Way back in October of 2011, I downloaded an app called Untappd to keep track of which craft beers I was drinking. I wasn’t trying to keep track of how many beers I was drinking but rather looking for suggestions to other beers I might like. The first beer I ever checked into Untappd was Southern Tier Pumking, one of my first true craft beers. Other than that I mostly drank Shandy, Blue Moon and Hoegaardens.
I wouldn’t go near anything sour, dark which I referred to as “muddy”, hoppy or boozy beers. I was strictly Belgians and pumpkin beers. Eventually Ryan got me to try some coffee or chocolate stouts and for a while I loved stouts. Every once and a while I had a hoppy beer that I liked but wasn’t crazy about them. Suddenly when the weather got warm one day that was all I could think about.
I eventually got into the boozy beers and even got into barleywines and sours. This is how my beer progression went.
Belgians->Pumpkin Beers->Stouts->Hoppy->Boozy Beers-> Barleywines->Sours
This whole time I was tracking as many as I could in Untappd. Obviously I’ve missed a couple here and there but this weekend I made it to 500 UNIQUE CRAFT BEERS! Lucky beer number 500 was Jackie O’s Brick Kiln Reserve. It’s a massive, boozy barrel-aged barleywine, that I never would have tried a few years ago.
It couldn’t have happened in a more perfect place than Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens, OH.
We made a random trip down to Athens last weekend to enjoy some Jackie O’s beers and hang out in Athens. I’ve always loved the small town feel there and it was perfect for a 1 day trip. It was also my rest day so it worked out perfectly!
This is probably the biggest hotel room I have ever been in. It was just so long!
We were lucky enough to get a tour of the brewery while we were in Athens from Brad Clark!
I cannot tell you how awesome it is to see how small this production is and how much they put out. It’s pretty amazing stuff. Especially to see a bottling line being held together with clamps, rubber bands and pvc piping.
After getting to see where all the beer was made, we got to go into a room of barrels and drink STRAIGHT FROM THE BARREL. It was probably the one of the coolest beer things I’ve ever seen. (Do I need to get out more?)
After many very tasty beers from the barrel, it was time to head back to the main street to grab dinner.
I didn’t pay much attention to the weather on the way down, other than the fact that it was 10 degrees warmer than Cleveland. I was a little shocked at the snow they received Saturday night.
It’s ok though, I was able to forget about the snow by hanging out with good friends and eating a piping hot Jackie O’s Neanderthal pizza. I even washed it down with a Jackie O’s Mandala Columbus, a hoppy beer a would have avoided in the past.
Anyone else thirsty now?
P.S. There is still time to sign up for the virtual bake sale!