Pints of interest

A DCP beer geek’s exclusive Dayton ale trail

By Kevin Gray

Photo: Use the Dayton City Paper guide to explore the region’s craft beer scene

The Dayton beer scene has received a lot of regional and national attention, but it’s a good bet that most people still haven’t tried all of Miami Valley’s breweries, or if they have, it’s been a while since their first visit. Dayton City Paper offers this guide, broken it down into manageable day-trips and organized by region, to help you explore the region’s craft beer scene.

Downtown

The downtown breweries exist within walking distance of one another, stretching from St. Anne’s Hill through the Oregon District to the Dragon’s Stadium. Begin at Fifth Street Brewpub (1), Ohio’s first cooperatively owned brewpub. Chill in the biergarten while you sip on a citrusy Icebreaker IPA. Order food—the menu is full of simple entrees with bold flavors. (1600 E. Fifth St., Dayton)

Walk west on Fifth Street into the Oregon District to arrive at Toxic Brew Company (2). Toxic Brew was the first brewery to open within the Dayton city limits, restoring a brewing heritage that had been dormant for more than 50 years. Try the Night Ender, a kickass Imperial Stout. Or taste one of Toxic’s latest experimental brews. (431 E. Fifth St., Dayton)

Heading west on Fifth Street again, cross under the railroad tracks and turn right on Wyandot. A large red industrial building houses Warped Wing Brewing Company (3), Dayton’s largest brewery. Warped Wing’s flagship beer cans are recognizable all over town, so when visiting the brewery, ask for a taproom exclusive. (26 Wyandot St., Dayton)

The final stop on the downtown tour is also the newest. Cross E. Third St. and head toward the river to arrive at Dayton Beer Company (4), at the corner of Madison and E. Second St. DBC was the first brewery in the Miami Valley when it opened its Kettering taproom in 2012. In Spring 2015, it expanded into the larger downtown location. The taproom features DBC beers, as well as all-Ohio guest taps. Start with a DBC brew. Still thirsty? Look for the Nowhere In Particular tap, Dayton’s gypsy brewer. NIP has no taproom, but is reliably available at DBC. (41 Madison St., Dayton)

Suburbs

The first stop on this tour actually begins in Dayton, but because Carillon is a bit outside of downtown, we’ve included it on this list. Carillon Brewing Company (5) uses historical methods to brew 1850s inspired recipes. Try their Coriander Pale Ale. When available, sample the small beer. It represents what 1850s households would have consumed. (1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton)

Next, head to Dayton Beer Company’s original Kettering taproom(6). Here, brewmaster Pete Hilgeman started on a one-barrel system, brewing nearly daily. Today, DBC uses the taproom to pilot limited release beers. (912 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering)

Take Dorothy Lane to Wilmington Pike and head southeast to Eudora Brewing Company (7). Try the Bangarang! IPA. Order two, since a portion of every beer sold going to charity: water, a non-profit that helps to provide clean water in areas where it is scarce. (4716 Wilmington Pike, Kettering)

Getting hungry? The next stop is Centerville’s Lock 27 Brewing (8). Lock 27 is a true gastropub, emphasizing high quality beer and internationally inspired dishes. Pair dinner with a pint of 1492, a West Coast Red IPA. The beer has the citrus hops one expects in an IPA, but with a rich, sweet malt flavor. (1035 S. Main Street, Centerville)

The final stop on this day’s tour is just a bit further south, in Springboro. Here, find Crooked Handle Brewing Company (9), the newest addition to the Miami Valley brewing scene. Crooked Handle opened in December 2015 and makes a handful of house favorites, including Matchstick Amber Ale or Your Mom’s Oatmeal Stout. (760 N. Main Street, Springboro)

Miamisburg

Miamisburg is an easy mini-tour because both breweries are on the same street. Start at Star City Brewing Company (10), which once housed the Peerless Mill. Lovingly restored by the Star City crew, the building invites exploration. Try the Old Mill Stout, an easy to drink interpretation of the style. Designated drivers (and Harry Potter fans) will enjoy the Butterbeer—a non-alcoholic butterscotch soda. (319 S. Second St., Miamisburg)

Head down the street to Lucky Star Brewery (11). Walk through the doors of this nondescript building to be transported into a Mexican cantina, decked out in a Day of the Dead theme. Pair the chips and salsa with a Wicked Step Mutha, a sweet stout. (219 S. Second St., Miamisburg)

Points North

The northern tour is a bit more spread out than the other three options. Start at The Hairless Hare Brewery (12), tucked away in a Vandalia strip mall just outside of the airport—the perfect place to kill time before a flight. Try their CRV, a chocolate, raspberry and vanilla porter that will have you dreaming of beer floats. (738 W. National Rd., Vandalia)

Jump on 1-70 and drive east, then south along Route 68 to the Yellow Springs Brewery (13), located in the funky college town by the same name. Situated along the bike path, just outside of the main business district, YSB crafts beer styles slightly outside of the norm. Start with a Captain Stardust Saison, or go bold with a MaxxdOut Stout—their barrel-aged imperial stout. (305 Walnut St., Yellow Springs)

Feeling adventurous? Hop back on I-75 to Medway to hit Pinups and Pints (14), American’s only strip club brewpub. The brewery offers its house made beers, as well as a full bar. Their most frequently available beer is the Thigh High IPA—a citrus bombshell with a name that befits the establishment. (10963 Lower Valley Pike, Medway)


Kevin J. Gray is Dayton City Paper’s Resident Beer Geek. A firm believer in all things balanced, when Kevin isn’t drinking craft beer, he’s hiking or biking to keep his beer belly in optimal shape. Reach Kevin J. Gray at KevinGray@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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