Beer festivals in Lorain and Akron this weekend highlight new, local breweries

Beer festivals in Akron and Lorain this weekend will be showcasing new local breweries.

Akron Ale Fest organizer Mathias King says of the eight new breweries participating, five didn’t exist last year.

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“Breweries are just popping up like crazy,” he said. “I think it’s fantastic.” 

HiHo Brewing Co. is just one example. Former teachers Ali and Jon Hovan opened the brewery on Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls at the beginning of the year.

“We wanted to be in a community that wanted us and Cuyahoga Falls welcomed us with open arms,” said Jon Hovan.

Three breweries opened in Lorain County this past year, said BrewFest organizer Howard Ross.

The development is part of a bigger trend.

Forty-two breweries have opened across the state in 2017, according to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. Compare that to a total of 44 in 2016.

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Experts say the market is still strong, especially for the brewpub model.

“I don’t know if the craft beer bubble is really a thing,” King said. “I think people buy beer, it’s just what they do.”

Akron Ale Fest is in downtown Akron from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

BrewFest is from noon to 6 p.m. at Black River Landing. 

Tickets for both events are still available. 

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