Ohio Breweries Give Heart
Statewide collaborative beer to benefit nonprofit brewing industry advocates.
Columbus, Ohio – 70 Ohio breweries are gearing up to celebrate American Craft Beer Week next month with a special statewide collaboration beer. From the Heart is a fundraising beer benefiting the Ohio Craft Brewers Association (OCBA), the nonprofit trade organization that works to promote and protect the state’s craft beer industry.
The OCBA counts nearly three-quarters of Ohio’s 366 independent craft breweries as members, ranging from large urban brewers like Rhinegeist in Cincinnati to small-community breweries like The Phoenix Brewing Company in Mansfield and Ill Mannered Brewing in Powell.
“Without the OCBA, we would have been in a much tougher position during the pandemic,” said Tom Ayers, co-owner of Ill Mannered Brewing. “They’ve been invaluable in ensuring we can reach our customers safely and efficiently by helping secure additional service space and state-approved delivery options.”
Since its inception in 2007, OCBA has primarily funded its mission with funds from membership dues and large-scale beer festivals. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OCBA has been forced to cancel Columbus Craft Beer Week and the associated Six One Pour Beer Festival in 2020 and 2021, as well as the 2020 Ale-O-Ween Festival in Dayton and the Winter Warmer Fest 2021. in Cleveland. The loss of more than a year of event-related revenue has had a significant impact on OCBA’s operating budget.
“What better way to give back to an organization that has tirelessly supported craft beer throughout the pandemic than by participating in the From the Heart collaboration,” said Carmone McFarlane, co-owner of The Phoenix Brewing Company. “We are thrilled to work with members from all sectors of the brewing industry, who not only survived the pandemic, but are thriving through the efforts of the OCBA.”
The From the Heart fundraiser was made possible by the generous support of OCBA Allied Business Members Blue Label Packaging, Crosby Hops, Great Western Malting, Lemon Grenade Creative, Origin Malt and White Labs, who donated ingredients and packaging materials for the project. The breweries participating in the collaboration purchased the ingredients donated to the organization and brewed a variation of an IPA/pale ale recipe developed by OCBA board members John Haggerty of Warped Wing Brewing and Mark Hunger. of Great Lakes Brewing Company.
The name “From the Heart” – coined by Krista Alvarado of 4KD Crick Brewery in Defiance – was chosen from dozens of suggestions from OCBA members.
The OCBA is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of 11 brewery owners and employees from across the state, as well as two full-time employees: Executive Director Mary MacDonald and Deputy Director Justin Hemminger. This small team provides a wide range of member services, including legislative advocacy at the Ohio Statehouse, brewery marketing through programs such as the Ohio On Tap passport application, technical conferences and seminars and educational, and community-building ties between breweries and businesses that support the industry.
“OCBA is a fantastic resource for Ohio breweries and Rhinegeist is thrilled to join the From the Heart Collaborative to say ‘thank you!'” said Chris Shields, Director of Education at Rhinegeist. Board members kept the breweries informed and informed of the constant stream of updates and opportunities during the pandemic and continued to find creative ways to show their love for Ohio beer.”
From the Heart will be available on tap at participating breweries’ tasting rooms for American Craft Beer Week, May 10-16, 2021. A number of breweries also plan to package the beer for limited distribution. More information is available online at ohiocraftbeer.org/fromtheheart
About the Ohio Craft Brewers Association
Founded in 2007, the Ohio Craft Brewers Association is a nonprofit guild that exists to promote, preserve, diversify, and unify Ohio’s craft brewing industry. We aspire to be recognized as the industry leader nationally and nationally for preserving the art of crafting unique, high-quality craft beers; serve as a unified voice for craft brewers across the state; advocate for the Ohio craft beer industry; contribute to systemic and local community development by stimulating economic and employment growth, while creating experiences that bring people together; promote the safe and responsible consumption of Ohio craft beer; and serve as a beacon for local production and manufacturing through craft beer, resulting in diverse choices for consumers.