Ohio Brew Week Ready To Kick Off July 9 With First In Person Events Since 2019

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Athens, OHIO (WOUB) – Although some of the staple events won’t take place, Ohio Brew Week will still bring strong flavors to Athens this weekend.

The 16th Ohio Brew Week will still bring ales, lagers, meads and more from around the state to 22 local venues Friday through July 17. After a hard year for both bars and brewers, Brew Week serves as a chance for additional business and missed patronage.

Photographs of the Winery Bus Tour event held at various locations throughout Athens County, Ohio on July 18, 2017.
(Photograph courtesy of Joel Prince)

Many know Brew Week by its massive Last Call celebration Executive Director Brandon Thompson said brings around 6,000 people to Court Street for music, brews, and other fun. But logistics related to the pandemic will prevent this event, First Call and Brew-B-Q from taking place this year.

But there will still be a lot to enjoy.

“What a lot of people miss when they are participating in that is that all the bars are still open, and people are still in those bars drinking all the different craft beers,” Thompson said. “So we’ll have over 300 different types of beer …  to choose from. So that’s what Brew Week is. Brew Week is not just one day. It’s not just one event you know, it is a nine day festival.” 

A couple of traditional events, like the already sold out top-deck dinner in the Athens parking garage and the traditional keg tapping on Monday will still take place.

On Tuesday, Jon Sparhawk Day will honor the namesake who helped create Ohio Brew Week over 16 years ago. Thompson said people can wear Hawaiian shirts, as Sparhawk often did, and do something positive for someone.

Although this year’s selection is slightly reduced because of the pandemic, there will still be an array of beers for all tastes and preferences.

“I do not recommend anybody going and trying to go through all the beers in one day but you know over nine days it is possible,” Thompson said. “But you know, go through and find a new beer, new favorite beer, or cider or mead. Go and try a few things.”

People can still hop from bar to bar this year to get a full range of the selection. And there will still be events at individual venues.

“We’ve seen spelling bees, meet the brewers and special keg tappings,” Thompson said. “I know there’s a lot of beer infusing events people are doing where you’ll go in and they’ll have different fruits or vegetables, and you can actually infuse that beer with that vegetable or fruit and actually make your own type of beer.”

This year, above all else, Thompson said he hopes people can get out and have a good time.

“Just have fun. That’s all I want. I just want you to have a good time. Come out, patronize if you can come out three days out of the nine. I feel like that’s a win,” Thompson said. 

Those interested in attending the events can learn more here.