Behind the Brews
Ohio’s craft beer scene is a story of hard work and creativity. Meet some of the people who play vital roles when it comes to understanding and enjoying what’s in your glass.
Our state’s craft brew landscape is an ever-expanding mix of agriculture and artistry that continues to grow as new beer-makers appear and existing ones expand their reach throughout Ohio and beyond. We asked frequent Ohio Magazine contributor and beer writer David Nilsen to provide us a look at some of the people behind each step in the craft beer process — from a farmer who grows the grains that Ohio brewers use to a bartender who serves patrons insight along with their pint. Plus, Nilsen picks a dozen great beers — three perfectly paired for each season — that you should put on your list to try in 2021.
The Owner: Betty Bollas, Fibonacci Brewing Co.
Nature and math mix deliciously at this small brewery just north of Cincinnati that grows ingredients for its beers on its urban farm.
The Brewer: Hannah Ferguson, Modern Methods Brewing Co.
After pitching in at this Warren beer-maker, Ferguson was invited to join the operation, making her the first Black female professional brewer in Ohio.
The Bartender: Meagan Belarde, Branch & Bone Artisan Ales
After starting at Dayton’s Warped Wing Brewing Co. and earning her Cicerone Certified Beer Server Status, Belarde has continued to deepen her beer knowledge.
The Chef: Becky Clark, Little Fish Brewing Co.
After working with a number of James Beard Award-nominated culinary pros, Clark brings her Pork & Pickles concept to this popular Athens brewery.
The Farmer: Matt Cunningham, Rustic Brew Farm
Cunningham began planting barley and hops on his Marysville family farm in 2014 and now supplies a number of Ohio brewers.
12 Beers to Try This Year: Keep an eye out for these Ohio craft brews in 2021. Each pairs perfectly with a specific time of year.