Come with me on a journey outside of the friendly confines of the Queen City as I explore the dark arts and brewing sorcery that is Devil’s Kettle tucked away in the sleepy college town of Athens, OH. Athens is home to three breweries, you’ve definitely heard of the biggest one and odds are you’ve heard of a “Little-ler” one in town too. Devil’s Kettle is probably the odd man out. One with significantly less marketing but arguably just as good or better beer. That leaves you with a brewery out to prove something. Who benefits? Us, the drinker. I’d argue that because of the red-headed-stepchild-complex Devil’s Kettle constantly has to out do itself.
In a nutshell, they’re conjuring up delicious brews at a fantastic pace.
Devil’s Kettle is located at 97 Columbus Rd. Athens, OH 45701. It’s hard to miss the fire truck red building, solar panels, and sign out front. To walk into the taproom you pass through the patio, pictured above. Plenty of seating options there for you and your furry four legged friends. Inside you’ll find a relatively small taproom, best guess, it seats about 50-60 people comfortably. I sat a the bar on a Sunday with a small but lively crowd in the taproom. They have two TVs at the bar, eventually, to my dismay they put on some tournament games from the NCAA tournament. (see the latest Barrels & Bearcats post for the recap of the Bearcats loss to Iowa in the round of 64. I don’t want to talk about it, ok?)
The taproom is comfortable and the patrons are more than willing to strike up a conversation with you about beer, sports, or the local beer scene in general. I enjoyed my conversations with the others guests and bartender. It was my first time there but if you walked in and sat down you wouldn’t have guessed it.
I tried to take advantage of my time there so I had a flight, then I had another, and took two bombers for the road. In total I sampled 10 different beers. When I was there they had 17 different beers on tap plus about 10 different specialty beers to go in bombers. As always I’ll break down my top 3. This one was hard because I had 10 to choose from but at any rate, I’ll try.
3. The Fuller Nelson – IPA 6.3% abv and 60 ibu – I had a couple IPAs in my flights. Legend has it the IPA is a beer style owner/brewer Cameron Fuller isn’t that fond of, but to each his own. He still brews up solid one at any rate. This was my favorite IPA that I had during my visit. It held an odd nose but was still very good with piney notes and a bitter finish. 3.75/5
2. Legion – Red IPA 7.5% abv and 65 ibu – If you like to test your palate and give it a curveball this is the beer for you. It’s the ultimate battle between malty and hoppy. There aren’t a ton of beers like this out right now so I like the uniqueness. 4/5
1.Sam Owes Us – Imperial Milk Stout 8.8% abv – This beer is devily delicious. Aiming for the Samoa girl scout cookie they knocked this beer out of the park. It’s a barrel aged oatmeal milk stout with coconut, vanilla beans, and cocoa nibs. I don’t know who Sam is or what his contribution was to this beer but I’m glad I ordered it. 4.5/5
I took two specialty bombers with me because I wanted to try more of what Devil’s Kettle had to offer. One bomber didn’t make it home from our Hocking Hills stay and the other, a BA dark sour, I’m saving for an upcoming bottle share. Devi’s Kettle has a solid sour and barrel aged program. They have some wild BA sours too. Next time I’m in Athens, this place is my first stop. Knowing the layout of the land here in Cincinnati is nice so getting a feel for beer scenes in other places was very refreshing and educational. If you’re going to Devil’s kettle its good to know that the taproom is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and hours vary the other five days of the week.
Before you go you can connect with them online