MadCap Brew Co. is up and running.
The new nanobrewery in Stow — one of the smallest brewing operations in Ohio — made its public debut recently at Bellacino’s Pizza and Grinders, 3657 Fishcreek Road.
“It was sort of electric in the room,” co-owner and brewer Ryan Holmes said about the reaction.
He intentionally didn’t drink at the release party. “I wanted to remember what was going on and enjoy that moment,” Holmes said.
He launched the production brewery with his wife, Gia, and their friend Billy Kalbaugh in a garage. The Beacon Journal profiled their small operation in December.
MadCap is serving one beer on draft to start: Green Bullet IPA. And that beer, at least for now, is available exclusively at Bellacino’s.
Ryan Holmes said beer drinkers have been happy with the brew so far.
“It helps that it’s fresh,” he said.
MadCap is the first brewery to open in Summit County in years. Akron is home to three established breweries: Thirsty Dog, Hoppin’ Frog and Ohio.
Now that the public debut is over, Holmes said, MadCap is exploring whether to upgrade its brewing system and move to a larger location.
Right now, MadCap has no tasting room, so if you want a taste, you have to head to Bellacino’s.
Craft brewers continue to increase their share of the U.S. beer market.
The Brewers Association, a Boulder, Colo., trade group, reported last week that both volume and sales shares for craft brewers grew last year.
Craft brewers control 6.5 percent of the market by volume, up from 5.7 percent the previous year. Also, the dollar share rose to 10.2 percent. Retail sales for craft beer were estimated at $10.2 billion, up from $8.7 billion a year earlier.
Even though the U.S. beer market grew by only 1 percent, craft brewers saw their production volume rise 15 percent and its dollar sales climb 17 percent, the association said. Last year, there were 2,403 breweries nationwide, an increase of 18 percent. Nearly 410 breweries opened while 43 closed.
“On average, we are seeing slightly more than one craft brewery per day opening somewhere in the U.S. and we anticipate even more in the coming year,” association Director Paul Gatza said in a statement.
Jackie O’s at Acme
Jackie O’s in Athens — the 97th best brewery in the world, according to Ratebeer.com — is partnering with Acme Fresh Market to bring its beer to the Akron area.
“They recognize that Akron could be a great market for them and want to pair with a local retailer to help spread the word about their product,” Acme beer buyer Jon Albrecht said.
The brewery’s Chomo-lung-ma, Mystic Mama, Razz Wheat, Firefly Amber and Red Ale will be available starting at 5 p.m. Friday at all stores that sell draft beer.
The beers will sell for $12.99 a growler and samples will be 25 cents.
Black Swamp at West Point
Great Black Swamp Brewing Co. is expanding its distribution into Northeast Ohio and Columbus.
The Toledo brewery is available now exclusively at West Point Market in Akron. Great Black Swamp launched in 2010. It distributes its beer both on draft and bottles.
Crafted Artisan Meadery in Suffield Township won a silver medal at the recent The Mazer Cup International Mead Competition for its Tupelo Mead. The mead won in the “Varietal-Semi-Sweet” category.
The Mazer Cup, held in Boulder, Colo., is the largest mead-only competition in the world, with 300 commercial entries this year.
New Great Lakes beer
Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland will release its new seasonal beer Rye of the Tiger IPA this week.
The beer will be available on tap exclusively at the Great Lakes brewpub starting at 4 p.m. Thursday. The Great Lakes gift shop will begin selling bottles at 5 p.m. Friday, and the beer will go into distribution on Monday.
“Our Rye of the Tiger has claws,” the brewery said in a news release. “Named for its fierce hop profile and sharp rye content, Rye of the Tiger is a thrilling India pale ale with bite. ... If you can handle this hopped-up kitty, you’ve earned your stripes.”
• World of Beer, a beer bar chain, opened its first location in Northeast Ohio at 14701 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. It offers more than 500 bottles of beer, 50 rotating taps and two cask engines.
• Bill Metzger, publisher of the Great Lakes Brewing News and other beer publications, will be the featured speaker at the eighth annual Ohio Brew Week. The event is June 21-29 in Athens; more than 40 Ohio craft breweries are participating with more than 200 Ohio-made beers available.
• The Ohio Craft Brewers Association is accepting applications for the newly created position of executive director. For details, check out www.ohiocraftbeer.org/.
• The Ohio beer industry contributed $10 billion to the state and U.S. economies last year, according to a new economic impact study released by the Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association. To read the full report, called Beer Serves America, go to www.beerinstitute.org/br.