by Sandy Maxwell
I’m a big fan of places that are off the beaten path. Having grown up on the fringe of a large metro city, downtown parking and crowds are something I try to avoid these days. So I was relieved to find that Akronym Brewing is quite easy to get to. The garage next door wasn’t even charging for parking!
Akronym is essentially a corridor, with a long bar top and a handful of tables, on Market Street in downtown Akron. A brightly colored chalkboard behind the bar announces an exciting variety of events. With afternoon yoga, live music, weekly trivia (which makes Wednesdays very popular) and open mic nights, Akronym seems committed to ensuring there is plenty of entertainment on hand.
I arrived on a Friday night at 9 pm and seemed to be surrounded by novice beer drinkers. The bartenders were very helpful in guiding guests’ selections by inquiring as to their taste preferences. (I overheard a group of people talking about the self-serve water cooler as if it was an inconvenience. Quick PSA: This is normal for most taprooms, especially those that don’t have kitchens. Think of it as a bonus. You can go hydrate anytime you need, no matter how busy the bar may be!)
There were an impressive 14 beers on tap to choose from, so I took my time picking out a flight. My first selection was The Test Batch, a Trappist single which bears the honor of being the first beer ever brewed at Akronym. It was the perfect starter: tasty, light and golden with a lingering bubble gum/clove aftertaste. At 4.5% ABV and 20 IBUs, I easily chugged it down.
I followed up with Tres Saison. Saison is a style you may also hear referred to as a “Farmhouse Ale” due to its origin among French-speaking farmers in southern Belgium. I sometimes get asked, “What does a saison taste like?” My answer is, “Whatever it wants to.” Flavors can range from fruity to spicy to leathery, grassy, herbal, funky and any other rustic farm term you can think of. I prefer my saisons ultra funky, and though there was no funk present in this saison I enjoyed the balance of citrus and spice.
The first sip of Walk the Line blew my mind. It took several sips to fully grasp what I was experiencing. My tastebuds (and emotions) were initially confused but ultimately delighted. This blend of American Stout and Black IPA styles can best be described by the two terms on the taplist: “resinous” and “caramel.” Not sure how to explain why this works, but it does. Bitter and dark as night, I believe it hits the mark more as a Black IPA. Definitely my favorite selection.
My final beer was Kernel of Truth, an American Lager brewed with corn and Lemondrop hops. Confession time, readers. I like corn beers. They may get a bad reputation, but when used as an adjunct and not a filler, corn gives beer a sweet, buttery creaminess that I find very appealing. Most breweries have a “light beer” for beginners, which I think is a necessity. Kernel of Truth is better than most.
Akronym is brewing some inventive and enjoyable beers on East Market Street. If you haven’t been there yet, I suggest you make it a priority!