Disclaimer: The following is a work of realistic fiction for our special 2050 issue, published in June 2021. These stories are meant to spark imagination, not forecast the future of Akron.
Tiger Street Cafe has been steadily gaining popularity since it opened its doors last summer in the heart of Akron’s downtown. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting yet, don’t let the humble storefront deceive you – this place changes everything you thought you knew about beer.
Inside Tiger Street Cafe you can enjoy one of their six rotating house beers on draft, or try one of their original kombuchas. They serve a quaint selection of energy bars and vitamin tonics – something for everyone. The space is simple and open, with room for live performances and dancing.
The most popular beer at the Cafe is a lager called Take it Easy. It’s intended to introduce the public to Tiger Street’s beers and has a very traditional flavor. Other beers currently on tap include a “Funky Farmhouse Ale” brewed with locally grown wheatgrass, a “Roasty Toasty Porter” that comes with a shot of house espresso on the side, and a purple strawberry wheat beer called “Garden Party.”
Alex Brown, the owner of Tiger Street Cafe, is a biomedical engineer. They worked in a research laboratory that focused on liver tissue regeneration for 10 years before deciding to switch gears and focus on their true calling: brewing beer full time.
Alex’s journey to becoming a brewer was one of curiosity and experimentation. “My parents got way into cooking when they had to quarantine together in 2020. We were always eating exotic, adventurous dishes in our house after that. My dad loved kombucha and kimchi, and my mom was always pickling things in the fridge.” A passion for cooking and fermentation turned to a passion for homebrewing for Alex in college. After graduation, they came to a dilemma.
Alex tells us, “When I started working in the liver lab and seeing the effects of alcohol first-hand, I started questioning the morality of brewing and getting my friends drunk. I made it my mission to find a way around this issue.”
And so they did. With the help of a team of Ph.D. candidates, Alex has developed a beer that has far less harmful effects on your liver and brain than other alcoholic beverages. The cafe is named after the place where their original research lab was located, Tiger Street.
Is it still beer? “Technically yes,” Alex says, “It’s still made with barley, hops, yeast, and water. It’s still beer.”
All of the beers brewed at Tiger Street are made with the addition of regenerative molecules that combat the harmful effects that alcohol has on the liver and brain – biotechnology that Alex helped to develop themself. It’s also full of electrolytes, mood stabilizers, and vitamins.
Tiger Street Beers still get you drunk, but they don’t give you a physical or mental hangover the next day. Compared to traditional beers, preliminary studies show that Alex’s beers are likely to be 75% less damaging to liver tissue over time, and 40% less damaging to brain function over time.
Tiger Street is one of just six other beer breweries in Akron. During the Brewery Boom of the 10s, Akron was home to over 30 breweries. While the last 30 years have seen unprecedented popularity in sobriety from alcohol, it seems that this brewery – with it’s combination of nonalcoholic options and less damaging beers – is just what we were missing in Akron.
Maybe with these new developments in biomedical technology and renewed public interest in drinking, we’ll see a few more popping up in the near future.
You can Get Tiger Street Cafe’s Take it Easy Lager and Tiger Stripes Kombucha in most of our area grocery centers. The cafe is open every evening. Visit their website to see upcoming events or to reserve the space.
Emily Anderson still has stouts from 2020 in her basement
You just read this article for free. The good news is that we’re committed to never putting our content behind a paywall. We want our readers to be able to continue reading for free because we believe everyone should have access to quality journalism.
But here’s the catch: Our work is not free to produce. If you can afford to contribute by joining our co-op and becoming a member, we need your support for the news we offer to remain free and equitable. Plus, we think you’ll love being able to say, “I’m part-owner of a magazine.”
We want all Akronites, our neighboring suburbanites, and our beloved expats to have the opportunity to learn what’s happening here, and to read articles written by contributors whose love for Akron shines through their work. So here’s what we’re asking: Please join us for as little as $1/month in becoming a member. When you click the red button below, you help keep our content free for thousands of readers who might not otherwise be able to access our stories.