Full Circle Brewing Tour: Road Diary #23

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By Mahalia Breen

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

States: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio

Miles Driven: 590

Travel Time: 9 hourrs

Beers: Jackie O's

barrel samples

Mystic Mama IPA

Barrel-aged Appervation imperial stout

The only minor disappointment of yesterday's visit to New Glarus was that they were all out of Raspberry Tart in the bottle shop, but I happened across a few bottles this morning — one in the hotel bar and two in a nearby gas station — so Day 25 was off to a great start.

Yesterday, the woman in the bottle shop said they were in the process of switching the packaging for the Raspberry Tart from 750ml bottles to 12oz bottles. This is a good move because while I love the look of the large, wax-dipped bottles, a 12-oz bottle is a nicer serving size for sharing between two people, and it will offer them a better price-point. Also, the wax just makes a mess when you cut into it.

We spent most of the day driving and listening to an audio file of the last Harry Potter book. That's right, we've driven so many hours we've almost finished the Harry Potter series.

Finally, at 7:15 p.m., we arrived in Athens, Ohio, home of Jackie O's, a brewpub that has the distinction of being both the best restaurant and brewery in Athens, and the best brewpub in all of Ohio.

Funnily enough when we arrived at the hotel, we saw a family returning to the hotel with takeaway boxes and Jackie O's growlers.

Brad Clark, brewer and co-owner of Jackie O's, came and picked Ryan up to take him on a tour of his brewery and barrel-aging facility.

He showed him the sour room, where he keeps all the wild ales — and wow, were there some intensely fruity beers in there.

Then after trying a bunch of samples from the barrel-aging facility, they headed back to Brad's house to listen to some records and finish planning their brew for the following day.

This ended up lasting into the wee hours of the morning. Brad was recently engaged to Adair Paterno of Sante Adairius, so they had a lot to toast to.

(Editor’s Note: Mahalia Breen and her husband, Ryan, are relocating their brewing business from Vermont to North Carolina. Before that, they're embarking on one last grand adventure: The Full Circle Brewing Tour. They're doing a big lap around the country for the whole month of July, driving through 26 states, doing six collaboration brews with breweries across the country and seeing some of the best sites this country has to offer.)