Thirsty Dog Brewing getting set to open tasting room in Akron (photos, video)

December 23, 2017 GMT

Thirsty Dog Brewing getting set to open tasting room in Akron (photos, video)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. owner John Najeway contemplated a new tasting room for years, and that dream will become a reality in January.

Scheduled to open Saturday, Jan. 13, the tasting room will be located on the same side of the street where the brewery’s main production facility is now. The original brewery is at 529 Grant St., not far from the University of Akron campus. The new taproom is a couple of doors down, at 587 Grant in the old Glen’s Train Shop.

Thirsty Dog has grown considerably in recent years, both internally and externally. The Grant Street location has added a versatile bottling line and emphasizes barrel aging. The brewery also opened a large tasting room in Cleveland’s Flats East Bank this year.

But increased production at Summit County’s largest brewery hindered the current tasting room, which is more of a makeshift bar area that sits close to kegs, barrels and brewing equipment.

Najeway said plans for a new tasting room were in the works for four years.

“We got so busy with production, and having the tasting room in the middle of production (area) is really tough,” he said.

Here’s seven differences between the two tasting rooms.


New: At 3,000 square feet it’s much larger and can hold 90 people. The bar top is steel black granite. A private room is available.

Old: Merely an extension of the production area, no private room. Just the bar and a few tables.


New: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Old: Will be open noon to 3 p.m. Saturday for tours only.


New: New HVAC system. “So you’re not in a brewery with 100-degree days in the summer and 45-degree days in the winter,” Najeway said.

Old: A bit frosty in the winter.


New: One television hangs behind the center of the bar, and more might be coming, Najeway said. Dartboards also are up.

Old: No television. Watching the occasional forklift rumble by was the sole form of entertainment.


New: 20, with a full bar that will have Bourbon and Scotch.

Old: 16 taps.


New: Designated lot, and Najeway hopes to procure an adjacent lot as well.

Old: A few spaces on the side of the brewery.


New: A small kitchen is equipped to make panini sandwiches, pizza, flatbreads and Siberian Night chili made with the brewery’s Imperial Stout.

Old: None.