The Six-Pack Project

Bryan Roth over at This Is Why I’m Drunk has invited me to take part in his Six-Pack Project. The idea here is that six beer bloggers in 6 different states choose six beers to represent their state. I was busy when round 1 went by, but you can check out the results from North Carolina, South CarolinaVirginia/DC, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Besides us this round also features:

The hope that when you go to one of these states, you’ll be able to pull up a quick list of what to get along the way. I know I’ll be checking that North Carolina list when I head for the Outer Banks next month!

To make sure this wasn’t some all out free-for-all Bryan set out a few rules as follows:

  • Must pick a six-pack of beers that you feel best to represent your state and state’s beer culture
  • Beer must be made in your state, but “gypsy” brewers are acceptable, so long as that beer is brewed with an in-state brewery and sold in your state
  • Any size bottle is acceptable to include
  • Current seasonal offerings are fine but try to keep selections to year-round brews as much as possible. No out-of-season brews preferred.

With all that laid out, I decided to get some community input so thanks everyone for the feedback on Twitter and Facebook. Now in no particular order let’s get to the list:

1) Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald

I often say there are too few porters out there as many brewers go for stouts when they make dark beers. Luckily for Ohioans Edmund Fitz is available just about anywhere you can buy beer, and it is fantastically delicious. Every person I talked to about this list had this porter on it and usually near the top.

2) Fat Heads Head Hunter

Ohio may be pretty far from the west coast, but this IPA tastes so bitter it’s like it was brewed on the pacific sands.

That bitterness goes along with loads of hop flavor that make this a fantastic IPA. Fat Heads and Great Lakes are both from Cleveland, and while Great Lakes is available in grocery stores, you’ll have to go to a better beer store for Fat Heads.

3) Hoppin’ Frog  B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout

A long name with about a million variations but all of them are tasty, and this one is the base for them all. It’s a great combination of standard Russian imperial stout with a hefty dose of oatmeal to sweeten it up. Available in bombers at better beer sellers throughout the state.

4) Rockmill Cask  Tripel

Coming from just south of Columbus Rockmill only does Belgians, and they do them very well. I loved their Tripel so much I promptly sought out the Cask Tripel, aged in whiskey barrels but have yet to have a good enough reason to drink it. Rockmill beers may be a bit overpriced but what they have is certified organic deliciousness.

5) Triple Digit Chickow!

Initially, this list was Eddy Fitz and a bunch of IPAs but due to availability, seasonality, and a need for diversity Chickow! quickly rose to the top. This hazelnut double brown ale is all the roasty nuttiness found in brown ales cranked up in every way and stand out amounts of hazelnut kicked in. If you don’t like hazelnut you won’t like this, but if you love hazelnut this is a must have!

6)  MadTree PsycHOPathy

This is no west coast monster like Head Hunter but is a fantastic all around American IPA packing loads of delicious hop flavor and aroma into a 12 oz can.

Yep, first canned beer in Ohio and another Cincinnati brewery along with Triple Digit. This and Chickow! will likely be the hardest to find as you’ll have to get into the greater Cincinnati area but once there any better beer store will have them.

6 is a highly limiting number when there are almost 70 breweries in the state. There are far too many honorable mentions to mention, but I’m throwing one to Sam Adam’s Boston Lager. What’s that you say? Boston Beer Company’s Sam Adam’s Boston Lager is an Ohio beer? Quite so, we call dibs! Jim Koch’s grandfather brewed here back in the day and Cincinnati hosts Boston Beer Company’s biggest brewery.

If you disagree with my 6 or have any ideas for what should go in an Ohio 12-pack, add them to the comments below!

30 thoughts on “The Six-Pack Project”

    1. Standard B.O.R.I.S. is great, but as I mentioned there are a lot of others. Like the Bourbon barrel aged and whiskey barrel aged varieties in my fridge right now 🙂


  1. Great list Tom! Hard to find fault in anything on that list really.
    Lake Eerie Monster from Great Lakes is in season, and a wonderful IIPA, would be a coinflip between PsycHOPathy, could win an arguement on either side.
    Not a fan of Chickow! myself, I thought, your hazelnut comment is spot on. Listermann is a great brewer, and there are no flaws in the beer. I just don’t like the taste of it.
    I would replace Chickow! with another Cincinnati beer, from Rivertown – Jenneke. A GREAT Belgian style Blond Ale.


  2. We were in Cleveland for the weekend last Fall, and went straight from the airport to Fat Head’s. Man, that Head Hunter is a monster. Haven’t had 4-6, but they sound worthy. Nice entries!


  3. Nice pictures! I love to see the color of the beer and not just the bottle/can. They all look so delicious!


  4. Fitz is easily my favorite porter out there, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any of these other brews. You’re a good man for giving me this homework assignment.


  5. So many Ohio brews for me to check out! I always consider NY a hotbed of beers that you can get nationwide, but I hadn’t heard of any of these!


  6. Glad for the list, my girlfriend’s family lives in Ohio and typically only stock Great Lakes in the house (which ain’t so bad!). Now I can show up with something new for everyone.


  7. Great list, but White Rajah is my #1 in Ohio with Head Hunter a close 2. I hope it was in the “bunch of IPAs” that got scrapped for diversity list. Maumee Bay’s Amarillo Brillo is also quite delicious


    1. White Rajah is my favorite of the Ohio IPAs too, but it’s such a pain in the ass to get ahold of that you may as well not count it as a year around offering.


  8. Interesting post that gives me something to think about. I live in Columbus and recently started a blog about beer, so when I started reading I expected I would know all of the beers on the list. I was surprised (and pleased) to see two beers I didn’t know about – Chickow and PyscHOPathy. I know what to look for next time I’m in Cincinnati. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I agree there are a lot of good IPAs in Ohio and it makes sense to diversify the list. We recently did a blind taste test with 10 IPAs including four from Ohio: Head Hunter, White Rajah, Columbus IPA and Mystic Mama by Jackie O down in Athens. They are all great beers but for our tastes the White Rajah came out the unanimous winner. If you’re interested the posts on our experiment can be found at


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