December 5th, 1933 is the official day that liquor flowed back into the very dry veins of the United States. No more sneaking whiskey across the frozen Detroit RIver, no more gin made of questionable liquor, no more rum runners sneaking hooch into the country through Florida. This country could get back to the business of distilling and selling liquor, creating jobs and giving a financial shot in the arm during the long dark days of the Great Depression. Before that day there were some cracks in the dam. Trickles of legal liquor started to flow from wineries, which was not a big surprise. The religious leaders of the country made sure that communion was not interrupted by social change. Brewers, on the other hand, were able to clean out the tanks and fire up the bottling machines for the first time in over a decade earlier in the year.
Representative Thomas Cullen (D-NY) and Senator Pat Harrison (D-MS) put together a bill that allowed the brewers to stop making ice cream and malt syrup and get back to brewing. The Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law on March 22nd, 1933 by FDR, and allowed breweries to brew alcohol at a strength of 3.2%. Still very low by our standards, but at the time it was a glass of water after a long trip to the desert. This law went into effect on April 7, 1933, and tavern owners could not have been happier. Ever since that initial celebration, every year we as a country have come together and celebrated that day as National Beer Day, or New Beer’s Eve.
If you are paying any attention, you may have noticed that there are a few new breweries in Dayton. One, two…maybe about nine that are in operation. We are going to celebrate National Beer Day by taking a look at these outstanding new breweries and asking them about their favorite brews and most popular beers.
Hairless Hare Brewery: The brewery of the north, working their magic in Vandalia, is drawing fans from all over the Miami Valley. Their fans are raving about the Hoppin’ Hare IPA, and they have just recently started to serve delightful food you can wash down with their beers.
Eudora Brewing: Located in Kettering on Wilimington Pike, their space contains some big flavors. They are working towards allowing members of the community to use their space to brew, but in the meantime are creating their own outstanding brews. Their Boomerang IPA is one of their best sellers, with the Thunderball Stout coming right behind it. The brewer I spoke with suggested the easy drinking Bee’s Knees Pale Ale. It is a light, crisp beer brewed with local honey.
Star City Brewing: This group of local Miamisburg brewers saw some potential in the old Peerless Mill Inn. They set up shop and the beer started to flow. They have a core group of four taps that have been pleasing the crowds. And those crowds are drinking down the Oatmeal Stout and Bavarian Hefeweizen the quickest. On their rotating tap, their Milk Stout gains quite a bit of interest.
Lock 27 Brewing: The brews here rotate on a regular basis, but there are a few that people make sure they follow. Their Map Reader IPA is a big hit with the people who seek it out, and the Bear Trap brown ale is high on the list of beers to keep an eye on. Fortunately Lock 27 makes it easy to follow what they have on tap through BeerMenus, who will email you when their taps rotate. Try their food while you are there. We hear it is as good as the beer.
Toxic Brew Company: Celebrating your one year anniversary is great for any business. This new Oregon District staple just celebrated theirs, and they show no signs of stopping. They offer an incredibly wide selection of beers, but a few rise to the top of the menu. Abby’s Cure, a Belgian Tripel, is one of them that rises, as well as Porn or Pawn Pepper Pale Ale, named after an old Oregon District drinking game (which I will someday learn). Another staff recommendation? The Practice Yoga IPA, named after another local business and a gentle introduction into the world of IPAs.
Warped Wing Brewing Company: Let’s stay in downtown Dayton and welcome the newest addition to the local beer community! Their following has been growing, and they can see some great things coming in the near future for their brewery and the local craft brewing scene in general. The Flying Rye has received excellent reviews (and is a top seller), as well as Ermals. Keep a look out for the return of the Red IPA, which was released in a limited batch and could come back soon.
Yellow Springs Brewery: Surrounded by nature and also to the north, this brewery has been growing at a rapid pace. Not only are their great beers available in their tap room, you can find them in bars and restaurants all over the city. What to choose from on their extensive list? Their most popular requests are the Captain Stardust saisson and Wyatt’s Eviction English-style pale ale. Fans of hop may also look for their Wobbly Wheel or Breaking Edge IPAs. They also have an award winning smoked brown ale, Smokin’ Handsome, which makes special appearances. You just have to be on the lookout.
Dayton Beer Company: The first one to the party is the anchor of our list. Right on Dorothy Lane in Kettering, they were the first new brewery in the area. They have been building their small batch magic into some award winning palette-pleasers. Their Mad River Milk Stout has been a hit with their patrons, as well as the Investor’s India Pale Ale. Their influence continues to expand, spreading out to local hot spots in Dayton and Columbus.
The craft beer boom keeps growing, with even more great beers on the way from Fifth Street Brewing Coop getting ready brew, and Carillon Brewing Company getting ready to open later this year. There has been such a boom of breweries in the Gem City, you can even take a tour of them via Dayton Brew Tours! These are what the brewers and bar tenders of these establishments know are their best beers, but what about you? What beers do you think are the best local ones in Dayton? Let us know in the comments! Take some time tonight to celebrate your right to drink a great craft beer. Maybe two. Cheers!