by Sandy Maxwell

I’m happy to report that Eighty-Three Brewery is now open at the East End in Akron, in the former Goodyear headquarters. I became aware of them only shortly before they opened their doors, yet I showed up on a Friday afternoon filled with curious optimism. I was a bit worried about the city parking since I am somewhat of a nervous parker, but I lucked into a spot right across the street on East Market. The late afternoon sun shining through the glass storefront made the whole taproom bright and cheery. 

I was instantly enamored with their unique geometric logo and the teal/blue/gray color scheme of the interior. It felt simultaneously retro and modern. Add some neons and 80’s pop music and I would have sworn I had traveled back in time. 

Besides the long bar top, there are several tables that can seat parties of 8 or more. The self-serve popcorn machine is a smart idea and the menu offers pizzas and pretzel-wrapped hot dogs for a quick bite. 

Two guest taps were available during my visit: beer from the nearby Akronym Brewing and cider from Bookhouse Brewing in Cleveland. I was surprised to see wine on the menu, but I suppose it’s not a bad idea to accommodate those who prefer the grape over the grain! 

I selected my flight and eagerly awaited my first taste. I know sample glasses can be deceptive, but these looked HUGE to me. I felt like I was getting 32 ounces of beer in four samples (but I’m definitely not complaining). 

The Rye It! Rye It! saison stood out for me, with peppery malts and saison yeast combining to create a cola-like flavor with a creamy finish. The MMMMMosaic hits a sweet spot for me since I love floral hops. This IPA has just enough bitterness to satisfy my palate but not ruin it for the night. 

My drinking buddy that evening ordered the Berliner Nice! flight, which is 4 samples of Berliner Weisse with a different flavoring syrup in each. The traditional European flavors of woodruff and raspberry are included, but surprisingly I most enjoyed the tangerine-lavender-honey version. 

While my friend and I sipped, we played a rousing round of Timeline:Inventions that I picked up over on the game shelf. They have numerous games to choose from, as well as pinball, which is quickly becoming a prerequisite for brewery taprooms. 

I predict great things from Eighty-Three Brewing in the future. In the meantime let’s all celebrate fall with a glass of their Devil’s Night Jack O’Stout. It’s a clever twist on your common pumpkin beer with the addition of vanilla beans and local honey. Grab a crowler of it to take to your bonfire, hayride or Halloween party. 

Cheers and Happy Fall, friends! 

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