Local breweries are on tap to give back

by Mary Helen Darah

Inside the Five

Inside the Five Chris Morris and Katie and Brandon Fields look forward to giving back to their community.

Inside the Five’s Katie Fields and her husband, Brandon and Chris Morris are excited to give back to their community. Katie and Brandon Fields’ passion for brewing was “gifted” to them. “We got into brewing probably 15 years ago. I bought Brandon a home brewing kit for his birthday” recalled Fields. “It was just something I saw and thought it would be fun to try. He really enjoyed it and it became a hobby for him on his off-season from football. He experimented with various brews but was always interested in culinary-inspired beers. Brandon tried to pair food with beer and enjoyed the process.” Eventually, the couple decided to move back to Ohio and change careers. “We discussed career options and Brandon expressed that he wanted to open a brewery. We decided to go for it.”

Fields thinks the toughest part of the brewing process is naming their beers. “Naming beer is incredibly difficult,” said Fields. “So many names are trademarked. We try to do football-themed names. Of course, the name Inside the Five relates back to football and Brandon’s previous career. Nothing is off the table as a beer name. We have customers and friends come up with names. We love to laugh and have fun and I believe the names of our beers reflect that.”

Fields believes giving back to the community is important. “Giving back is something we never think about, we just do it,” she said. “We come from great families that give back. Brandon and I decided early on that no matter where we ended up, we would support our community. It is our nature to give back and do what we can to make our community better and stronger. We are looking forward to the upcoming On Tap and Uncorked event in September that will benefit SAFS and are grateful we are able to help.”

Buffalo Rock Brewing Company

Troy Burns, one of the owners of the new Buffalo Rock Brewing Company is enthusiastic about opening the doors on his new endeavor. “Buffalo Rock is going on nine weeks of being open,” said Burns. “We are brand new and open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I wouldn’t say we are having growing pains, but cautionary growing pains. My brother Tim (Burns), and Brian Wilson have been homebrewing for 20 plus years and thought it was time to start something new. We have had so many people talk to us about our beer at parties and we put a business plan together and fortunately, it worked out. We didn’t expect to start during COVID-19, but things are falling into place.”

The team creates all the beer varieties for the brewery. “Brian and I create 80-90 percent of the beers,” said Burns. “Tim handles more the upfront sales and bar portion but also creates a few. You throw as many away as you keep, but that’s part of the process,” Burns explained.

The brewery offers pint glasses and flights of four or six different beers. “We have twelve taps available right now and hope to expand in the future. At this point, we are strictly about beer but we will get into ciders and seltzers in the future,” said Burns. “Right now we don’t want to take away from our beer. All our beers are named after historic places or historical characters that consider our location. We have food available every day from food trucks and people also bring food in. We have absolutely no problems with that.”

The three owners continue to have jobs outside of the brewery. “We have late nights, but it’s working out. We are looking for someone to teach how to go through our brewing process,” said Burns. “It is a fun environment. Our building used to be an old car wash. We wanted to stay in the Waterville area and found nothing until we found the garage. We kept the garage doors of the car wash and they open up to a nice patio. It was a six-bay car wash and we kept three bays. The back patio is much larger. We can open all the garage doors and have a nice open feel.”

When the three owners opened Buffalo Rock they were determined to be involved in the community. “We have always wanted to give back,” said Burns. “Our grand opening benefitted the Alzheimer’s Association and the Buffalo Soldiers. In September we are going to be part of On Tap and Uncorked that benefits Sylvania Area Family Services. That’s what it’s all about. If you are going to be part of the community you need to be involved in it.”

Upside Brewing

Upside Brewing Nick Dallas, owner of Upside Brewing is ‘on tap’ to give back to the community.

Upside Brewing, located in downtown Sylvania is “On Tap” to give back to the community by being part of the On Tap and Uncorked event to be held on Sept. 11 at Centennial Terrace. The brewery has been open for five years and continues to grow its following. What started as a home brewing hobby has led to one of the favorite must-visit destinations in Sylvania. “It started with a customer that home-brewed,” recalled Nick Dallas, owner of Upside Brewing. “We traded bottles and ideas and he got me interested in brewing on my own. I eventually home brewed for five years before I started Upside. I had the idea to put in a small brewery in the back of J & G Pizza Palace and see how it went. It has been going well ever since.”

Dallas likes to test out new brews so the brewery continually has new options. “If I have an experimental batch, I will brew it in our system as a one-barrel batch. If it works well, we brew it in two-barrel batches,” stated Dallas. “The fun yet challenging part of a new brew is naming it. We arrive at names from a pool of collective minds,” said Dallas. “It’s mostly me and my wife who comes up with the names but we pull ideas from our family, friends, and let the employees get in on it too. One of my favorites is ‘It burns when I peel.’ It is probably our most interesting name. People love it.” The brewery also creates seasonal varieties for its patrons. “We have lots of rotating beers,” stated Dallas. “They are the bulk of what we brew. We have only two beers that stick around all year.”

Dallas enjoys his move from the restaurant environment to the brewery. “The best part of brewing is that there is a definite process and a system. You cannot rush through it. It is relaxing and creative. I truly enjoy it. Brewing and recipe development are my favorite parts of Upside.”

Dallas and members of the Upside Brewing team will be “on tap” at the Sylvania Area Family Services event that will benefit the services and programs offered to the community. Dallas feels it is important to be involved in events that will positively impact individuals and families. “The community gives to us and has supported us,” he said. “We want to give back to our local community. We will be on-site at the event and will enjoy sharing our passion for beer for a great cause.”

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