Et Tu?

Roman Polansky.
Bill Cosby.
Jeffrey Epstein.
Harvey Weinstein
C. K. Lewis.
Fred Lee?

I am still in shock. You’ve probably heard the accusations by now. (If you haven’t, go here.) My thoughts are all over the place right now.

When I joined the craft beer community over a quarter century ago, as one of the first to open in Columbus, I helped many subsequent breweries find their footing. I was proud to do so, and continue to help anyone who reaches out to me. When I got into the craft beer community, there were just over 200 brewpubs and microbreweries (as they were called then) in the entire country. Today, there are about 50 just in the Columbus metro area.

In this time, I have found the participants to be friendly, supportive and collaborative. The craft beer industry is one I’m passionately proud to be a part of.

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Birth of a Beer: The Backstory

Happy New Year! I find it hard to believe I don’t blog as much as I should. Real life gets in the way. In any case, I’m overdue. You may want to crack open a beer before you read this. It goes on for a bit.

Today, I

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Letting Go To The Deep End

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Long Time, No Post

LK sketch3
My apologies. It’s been a year since my last post. We’ve been busy at the Smokehouse, and otherwise. No excuse, though. Consider this a pre-post. I will make my first official post of 2016 on Tuesday, January 19. Stay tuned…



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Please Allow Us to Introduce Himself

Changes are brewing at Smokehouse Brewing Company. The start of 2015 finds us with a new Head Brewer.

Sam Hickey is a Columbus native who left ten years ago to pursue culinary training in Cincinnati. He eventually relocated to Boston, where, after working for a few years in casual and fine dining, he met the owner of Mystic Brewing Company, a microbiologist and brewer, and used his home brewing experience and Cicerone certification to score a volunteer position at the brewery. In the three years since, Sam rose to second in command in the brewery, playing an instrumental role in the evolution of Mystic Brewing.

A decade after leaving CBus, he’s back — this time as Head Brewer at Smokehouse Brewing Company, succeeding long-time brewer Angelo Signorino, Jr. Here are some highlights from a wide-ranging and fun conversation I had with Sam last month.

brewdood and samBrewdood with Sam Hickey, Head Brewer at Smokehouse Brewing Company


Being a brewer was something I never considered when I was young. I was pretty ADD. Every other week I wanted to be something else when I grew up. Two considerations were priest and auto mechanic.

I’d wish I could have dinner with (beer writer) Michael Jackson, Louis Pasteur and my brother Ben. Ben’s included so I’d be sure I had a good time.

My musical tastes are

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Anatomy of a New Menu

We went live with a new menu yesterday.

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We’ve been working really hard the last three months.

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My Woody Hayes Story

Tomorrow, we serve a firkin of Woody Haze 101 for our weekly Firkin Friday.

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Ed note:

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Rethinking Your Beer

This is perhaps the wrong time of year to write about rethinking your beer, what with all the holiday beers, with their myriad flavors, but I got to thinking about beer yesterday when I read that there’s a proposal before the Ohio House to increase the alcohol level in Ohio beers from 12% to 21%.

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