Thirsty Dog Brewing Company – An Akron Favorite
Thirsty Dog: You’ve seen it at grocery stores, Erik’s, and on tap at many of your favorite restaurants – but it’s not a big company brew, it’s actually a homegrown, local brewery up in Akron, Ohio.
The brewery itself is just outside of downtown Akron, right off of 76W. While not in the best neighborhood, it’s still safe for parking (which is on site) and for getting in and out. Once you’re in, you’ll notice that it’s not set up quite like your typical restaurant or bar, not even set up like Great Lakes, but instead like a facility made to brew and store beer. Because, well, that’s what it is.
In the front of the warehouse is where they’ve plopped a bar, set up stools and a handful of high tops for customers to come enjoy the beer. The setup is different than any other brewery I’ve been in, and I like it. Any seat in the bar section in within eye-shot of the aging barrels stacked along the walls. What you see is the beer that is being distributed throughout Ohio. Which is pretty neat.
Also, don’t be surprised when a forklift whizzes by, because there is still work to be done… even when guests are present. This isn’t how it will stay forever, though (or will it?). Thirsty Dog has been working with the city of Akron to find a new location that can accommodate their growing size, and hefty demand. While this has been up in the air for quite some time, no word yet on where they intend to move.
But hey, let’s talk beer. Here are some of my favs to date:
- Cerberus: wowza, big boozy trippel ale
- Rail Dog: smokey, stronger lager, but enjoyable
- 330 Summit IPA: hoppy, raw IPA
- Old Leg Humper: a toasty, darker porter (one of my trusted bar orders)
Plus, if you’re a sucker for seasonal and holiday beers, you’ll love these. So far, I’ve been impressed with how complex, yet drinkable the brews are. You’re not punched in the face with pumpkin, nor puckering from an exorbitant amount of citrus. The 12 Dogs of Christmas is in the top 5 for holiday brews in my eyes; it’s warm and toasty with a hint of spice. No need for messy cinnamon sugar with this one. Also, Barktoberfest is a perfect notch above what you’ll find with traditional Oktoberfest beers.
Before buying a new pack of Thirsty Dog beers, come to the tasting room to test out the beers on tap. The tapped beers are available by the glass, or in a tasting size. I suggest creating your own flight of four to five, from light to dark, before committing to a full glass.
Food options: There are none available at the brewery, but you can bring in your own goodies. Either bring in some pretzels and snacks, or stop by Luigi’s and grab some of the best pizza in the area. What beats pizza and beer? Um…. hmm… nothing comes to mind.
While there aren’t many destinations within walking distance of the brewery, the location is just 5 minutes from the Akron RubberDucks, a number of great restaurants and the convention centers in downtown Akron. Whether you go for happy hour, or want a cozy gathering spot for your night out, this is a bar full of character, and delicious beer.
Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 4-8pm; Friday 12-8pm and Saturday 2-6pm
(Free tours on Saturday)
In addition to your normal happy hours and cocktail time, Thirsty Dog also offers their facility for events and parties.
529 Grant St, Akron, OH 44311