• 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…

  • A photo of a brick building at a street intersection with text overlay that reads "A pint at Listermann Brewing Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio."
    craft beer,  Ohio

    A pint at Listermann Brewing in Cincinnati, Ohio

    The craft beer industry is full of stories of homebrewers who opened their own commercial brewery.  Listermann Brewing Company in Cincinnati takes a unique twist on the homebrewer turned commercial brewer.  The history of Listermann Brewing closely mirrors that of craft beer in Cincinnati with each growing year by year to reach their current stature. Brewery’s history In 1991, after several years of homebrewing Dan Listermann officially started a small manufacturing company that produced homebrewing equipment.  Listermann continued his day job as a quality engineer, and with his wife Sue’s encouragement they rented out space at the Hamilton County Business Development Center.  Fast forward four years, Dan had quit his…

  • An open floor space with people playing cornhole and sitting at tables with text on top that reads "A pint at Rhinegeist Brewery, Cincinnati, Ohio"
    craft beer,  Ohio

    A pint at Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio

    Cincinnati, Ohio, was once a city well-known for its beer.  With a large German immigrant population, the city boasted over thirty breweries by 1860.  However, Prohibition in the early-1900s led to several breweries closing.  The explosion of craft beer in the United States since 2000 has led to the city boasting more breweries now.  Rhinegeist Brewery was not the first craft brewery in town, but may be one of the city’s best known brands with its easily recognizable ghost skeleton logo. Brewery’s history The short version of Rhinegeist’s history is that the brewery opened in a former Christian Moerlein Brewing Company building in 2013.  However, the tale is much longer…

  • Black-and-white image of several beer glasses with text overlaying that says "Reflecting on Flagship February."
    craft beer

    Reflecting on Flagship February

    A month has come and gone since the start of a grassroots movement in the American craft beer industry.  At the beginning of the new year, esteemed craft beer writers Stephen Beaumont and Jay Brooks plus others spawned the idea of Flagship February as a way for craft beer drinkers to support the beers that built the industry.  As I read news articles about the declining sales of flagship beers, and Beaumont’s off-the-cuff remark about having a month to support these beers I contemplated how I could support this movement.  As an American living in Japan, I decided to partake on a weekly basis by having a different flagship beer…

  • A black-and-white image of a twelve-pack of New Belgium Fat Tire and a six-pack of Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale with text overlaying that says "Celebrating American craft beer with Flagship February."
    craft beer

    Celebrating American craft beer with Flagship February

    How and why do you start a movement?  For some people it’s the desire to preserve something they care about and sharing that concern on social media.  That’s not exactly how “Flagship February” began, but it’s a good synopsis about this brewing movement in American craft beer. The more detailed story starts with an article about the declining sales of flagship beers (the beers that helped establish a craft brewery).  In response to the steady drop in sales of these beers, esteemed beer scribe Stephen Beaumont proposed a month to promote these brews. How about, in the spirit of alliteration, how about we make next month Flagship February!?! The focus would…

  • Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Big Beach Brewing Co. in Gulf Shores, Ala.

    Opening a brewery takes a lot of time, effort, and patience.  However, Jim and Julie Shamburger navigated the process relatively quickly to open Big Beach Brewing Co. in Gulf Shores, Ala.  Jim started homebrewing after his daughter bought him a Mr Beer kit, but he quickly advanced and in July 2015 petitioned the city to open a brewery.  Construction of the building was completed and the brewery opened its doors in October 2016. The brewery sits on the corner of East 2nd Street and East 24th Avenue in the Waterway Village District, so it is easily accessible to locals or people coming for a beach vacation.  During a recent visit…