#120 – Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens, OH

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(1) OUR EXPERIENCE

Our visit to Jackie O’s was top notch and ended up being the longest one we’ve had yet, as we spent just over 12 hours talking to their owner, brewers, and other staff between our visits to the new production brewery and the original brewpub location downtown. This growing Ohio brewery has many unique things going on, like having their own farm offsite to grow ingredients on, multiple bottle releases every year, expanding barrel age and sour programs, and more; all of which you can get more information about by reading below. Their brews are packaged in kegs, cans, and multiple sizes of bottles for you to purchase and share with your friends, growler fills are offered at the production facility tap room, and the brewpub has excellent food to pair with whatever you end up drinking. As of now, you can only find Jackie O’s beer in Ohio and in a few counties in Kentucky, so be sure to pick some up if you’re ever in the area!

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(2) VITAL INFORMATION

Date of our visit: Friday, 4/25/14
Open since: 2006
Approx. Barrel (bbl) Output 2013: 3,200
Projected bbl Output 2014: 7,000 – 8,000
Brewhouse size: 20 bbl
Owner(s): Art Oestrike
Head Brewer: Brad Clark
Packaging: Kegs/ Cans/ Bottles
Distribution: OH + limited in KY

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Other things we learned:

* Started at original location in 2005; opened production facility in 2013
* Art’s mother Jackie had passed away while they were working on the brewery, so he named it after her
* Started with two 7 bbl fermenters, now have multiple 40 bbl fermenters
* Have about 1,000 accounts around OH
* Saw 20% growth 5 years in a row
* Launched a program with their accounts wherein they are able to get more rare beers after they’ve earned a certain amount of points through buying and selling Jackie O’s beer
* All tap handles are made in-house at Jackie O’s
* Artwork starts as wood carvings done by Bryn Perrot – deerjerk
* They’re growing ingredients on a farm & hold a farmers market every Wednesday and Saturday (First and largest open-air farmers market in the state of OH)
* Make donations to a local food bank and help the community in multiple other ways
* Participating in Ohio Brew Week July 11 – 19 (2014)

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(3) BEERS WE TASTED DURING OUR VISIT

* Paw Paw Wheat
* Mystic Mama IPA
* Matriarch
* Hop Ryot
* Morning Cloak
* Chomolungma Honey Nut Brown
* Razz Wheat
* Firefly Amber
* Brick Kiln
* Dark Apparition
* Wood Burner
* Hop Rye-Mosa
* Ryot Control
* Immixence
* Meigs County Black IPA
* Cellar Cuvee 8
* Funky South Paw (2013)
* Bourbon Barrel Brick Kiln
* Bourbon Barrel Black Maple
* Bourbon Barrel Dark Apparition
* Rum Barrel Oil of Aphrodite
* Mezcal Barrel Paw Paw Wheat
* Brandy Barrel Paw Paw Wheat
* Bourbon Barrel Paw Paw Wheat
* Complete listing of beers

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What we learned about their beer during our visit:

* Having their next bottle release on June, 20 – 21 (2014) – Berliner Weisse, Bourbon Barrel Skipping Stone, and more (have four bottle releases at the brewpub every year)
* Have Paw Paw wheat in 2 tequila barrels and 4 brandy barrels; those will only be found in the taproom when released
* They were about to put Paw Paw Wheat into bottles just after we visited; Paw Paw is a fruit native to Athens – More Info
* Next to be bottled will be the Brick Kiln Barleywine
* Bourbon Barrel Dark Apparition will be bottled after Brick Kiln Barleywine
* At some point next year there will be a rather large sour beer release
* Have used ingredients grown on their farm in their beers, such as pumpkins, butternut squash, hops, spruce tips, fruits, and multiple herbs

(4) EXPANSION PLANS

* Expanding their markets – hoping to get into WV after they’ve saturated the OH markets
* Getting new canning line in July

(5) BACKGROUND OF PEOPLE WE SPOKE TO

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[Me, Art, Seth, Brad, Haggis]

Name: Art Oestrike
Title: Owner
Been with company since: Beginning
Previous Occupation(s): English Teacher; Business owner
Favorite Superhero: Wolverine (or General Zod)

Name: Brad Clark
Title: Head brewer
Been with company since: Beginning
Previous Brewing Experience: Home brewer
Previous Occupation(s): Bartending/ serving/ odd jobs/ student
Favorite Superhero: Frank Zappa

Name: Seth Morton
Title: Brewer
Been with company since: 2011
Previous Occupation(s): Student
Favorite Superhero: Batman

(6) MORE LINKS ABOUT BREWERY

* Main Website
* Blog
* More info about their Farm

(7) You can find the rest of our photos here

Author: Michael Roberts

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4 thoughts on “#120 – Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens, OH

  1. I’ve been following your blog for a while now. Nice to see a post from Ohio where I live. Jackie Os makes some great beer, which comes through in your post. Keep the posts coming. Are you hitting any Columbus breweries on your journey?

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