Black Cloister Brewing has a Great Problem

I’ve been fortunate enough to watch a dream become a reality. So far that reality is always running out of beer.

A few veterans from my home brewing club here in Ohio made the leap a few years ago and worked on their vision by opening a taproom in March.

The Black Cloister Brewing Company (with the motto: “Brew Good. Do Good.”) has really taken off in downtown Toledo, Ohio and it’s hard to not see a smile crack among its owners and staff when you talk shop with them. Among them are a homebrewer that started making beer before Jimmy Carter was in office, a certified Cicerone along with a homebrewer that is in the middle of acing her American Brewers Guild exams.

The worst problem them seem to have? Not enough beer.

The place has been so popular that only a few weeks into opening, production had to be ramped up to make up for a solid weekend. By Sunday they were down to one half barrel with no new beer ready for two days.
Good problems indeed.
They have strived to be a tad different rather than just being a bar, and it seems to be catching on. Food trucks, no TVs, a staff that chats you up like they have known you for years. It’s a far cry from talking heads or sports, a loud jukebox, rushing bartenders and fried food.
They are there to create instead of imitate. It’s those few small things that count. I think having a nice group of people that were excited to see the taproom go up also helps give the brewery a backbone. Between friends, friends of friends, an active Facebook group of craft beer lovers and the local homebrew clubs, it’s become a “family reunion” every time you walk in the door. Most likely, you are going to know someone. That makes it special quickly and creates a community. A seemingly successful tap takeover of a prominent craft beer bar this past week shows that they have been able to expand beyond their four walls.
With the minor-league baseball season upon us and the brewery a scant block away, it should be interesting to see how customers that are served macrobrews in large plastic cups at 8 bucks a head take to craft beer in Cicerone-selected glassware for about half the price.
It should make for an interesting first summer.


  1. This is my new favorite place downtown. You can even enjoy a board game while tasting your best beer!

  2. That system looks very familiar. We just purchased a 7bbl all electric brewery from Brewmation. Our original 1/2 bbl system just couldn’t keep up. A good problem indeed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.