A NEW BREWERY IN TOWN … Betsy Chamberlain and Tom Shank stand in front of the logo for the new American Brewery in Wauseon. (PHOTO BY JACOB KESSLER, STAFF)
By: Jacob Kessler
The American Brewery held its Grand Opening on Saturday located just east of Wauseon on Airport Highway. It all started with Tom Shank the Owner, Wine Maker, and now Brew Master.
Two years ago, Tom started the American Winery with Connie Simon. They started the winery with 14 original wines that were produced in a modified pole barn. Today they have twenty-one original wines and ten original beers all made in Wauseon.
The creation of the brewery led to multiple different types of beers. Each being as unique as the wines available at the winery. They range from a very light golden color with a light taste and light usage of hops to a more deep and dark brown with a hoppy taste.
There is of course more to choose from in between each of those as well. Each beer is available from the tap and can be served to you in a glass or in a can which is then sealed to order in front of you as you wait. This is to ensure that the beer is very fresh.
The winery is supplied by five different grapes, some of which are grown onsite in Wauseon and others at another vineyard owned by Tom in Bryan. These grapes are used in several wines but are not able to be used in all of the wines produced at the winery.
“There are simply some grapes that we use that we just cannot grow in Northwest Ohio,” Tom said. The success of the winery has led to the creation of the brewery. We wanted to be able to serve those that want both, the mixed couples where one wants beer and the other wants wine, we want to be able to serve them both,” said Tom.
The Grand Opening took place from noon to 9pm. There were free hotdogs, brats, live music, and of course beer and wine.
The winery also serves 4 wine slushies with its signature slushie being the Red, White and Blue slushie and a new surprise for people at today’s grand opening. A wine infused ice cream, that turned out to be a hit, made its debut today.
It is currently being worked on more at the winery but did make an appearance for the opening. Live music was also performed by Bob Stevens with more live music happening every Saturday from 6pm to 9pm.
Turnout was good with everyone enjoying themselves. Ambre Partin was one five attendees to a bachelorette party at the grand opening. “It is insanely good,” Ambre said.
Tom is also holding another opening celebration the following day on Sunday. It is the first Sunday that the company has been able to be open.
Tom explained that Clinton Township used to be a dry precinct, but that in 2020 they had introduced a measure on the ballot to allow for alcohol sales on Sundays. The measure passed and has now allowed for them to be open on Sundays.
The American Winery and American Brewery is open Wednesday’s and Thursday’s 3pm to 7pm, Friday’s and Saturday’s noon to 9pm and now Sunday’s 1pm to 5pm. “We want people to bring their bikes, jeeps and sports cars here. With concrete leading from the road to a level parking area, it is the perfect destination for the weekend,” said Tom.
Tom would like to give a special thanks to Betsy Chamberlain, Connie Simon, and Carol Shelt for their commitment to looking after the vines, helping make the beer, and taking care of the customers.
Jacob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org