In a not too distant time not too long ago, beer was always local. And it is true that even many of the national and even international mega brands are still bottled locally. However, there has been a great resurgence of small, local centered craft beer and with the product comes a following.
Craft Breweries and tasting pubs dot our area liberally. They are more than just watering holes, they form a tight yet welcoming community nexus that will satisfy any brew taste, from brew sipping neophytes to hop evaluating monarchs. Bottom line? Our area is a great place to get out and explore breweries. Check out our top ten sipping sanctuaries and feel free to add to our list in the comments below. Craft brews aren’t a trend, they are a movement and they are here to stay.
Want to take a deep dive into the world of beer tasting? Check out this study guide from Craftbeer.com and impress (or annoy) your fellow brew explorers.
Top 10 Places for Craft Beer
- Wildside (Brewery, Grand Rapids) – Located in the heart of historic Grand Rapids OH, Wildside has recently added amazing pizza to their wide selection of craft brews. With music on the weekends and a great community feel, this jewel of a pub has it all. Good food, amazing crafted beers, local music, and a great view along the Maumee River.
- Fleetwood’s Taproom (Tasting Pub, Downtown Toledo, Hensville) – Opening Day is every day at Fleetwood’s. If you are downtown for baseball or hockey (or really any event) and want to do some tasting, Fleetwood’s is a natural fit.
- Local Thyme (Tasting Pub and Restaurant, Whitehouse) – Combining high-end food with a relaxed pub atmosphere, Local Thyme offers a great blend of quiet and quality.
- Swig Restaurant (Tasting Pub and Restaurant, Perrysburg) – Somewhat iconic and located in the heart of the Perrysburg Downtown District, Swig is a Perrysburg fixture well worth exploring. Music four plus nights a week plus their famous “charcuterie” offerings, Swig also sports a great beer selection. Combing a vist to Swig with a visit to the Thursday Farmers’ Market in the spring and summer for a great mid week date night.
- Black Cloister Brewing Company (Brewery, Downtown Toledo) – Right in the bullseye zone of Downtown Toledo, a straight forward local brewery.
- Inside the Five (Brewery and Restaurant, Sylvania) – Yes, that would be a football reference. Don’t let fool you, Inside the Five is an excellent brewery with more than just “pub grub”. Try the smoked wings or Brussel sprouts with balsamic and blue cheese reduction.
- Joseph’s Beverage Center (Retail Store, Toledo) – Probably the best adult beverage place in town.
- Great Black Swamp Brewing Co.(Brewery, Perrysburg OH) – Located just down the strip form Walt Churchill’s Market, GBWBC is a fairly new addition to the local micro-brew scene.
- Sautter’s Markets (Retail and Grocery, Sylvania and Waterville) – Sautter’s Markets have been pushing local breweries and bottlers for a long, long time. If you don’t feel like going out but still want a great local brew, Sautter’s is your place. Stop by the deli to pick up some munchies and head home for an evening of movies or TV with friends.
- Earnest Brew Works (Tasting Pub, Toledo OH) – Located in South Toledo where the Trail, Detroit, and Bryne all come together for no apparent reason, Earnest is another fairly new player in the field. However, one of their brews is called “Crunchy Hippie” so we recommend them on that name alone.
There are so many amazing places to find craft beer in the area we couldn’t stop at 10. Here are a few more that we think you should check out.
Holloway Beverage Center (Wine, Beer, & Spirits Store, Holland OH) – This is a time tested establishment to find some of the best craft beers around. With a great selection and weekly wine and beer tastings, this is a place you definitely want to check out.
Garden Harvest Marketplace & Deli (Wine, Beer, & Spirits Store, Holland OH) – Labeled as a marketplace and deli, don’t let the name fool you. They have a large selection of craft beer that often includes some of the more difficult beers to find. Their selection even includes a handful of rotating taps where you can buy bottles and even a growler.