• Overview of a storefront with large wooden sign above windows that says, "Black Warrior Brewing Company." Text across the windows says: "A pint at Black Warrior Brewing § Tuscaloosa, Alabama."
    Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Black Warrior Brewing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    People are quick to associate Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide football team.  However, there is a lot more to the city and its history than an iconic football team.  The landscape includes several local landmarks, which the ownership group of Black Warrior Brewing wanted to bring front and center when they opened their brewery in 2013. Brewery’s history In 2011, three friends who worked at the BFGoodrich tire manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa and shared a love of homebrewing and mountain biking decided to open a craft brewery.  While perfecting recipes, Joe Fuller, Eric Hull, and Jason Spikes met Wayne Yarbrough, who became the fourth member of…

  • Overview of a bar top with a white text box covering the image and text inside that says "A pint at Druid City Brewing § Tuscaloosa, Alabama."
    Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Druid City Brewing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    There are a lot of ways to measure when a town “has made it.”  For Bo Hicks and Elliott Roberts opening a craft brewery in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was their way of putting the city on the map.  In 2012, the pair opened Druid City Brewing in a refurbished butcher shop.  Several years later the brewery continues to be an integral part of the community. Brewery’s history Co-owner Bo Hicks began working in craft beer at Hales Tavern on The Strip.  Eventually Hicks and Roberts started homebrewing together.  Like many homebrewers, the duo joked about opening a brewery together.  Eventually Roberts had a friend draft a business plan and the pair…

  • Black-and-white photo of a mixed-use building with a restaurant on the first floor. Text across the image says, "A pint at Mazama Brewing at Orenco Station § Hillsboro, Oregon."
    craft beer,  Oregon

    A pint at Mazama Brewing at Orenco Station in Hillsboro, Oregon

    Mazama Brewing at Orenco Station is a year-old gastropub.  However, there is a lot more to the taproom and New American restaurant.  It is part of Mazama Brewing, a family-owned brewery in Corvallis, Oregon, that opened in 2013.  The current location opened in April 2019 with an emphasis on contemporary food and craft beer.  Despite the name there is no beer brewed at Mazama Brewing at Orenco Station, although it serves an extensive list of Mazama beers. Brewery’s history Jeff and Kathy Tobin began homebrewing in the 1980s, but did not initially plan to open a brewery.  After a trip to Belgium in 2011, the couple decided to pursue opening…

  • Overview of a large corner bar with a opaque white box with green text that says "A pint at Vertigo Brewing § Hillsboro, Oregon."
    craft beer,  Oregon

    A pint at Vertigo Brewing in Hillsboro, Oregon

    It is difficult starting, building, and maintaining a small business, let alone a craft brewery for over a decade.  However, that is precisely the story of Vertigo Brewing in Hillsboro, Oregon. Brewery’s history The tale of homebrewers turned commercial brewers is nearly as old as the beer industry itself, but that does not make the story any less interesting.  Mike Kinion and Mike Hanes worked together in the tech industry for nearly 30 years and brewed beer together for several years before entering competitions for feedback on their brews.  The pair honed their brewing skills through trial and error with feedback from these competitions over ten years before opening Vertigo…

  • Black-and-white photo showing a bar with a digital drink menu in the middle of the wall. Text overlays the image saying "A pint at Ridgewalker Brewing § Forest Grove, Oregon."
    craft beer,  Oregon

    A pint at Ridgewalker Brewing in Forest Grove, Oregon

    It takes a team effort for any business to succeed.  That is especially true in craft beer, which is why the partnership behind Ridgewalker Brewing in Forest Grove, Oregon, has done so well. Brewery’s history The team behind Ridgewalker Brewing includes Chris and Jason Cirlincione, Jeff Farrar, and Justin Marble.  Chris and Jason Cirlincione bring a background in real estate and flipping properties to the team, which was critical in overhauling the brewery’s main property, the 1921 Public House.  Their experience also allowed the team to find and renovate the city’s former post office and convert it into an event space known as The Mail Room.  Farrar’s experience in food…

  • Overview of a room with several wooden picnic benches and a large bar in the background. Text overlaying image says "A pint at Sun King Brewery (Section sign) Indianapolis, Indiana."
    craft beer,  Indiana

    A pint at Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis, Indiana

    The ownership group of Sun King Brewery includes five people, but Dave Colt and Clay Robinson stand front and center as the pair who drive the bus.  The pair’s long history in the Indianapolis beer scene led them to start their own brewery in 2009, which is now the second-largest brewer in Indiana. Brewery’s history Colt and Robinson met while working at Ram Restaurant & Brewery.  Eventually Robinson quit his job and turned his attention to opening a production brewery.  In search of a head brewer, Robinson turned to Colt and the duo began developing what would become Sun King Brewery.  The ownership group expanded to include Clay’s father Omar,…

  • Map of Oregon and Washington State with multiple baseball team logos and text overlaying that says "Pacific Northwest Baseball Road Trip."
    ballparks,  craft beer,  travel

    Pacific Northwest baseball road trip preview

    With my wife Katie enrolled in a graduate certificate program, we knew that our summer travels would take us to the Pacific Northwest.  Naturally this meant I got to plan a Pacific Northwest baseball road trip!  Katie will spend a month in Portland, Oregon, before I meet her there.  We will spend a week together in Portland before traveling to Seattle, Washington.  In Seattle, we will work together at a sports camp, and she will do more work to complete her certification.  So our Pacific Northwest baseball road trip will span two states and four weeks. Baseball games Our travels in Oregon and Washington are built around my wife’s academic/work…

  • Overview of a large, brick house and a brick church with a patio in between them. Text overlays the image saying "A pint at Urban Artifact in Cincinnati, Ohio.
    craft beer,  Ohio

    A pint at Urban Artifact in Cincinnati, Ohio

    There are a lot of spaces that are ideal for hosting a brewery.  Opening a brewery in a former church continues to be more common.  The space is usually quite large, which is ideal for brewing beer.  The group behind Urban Artifact initially planned to open its facility in a former brewery.  However, the current space allowed the group to open significantly earlier, which led to the change of plans. Brewery’s history Urban Artifact encompasses many things.  It includes a brewery, an event space, a music venue, and a radio station.  Bret Kollman Baker and Scotty Hunter, who attended Ohio University together and studied engineering, oversee the brewery.  Eventually they…

  • Diagonal view of a bar top with text overlaying that says "3 Points Urban Brewery (Section Sign) Cincinnati, Ohio."
    craft beer,  Ohio

    A pint at 3 Points Urban Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio

    An equilateral triangle possesses three sides of equal length and three congruent internal angles.  3 Points Urban Brewery brings together three equally important components to offer craft beer drinkers a unique experience in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Pendleton in Cincinnati, Ohio. Brewery’s history A few years ago development firm Model Group and hospitality group Hickory Wald sought to open a brewery in Pendleton.  Ultimately that led to a pair of brewers from Cincinnati mainstay Rhinegeist Brewery seeking to make their own mark to join the yet-to-be-named brewery.  Head brewer Patrick Mulrey and brewer Caleb Ochs-Naderer are responsible for the beers people consume at the brewery.  Despite the notoriety the brewers…

  • A map of Indiana and Ohio with text overlaying that says "Midwest Baseball Road Trip" that includes logos for the Columbus Clippers, Dayton Dragons, and Indianapolis Indians.
    ballparks,  craft beer,  travel

    Midwest baseball road trip preview

    Summer travel is in full swing and I am back in the United States for the next two months.  So that means time for an old-fashioned baseball road trip.  After a full week working in Cincinnati, Ohio, I will embark on a Midwest baseball road trip.  Trip plans are focused on visiting new baseball stadiums, but I will be doing some other sightseeing, too.  Most importantly I will visit two new ballparks.  Without further ado here are the plans for my Midwest baseball road trip. Baseball games The trip is built around visiting new ballparks close to Cincinnati.  As I made a swing through Kentucky last summer, I am heading…