photos by Sarah Parisi
The building Branch & Bone Artisan Ales calls home in Dayton’s historic South Park neighborhood was built in the 1930s, but a previous structure on the property housed a pharmacy. The current tenant is crafting a different sort of cure-all, and it’s just what the doctor ordered.
While the Dayton area is home to more than a dozen craft breweries, none is quite like Branch & Bone, which opened in June 2018. Cofounders Brett Smith, John Joyce, and Kevin Kriegel are producing beers at the cutting edge of modern brewing trends, with hazy Northeast-style IPAs, fruity sour styles, and mixed-fermentation farmhouse ales bringing something new to the Gem City beer scene.
“It’s all about creating a product we’re tied to,” explains Smith, the head brewer. “We’re using as many local ingredients as we can to brew beers that can’t exist anywhere else.”
Branch & Bone is sourcing as many of its hops as possible from Ohio hop farms, and plans to begin using Ohio malt over the next year. But the more esoteric ingredients truly tie the beers to local agriculture. The brewery has used dandelions, spruce tips, and yarrow from local foragers, and sources berries from local growers, including Stokes Berry Farm, Irons Fruit Farm, and Berryhill Farm.
Once the weather cools enough to allow it, Smith plans to brew a spontaneously fermented ale by exposing fresh wort (sugary, unfermented beer) to yeasts and safe bacteria in the Ohio air, a practice most commonly associated with Belgian lambic producers.
“It’s fun and cool to use something that not everyone is using or can use,” Smith says. “It’s tying our beer to where it’s from.”
Branch & Bone Artisan Ales
905 Wayne Ave.
Open: Wed–Thu 4–10pm; Fri–Sat noon–10pm; Sun noon–8pm
A professional writer and Certified Cicerone, much of his writing is about books and film (he is a National Book Critics Circle member), he writes a lot about beer too! David is a regular contributor to Craftbeer.com, PorchDrinking, Indiana on Tap, and Dayton City Paper’s beer section.