Nestled within the notorious party town of Athens, Ohio, home of Ohio University, sits a healthy row of bars among the small yet extremely busy streets. Standing out from all the rest is the town’s one and only brewpub, Jackie O’s.
Microbrews have been a growing component in the area for quite a few years and have been a staple of Ohio’s craft movement thanks to Athens’ Ohio Brew Week. Jackie O’s brewmaster Brad Clark has won numerous awards and, in 2013, the brewery expanded distribution through Ohio.
Originally known as O’Hooley’s Irish Pub [Editor’s Note: Awwww, good times!], the bar became a brewery in 1996 but changed ownership in 2005 and became known as Jackie O’s Brewery and Pub. Broken into two separate yet adjoining buildings, it contains a smaller brewery-style bar and a larger eatery known as The Public House.
Early last year, Jackie O’s opened a production facility and began canning its beer, which had only been available in limited 22-ounce bottles and on draft.
Today, the brewery has three year-round releases including Mystic Mama, an aggressively hopped India Pale Ale; Firefly, their signature amber ale; and Chomo-lungma, a roasty honey nut brown ale that is arguably the trio’s hidden gem.
Dark fruit and raisin-like notes embrace your taste buds as you sip this scrumptious brew, which also presents the palate with shades of chocolate, honey and nuttiness. While brown ales are typically considered the ugly stepsister of the craft beer scene, Jackie O’s contribution is an invigorating addition to the overlooked style.
Jackie O’s Chomo-lungma can be found throughout Northeast Ohio at finer craft beer establishments and retails for $9.99 per six-pack. All Winking Lizard locations have added the beer to its World Tour of Beers bottle list, and it can be savored throughout the year.
/ Writer Aaron Fowler is a bit of a craft beer geek. Though he may deem himself a bona fide hophead, he never passes up a well-defined stout.