By Jason Jugenheimer & The Flight Crew
AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Expansion is the name of the game at Biker Brewhouse. Whether it’s expanding the palates of its patrons, expanding the brewhouse or expanding its craft beer footprint, Biker has kept the throttle wide open to create its blueprint.
Owner Larry Wilson opened Biker Brewhouse in 2017 at Youngstown Harley-Davidson, 5700 Interstate Blvd. in Austintown. It remains the only Harley dealership with a brewery.
Production and distribution have increased every year since, growing from 212 barrels in 2018 to 404 barrels last year. This year’s goal is 560 barrels.
This growth results from the continued expansion of the brewhouse. “We’ve expanded from 1,500 square feet to 3,580 square feet,” Wilson says. He has reconfigured the site in the dealership to create a much larger bar and brewhouse area.
Beauchamp and Wilson now have the ability to produce 1,000 barrels a year.
That has allowed them to increase their distribution to some 120 locations, as well as to produce three beers for all of the Whistle & Keg sites in Youngstown, Cleveland and Columbus.
This is the result of expanding from a 2.5-barrel to a 5-barrel brew system and adding more fermenters and two bright tanks. Says Wilson, “We’ve seen a 50% increase in production over the old brewhouse and a 40% increase from last year.”
Biker isn’t just a place to grab a beer while mulling over the purchase of a new hog, either. Wilson has added a weekly dart league, pinball machines from Pirate’s Life Pinball, a pool table, and a food trailer.
While Ball Bearing Blonde may be the most versatile and approachable beer at the brewhouse, Wilson and Beauchamp have over 30 beer styles they brew, including some barrel-aged variations and the possibility of adding alcoholic sparkling waters.
Here are a few beers that revved our engines.
Whitewall Stout (6.0% ABV)
Brian Long – Is it possible to make a full-flavored stout that looks and drinks like a simple ale? The answer is: yes, my beer friends.
Biker takes advantage of local American Standard Coffee from neighboring High Octane Coffee Company, Yarian Quality Pale Malt, 10 pounds of Ghirardelli’s white chocolate, Amarillo hops and some other secret ingredients to create this beautiful white stout.
This beer provides subtle hints of everything with smooth semi-creamy yet full-flavored beer. As Wilson says, ”It’s a stout that doesn’t gum up your mouth.” Simply put, this is a beer that can warm you on these chilly winter days. But it’s also something to look forward to, even in the warmest of weather.
Danny Greene Irish Stout (4.5% ABV}
Joe Sanfilippo – Move over Ol’ Man Winter. We are getting ready for the next big holiday – St. Patrick’s Day.
What better way to kickstart and celebrate than with a good old Danny Greene on Nitro.
This is Biker’s nod to the Irish Car Bomb.
This traditional Irish stout was aged in a Jameson Whiskey barrel for 45 days. It pours a beautiful rich black color and produces a nice thick tan head. It provides you with hints of the whiskey on the nose. This is very smooth on the palate with the whiskey hitting you first then finishing with a nice oak dry finish.
This is a great beer that you need to try.
But don’t tell anyone there that Danny sent you.
ChocoNutter Oatmeal Stout (5.0% ABV)
Dave Shively – I’m a ’70s child. So I still remember the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial on TV where the ad slogan proclaimed, “Hey, you got peanut butter on my chocolate.”
This of course referred to the birth of my favorite candy bar. Now I’m not sure which craft brewer can take credit for the genesis of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Stout style of beer. But whoever you are, I salute you. Biker Brewhouse has an outstanding adaptation of this style of beer, which is called ChocoNutter.
This delicious beer pours out a nearly opaque black with a thin tan head. The aroma is rich with notes of coffee, milk chocolate and peanut butter. The taste is not heavy but sweet and malty. This stout is perfect to sip by the fire during these cold winter nights. Thankfully, this beer is also available in bottles to take home and enjoy.
Blackwall Stout (5.2% ABV)
Rob Tittel – Full disclosure: I’m a self avowed stout snob. That wasn’t always the case.
In college, I thought beers like Guinness were motor oil. Nowadays, Guinness is downright thin for my normal tastes and when it comes to stout, generally the higher the viscosity, the better.
Sometimes, though, even the most hardcore stout snob needs a break from all those dense, heavy flavors. Enter Blackwall Stout.
This thinner-bodied stout is full-flavored without being cloying, with notes of baker’s chocolate and a hint of vanilla on the finish.
Beauchamp fashions it as his Americanized answer to the legendary British beer Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.
Indeed, this highly drinkable, light-bodied stout checks all the boxes of that classic drink with a small hint of hop bitterness on the back end.
In a world of pastry stout sippers that take an hour or more to get through, this is a stout that you could crush a few of and still have your wits about you. The stout snob in me approves!
Lemon Bliss Pale Ale (5.7% ABV)
Jason Jugenheimer – In a world of ever expanding IPAs and pale ales that try to outdo each other with bigger flavors, pulp-like haziness and a variety of overused adjuncts, this pale ale gets back to basics by showcasing what hops can really do.
Jampacked full of Lemon Drop hops, this beer slaps your palate with a crisp lemon flavor and citrus bitterness. A small addition of marshmallow adds a slight creaminess to the front end of the beer. But it’s the hops that really star. It’s a clean beer that’s full of flavor and one to enjoy while dreaming of porch weather again.
Kickstand Kolsch (4.7% ABV)
Roger Gillespie – Oktoberfests, porters, stouts, holiday beers and Christmas ales have been at the forefront of the beer world the last several months.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
It has gotten a bit monotonous for me of late. Biker Brewhouse maintains a fresh supply of its Kickstand Kolsch at the ready and I strongly recommend taking a pause and giving this German-style ale a taste.
Brewed with Pilsner and wheat malts and a touch of Ohio honey, this beer is a light golden color and incorporates a slightly dry yet crisp finish. It carries a low ABV of 4.7% and offers up a mild 23 IBU content. It has become my favorite alternative beer to reset the palate.
Recommended Flight Pattern: Saddle up and cruise on over to Biker Brewhouse.
Pictured: Tim Beauchamp is the brewmaster at Biker Brewhouse in Austintown, which is owned by Larry Wilson.