BLUE ASH, Ohio — After three and a half years of hitting the pavement hard throughout greater Cincinnati, Fretboard Brewing Company (Blue Ash, OH) now looks to their neighbors in Dayton. Coming off a big win at Great American Beer Festival, and numerous medals at the U.S. Open Beer Championship and Ohio Craft Brewers Cup – including gold for their flagship IPA, “Improv” – Fretboard felt now was as good a time as ever to expand their reach and bring beer north to Dayton and the surrounding suburbs. Though Covid has presented a unique set of challenges for the craft brewing community, Fretboard has managed to grow in recent months, with additional sales and logistics professionals joining the team, making the jump to Dayton that much smoother for the self-distributed brewery.
As part of the excitement in serving a new city, Fretboard co-owner and production manager, Kevin Moreland, felt it was only right to work closely with the brewery most notably connected to Dayton, Warped Wing Brewing Company. Moreland, a figure in Cincinnati’s craft-beer boom for nearly 20 years, reached out to John Haggerty, co-founder & brew master at Warped Wing, to begin the process of collaboration. With John and the Warped Wing team on board, the resulting beer was “Gold Plated Jet”, a Golden Ale with Lotus Hops. The name stems from a series of nods to both brands, and Dayton’s rich history in flight. For Fretboard, being a music-themed brewery, “Jet” is both a reference to the classic Wings song and is also a guitar brand. Most obvious, however, is the aeronautic nod to Warped Wing, whose name refers to “wing warping”, a technique used and patented by – Dayton’s own – Wright brothers. Being a Golden Ale, “Gold Plated Jet” just made sense on multiple levels.
The beer itself is a trending style in craft. Haggerty agreed with the style choice; “I couldn’t argue with any of the logic. I want to make something that’s sessionable, with a little bit of hop character. So it has some twist to it. That’s exactly the kind of beer I love to drink.” Using German hops as the bittering hop – as opposed to its more common American counterpart – is the subtle piece in “Jet”, giving the ale a more reserved and refined approachability. Moreland added, “I would say 90% of Golden Ales in the U.S. don’t use German hops to bitter, and they probably don’t use Lotus hops to dry hop. Lotus hops provide a bouquet of orange and vanilla. We also used an English malt, ‘Golden Promise’, and English yeast, which we don’t do at Fretboard. So that will provide a whole other spectrum of fruity character to the beer.”
Fans of Warped Wing and Fretboard can expect 6-packs of “Gold Plated Jet” to his shelves in both Cincinnati and Dayton markets beginning the week of February 8th. Along with their collaboration, Fretboard flagships like “Vlad” Pilsner (2018 World Beer Cup winner), “Bootsy” IPA (2x Gold at U.S. Open Beer Championship), fan favorite “Reba” Strawberry Blonde, and seasonal options will all be found throughout Dayton, Yellow Springs, Oxford, and surrounding neighborhoods. Warped Wing plans to host a special tapping event at their Springboro Barrel House & Smokery, on Wednesday, February 10th. 6-packs and draft will be available at Fretboard’s Blue Ash taproom beginning Friday, February 5th.
About Fretboard: Finely Tuned in Blue Ash, Ohio, Fretboard Brewing Company is truly a prideful part of their community. An award-winning brewery with 3,500 square feet of socially-distanced taproom space, a new patio, weekly live music, BBQ, and rental spaces for private events – it’s a safe bet for a good time just 15 minutes north of downtown Cincinnati.