Nestled in one of the last places you would look for the craft beer scene to make waves, JAFB-Wooster Brewery is taking Northeast Ohio by storm. Conceived by Wooster native Paul Fryman, the award-winning brewery has raised eyebrows all over the state in just a few short years.
Fryman first discovered a liking for brewing on a semester abroad in Germany during his four years at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., where he would later dedicate his senior thesis to the impact of microbreweries on the American beer industry.
He first studied brewing at Denver’s Great Divide before moving on to Great Adirondack Brewing and Snake River Brewing. He later returned to Great Adirondack Brewing as a head brewer, and then came back home to Ohio in 2011 to open his own place with his father, Jerry, and brother, Tony.
Located in a century-old red brick building in the heart of the city, the JAFB-Wooster Brewery contains a seven-barrel, steam production brewery with a 3,140-square-foot tasting room.
No stranger to crafting award-winning beers, Fryman recently took home Best IPA and Best of Show at Fat Head’s annual Celebration of the Hop for his much-loved JAF IPA.
Next time you find yourself in Wayne County, stop in for a brew or two and unearth this hidden gem.
Columbian Coffee Porter
Bold and roasty without ever being overwhelming, this relatively light porter packs quite a punch.
The Conqueror Barleywine
Arguably one of the smoothest barleywines you’re ever likely to savor, The Conqueror gives your taste buds a nice wallop of dark fruit and bitter hop presence.
Farmyard Pale Ale
Tart farmhouse flavors fuse with nice subtle hops in this impressive saison-meets-pale-ale hybrid.
The brewery’s award-winning brew and unofficial flagship beer is a pleasing India Pale Ale chock-full of tropical fruit and citrus flavors that should please any admirer of hop-filled beers.
Paradise Hops Double IPA
Fryman kicks it up with this more earthy and piney imperial IPA, which manages to leave you craving more, thanks to its dank, resin hop bitterness.
/ 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.