A small craft-brew scene is growing in Bolivar.
BOLIVAR After years of making their own beer and wine, Cortney and Jackie Mullen opened a store last month that brings their hobby closer to home.
BZ Brew Supply at 141 Canal St. SE sells ingredients and equipment for making beer, wine, cider, mead and soda.
In a corner of their tiny store, next to shelves of juice for making wine, they’ve hung a sign with a drawing of a keg and the slogan, “Tap it and they will come.”
The sign is just man-cave décor, but the slogan hints at the small but growing craft beer presence around the village.
A couple of blocks from the just-opened brew supply shop, Sublime Smoke has built a reputation for killer barbecue and a carefully curated beer list.
And next month, Lockport Brewery on state Route 212 in Lawrence Township, plans to launch sometime before Thanksgiving. When it opens, Lockport will be the first brewery in Tuscarawas County in some 65 years.
“There’s an undercurrent here of people drinking craft beers and we want to capture that,” said Andrew Marburger, Lockport’s founder.
BZ Brew Supply
BZ Brew Supply shares its building with a tanning salon, an MMA/yoga studio and a massage therapist.
But the Mullens have packed it with an inventory of kegs, chillers, siphons, yeast, brewing kits and cleaning supplies.
The shop also sells two-dozen different grains, a number Cortney said he wants to double, and distilling equipment.
“For water and oils,” Jackie interjected. Distilling spirits is illegal.
BZ Brew Supply grew out of the couple’s hobbies. Cortney is a homebrewer. Jackie makes wine. For years, they’ve made trips to Akron to buy their equipment, but they saw demand closer to home.
Their shop is less than a half-hour drive from Canton, Dover and New Philadelphia and also does website sales.
The store is open seven days a week, so if a brewer needs an item right away, they can get it. And as seasoned brewers and winemakers, the Mullens said they’re more than willing to give advice.
“There’s not a club yet,” Jackie said. “We would like to start one.”
Across Interstate 77 and about a mile from the supply shop, Andrew Marburger plans to open Lockport Brewery at 10891 state Route 212 in mid-to-late November.
“The idea is to be a local neighborhood place where people can come, get a beer and be comfortable,” said Marburger, who was still working on the interior last week.
Marburger homebrewed for about five years before he quit his job at Aultman Hospital and went to work for Millersburg Brewing Co. in 2014.
Making beer is “a creative outlet you get to share with people,” Marburger said.
When he and Lauren, his wife, decided to start their own brewery, they scouted locations in Canton, Massillon, Dover and New Philadelphia, but “we always kept coming back to Bolivar,” where they live, he said.
The building, a former marketing agency, is a short drive from the interstate and sits on the main road to Atwood Lake and Zoar.
Marburger said he’d brew pale ales, IPAs, porters, stouts and wheat beers before branching into lagers, which take longer to finish.
The brewery’s name is a nod to Old Lockport Lager, a beer once brewed in New Philadelphia.
Patrons also will notice names — Heidi, Anita, Resi and Susanna —on some of the brewery tanks. The labels puzzled Marburger, who bought the equipment from a California brewer, until the previous owner explained they were names from Oktoberfest songs.
“Now that we have a good story, we’ll definitely keep them,” Marburger said.
Rising tide of suds
Zach Salapack, owner of Sublime Smoke, said he’s happy to see new brew-oriented businesses in the area.
“I think it’s only going to attract like-minded people to the community,” Salapack said.
Craft beer has been a major part of Salapack’s restaurant since it opened in 2014. Some stodgy locals doubted the concept would work, but Salapack had lived in Columbus, a city with a robust craft-brew scene, and he could see the types of beer that were selling at the local Giant Eagle.
“There was no way [craft beer] could be so popular everywhere else and not be here,” Salapack said.
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