When: 2017 Ohio Brew Week runs July 14-22.
In some ways, Ohio Brew Week is for beer wonks. It features a home brew competition, symposiums for hop growers, and other events geared toward professional and amateur craft brewers.
But casual beer lovers certainly aren’t left out. Athens restaurants, bars and other business roll out a fantastic array of deals and beer samplings. And in addition to Athens own breweries, brewers from across the state bring their wares to town. Think of it as Craft Brew Heaven.
Ohio Brew Week Events
You can see all events at the official Ohio Brew Week site but here are some of our annual favorites:
Rock ‘n’ Roast, 5-9:30 p.m., July 14 at Ohio University Inn. Outdoor buffet and beer garden to kick off Brew Week.
Ohio Brew Week Keg Tapping Ceremony July 17, 5 p.m., Jackie O’s Brewpub, 24 W. Union. Each year, Jackie O’s brews and taps a keg of “Sparbock” in honor of Jon Sparkhawk, a local restaurant owner who conceived Ohio Brew Week.
Brew BQ Jun 21, 4-10 p.m., Train Depot, W. Union. Lots of good live music and food trucks. Get ready to groove.
Bicycle Cruise to Tasty Brews, June 22, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. A 27-mile-trip to help you work up a sweat and appetite for beer at Jackie O’s Taproom
Last Call, July 22, noon to 11:59. When Court Street shuts down and the brewers set up shop on the bricks. Live music. Tons of fun. The signature event! (look for out booth!)
History of Ohio Brew Week in Athens, Ohio
When Ohio Brew Week started back in 2005, Athens had only one brewery: the brand-new Jackie O’s. The event’s main goal was to drum up business in Athens during the summer doldrums when a dearth of Ohio University students leaves Uptown Athens parched for customers.
Twelve years later, Ohio Brew Week still aims to boost business. But it’s much more than that. The event is a celebration of craft brew in Ohio. And Athens has plenty to celebrate. Athens County now has four breweries — Jackie O’s, Little Fish, Devil’s Kettle, and Multiple Brewing — and there have been reports a fifth is being planned.
- Fascinating fact: While brew week is a chance for Ohio’s professional craft brewers to show off their wares, home brewers also share the spotlight. The Athens Craft Beer Club is sponsoring the 2017 Ohio Brew Week Homebrew Competition. As of June 21, 2017, there already were 282 entries. This is worth paying attention to. Devil’s Kettle owner Cameron Fuller is a former winner …
- Who’s in charge? Brandon Thompson took over as director of Ohio Brew Week in 2016. He also plays a role in organizing the annual Halloween Block Party in Athens.
- Ohio Brew Week connections: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website.