Beer has flooded the country. In 2010, there were fewer than 1,800 breweries in the United States. And there were zero in Dayton. Fast forward to 2013, where there are over 2,500 breweries in the United States. Dayton is seeing its own brewing growth spurt, with the Dayton Beer Company, Fifth Street Brewpub, Toxic Brewing Company, Lock 27 Brewing, Yellow Springs Brewing, Eudora, Star City Brewing, and many others that I am sure are in the works. Beer tastings have also expanded all over the city. Brewtensils has been offering not only supplies, but classes in brewing everything from a traditional lager or pilsner to experiments on the far ranges of the flavor scale. This is the environment the 4th Annual Dayton Beer Week will be awakening to this weekend, inviting all of Dayton to step out and discover some of the beery goodness themselves.
There are going to be some big events celebrating beer this weekend as the party kicks off at Kitty Hawk Golf Course with the 3rd Annual Pints, Putters, & Pink Balls-2 Club Golf Scramble benefiting the Breast Cancer Foundation. Registration starts at 12:30 PM for a 1 PM start. Get out your beer gear on Sunday and join all the floats and fun for the 4th Annual Beer Pride Parade in the Oregon district, starting at 4:30 PM at Dublin Pub (of course). The good folks at 5th Street Wine and Deli will be having a pre-parade tasting starting at 1 PM, so you can get an incredible seat for the festivities. For those of you who are a little more health conscious, Widmer Brothers is sponsoring Biking for the Beer of It Tuesday night. It begins in West Carrollton and ends after a 10 mile ride at A Taste of Wine in Miamisburg. They are very considerate, making sure you are well hydrated with a selection of beers at the midway point. The last major event of the week will be AleFest at Carillon Park (who is also setting up a historic brewery). You can try out all of the Dayton breweries, explore the growing gluten-free beer offerings, and just generally enjoy over 375 beers from over 150 breweries. That is, of course, if you are not beered out by that point.
It is not just the big events that make this week special. Restaurants all over the Miami Valley are going to be celebrating in some form or another.
- Rouge will take over the draughts beginning at 5 PM at Jimmy’s Ladder 11. They will be featuring the Double Chocolate Stout, Hazelnut Brown, and Imperial IPA. After you’ve had your beer, you can keep the glass!
- From 6 to 9 PM, you can help South Park Tavern fight off the Dogfish Head invasion they are anticipating. Grab a pint and pitch in!
- Cincinnati favorite Mt. Carmel Brewing Company will be taking over some taps at Blind Bob’s with their Summer Wheat, Harvest Dry Hopped ESB, and others. The festivities there start at 4 PM, and you get a souvenir glass to take home with you!
- What goes better with beer than pizza? Spinoza’s will be having a Full Pint Brewing Company beer dinner from 7 to 9 PM.
- Ohio beers are going to be taking over two bars at the midway point! Chappy’s Tap Room and Grille will be featuring a Great Lakes Brewing Company infused firkin from 5 to 7:30 PM. Blind Bob’s will be the downtown center of the Ohio beer takeover, featuring native beers from 5 to 9 PM.
- An incredible beer dinner will be going on at Twisted Root, featuring Merchant du Vin beers like Samuel Smith and Orval Trappist Ale. Five beers and five courses for $50, all of it starting at 7 PM.
- If you are continuing your pint glass collection, Southern Tier Brewing will take over the taps at Taggart’s Pub. They will be featuring their 2XIPA and Choklat beers.
- Start your palates! Lucky’s Tap Room will be having a Firkin Drag Race to the Finish! The casks will be tapped at 6 PM, and go until they are empty.
- Enjoy some Ballast Point beer at the Milano’s Atlantic City Subs in Beavercreek, and take home another pint glass! The festivities will go from 6 to 8 PM.
- Columbus favorite Elevator Brewing will have the run of taps at Archer’s Tavern beginning at 5:30 PM.
- C’est Tout Bistro is planning a beer dinner featuring Unibroue beers from Canada.
- The Trolley Stop will be rolling out the red carpet on the second last night of Dayton Beer Week. They will be featuring rare beers like Bell’s Black Note, and good music that night from 7 PM to midnight.
- Raise your glasses! From 6 to 7 PM, King’s Table will be featuring a stein hoisting competition featuring Sam Adam’s beers.
- Are you still shy about craft beer? The Arrow Wine on Lyons Road will be having an Oskar Blues beer tasting from 5 to 7 PM. If you purchase a four or six pack of these very good brews, you will also walk out with a special gift.
This is not even remotely close to the full list of events for the week. Many restaurants and bars will be having specials on a wide range of beers. Look over the full menu of events and plan your week accordingly.
While you are out exploring Dayton, there are a few things you should remember while doing your tastings:
- When you taste, it is very similar to tasting wine. You want a little foam on the top. You also want to look at and sniff the beer before you taste it, to see what aromas are coming off of it.
- Do not hold the beer in direct light when you look at it. You get the best idea of color when you look at it in indirect light.
- Give it a little bit of a swirl in your glass. This stirs up the carbonation a little, allowing more of the aromas to be released. Don’t underestimate the importance of scent when tasting your beer!
- Hold the beer in your mouth a little bit, allowing it to roam all over your tongue. Enjoy the flavors that come out as it is in your mouth. Take a mental note on how thick the beer is. This is known as mouthfeel.
- Allow the beer to warm up SLIGHTLY before you drink it. As with wine, a little bit of extra warmth unveils deeper flavors that may not be otherwise obvious.
And while you are going to Beer Week events:
- Car pool. Parking is going to be very limited for some of these events, and the citizens are going to be out in force. Getting more people in one car is going to be helpful for everyone.
- Get there early. You want to make sure you get there in enough time to get seats! Make sure you call the venue and check out the details.
- Drink plenty of water. This is going to serve a twofold purpose. First, water will help cleanse the palate between each beer, giving you a better idea of how each beer tastes. Secondly, it will help you avoid a worse hangover than you might normally have.
- Do not eat spicy foods before you go to an event. You do not want your taste buds to be still burning from the Nuclear Hot wings you just ate. Eat a little something; just tone it down.
- Go to the dark side. If you are not at a pre-set beer tasting, start off with some of the lighter beers, and go to the darker ones. The darker beers tend to have heavier flavors and be thicker, which can linger a little longer.
- Designate a driver. No explanation needed.
It has been a busy few years for the craft beer scene, and this is the year it looks like it is going to explode in Dayton. This is the time to go out and taste new beers, find new favorites, and meet new friends. There are so many events going on during the week we would love to know which ones you are most looking forward to. Leave a note in the comments, and we will see you around town. Cheers!