Big Chuck loves Big Chuck Barleywine

By Rick Armon
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Danny Green label from the Market Garden Brewery.

Big Chuck adores his big beer.

Beloved local television star Chuck Schodowski says he loves the idea of Big Chuck Barleywine.

The craft beer is being produced by the Portside Brewery in Cleveland and is expected to be released in four-packs of 12-ounce cans next month.

“I drink beer. I drink everything,” Schodowski, 79, said with a laugh when asked if he’s a beer drinker.

The Akron Beacon Journal wrote about the venture last week, but Schodowski wasn’t available for comment for the article so I caught up with him to hear his thoughts.

Schodowski said he and his longtime television partner, Lil’ John, were approached by Portside to lend their names and images to two beers. One for Big Chuck and one for Lil’ John, whose real name is John Rinaldi.

Lil’ John couldn’t do it, Schodowski said, because he helps promote a separate beer brand. But Big Chuck jumped at the chance to be immortalized on a beer can. The label features a smiling, dimple-chinned Schodowski.

“I like that kind of stuff,” he said.

At 11.7 percent alcohol — just under the legal limit in Ohio — Big Chuck Barleywine isn’t for the faint of heart.

“It’s a heavy beer,” Schodowski said. “You know you’re drinking something.”

Hungover Akron

Somehow I missed this when it was first released in January. Perhaps I was hung over.

Business Insider ranked Akron 22nd on the website’s annual list of “The 25 Most Hungover Cities in America.”

The website examined binge drinking statistics, the number of bars and liquor stores, and breweries per capita in a community.

Akronites apparently are getting less hung over. The city was No. 6 the previous year. Scranton, Pa., was ranked No. 1 this year.

To read the full report, go to:

Art and Ale reminder

The seventh annual Art and Ale beer tasting is 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St., Akron.

The event features food and beer from Hoppin’ Frog, Fat Head’s, Thirsty Dog, Elevator, Main Street, Actual, Jackie O’s and Market Garden. Crafted Artisan Meadery and beer distributor House of LaRose, which handles such craft brands as Goose Island, also will attend.

Tickets are $40 for members, $50 for nonmembers. All tickets purchased at the door are $50. For more details, see

West Point reminder

West Point Market, 1711 W. Market St., Akron, will hold a St. Patrick’s Preview beer tasting from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.

The tasting will feature: Bell’s, The Brew Kettle, Clown Shoes, Fat Head’s, Flying Monkeys, Founders, Great Lakes, Revolution, St. James Gate (Guinness) and Thirsty Dog. There also will be appetizers and live jazz.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Reservations are recommended. Call 330-864-2151, ext. 129.

Danny Greene beer

Market Garden Brewery, 1947 W. 25th St., Cleveland, will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend with the release of its Bourbon Barrel-Aged Danny Greene “Enforcer” Imperial Stout on Sunday.

There also will be Irish dancers and food throughout the weekend.

The imperial stout, which clocks in at 10 percent alcohol by volume, was aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels for three months. Growlers will be available for $21 and 1-liter bottles will be $16.

Greene, an Irish mobster, was immortalized in books and the 2011 film Kill the Irishman. He was killed in a car bombing in October 1977.

Mississippi in Ohio

Mississippi’s brewery is now in the Buckeye State.

Superior Beverage Group announced last week that it is distributing Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Central and Northeast Ohio.

Founded in 2003 in Kiln, Miss., Lazy Magnolia was the first packaging brewery to open in Mississippi since Prohibition. It carries the slogan “Mississippi’s Brewery.”

The following Lazy Magnolia beers are now available in bottles and on draft, Superior said:

• Southern Pecan, the first beer in the world (to the brewery’s knowledge) made with whole roasted pecans used as grain.

• Southern Hops’pitality, a session India pale ale.

• Lazy Saison, a Belgian-style ale.

• Timber Beast, a rye pale ale.

Beer blogger roundtable

Several beer bloggers from around Ohio sat down last week for an hourlong webchat about the craft beer scene thanks to the Ohio Beercast.

The lineup featured Renee DeLuca (the Brewer’s Daughter), Cheryl Harrison (Drink Up Columbus), Chris Stevens (Queen City Fresh), Mark Driscoll (the Ohio Beercast), Darrell Williams (the Ohio Beercast) and myself.

To watch the conversation, go to

More fruity Bud Light

Anheuser-Busch InBev is expanding its fruity Bud Light line-up. The brewer is adding Mang-O-Rita and Raz-Ber-Rita.

Big Vic

Elevator Brewing Co. has released Big Vic Imperial IPA in 12-ounce bottles for the first time.

The beer, which has been available on draft before, is a wheat-India pale ale hybrid and clocks in at 8.6 percent alcohol by volume.

It’s named after Elevator brewer Vic Schiltz, and the label and six-pack carrier feature a caricature of Schiltz and his lengthy goatee.

The beer has been rolled out in the Columbus market and should be hitting other areas later this month.

Big Vic won the Best of Show award at last year’s Art and Ale tasting at the Akron Art Museum.

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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