This year has been nothing short of exceptional, It is almost impossible to narrow down all the memorable experiences from 2018. With the help of some suggestions from the Phoenix staff, here are the top moments at the Phoenix this year in no particular order.
Most businesses cringe at the thought of sharing trade secrets and knowledge but the Craft Beer Community loves to collaborate. Goose Steingass, retired professional brewer and award-winning homebrewer, came to head brewer Duncan Macfarlane with a request, to brew again on a big system. He joined the Phoenix to brew his award-winning Wee-Heavy recipe, the Tipped Tombstone, which released in the spring of 2018. Another batch for 2019 has already been brewed and an additional collaboration beer with Goose is scheduled to release in winter 2019. Our first ever Homebrew competition debuted with not one but 2 winning batches of beer. The 2018 Phoenix Homebrew Competition revolved around the Century IPA recipe. The Century IPA is an experimental IPA brewed with the same grains each time but a rotating hop bill. Competition participants were given the base grains for the Century IPA, a copy of the actual recipe notes and told to finish it with their own hop combination. The winner of the competition would have their recipe brewed as a full scale batch and get to brew with the brewers. 2 recipes stood out from the others and 2 sets of winners were chosen: Chad Vanderpool brewed a delicious NE-IPA and a team entry from Jim Hill and Matt Dudley using fresh Cascade hops grown and hand-picked by Jim. Both batches were delicious and impossible to choose between, so both released their batch.
NEW EQUIPMENT & NEW BUILDING:
The Phoenix started with a 5 barrel brewhouse and two 5 barrel fermenters in 2014. They brewed 213 barrels of beer that year. Over the last four years additional fermenters were added totalling 80 barrels of fermentor space and an additional 20 Barrel brewhouse was added delegating the 5 barrel brewhouse to seasonal and small batch beers. In October 2018 another fermentor arrived increasing the available fermentor space to 100 barrels. Production increased to 728 barrels for 2018, just over 22,580 gallons of beer. They also purchased the adjacent building North of the Phoenix Taproom. The new building is currently undergoing small renovations to house the business offices, but has potential for private event space expansion as well as production expansion for 2020.
THE SNACK CLUB:
What started as one person’s generosity with sharing his Whiskey Stick Pretzels became a movement into an entire happy hour snack time rotation. Noticing that the food trucks typically didn’t start serving food until later in the day and that the early happy hours food options were limited, Dan K. began bringing snacks to share with people while the food trucks were still setting up. Suddenly other people began bringing and sharing snacks sometimes bringing in meat and cheese tray, ordering pizzas or other items to share and there was regular snack rotation between 7 new friends. It is always nice to see people taking care of each other and the new friendships formed from a single bag of pretzels.
JANE DOE’S CRAFT BEER CONSORTIUM:
There is a myth that women don’t drink beer...or craft beer, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Early this year, the Jane Doe Craft Beer Consortium formed and called the Phoenix Home. Currently there are over 150 members. The Jane Does meet monthly with each meeting having an educational focus and rotating instructor willing to share their Craft Beer knowledge with the others. And while the Phoenix is home base, they have visited other breweries like Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, Eighteen-O-Three in Galion, Twin Oast and the Catawba Island Brewing Company. Members hosted bottle shares, potluck holiday parties, and educational topics have ranged from how to taste beer, making craft beer cocktails, proper glassware for craft beers, and basic beer schools. And while this is a ladies club, everyone that wants to participate in learning more about craft beer is welcome.
The Phoenix was first approached by McManes Personal Training in February of 2018 to see if we had any interest hosting a POUND and Pour in the Phoenix taproom. POUND is 45 minutes of aerobic exercise that uses drumming and music to move your body for a heart-pumping workout. Considering our love for live music and craft beer, it sounded like a perfect fit. POUND & Pours are held once a month, outdoors when the weather is agreeable and in the production facility when the weather is not so accommodating and is followed by a pint of fresh craft beer. McManes Personal Training along with Barry’s Backers also held a large scale POUND fundraiser in May to raise money for the ALS Society. Live DJ’s, Raffle Baskets, and food trucks combined with three sessions of POUND for an outstanding community fundraiser. Monthly POUND & Pours are listed on the Events page but mark your calendars for the next POUND OUT ALS in May, spots fill up quickly.
We were humbled and overjoyed at the number of awards we received in 2018. The Santa Muerte Spiced Chocolate Stout was awarded USA Country’s Best for the Herb and Spice Beer category in the World Beer Awards. The Mary Jane Chai Baltic Porter and the Tipped Tombstone Wee-Heavy both received Bronze medals at the Ohio Craft Brewers Cup. And the Dark Lylith Imperial Chocolate Stout won a bronze medal in the chocolate/cocoa beer category Chocolate at the US Open Beer Championships. Well done brewers!
POUR ONE NINE BEERFEST:
Mansfield had not only one, but two beerfests in 2018 and we couldn’t have been happier to participate again in the newly expanded festival. While the original POUR ONE NINE Beerfest organized by WMFD was held in October of 2017 at Kingwood Center Gardens, the addition of a second POUR ONE NINE beerfest held in the Spring at the Ohio State Reformatory made use of 2 fantastic locations that showcased some of Ohio’s amazing craft beers and allowed patrons to meet their brewers. We are already looking forward to the 2019 Pour One Nine events.
NEW EMPLOYEE/POSITION CHANGES:
2018 saw additional employees and changes to current employees. Mike Z joined the Phoenix as a Tap Technician and delivery driver. Ian and Cory were added to the Phoenix sales team mid-year. Our production team expanded when Ryan began his internship as an assistant to the brewers and Ian earned the title of Brewer. Carmone joined the Phoenix full time as the Creative & Marketing head. And Brad, while on a short hiatus for the last half of 2018, will be returning early 2019.
Ideas and inspiration come from unexpected places. Who knew that the quirky little Yule cat from the SnowGlobe Spiced Holiday Ale art would lead to the Fight The Frost (and help ward of the Yule Cat) coat drive. Over the course of three weeks and the debut of the holiday ale season, three vans full of donations were delivered to help keep clients of Harmony House Services of Mansfield warm this winter. The generosity of our community was simply overwhelming. THANK YOU to everyone who donated a coat, hat, scarf or pair of gloves. We have such a generous and warm community we are proud to call home.
15 Central Ohio Women from various industry positions joined together at the Phoenix Brewing Company in March to brew the New E.R.A. Pale Ale for International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. The day originally started to embrace the spirit of International Women’s Day and celebrate the women and their roles in the brewing industry. Many of the women participating had brewing and cellaring experience. They also work in other areas of the Craft Beverage industry in roles like marketing, distribution, creative, sales, advocacy, journalism and taprooms. Participating breweries included Weasel Boy Brewing, Lineage Brewing, Commonhouse Ales, North High, Multiple Brewing, and The Phoenix Brewing Company, along with representatives from the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, Drink Up Columbus, and Brewnettes and Brews IG. The pale ale recipe was designed by the women to showcase the hops from the Pink Boots Hop Blend from Yakima Chief.
Father and Son duo at the Phoenix also joined forces to design and brew the Firth of Clyde Scottish Ale. A nod to their Celtic heritage bringing together 4 generations of Cardwells. They began planning the recipe late summer of 2017 after a customer suggested they should brew a beer together. The final recipe and test batch came to fruition just in time to be brewed and released for Father’s Day 2018. The duo named the Scottish Ale Firth of Clyde after an inlet in Scotland where the River Clyde empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It was important that the ale not just honor their bond as father and son, but generations before them.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN:
Local artist Robin Shoup Wilson and local musicians Jai Merina, Last Time Down, Perfectly Damaged, Kobalt Kreek and Fiendish Thingy paid homage to many of the greatest musicians with artwork and live music. Musicians selected and performed songs from Elvis, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Prince, Chris Cornell and many more while Robin Shoup created and displayed drawings of the “Gone, but not Forgotten” musicians.
There are a lot of other moments that weren’t included but were suggested: Oktoberfest, the 4 year Anniversary event, numerous festivals, new musicians, amazing food trucks, the Brickyard Wedding of Joe and Elizabeth, First Friday Infusions, Final Fridays, Ryan shaving his hair off for St. Baldricks again, Tap takeovers from Wolf’s Ridge, Common House and Pretentious Barrel House, and more. Technically, the list above actually goes to eleven. But to everyone who came to the Phoenix, sampled the beers, or suggested the Phoenix to their friends, Thank you for a wonderful year and for making the last 4 years absolutely amazing. Cheers!