are your favorite trends from the last year?
Possibly the usage of craft beers in some cocktails.
What advice do you want to give bartenders just getting into the business?
The adrenaline rush is crazy addictive!!
What do you love most about Dayton?
I love there are so many cool little local places to hang out right in my own backyard.
Most interesting thing you have seen from behind the bar?
Sheryl Underwood, Stand Up Comedian and co-host of “The Talk, spent $1000 on shots for a room full of her fans.
How has bartending changed in the time you have been in the industry?
I think people are finally realizing there is more to life than a Rum & Coke or a plain domestic beer.
What do you wish customers knew that helped you do your job?
When ordering a drink with no ice doesn’t mean more liquor. When a customer asks me to “hook it up” makes me do just the opposite! Trust me if you’re nice to me I will take care of you.
If you were not a bartender, what career would you be pursuing?
Becoming a nurse.