By COLBY DENTON
Tarver Distributing introduced Blackhorse Brewery to the area Thursday night, in a so-called "Tap Takeover" at Mash & Hops.The event's name simply means that a majority of beer taps at the …
Tarver Distributing introduced Blackhorse Brewery to the area Thursday night, in a so-called "Tap Takeover" at Mash & Hops.
The event's name simply means that a majority of beer taps at the gathering were Blackhorse Brewery brands.
"We typically have a Tap Takeover every other Thursday," said Mash & Hops owner Rob McGowan. "We also have a schedule of specific breweries that we will feature posted on our menu each month."
"Mash & Hops is unique, because there are a lot of places surrounding the city like it, and it's one of a kind actually in Cleveland," stated Bill Tarver III, sales manager at Tarver Distributing. "The beer scene is growing here, and Mash and Hops is perfect for brand launches."
Jeff Robins, a Desert Storm Army veteran, and his wife, founded the featured brewery is Clarksville in 1995. It is now based in Knoxville.
The Blackhorse name is in honor of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. While Robins never served in the unit, he admired the Cavalry's spirit and energy, which he stated were qualities he hoped his company would embody.
Following the success of the Blackhorse in Clarksville, a Knoxville location was built in 1998. It was heavily damaged in a tornado in 2000, and was rebuilt in 2013.
"We went with Blackhorse because they're a local brewery, and we are all about community," said Rossman Tarver, key account manager at Tarver Distributing. "There are lots of familiar styles with Blackhorse, but we haven't carried much vanilla cream ale. That is their No. 1 seller. Partnering with a local distributor also makes you more successful in your market, which benefits Blackhorse overall."
The original Blackhorse Brewery was a pizza parlor. The brewery was on the other side of the building, with a wall dividing the two. A large hole in the dividing wall was used to pass pizzas and beers between the two rooms, but eventually the wall was knocked down and it became one location that sold both products.
Blackhorse's No. 1 seller is its Vanilla Cream Ale, followed closely behind by its Barnstormer Red Ale. There are also a variety of India Pale Ales, or IPAs.
Tarver Distributing has had similar successes with other local breweries including: Good People Brewing Company, in Birmingham, Ala.; Red Hare Brewing Company, in Marietta, Ga.; and Green Man Brewery, in Asheville, N.C., just to name a few.
"Being local means that you are just putting money back into your local economy," stated Blackhorse Director of Operations Brandon Crotzer.
According to Crotzer, the brewery is also very charitable. For each of its Batch 160 IPAs sold, Blackhorse donates a dollar to the Night Stalkers Foundation, which aids the U.S. Army 160th Special Operations Airborne's (Night Stalkers') members and their families.
Blackhorse is planning to create a beer in honor of the Cleveland Greenway, which will be a tropical IPA.
McGowan is also hoping to expand his services in the future to an adjacent venue, that will feature wine and cider alongside different foods.
Mash and Hops is located on 1st Street in Cleveland and is open Monday-Saturday.
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