Brilliant Stream always looks forward to Ohio Brew Week in Athens. This year is no different. There is so much good beer in such a compact spot. With Ohio craft beer tap takeovers all week long at all the downtown bars and restaurants, a pub crawl is a must. Brewery tours and cider too.
Several new events and activities are on tap this year. To get an idea of what’s in store, see the Official Event Schedule and this festival preview from 2016 and this BrilliantStream article on 2016 brew week.
Things kick off Friday, July 14 and runs through Saturday, July 22. We’ll see you there.
Here is the official news release from the Brew Week folks.
12th annual Ohio Brew Week takes over Athens
ATHENS, OHIO — The 12th annual Ohio Brew Week takes over Athens July 14-22. Beer nerds and casual craft fans alike fill the town each year to sample hundreds of beers from over 40 Ohio craft breweries.
Participating breweries include Ohio beer giants such as Great Lakes Brewing Co., Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery and Thirsty Dog Brewing along with dozens of returning favorites.
Breweries attending for the first time include Wolf’s Ridge Brewing (Columbus), Market Garden Brewery (Cleveland), Royal Docks Brewing Co. (Canton), Grove City Brewing Co. (Grove City), Sixth Sense Brewing (Jackson) and Multiple Brewing (Nelsonville).
Ohio made mead, cider and wines will also be available at select venues and special events.
Ohio Brew Week kicks off each year with the annual Rock n’ Roast at the Ohio University Inn and Conference Center. The Rock n’ Roast includes live music, BBQ from the OU Inn chefs and beer from area breweries. It runs from 5-9:30pm, Friday July 14.
Other annual events include the Homebrew Competition, which drew 382 entries from homebrewers across the region to be judged by an expert panel.
Monday, July 17 at 5pm is the annual Keg-Tapping Ceremony, conducted each year in honor of beloved local businessman Jon Sparhawk. A founder of Ohio Brew Week, Sparhawk passed away in 2007. Each year, Jackie O’s brews a special batch of “Sparbock” to be officially released at the Jackie O’s Public House during the ceremony.
New events this year include two ticketed specialty tours, the Hocking Valley Winery and Spirits Tour on Tuesday July 18 and the Athens County Brew Cruise July 19.
“Whether it’s beer, wine, mead, vodka or cider, our two tours are aimed at showing what sets us apart from the rest of the state.” said Jody Grenert, current board president of Ohio Brew Week. “Unlike a big city, It’s possible to offer a taste of the entire region.”
Grenert emphasizes the addition of more educational events for Ohio Brew Week 2017.
“You can see a presentation on Southeast Ohio’s Pre-Prohibition breweries, hear about the Court Street bar scene’s colorful past, witness a homebrewing demonstration, or even pick the brain of a commercial brewer,” said Grenert. “Learning about beer just enhances the fun.”
This year also marks the return of the WOUB Golf Tournament, July 18 at the Athens Country Club.
The second weekend of Ohio Brew Week begins with music, food and brews for the annual Brew BQ, located at the Athens Train Depot on West Union Street, Friday July 21 from 4-10pm.
The Last Call street festival closes out the week on Saturday July 22, from noon to midnight. Court Street is blocked off from Washington to Carpenter Street to host taps from dozens of breweries, along with food and craft vendors, a kid’s zone and live music stage. Thousands of attendees take over the brick streets each year for this quintessential Ohio Brew Week event.
“Brew Week isn’t just the weekends,” said OBW executive director Brandon Thompson. “We’ve got plenty of awesome events at our restaurants and bars during the week. Check our website for all the fun!”
To keep track of the hundreds of Ohio craft brews, this year the Ohio Brew Week website features a fully-functional beer list, giving fest-goers the ability to mark beers they have tried and note their favorites, all saved on the site. As always, a print beer list will be available at local venues. Attendees are encouraged to refer to the website for the most up-to-date information on events and beers.
For more information, visit ohiobrewweek.com for a full list of events, beers, sponsors and helpful maps to all Ohio Brew Week participating locations.