Canton Brewing Company Is Pumping Life (and beer) Into Downtown Canton
Updated: Dec 29, 2018
This is an archived copy of what was originally posted on Facebook.
The tour landed in Canton, OH Friday night to play the enormous Canton Brewing Company (CBC). The brewery/restaurant/speakeasy/cavern is in downtown Canton, a city perhaps best known as the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The attached pictures I took, as I always do, upon arrival. I always mean to take pictures at set break while people are actually there, but I also always forget (in a hurry to get set break beer, I guess). Maybe I should find a travel companion to take pictures while I play...
As you can see in the first photo below, the building takes up a city block right in the heart of downtown. The upstairs (not pictured) is a massive taproom and restaurant, and the downstairs (called the Speakeasy) is an enormous, cavernous space consisting of a beer hall, the brewing facility behind wrought iron gates, and a long area full of leather couches, games, and more private areas to enjoy the beer and food. A really big bar lined part of the latter area. It reminded me of a cross between a larger city's train station, and an almost medeival feel. As it was all brick and tile, the music carried really well throughout, I felt like I was playing in an arena.
Canton Brewing Company - Canton, OH
Not sure about status of beer distribution beyond the taproom at this time.
Played: 9/14/18, 12/15/18
Sarah and Matt manned the Speakeasy bar, and I had nice conversation with brewery owner Dave later in the night. Big plans for this place in the coming months, so keep an eye out for news and do visit. On to the beers....
CBC's focus seems to be on the more traditional variations than the currently trendier ones. Several stouts, porters, ales, lagers, etc vs. the Belgian wheats, sours, etc. I started with their Carpe Noctem coffee porter (6.8%), which was so excellent that I think I also finished the night with another. Creamy, well balanced yet robust coffee flavor with a hint of chocolate implied. The creamy body was accented by just a little crisp edge from the CO2, so it was booth soothing and refreshing. The coffee was sourced locally from a coffee shop called Carpe Diem. Very well done, I could have stuck with it all night, but alas, I have a duty to sample others....
Next up was the Dopplebock (8%). A darker German lager, the hue was brown with a hint of red when the light hit it. Medium carbonation, a slightly sweet herbal aroma, and a dark lager flavor with a slight hint of molasses and maybe toffee. I don't want to imply that it was overly sweet, though (if it had been, I wouldn't like it)... there was a HINT of sweetness, but the balance was good. A refreshing, satisfying drink.
I was hesitant to try to the Barrell Aged Stout (11%), as often the bourbon flavor is so overdone with these that I feel like it's the morning after a party and someone poured me a beer in a dirty glass from the night before with a little bourbon left in it. I won't mention names, but let's just say while the concept is intriguing the execution often misses the mark. THAT SAID, I did a little sample of CDC's BA Stout and quickly committed to a full pour. There was that little HINT of smoke and bourbon that you'd want in the aroma, while not at all overpowering the flavor. Quite enjoyable, I'd seek this one out again.
After enjoying the BA Stout I moved swiftly to the nitro-fed Start Stout (7.1%). A nice dark pour, creamy body with a hint of a darker roast coffee and maybe a vanilla or caramel overtone... I was obviously already a few in (and strong ones, too) so it's hard to recall exactly... but there was a little richness to the creaminess that offset the coffee tones nicely and made for a delicious full bodied stout that was a little toasty, a little nutty, and a little creamy all at the same time. Another winner that I'd seek out.
Canton has a real gem of a brewery here. If I lived anywhere near Canton I'd be a regular here for sure... and it's like several different places all in one... the restaurant and taproom upstairs looked fantastic and seemed like a good destination for a date, and there was also a chill patio out on the street for a more casual kick back. Great place, great beers, I look forward to coming back soon!
At the end of the night I had a fantastic stromboli at a little Italian joint around the corner that was open til midnight. The soundtrack alternated between '80s Billy Joel (blech!) and opera. I then headed south to Saturday night's show at Wooly Pig Farm Brewery....