It’s a cold Saturday evening in Ohio…in January…what do we do? Go North!!! Why north when it’s already cold? Because we live near a great area for craft brews. It’s a bit north of Tuscarawas County…in Summit county specifically. You know, home of the Akron Zips, the Akron Rubber Ducks and Goodyear. It’s Saturday night; a person can’t just stay home and watch TV…well maybe you could, but where is the fun in that?
On this occasion we visited two breweries in Akron…R. Shea Brewing and Aqueduct Brewing.
R. Shea is located in the valley on Merriman Road. At this point, they don’t serve food…it is a BYOF establishment…bring your own food. In my opinion, that’s the best way to go because they have plenty of beers to choose from. I highly recommend the Polymer, if it’s available. Polymer is a caramel espresso stout that is 7% abv. It has a great coffee taste along with the sweetness of the malt and caramel. It’s almost like a caramel macchiato, except it has beer in it. I also recommend the Peppermint Milk Stout…I know, for some of you, mint in beer is questionable. Take my word for it, you won’t be disappointed. This beer is awesome, as are all of the beers from R. Shea.
As of this writing, this is the current beer selection:
Ron Shea is the owner and brewer. He’s a quiet, unassuming gentlemen who definitely takes pride in his beer and his establishment. He is always open to discussing his beer…as long as he isn’t busy pouring for all of the patrons. We struggled to fit around a high top table because the backroom had been rented out for a party. I recommend that you get a couple of flights to sample, that way you don’t get too trashed and get to enjoy all of the flavors…for this trip, I was the DD so I only had a sip or two of each sample.
The next stop we made was Aqueduct Brewing. Aqueduct Brewing is a bit difficult to find. Aqueduct is located at 529 Grant Street #106. If you arrive at Thirsty Dog Brewing, you have gone to far…go back to the first alley, go behind the warehouse that is home to Thirsty Dog…located in the back corner of the dead end alley is Aqueduct Brewing. Let me just say, Aqueduct brews are not for the faint of heart or someone that is looking for low alcohol in their beer…that being said, don’t expect to get that high alcohol taste from the products that you sample. Again, I recommend a sample flight…these beers are huge in flavor. While everything I had was very tasty, I recommend the Osiris Orange Coriander Pale Ale and the Silenus Coffee Stout. Osiris is a great pale ale…this will be an ideal beer to sip on the patio or at the brewery once the warm weather arrives here in NE Ohio…the Silenus is a great stout to enjoy while sitting next to a roaring fire in the fireplace…if you don’t have a fireplace, sit and enjoy this with someone that keeps you warm. 🙂
We had the pleasure of meeting Bob and Sara Hernandez during our visit. Bob is very passionate about his craft. He prides himself on the quality product that he produces…as I said earlier, his beers are not for the faint of heart, high in alcohol and high in flavor. We sat and talked brewing techniques for nearly an hour…he loves to share his expertise and as home brewers, John and I were glad to soak up any information that he was willing to provide that would help us improve our abilities.
The brewery definitely has an industrial feel about it and is another small brewery that doesn’t have food. There is a list of local restaurants that will deliver or you can bring your own…either way works.