2017 Ohio Brew Week to Feature Weekday Excitement

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Ohio Brew Week executive director Brandon Thompson was surprised when the Athens News called him earlier this year to ask “where he’d like this plaque sent.”

The plaque in question was crafted to declare that Brew Week was officially named the “best annual Athens event,” by Athens News readers – something that Thompson was happy to hear, especially given that 2016 was his first year organizing the nine-day craft brew extravaganza.

“It’s been great building on the momentum from last year,” said Thompson in an interview with WOUB a few weeks prior to the 2017 Ohio Brew Week, which will kick off on Friday, July 14 and run through Saturday, July 22.

Founded in 2005 by local craft brewer John Sparhawk, Ohio Brew Week has grown from featuring 70 plus Ohio brews in 36 venues in its first iteration to showcasing 200 plus varieties of regional beers over the course of nine days and dozens of events.

“This year I really wanted to provide some events for people to take part in during the week, since we do have events going on every day of the week, and not just on weekends,” said Thompson, who hopes that the weekday events might entice craft brew enthusiasts to take a few days off of work to visit Athens and take part in some of the Ohio Brew Week festivities.

One such event is WOUB Public Media’s golf tournament, which is taking place at the Athens County Country Club on Tuesday, July 18. The tournament will raise funds for WOUB Public Media, which provides the region with everything from important emergency safety information to national and international news. Craft brews will also be on the course throughout the event for sampling.

Thompson said that yet another weekday event that is new to the festive week this year is the Hocking Valley Winery and Spirits Tour, which is also taking place on July 18. The tour kicks off at 10 a.m. and will take participants throughout the Hocking Valley, enjoying a pour at each location on the tour, as well as snacks and wine samples. The tour will pick up and drop off participants at a number of regional hotels.

On a similar note is the Athens County Brewery Cruise, taking place July 19 and featuring tours of each of Athens County’s own breweries.

“The thing about Brew Week is that it takes place for nine days in the summer, and then you don’t really hear from us for the rest of the year,” said Thompson, who said that he hopes to have an Ohio Brew Week-affiliated Oktoberfest celebration at some point, as well as larger and longer brewery and winery tours. “After all, people drink craft beer year-round. It would be good to give them a reason to get together and have some fun doing it.”

For a complete listing of Ohio Brew Week festivities, visit