Jackie O’s — The Brewery That Started It All

Jackie O's Taproom at 25 Carpenter Street in Athens has grown a lot in recent years. It's a great place to sample Jackie O's brews, and it's a stone's throw from the bikeway.
The Taproom at 25 Carpenter Street in Athens has grown a lot in recent years. It’s a great place to sample Jackie O’s brews, and it’s a stone’s throw from the bikeway.

Their motto says it all: Sustainably crafted with purpose.

Owner Art Oestrike got the Athens craft brew scene rolling when he founded Jackie O’s in 2005 on West Union Street in Athens, Ohio.

Jackie O's logoAfter expanding into an adjoining storefront on West Union, Jackie O’s opened its Taproom in 2013 at 25 Campbell Street — the first brewery to be on the bike path. This location is just a short ride from the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.

Today, Jackie O’s distributes its brews throughout Ohio and makes a wide variety of beers. The spent grain from brewing was used in pizzas starting in 2006 and they started baking a wide variety of breads for their restaurant and other Athens-area food services. Want to sample their baking? Stop by the Athens Farmer’s Market on Saturdays to buy the wide variety of breads they offer. We recommend the Beelzebub, but beware: This fiery flatbread is for fire eaters only.

Jackie O's Taproom at 25 Campbell Street in Athens offers a wide selection of growlers, glasses and bottled beer as well us a wide variety of brews on tap.
Jackie O’s Taproom at 25 Campbell Street in Athens offers a wide selection of growlers, glasses and bottled beer as well us a wide variety of brews on tap.

When more breweries started opening in Athens, you might have expected Jackie O’s to move to crush the competition. They did exactly the opposite, boosting and helping the upstart Little Fish and Devil’s Kettle breweries as they entered the market. The result: an incredible craft brew experience that benefits all three organizations, not to mention something uniquely Athens: Local businesses working together with a deep, deep sense of community spirit.

The most important thing to remember about Jackie O’s is that they have three locations, each with its own vibe:

Jackie O’s Brewpub

It’s the original — the first. And it’s right next door to Jackie O’s second location, the Public House. The Brewpub  and Public House are side-by-side at 22 West Union as you face the joined buildings.

A smaller, more intimate setting, the Brewpub is great for having a few beers and bar food to snack on. You order food at the bar and they give you a number that will be called when it’s ready.

The Brewpub also has access to an outdoor deck (shared with the Public House) that’s a great place to hang out when the weather cooperates.

While most of the brewing happens at the Taproom over on Carpenter Street, they do still brew beer at the Brewpub, too.

  • Hours: Monday 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Thursday-Saturday 4 p.m.-2 a.m., closed Sundays
  • Food: Kitchen is open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
  • Directions from the bikeway: At the point where West Union Intersects the bikeway,turn east onto West Union to the Brewpub and Public House. There is a hill you’ll have to climb to get to the beer. Use granny gear and think about the suds as you climb.

The Public House

Right next door to the Brewpub, at 24 W. Union St., is the Public House. This is a larger space that features live music and a full menu for sit-down dining. We love the Public House for its diversity. You’ll meet everyone from local families having dinner to OU students to Athens visitors here. And the food is good. Like, really good. Jackie O’s features items from its own farm  as well as products from Laurel Valley Creamery, Barrel Ridge Farm, Integration Acres, and more. In a tribute to the bar that originally was in this location, they also offer O’Hooley’s Fish & Chips, one of our favorites. Want to dine al fresco? You can get to outdoor deck from the Public House.

  • Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
  • Food: The kitchen is open 11 a.m.- 9:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
  • Directions from the bikeway: At the point where West Union Intersects the bikeway,turn east onto West Union to the Brewpub and Public House. There is a hill you’ll have to climb to get to the beer. Use granny gear and think about the suds as you climb.

Jackie O’s Taproom

If you’re looking for a spot that’s farther away from the bustle of Uptown (and closer to the Hockhocking Adena  bikeway), this is your place. The Taproom, at 25 Campbell Street, features cool art, plenty of Jackie O’s paraphernalia and, of course, great beers. The outdoor patio is a great place to enjoy a beer when the the weather is smiling. If you’re hungry, there is a food cart that offers snacks ranging from nachos to quesadillas to grilled cheese.

  • Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday noon-7.
  • Food: The food cart is open  Monday-Wednesday 4 p.m.-9 p.m., Thursday-Sunday noon-9 p.m. and Sunday noon- 7 p.m.
  • Directions from the bikeway: The spur to the Taproom is just west of point where the bikeway passes under the Stimson Avenue Bridge, not far from Mile Marker 1.  Follow it up toward Stimson. You’ll see a crosswalk at North McKinley, right across from Sonic. The Taproom is on the other side of Sonic.  This is a new roundabout. so be careful. Don’t assume all drivers know the rules when entering a roundabout …

More info

  • Fascinating fact: Jackie O’s Chomolungma is a delicious brown ale that was first brewed in honor of the 2007 Lungevity Everest Expedition, during which Art’s brother, Brian, reached the top of Mount Everest. Chomolungma (Chinese for Everest) was brewed to help fund the expedition and generate money for Lungevity, a lung cancer research group in Chicago. Even then, they were brewing sustainably, with purpose …
  • Beer tip: We love all the beers at Jackie O’s, but when we’re out biking, we love the Ricky extra much. It’s relatively low alcohol (4.5% ABV) and a great beer for a hot, sweaty day. Jackie O’s wanted this American blonde ale to be “something that was very light, clean, crisp, and refreshing.” They succeeded.
  • Pick up a six pack: At the Taproom, you can buy a six pack of mixed Jackie O’s beers, which is really convenient when you don’t want to commit totally to Mystic Mama or Chomolungma.
  • Phone: 740-592-9686
  • Connections: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website.

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