One of my favorite things about any kind of travelling, be it for work or pleasure, is exploring the local beer scenes wherever I go. I found myself in Dayton, Ohio for work this past week and I took the opportunity to visit what beer spots I could, including a day of exploration just south in Cincinnati. Check out my photos on Flickr.
Dayton is a sizable town (842K people in the metro area) with a lot of thirsty beer drinkers, but the craft beer craze really seems to just be catching on there for most. I visited a couple of beer bars that I really enjoyed, and a bottle shop with an outstanding selection. There are no local craft breweries as of right now, but there are several in the works with plans to open soon. My first stop was at Lucky’s Taproom in the Historic Oregon District of Dayton. This neighborhood features several bars and restaurants surrounded by an area with older houses with character and a pleasant overall feel. To sum it up right off the bat, I loved Lucky’s. It had the non-pretentious, laid-back vibe that I love in a bar, with maybe 18 taps of all craft beers, including several gems that I was excited to see. I started off with a Palate Wrecker Double IPA from Green Flash Brewing
Ballast Point Brewing, which is one of my favorite examples of the style. The food was good, the staff was friendly and helpful, and a friend I work with and I even got to chatting with a gentleman at the bar who turned out to be Joe Waizmann, formerly of Merchant du Vin and now organizer of local beer events in Dayton. With guys like Joe around the scene, good things are sure to come. Right down the street from Lucky’s is where Toxic Brew Company will be opening the first brewery in downtown Dayton in over fifty years. I poked my head in the door as they were hard at work with constructing the brewery and taproom, and I’ll be excited to visit on future business trips back to Dayton.
Located not too far from downtown Dayton was my next stop, Belmont Party Supply. While the name could lead you to think they sell just about anything you need for a party, this place is all about beer. They have a large selection of six-packs, singles, and various other formats. The selection included a lot of Midwest and East Coast beers that we don’t get out in Seattle, and several imports that don’t make it out our way. The only negatives I could really find at Belmont is that they don’t have much cooler space for beer, resulting in beers sitting out on shelves, and I also saw quite a few older seasonals and special release beers, which made me wonder what their turnover is like and how much old beer might be sitting on the shelves. That aside, for a city with no breweries Dayton is lucky to have such a great selection of beer. There is also a homebrew shop right next door.
Further south away from Dayton was my final stop in the area, Chappy’s Tap Room and Grill. Located in a non-descript strip mall in a town called Moraine, Chappy’s has about 30 taps of quality beer on display (with a few macros mixed in). I didn’t hesitate when I saw Bell’s Two Hearted on tap, and there were several other beers I would have enjoyed trying. It seemed like there were several people at the bar that were newbies in craft beer, and having a place like Chappy’s in this suburb of Dayton is lucky for them. The weekend after I was leaving Dayton, Chappy’s was actually holding a cask festival featuring 15 beers. Organized by Joe Waizmann, who I met at Lucky’s, the participating breweries included Bell’s, Green Flash, Thirsty Dog, Heavy Seas, Hoppin’ Frog, and more. I guess I should have planned to spend the weekend…
Check back tomorrow to read about my adventures in Cincinnati.