Wooly Pig Farm Brewery, Fresno
This Coshocton County brewery makes great beers and offers a place where visitors can enjoy the inviting farm atmosphere.
The rural property that Wooly Pig Farm Brewery calls home is draped over wooded hills not far from Coshocton in eastern Ohio, molding itself to the land rather than clearing and flattening it for convenience. It’s an apt picture for the business philosophy of this lager-focused brewery that is about a 90-minute drive from both Columbus and Cleveland.
The families that run the brewery have learned to live and work in harmony with their rugged yet picturesque setting, raising farm animals and brewing some of the best German-style lagers in the country.
The farm setting isn’t a gimmick. Wooly Pig is a working farm, raising a herd of Mangalitsa pigs — a Hungarian breed known for their thick, wiry hair — and feeding them the organic waste from the brewing process. Eventually, the pigs are butchered, and the meat is sold at the brewery. This closed loop allows the business to be both ecologically and economically sustainable.
“How can small farms continue to contribute instead of being outcompeted for their ag products?” asks Jael Malenke, who co-founded the brewery in 2017 with her husband, Kevin Ely, and her brother and sister-in-law, Aaron and Lauren Malenke. “We have a lot of assets that people don’t necessarily see as assets.”
Despite the whimsical livestock adjacent to the large outdoor seating area, beer is still the star at Wooly Pig Farm Brewery. Ely crafts excellent rustic German lagers like the crisp Keller Pils, quenching Rustic Helles, and hearty Rye Dunkel, as well as more esoteric options like Coffee Pils, Pawpaw Pils, and Maple Baltic Porter.
There is a small taproom at Wooly Pig with a larger all-weather enclosure attached, but if it’s a nice day, the beer is best enjoyed on the brewery’s grassy beer garden, with tables, a fire pit and plenty of room for the kids to play. For cold weather, there is a row of heated wooden huts — called salettl — hemming the lawn.
“We have a modified Bavarian beer garden atmosphere,” explains Ely. “There’s lots of space to enjoy beer outside. Being a farm with animals, a lot of people come just to enjoy a beer while watching the pigs.”
23631 Township Rd. 167, Fresno 43824, 740/693-5050, woolypigfarmbrewery.com