Beer notes: Retro Dog gets special Thirsty Dog beer

By Rick ArmonBeacon Journal staff writer

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Retro Dog co-owners Lisa Bruno (left) and Camille Berrodin are now serving Retro Lite beer along with a seasonal brew. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)

Retro Dog owners Lisa Bruno and Camille Berrodin heard it every so often.

A customer would be munching on one of their char-grilled hot dogs — with natural casings, by the way — and remark how nice it would be to have a cold beer with the meal.

They had decided at first that their colorful restaurant and carhop in Cuyahoga Falls was too family-oriented for beer. But the remarks kept coming.

So Retro Dog has teamed up with a big dog in the beer world, Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron.

Instead of just offering Thirsty Dog beer, though, Retro Dog had the brewery make a special draft beer just for the restaurant, 350 E. Steels Corners Road.

Retro Dog now offers Retro Dog Light and a rotating Thirsty Dog seasonal beer on its two-tap draft system.

Thirsty Dog had been making the restaurant’s root beer so it was a no-brainer for the brewery to produce its beer.

“We wanted something that would go with our food first of all,” Bruno said about the choice of a light beer. “Something that’s light and refreshing.”

Thirsty Dog co-owner John Najeway described it as “a true light beer and it’s under 135 calories with some nice hop flavors to it.” The beer also is only 3.8 percent alcohol by volume.

Bruno and Berrodin noted that Retro Dog isn’t turning into a bar. It will remain a family restaurant.

To help celebrate the Retro Dog-Thirsty Dog marriage, the restaurant will host its first beer tasting and food pairing dinner at 6:30 p.m. March 12.

There will be Retro Dog Light paired with chicken wings, Citra Dog American IPA with hot dogs, Irish Setter Red with burger sliders and Rise of the Mayan Dog with a float. Tickets are $25. Call 330-928-3500.

Maize Valley adding beer

Maize Valley Market & Winery is joining the growing list of Ohio wineries with its own line of craft beer.

The winery and farm, 6193 Edison St. NE, Marlboro Township, Hartville, hopes to launch the Maize Valley Brewery with a half-barrel brewing system around Labor Day. There also are plans to start growing hops.

“The winery is wonderful,” owner Bill Bakan said. “We get so many wonderful people coming out. But we also hear the comment a lot, especially from the women, ‘Oh, I wish my husband would come out but he doesn’t like wine.’ ”

The initial plan is to offer draft beer at a tasting room at the market, which now sells specialty foods, gifts and produce, along with wine.

Expect at least three regular brews on tap, along with a seasonal beer. Bakan said he could definitely see a pumpkin beer in the fall because the farm grows pumpkins.

As for the Maize Valley beer philosophy, Bakan said: “I’d rather drink one great beer instead of six crappy ones and that’s how we are going to approach it.”

Beer weekend

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake will host a beer talk and dinner with Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. at 6 p.m. March 22.

Representatives from Thirsty Dog will lead an hourlong tasting and talk, then guests will sit down for a four-course beer pairing dinner.

The Beer Tasting getaway, which includes the dinner, overnight accommodations and breakfast, starts at $245 plus tax, per couple. For reservations, call 866-442-9765.

Beer class

Cuyahoga Community College is offering a “Brewing Craft Beer” class as part of its culinary education program.

The class will explore “the art of craft brewing in Ohio City, Cleveland’s brewing epicenter,” the college says.

Students will help brew and bottle at Nano Brew Cleveland, learn how to start homebrewing and be introduced to the science behind beer-making. There also will be a tour at Market Garden Brewery.

The class, which runs from March 18 to April 8 in the evenings, is $74.99. For more details or to register, go to:

Beer samplers

• Goose Island Beer Co. will release 312 Urban Pale Ale this month. The beer was inspired by Green Line Pale Ale, a Chicago-only, draft-only brew.

• Corona importer Crown Imports reports that it’s expanding Corona Light on draft and introducing Corona Extra on draft. “With draft beer accounting for approximately 10 percent of the industry as a whole we’re excited about the growth opportunity with both Corona Light and Corona Extra on draft,” Jim Sabia, chief marketing officer for Crown Imports, said in a news release.

• The website Quartz reports that the fastest-growing craft brewery in the U.S., at least according to Moody’s, is none other than Shock Top, a division run by Anheuser-Buch InBev.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or Read his beer blog at Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.

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